Guidelines for Emoji Use and Correct Emoji Grammar

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Emojis. It’s 2020. We all know what an emoji is. Those cute little faces 😊 and graphics ✌ that we use to help insert emotion into a sometimes difficult medium: written text 📄.

They’re also an emerging communication tool for social media. But, when using emojis in a professional manner, like the representation of your business, you need to be careful how you use them so you don’t lose face.

The use of emojis in social media

Emoji Skin Tone Guidelines

When using emojis in social media writing, the emoji skin tone should match that of the author especially if the writer is talking about themselves or their company. 🖐🏻

If, however, the author is referencing their community, and their community is multi-racial (which it likely is) consider using multiple skin tones like this. 👈🏼👈🏽👈🏾

Explaining Emotion: This is a no-brainer 🧠

Using emojis to convey emotion is second-nature to most teens and many adults, especially those connected to the technology world through social media. We use smiley face emojis 🙂 to convey happiness, an angry face 👿 to show anger or displeasure, a sad face 😢 if we’re sad. You get the picture.

It’s also interesting to note that, depending on what device you’re using for your writing, there are many different emoji options available- some are very basic, and some much more elaborate.

Using Emojis to Reinforce your Point of View

We can also use an emoji to back up what we’re trying to say or to stress the importance ❗ of a specific opinion or statement.

Using Emojis to Separate Statements

⭐You could use emojis as bullet points to draw attention to your content.

⭐And link together similar topics.

⭐Or draw the eye to your list.

Emojis to Avoid in the Professional World

Some emojis have garnered a secondary meaning, especially with the younger crowd, which could bring embarrassment and unexpected consequences for your brand.

For example, maybe you’re a doctor writing a post about eating healthy for better overall health. You wouldn’t want to use the eggplant emoji 🍆 or the peach emoji 🍑 as these hold sexual connotation. Similarly, you want to avoid the taco emoji 🌮 – you can guess what that one’s slang for, right? 😉

You also want to be socially aware and refrain from using emoji skin tone in an offensive way or using just one gender 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♂️ in your posts. When talking about yourself always accurately represent yourself. When talking about your community, being inclusive is a good idea.

Guidelines for using Emojis as Punctuation

Sometimes, you’ll want to use emojis in place of punctuation. Of course, this is easy when the emoji you choose is a punctuation mark❗❓

In most of your writing with emojis, the emoji should be input mid-sentence right where it applies, or at the end of the sentence or paragraph, after the punctuation mark. 🐱‍🏍

Occasionally, you might use an emoji completely in place of a word. See a few examples below:

  • “Check out the 🌙 right now!”
  • “I ❤ you!”
  • “Happy Birthday! I hope you get to enjoy some 🎂🍨🎁 today!”

Business Social Media Posting: Dos and Don’ts

DO:

  • Use emojis in every post
    • Having visually appealing text can draw the reader’s eyes in
    • Emojis can make your brand feel relatable
    • Exception – if you have a very professional business and emojis would go against your brand tone, don’t try and force it
  • Use them in comments and replies
    • Using emojis and text when appropriate can make your replies feel personable and help your audience to connect on a deeper level with your brand

DON’T:

  • Use more than 3 emojis in any post
    • Exception – When placing announcement emojis around your post title or intro
      • 📣 Example 📣
    • Exception – If you have a very long post, more emojis can be used, but you want to avoid over emoji use in a small amount of text
  • Ever use more than 3 emojis in a row
    • Sometimes when asking a question or conveying multiple ideas at a time you will want to reference those ideas in a string of emojis. Totally normal. What you want to avoid though is emoji idea overload. Keep it to three emojis and let the audiences imagination do the rest
      • Example – What are your weekend plans? ⛺🚵🏻‍♀️⛱👩🏻‍🍳🎨 vs What are your weekend plans? 🍣🌄🐕
  • Use ONLY emojis to reply to somebody’s comment
    • This can feel like a bot response and lose credibility with your audience

Do you have any questions for us about emoji use in a professional social media context? We’d love to chat with you on this topic! Send us a message on social media at @thinkspry    -Cheers! 🥂

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