Do emojis belong in B2B social media?

Emojis: some people ❤ them. Others? Not so much.

According to Adobe, a whopping 92% of the online population now uses emojis, 76% professionally. They’ve become so widespread that an emoji was even named the Oxford Dictionaries Word of The Year in 2015.

But when it comes to B2B social media, it’s a minefield for brands to decide on an emoji strategy. Some people think they’re unprofessional, but if you want to connect with your audience, could emojis be the answer?

Pro emoji

On the one hand, emojis are fun and eye-catching. B2B has a reputation for being a bit dry (and yes, things can get pretty serious when you’re talking insurance or office supplies), so emojis can inject much-needed personality into your posts.

Emojis are also great for getting a message across instinctively, and they can save precious characters on platforms with strict limits, such as Twitter. According to a UCL professor, they can even help express emotions like empathy or overwhelm 💕🤯.

Internet connection

Emojis bring humour and light-heartedness, building rapport with your audience. Indeed, recent studies from Edge Hill University have shown that emojis prompt the same reaction in our brains as a human face. Since emojis are performing a similar function on social media to body language and tone of voice in real life, marketers would be pretty foolish to dismiss them entirely.

When emojis get anti-social

On the other hand, understanding emojis isn’t always straightforward – hands up all those who were surprised by what the aubergine REALLY means ✋🍆 😳.

One user can interpret these little pictograms in a completely different way to another, and since comms is all about, well, communicating, that’s pretty bad news😵.

Misunderstandings can arise across generations, and followers can even be offended when an emoji gives the wrong impression. Understandably, businesses can feel nervous about using them on social – they don’t want to risk damaging their public image.

Not only that, but emojis aren’t great for accessibility: visually impaired internet users – who rely on tech such as screen readers – can struggle to get the full meaning from posts littered with smileys. And that’s a bit 💩.

Staying #OnTrend

So, what’s a B2B marketer to do? Using emojis increases engagement by 25% on Twitter and 47% on Instagram, so we clearly love them. And remember that even in B2B comms it’s a person, not a business, reading posts from your brand.

Since social media is all about connecting with other humans, let’s speak their language. And that includes emojis. 👌

However, we shouldn’t overdo it 😡❌⚠. Clarity is everything, so don’t rely on emojis where interpretation is needed.

Here are our favourite helpful hints for emojis in B2B social media:

  • Use emojis to reinforce your points or emotions
  • Include a maximum of four per post for the best readability
  • Build rapport using emojis for an instant human connection
  • Keep in mind followers who rely on screen readers or other tech to help them access your content: place emojis at the end of a post for best accessibility
  • Remember that emojis can be misinterpreted. Try emojipedia to check out meanings before you post.

And finally…

Most of all, it’s important to know your audience. As with all marketing, knowing what language your target audience speaks is the key to successful social media 👍.

Ready to bring your B2B posts to life? Get in touch with our team.