To emoji or not to emoji?

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Like it or not, emojis have become part of the modern business vernacular. Let’s review how we got here.

When the business world shifted from phone calls to emails, professionals had to start watching the tone of their communication more than ever before. We’ve all been guilty of reading an email in our head as snarky that may just be a quickly phrased collection of sentences. Enter the smiley face, promising to make an email voice a bit less ambiguous. 

As the mobile obsession blossomed so did our communication style via text messages. Since the days when your text keyboard was converting the numbers on your phone to letters one word at a time, we needed a way to speed things up. Emoji’s in many ways have helped us communicate more concisely.

Just a few years ago, “emoji” wasn’t even a word. Fast forward to today, where 77% of Americans say they own a smartphone and now communication is more instant than ever. Today over 2,666 different emojis have augmented the simple smiley face. Who’s sending these emojis, according to the latest statistics, are over 92% of the online population. You can actually track Emoji use real-time here: http://www.emojistats.org.

In fact, Emoji use is so widespread it’s not limited to just millennial use, as it may seem to some.

The reality is that Emoji usage is not going anywhere. Brands like Dominos, with their pizza emoji ordering system, are successfully riding the trend of emojis to drive business and customer engagement. Burger King also developed it’s own emoji to promote it’s chicken fries. Major brands like this have caught on, and small businesses are starting to as well.

Most importantly, emoji usage represents a marked cultural shift toward a more visual form of communication, presenting brands with an opportunity to convey their messages to customers more creatively, wisely, and even humorously.

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