are emojis DESTROYING THE WAY WE COMMUNICATE?

Emojis don't have the greatest reputation at the moment. Love them or hate them, there’s no avoiding  them. From Twitter bios to cushions adorning the windows of pop-up shops on the high street, you can spot these colourful little icons everywhere. If yu ask me, 

Worried someone might not pick up on the sarcasm in your status update? Add a winking smiley. Want to let your friend know you’re thinking of them but don’t want to sound too cheesy? Send a heart emoji. These resourceful little icons are no longer millennial hieroglyphics adorning a teenager’s Snapchat account: they’ve become an invaluable digital language in their own right. Just one emoji can convey a whole world of meaning – just take a look at our ‘Cardiff by Emoji’ post back in January! However, while emojis can be very fun and creative, they also have the potential to bring a lot of personality and approachability to your brand. This is especially applicable if you’re aiming to have a strong online presence.

As mentioned in one of our previous blog posts (link to Dylan’s minimalism post), less is more. However, this concept of minimalism doesn’t just apply to logos and branding redesigns; it applies to the very language we use within these brands and the way we market them. Take Twitter, for example. From its logo to its 140-character limit, it’s always been all about simplicity. So what happens when the message you want to put out for your brand doesn’t fit this 140-character limit?

You bring out the emoji.

Imagine you’re in charge of a florist’s Twitter account, and that you’d like to share a customer’s Instagram photo of a wedding bouquet they bought from the shop. An important part of online etiquette is crediting any photos you use, but this is made particularly difficult thanks to Twitter’s unyielding character limit. By writing ‘photography credit goes to Jane Jones’ and linking to her Instagram account, you’ve already used up a third of your precious characters. This is where our little friend steps in:

📸

By simply crediting the customer’s online handle and writing ‘📸: @jkjones1’, you’ve used a lot less characters, and you also look rather internet savvy. A well-selected emoji can replace a whole word or even an entire phrase if you put enough thought into it. It’s a popular technique with all sorts of big companies, from Cosmopolitan to McDonald’s – so what’s stopping you from using the same technique with your company?

Of course, always bear the ‘less is more’ mantra in mind. Use too many emojis, and your message will be drowned out by the emojis’ loud colours, as well as looking as if it was accidentally written by a cat pirouetting across your keyboard. Also, ensure you’re using the emoji in the correct context. While emojis were initially designed to be simple representations of their real-life counterparts, a lot of them have acquired… interesting interpretations. Basically, just avoid the aubergine emoji at all costs.

The emoji is no longer a millennial placeholder, and using it doesn’t have to mean that you’re pandering to a younger audience. It’s become an inherent part of internet culture, which has in time become an inherent part of almost everyone’s daily life, regardless of age or online experience. What’s stopping you from embracing it, too?

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