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the guide to emojis in business

Emojis in Business? Your Guide to Emojis

Are emojis appropriate in business?

Emojis are a hot topic these days. Whether you love them or hate them, there’s no denying that they’re here to stay. And as it turns out, emojis can be quite useful in marketing and business communications when used correctly.

The History of Emojis

Emojis have been around since the 1990s, but they’ve only recently become mainstream. In the past, emojis were very mostly popular in Japan, but now they’re used all over the world.

If you’re not familiar with emojis, they are small digital images or icons that can be used to express a wide range of emotions or ideas. They first gained popularity on cell phones, but now you can find them just about anywhere – from social media platforms to email signatures.

Some people argue that emojis are unprofessional and should not be used in business communications. However, there are many benefits to using emojis in marketing and other business applications.

Benefits of Emojis

For one, emojis can help you better connect with your audience. They add a personal touch to your message that can make it more relatable and friendly. Additionally, emojis can help you convey complex emotions or concepts quickly and effectively.

I’ve always liked to add a 🙂 to make my writing more friendly, as if to say I am not a jerk; I’m just to the point.

I’ve heard emoji use is more popular with women than men. I seem to be more in-the-know than Sean with emojis, and he says he uses them rarely, so maybe there’s some truth to it.

Should you use Emojis in Business?

Research has shown that using emojis in marketing communications can actually boost engagement. One study found that using an emoji in an email subject line increased open rates by 56%! So, dudes, it may be time to up your emoji use. 🙂

The Right Way to Use Emojis

When used correctly, emojis add emotion to text-based communication. They can also make messages more fun and interesting. However, there is a problem with emojis: they can be misused.

For example, some people use emojis in a way that is rude or insensitive. This can be a problem in business and marketing contexts, where professionalism is important.

When used properly, they can benefit our communication, as shown by pinngle.com; using emojis can soften criticism, they increase friendliness and competency, and people react to them like a real human face. But does that make them business appropriate?

Emojis in Business?

Emojis are also not just for kids. Adults use them, too. In fact, emojis can be useful in business and marketing contexts. For example, they can help you add personality to your messages or set the tone for your words when they could be misinterpreted.

When to use emojis in business

That said, it’s important to use emojis in a way that is appropriate for your audience. If your lawyer dropped a poop emoji, it may be time to find a new lawyer.

Even Google docs announced it has added emojis, so maybe your lawyer isn’t too far off from using them, but hopefully this one instead:

If you do decide to use emojis in marketing, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Use Emojis Consistent with Your Brand

First, make sure you use them in a way that is consistent with your brand voice.

Use Emojis with Restraint

Second, don’t overdo it. A few well-placed emojis can be effective, but too many can be overwhelming.

Learn the Meaning of Popular Emojis

Finally, take the time to learn the meaning of the most popular emojis. This will help you avoid using them in an unintentionally offensive way.

Emojis in marketing

Overall, emojis can be a valuable addition to your marketing toolkit. When used correctly, they can help you better connect with your audience and boost engagement. So don’t be afraid to experiment with emojis in your next marketing campaign!

Your Guide to Emojis

So now that we’re cool with emoji use to connect and boost our engagement, what emojis should you use? Let’s look at some of the 25 most popular widespread emojis, what they mean, and how you can use them in your digital marketing.

1. Smiling Face with Sunglasses Emoji

This emoji is often used to indicate that something is cool, awesome, or impressive. It can also be used to convey that the person is feeling happy, relaxed or that something is excellent. Use this emoji in exchange for the word “cool.”

How to use smiling face with sunglasses emoji in marketing: Use this emoji to describe your product or service in a positive light. For example, you could use it in an email subject line or social media post to grab attention and convey excitement about your product.

Copy and Paste the Smiley Face with Sunglasses Emoji

Smile face with sunglasses emoji example

2. Thumbs-Up Emoji

The thumbs-up emoji is a positive gesture that can be used to indicate approval or agreement. It can also be used as a way to say “thank you.”

How to use the thumbs-up emoji in marketing: You can use the thumbs-up emoji to show your appreciation for customer feedback or to give a seal of approval to a new product or service.

Copy and Paste the Thumbs-Up Emoji

Thumbs up Emoji Example

3. Laughing Emoji

The laughing emoji is used to express amusement, joy, or laughter. It can also be used as a way to lighten the mood or diffuse tension. If you want to turn it up a notch, use the tilted laughing emoji to show you are laughing so hard you are rolling on the ground – a popular one on Facebook.

How to use the laughing emoji in marketing: You can use the laughing emoji in email subject lines and social media posts to add humor and levity to your message.

Copy and Paste the Laughing Emoji

4. Heart Eyes Emoji

The heart eyes emoji is used to express love, affection, or admiration. It can also be used as a way of saying “thank you” or showing appreciation. You can also use the star eyes emoji to mean WOW!

How to use the heart eyes emoji in marketing: You can use the heart eyes emoji to show your customers that you love their feedback or to thank them for their loyalty. Using this emoji also works when you know your customers will LOVE something, like a sale or a new product.

Copy and Paste the Heart Eyes Emoji

Heart Eyes Emoji Example

5. Fire Emoji

The fire emoji is often used to indicate that something is very good, exciting, or impressive. It can also be used as a way of showing enthusiasm or expressing approval.

How to use the fire emoji in marketing: Use the fire emoji to describe your product or service in a positive light. For example, you could use it in an email subject line or social media post to grab attention and convey excitement about your product.

Copy and Paste the Fire Emoji

Fire emoji Example

6. 100 Emoji

The 100 emoji is often used to indicate that something is perfect or excellent. It can also be used as a way of showing approval or agreement. You can use it instead of saying, “100% agree with you” or “keep it real.”

How to use the 100 emoji in marketing: You can use the 100 emoji to show your customers that you’re committed to providing them with a perfect experience.

Copy and Paste the 100 Emoji

7. Party popper emoji

The party popper emoji is often used to celebrate a special occasion or to express excitement. It can also be used as a way of saying “thank you.”

How to use the party popper emoji in marketing: You can use the party popper emoji to celebrate a milestone for your business or to thank your customers for their loyalty.

Copy and Paste the Party Popper Emoji

party popper emoji example

8. Finger Pointing down emoji

The finger pointing down emoji generally means “read below” or simply look at “this” and is a way of directing attention (usually a link someone is posting) or suggesting agreement.

How to use the finger pointing emoji in marketing: You can use the finger pointing down emoji to direct your readers to a link you want them to click or to emphasize the words that the finger is pointing to. You can also use the finger pointing forward to direct them to read on.

Copy and Paste the Finger Pointing Emoji

Finger pointing emoji example
finger pointing emoji example

9. Balloon emoji or Cake emoji

The balloon and the cake emojis are often used to celebrate a special occasion or to express excitement.

How to use the balloon or cake emoji in marketing: You can use the balloon or cake emoji to celebrate a milestone for your business or to thank your customers for their loyalty.

Copy and Paste the Cake Emoji

cake emoji example - balloon emoji example

10. Hand-raised emoji

The hand-raised emoji is often used to volunteer or to say, “I’m in!” It can also be used as a way of saying “count me in.”

How to use the hand-raised emoji in marketing: You can use the hand-raised emoji to show your customers that you’re interested in their product or service.

Copy and Paste the Hand-Raised Emoji

11. Gift emoji

The gift emoji is often used to show appreciation or to say “thank you.” It can also be used as a way of celebrating a special occasion or sharing a free offer.

How to use the gift emoji in marketing: You can use the gift emoji to show your customers that you appreciate their business. You could include it to show a freebie, a special offer, or a special event.

Copy and Paste the Gift Emoji

Gift Emoji Example

12. Prayer Hands Emoji

The prayer hands emoji is often used to show appreciation or to say “thank you.” It can also be used as a way of showing support or agreement, as in “I hope” or in agreement as in “preach!” The folded hands in prayer emoji was often confused with a high-five.

How to use the prayer hands emoji in marketing: You can use the prayer hands emoji to show your customers that you appreciate their business to say “thank you” or “I support you.”

Copy and Paste the Prayer Emoji

13. Clapping hands emoji

The clapping hands emoji is often used to show support or agreement, as in “good job!” or “way to go!” It can also be used as a way of saying “thank you” or to emphasis words like: “Listen (clap) to (clap) me (clap)!”

How to use the clapping hands emoji in marketing: You can use the clapping hands emoji to show your customers that you appreciate their business or to thank them for their loyalty.

Copy and Paste the Clapping Hands Emoji

Hand clapping emoji example

14. sparkles Emoji

The gift emoji is often used to show positivity, love, happiness, or excitement. It can also show that something is clean or new.

How to use the gift emoji in marketing: You can use the sparkle emoji to show your customers a new offer or something you are excited about sharing with them.

Copy and Paste the Sparkles Emoji

sparkles emoji example

15. Winking Face emoji

The winking face emoji is often used to express playfulness or to suggest a hidden meaning or joke.

How to use the winking face emoji in marketing: You can use the winking face emoji to show your customers that you’re in on a joke with them or that you’re being silly.

Copy and Paste the Winking Face Emoji

16. Handshake Emoji

The handshake emoji is a way of saying you agree or you’ve come to an agreement. It can also be used to show support or congratulations.

How to use the handshake emoji in marketing: You can use the handshake emoji to show your customers that you appreciate their business or to congratulate them on a job well done.

Copy and Paste the Handshake Emoji

17. Kissing Face emoji

The kissing face emoji is often used to express love, appreciation, or admiration. It can also be used as a way of saying “thank you.” I prefer the blowing a kiss face as opposed to the other kissing face emojis, as the others could be whistling and I think it’s more clear.

How to use the kissing face in marketing: You can use the kissing face emoji to show your customers how much you love something, like their support or as a thanks to them.

Copy and Paste the Blowing a Kiss Emoji

18. Hug emoji (emoji with hands)

The hug emoji is often used to show appreciation or to say “thank you.” It can also be used as a way of expressing love or admiration. Could also be “jazz hands” which suggests excitement or enthusiasm.

How to use the hug emoji in marketing: You can use the hug emoji to show your customers that you appreciate their business or you are excited to share something with them.

Copy and Paste the Hug Emoji

Hug Emoji Example

19. Face with tears of joy emoji

The face with tears of joy emoji is used to express happiness, laughter, or approval.

How to use face with tears in marketing: You can use the face with tears of joy emoji to show your customers that you’re happy with their purchase. Or can be used to suggest something funny or light-hearted.

Copy and Paste the Tears of Joy Emoji

20. Explode emoji

The explode emoji is often used to express something excellent or exciting. Can replace the word “BOOM!” Can also be literal and be a crash or bang of some sorts.

How to use the explode emoji in marketing: You can use the explode emoji to announce an exciting event or special – similar to the 100 or or Fire Emoji. 

Copy and Paste the Explode Emoji

Example of Explode Emoji

21. Lightbulb emoji

The lightbulb emoji is used to express an “Aha!” moment or realization. It can also be used to showcase an idea or brilliant move.

How to use the lightbulb emoji in marketing: You can use the lightbulb emoji to show your customers that you’ve had a great idea, like a new product or service.

Copy and Paste the Lightbulb Emoji

Lightbulb emoji example

22. Thinking face emoji

The thinking face emoji is used to express deep thought or contemplation. It can also be used to show doubt or skepticism, as if to say “I don’t know about that.”

How to use the thinking face in marketing: You can use the thinking face emoji when you’re rolling out a new campaign or product to show your customers they should think about this.

Copy and Paste the Thinking Face Emoji

Thinking face emoji example

23. Surprised emoji

The surprised emoji is often used to show excitement or surprise. You can also use the more dramatic version – Screaming in Fear 😱 Can be used to replace OMG or “WOW, you won’t believe this!”

How to use the surprised emoji in marketing: You can use the surprised emoji to show your customers that you are sharing something very exciting.

Copy and Paste the Surprised Emoji

Surprised Emoji example
Surprised Emoji Example

24. Painting nails emoji

The painting nails emoji is often used to express relaxation or beauty. It can also be used as a way of saying “thanks, but no thanks.” It can mean no stress, indifference, or nonchalance.

How to use the painting nails emoji in marketing: You can use the painting nails emoji to show your customers that you’re relaxed and not stressing about something.

Copy and Paste the Nail Polish Emoji

25. Goat emoji

The goat emoji may look like a farm animal, but it has come to be the acronym G.O.A.T. as in Greatest of All Time. An example is “some people may like LeBron, but Michael Jordan is the true GOAT.”

How it use the goat emoji in marketing: You can use the goat emoji to show your customers that you’re the best in your field or are offering a stellar product.

Copy and Paste the Goat Emoji

Goat Emoji Example

Will You Use Emojis?

Now that you know these emojis and their meaning, what do you think? Are you ready to give them a try?

Emojis in Business

The future of emojis in business and marketing is uncertain. Some experts believe that they will become more mainstream, while others think they will eventually fade away. Only time will tell.

The Key to Success with Emojis

The key is to have your emoji use in line with your brand, your business, and your audience. Test out a few and see how it works out. Be sure to use emojis that have one meaning or that you are sure your audience will understand and not misinterpret. If your audience responds well, maybe it’s a new direction. If you get a bunch of head shakes or questions, maybe they’re not for you.

Though I think an easy-to-understand, no-doubt what it means the smiley face is always appropriate.

An Emoji for your business

For some businesses, you may have an emoji that represents your business or service. This can be a fun way of denoting it’s you and making your email subject lines and correspondence unique.

🚀 I like to use a rocket emoji because I want to help your business grow with marketing.

🍕 Dominos uses the pizza emoji.

Pizza Emojis from Dominos Pizza Emojis from Dominos

⏳ Groupon commonly uses the hourglass emoji since their deals are running out of time.

Groupon using emojis

Where to start with Emojis for business

If you are not sure where to start using emojis, I have three places to start; use as appropriate, aka, not a lawyer using the poop emoji in a subject line.

Emojis in social media Posts

This is a great place to test the waters. Start with a smiley or a thumbs up when you are posting to your business page. Here are some examples:

Social media post emoji examples

Emojis in social media comments

This is also a great place to begin your emoji journey. When responding to a comment online, say “Thanks, Judy! 🤩.

Emojis in business emails

With so many emails coming it, you can make your’s stand out with an emoji. Look at the examples below:

Emojis in your Email Subject lines

BONUS: Emojis Keyboard Shortcut

One more thing, if you’re on a Mac, there is a great shortcut to get to the emoji menu. I used to go into my texts, type in the emoji, then copy the emoji where I wanted it. Until I found this emoji shortcut!

Apple Emoji shortcut:
Control / Command / Spacebar

To use emojis on a Windows PC, use this keyboard shortcut:
Windows logo key + . (period).

Additionally, you can visit emoji websites to copy and paste emojis that you want to use. I’ve included the copy and paste links to all of these popular emojis above, just in case you need them!

Let me know what you think in the comments!

About Digital Marketing Expert Torie Mathis

Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs, like you, use digital marketing to grow your business without wasting time, money, or your sanity.  She is a best-selling author, Army veteran, speaker + trainer, and your digital marketing coach. You don't need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. In fact, you don't even need a lot of time. What you need is to be SMART.

Learn from Torie at the Smart Arsenal and on her channel.

Torie hosts SMART AF, a show for non-techy entrepreneurs looking to grow their business, with her husband Sean and is the creator of SMART AF Magazine.

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What you need is to be SMART.

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