4 Tips to Communicate Clearly With Emojis

When emojis burst onto the scene, people rejoiced. These colorful characters were fun and broke through language and cultural barriers. In 2015, the Oxford Dictionaries cemented their place in our language by selecting an emoji — the Face with Tears of Joy — as the Word of the Year. Predictions of a future with little to no text were widespread, and businesses (who hadn’t already) started using this popular form of communication. Sounds perfect, right?

Are you communicating clearly with emoji or being misunderstood?

Over Coffee by Drew Herron via CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 // text & graphics added by author

Not quite. As a recent study discovered, emojis can be misinterpreted just like other form of communication. The first problem is that the same emoji can display differently on different platforms (Apple, Samsung, Google, etc.). In addition, two people can look at the exact same emoji displayed identically and interpret it differently.

Should your brand stay away from all things emoji? No, but you need to exercise caution like you do with any form of communication.

These four tips can leave you smiling with tears of joy instead of face-palming:

  • Plan Ahead: Are you thinking of utilizing emojis in an upcoming campaign? Do some research. View how your selected emojis display on different platforms and look into any popular alternative interpretations to the meaning you’re intending. It’s a lot easier to change your campaign than deal with a PR gaffe.
  • Be Careful Using Emoji that Display Differently: Maybe you have a dire need to use the grinning face with smiling eyes emoji, but be careful. This is one of the emojis that displays differently across platforms and can cause confusion and unintended responses. Try to stick with more universally displaying and understood emojis if possible. 👍
Same Emoji + Different Smartphone Platform = Different Emotion

Graphic courtesy of grouplens

  • Remember Your Brand Voice: Emojis are a part of your brand’s voice, so be consistent when you’re using them. The face with tears of joy emoji wouldn’t work well for a conservative brand or industry. Take your audience into consideration too; they may not use emojis or have any interest in them.
  • Don’t Forget About Hashtags: Trending and popular emoji hashtags, such as #WorldEmojiDay or #emoji can boost your posts and tweets. Remember to check out any hashtags first before jumping in. They could be about something completely unrelated to what you’re thinking, making it inappropriate to participate. Emojis are available as hashtags on Instagram, so use them accordingly to increase your reach.

Warning: Appropriate Hashtag Usage on Instagram Will Result in Major Traffic Increase

 

Emojis can help you break through the information overload and connect with your target audiences — if they use and understand the colorful characters. As with any communication, a little foresight, planning and common sense will help you communicate your message clearly and not get lost in translation.

Does Your Brand Speak Emoji?

What are your favorite emojis? What emojis would you like to see introduced?

Does your brand utilize emojis in its communications? Have you ever had an emoji miscommunication?

Speaking emoji (when appropriate),
Jaime

Let’s chat (about emojis, your marketing needs or otherwise):
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It’s All About The Little Things

It's all about the little things.

“We sometimes underestimate the influence of little things.”
-Charles W. Chestnutt

Yesterday was my birthday (yep, I’m a Pisces). Upon the outpouring of well wishes from friends, family and business associates, I was reminded that life is so much about the little things.

A message on social media wishing someone a happy birthday. Making time for dinner with your family or lunch with an out of town friend. Calling someone you haven’t spoken to in awhile just to check in. Small acts that cost you little but brighten someone’s day.

Little things are just as important in business. My mantra has always been, “People do business with people.” I always try to put a face behind my company name, make my digital world seem more human and personal. Although much of what I do is electronic – writing, marketing strategy, social media, etc – I love connecting with people and putting a face with a name.

I believe that rich relationships are what life’s all about, in business too. Reach out and connect with people, care about what they do and how you can help them. The business will come, but first you have to connect with people, develop and nurture relationships.

Who knows what could come out of a simple birthday wish?

Your thoughts?

Cheers,
Jaime

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Local or Global — Where’s Your Business?

There seem to be a couple of different schools of thought on doing business today.

Local or Global?

Local or Global — Where’s your business focused?
Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Local has been a hot topic the past couple of years with mobile and check-in services, where you can help promote a company and/or receive special offers by checking in, downloading an app, opting in to receive text messages, etc. For example, I had dinner with a friend at a restaurant in downtown Akron, and it offered a discount on our dinner if we downloaded its app. (Neither of us did because we didn’t feel the app was worthwhile but the offer was there nonetheless.) Companies can even entice you to stop in by alerting you of special offers if you’re in the vicinity of their store.

However, some companies would rather market themselves globally or at least nationally. They don’t list a physical location on their website or marketing literature and use an 800 number so potential customers don’t know immediately where they’re located. These companies may project an image of being a large, strong company that has numerous resources at its disposal or simply one that takes advantage of technology to extend its reach.

I see pros and cons to both philosophies, and I’ve included some benefits below.

Local Pros

  • Encourage customers to support local business / economy
  • Focus marketing efforts on specific area
  • Take advantage of check-in services, special offers via mobile

Global / National Pros

  • Market image of large company with impressive resources (i.e. buying power, partners, locations)
  • Larger area for potential customers, referrals
  • Keep customers if they move

Does your business market itself as a local or global/national brand? Is that position highlighted in your marketing efforts?

My business -- Clearly Conveyed Communications

My marketing & branding company, Clearly Conveyed Communications, is based in Akron, OH but targets clients nearly anywhere.

As a small business owner, I’m targeting new, potential clients nearly anywhere but don’t shy away from where I’m located. I love living and working in Akron, OH and enjoy helping fellow companies and brands in the area with their marketing and branding efforts and event planning needs. However, I’ve made some wonderful connections over the past decade that have led to projects with companies out of state (technology rocks, doesn’t it?). So I guess I tend to think of myself as a local company with a national reach partly due to the services that I offer.

What are your thoughts?

  • Does the size of the company factor into this decision?
  • Products or services offered?
  • How did your company decide how to market itself?


So are you local or global? Or do you see yourself as a hybrid — a local company with a national/global reach? I’d love to hear from you.

Cheers,
Jaime