Although you probably dole them out like candy in text messages with family and friends, emojis generally are considered verboten in business communications -- including marketing. And for good reason. Although they're fun and expressive, emojis can make you and your company appear unprofessional and flippant.
But only if you use them incorrectly. Used well, emojis can actually help instead of hurt your business reputation, author Alexander Porter suggests in an article for business website Business 2 Community.
"In some cases, emoji-integration can be an effective marketing tool which can: attract attention in a saturated digital space; increase user awareness, engagement and satisfaction; [and] establish your business as an authentic and accessible industry leader," Porter argues.
A new study by Adobe suggests he's right. Published last week in honor of World Emoji Day, it found that 58 percent of consumers are likely to open an email from a brand with an emoji in the subject line and that 44 percent are likely to buy products that are advertised using emojis.
So, what's the right way to use emojis in your marketing? For starters, take a cue from Adobe's research and start using them in email subject lines.
"Studies show that this can improve your open rate," Porter says. "This can be up to a 56 percent increase in open rates compared to basic text without an emoji."
Likewise, use them in social media advertisements. "Studies of Facebook ads have been linked to a 30 to 40 percent higher click-through rate," notes Porter, who adds that emojis in social media posts are just as effective as those in social media ads. "A simple heart has been shown to increase user engagement levels."
But tread lightly: Overusing or misusing emojis is a surefire way to lose instead of gain points with customers.
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