Emojis have invaded our emails and texts. Offline, they even adorn our pillows, coffee mugs and pajamas. It was only a matter a time before they became an acceptable form of communication in the business world. So should your small business be using emojis? The quick answer: yes, no and maybe.

Or in emoji speak:



Why such a complicated answer? Because in short, all businesses are different. It depends on your industry, your brand, your reputation and your target audience. There are a lot of factors that come into play.

Evaluate your business

There is no denying that emojis are a creative way to bond with your customers. They are fun – they are cute – and they can heighten the engagement you receive from those reading your messages. While some believe they are unprofessional or flippant, others are taking advantage of their colorfulness and creativity. If you have a workplace that is quite informal, then emojis can be effective. But if it is a suit and tie affair from top to bottom, probably not.

Emojis connect with your reader’s brain on an emotional level, similar to that of facial expressions. When paired with well-constructed text, it’s hardly any wonder that emojis can increase your Return on Investment (ROI) for your marketing campaigns.

Consider your target audience

If you’re targeting millennials, then the answer is yes, without a doubt. If you are trying to reach pensioners or retirees who may be less likely to understand the meaning of emojis, then it is probably best to avoid them. If your audience is somewhere in the middle, use them with a little caution and a lot of imagination. They will work in some cases, but not all. As with anything in marketing and sales, there is always a time and a place. Consider your audience and stay focused on your brand.

92% of the online population use emojis at some point in time. 60% of women use them frequently in comparison to 41% of men. The 25-29 age group apparently uses them most frequently, followed closely by the under 25 age group. If you’re connecting to women in their late 20s, they can be a very effective way to strengthen your online connection.

Emojis on Social Media

If you do decide to embrace emojis on social media, Twitter and Instagram are great starting points. Emojis allow you to convey emotions that words may not make entirely clear, and they’re ideal for Twitter’s 140 character limit. Why type words when an emoji can sum it up with one adorable little expression?




Emojis in Hashtags

Take your hashtags to the next level by creating personalized emoji hashtags to suit your social media campaign. Hashtags are ideal for building brand awareness and allowing your business to showcase its individuality and style.

Emojis in Marketing Campaigns

Many companies have opted for emoji-based campaigns and came out smiling when all was said and done. McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Domino’s Pizza have all put emoji campaigns to good use in the past. But it isn’t just appropriate for fast food chains. WWF and PETA both won over fans with their clever use of emojis, as did the campaign for the movie Deadpool, where they created an individual set of emojis based on the main character.

Emojis in Push Notifications

Companies with mobile applications will find that emojis can be helpful in push notifications to summarize their texts. Whether you are announcing a sale or a special offer, businesses can carefully select emojis that elaborate visually on their message.

Emojis in Email Marketing

Many, many companies use emojis in their email marketing efforts. Would you believe that an emoji in the subject line can lead to a higher open rate and click-through rate? Emojis are a quick way to help your email stand out in a crowded inbox. Use them in moderation to avoid your messages being flagged as spam.




Here are some tips when using emojis from a business perspective.

  • Keep them positive – no one wants to see sad little emojis ruining their day.
  • Perform split tests to see how responsive your audience is – emoji vs. non-emoji.
  • Use your judgment and opt for them only when you think they are appropriate.
  • Limit the number of emojis you use – 3 is clearly better than 30.
  • Stick to the more popular and recognizable emojis to avoid mixed messages.
  • Avoid being too cryptic – the simpler the message, the better.

Consider the smiley face emoji. It is extremely powerful when sent from one person to another. There is no denying the message or the meaning: ‘All is good,’ ‘Everything is rosy,’ ‘I am happy,’ ‘It was a joke,’ ‘That was funny.’ So much from one little emoji!

With over 2,666 emojis in the Unicode Standard (as of June 2017), whether you like them or not, they are quickly becoming the universal language of the future. It is up to you whether you decide to follow the trend.