Emojis have been a firm feature in our day-to-day communications since they really took off in the 2010s. Evolving from using punctuation to show a smiley face, to the full keyboard we have today, emojis are here to stay.
In 2015, Oxford Dictionaries announced that their Word of the Year was the “face with tears of joy” emoji. 😂
Whilst many were appalled at the move away from tradition, the choice of an emoji to hold the top-spot really highlights their standing in the communication landscape of today.
As communications specialists, we’re always looking for the best way to describe things, and what if sometimes that was through an emoji?
There has been a reluctance amongst professionals and academics to adopt the icons into a more formal setting, but looking at history we can see that communication has always been much more than just words. We only have to look back to the Ancient Egyptians and their hieroglyphs to recognise that specific meanings can be shared through symbols and graphics.
However, hieroglyphs denoted specific meanings, whereas the emojis we use today are much more open to interpretation. Their subjectivity and creativity are something we can really harness in the communications industry. We shouldn’t be scared to use them! 😱
When should you use emojis?
Obviously, there is a time and a place. ⏰A press release on a merger or acquisition probably isn’t the ideal place to be dropping emojis left, right and centre, but a social post or email subject can benefit from their use.
World Emoji Day reported that more than 700 million emojis are used in Facebook posts every day and, on Messenger, 900 messages containing just emojis are sent. On Twitter, 57% of emoji users are women, and 86% are 24 or younger. 📱 Brands and PRs need to tap into the language of their target demographics, and emojis could be the way to do this.
Even on platforms such as LinkedIn, people are used to consuming text scattered with emojis so are likely to be more receptive to information that isn’t presented as just a block of text, even in a professional setting. Simple emojis such as a pointing finger towards a link or numbers to be used as bullet points can bring a basic post to life and work to capture the reader’s eye. 👀
In the same way language has developed over time, and we see new words and sayings become part of day-to-day vocabulary, emojis have become an integral part of how we communicate. 📣
Courtney Caile is PR & Social Media Account Executive at Whistle PR which offers a range of integrated communications services including strategic consultancy, PR, digital and internal communications. For further information, email email@example.com or contact us here.