We seem to agree on one thing, a little fingerspitzengefühl for the culture of your environment is useful if you want to use emojis in your communication. Plus an awareness of the different ways an emoji can be interpreted differently per situation, group or even person. Basically the same goes for memes and gifs. It is therefore better to always ask yourself beforehand:
- Who are you talking to? Do you already know this person or not yet?
- How old is this person? (namely, there are quite a few generational differences in overall attitudes towards emojis and their interpretation)
- What is your message?
And finally, what about other people’s use of emojis in your Controlling Directors Email Lists workplace? A law firm in the Zuidas full of people over 50 can simply promote a different work culture than a tech startup where people in their twenties are by far in the majority.
Emoji use by people and brands
The use of emojis differs between people and brands. Where individual users mainly use facial expressions to let them know how they feel, brands use emojis that stand out and evoke emotions, such as hearts. We now also know that emojis are experienced as personal and human.
Emojis add an emotional subtext, or charge. Organizations that suffer from a cold, distant image can benefit from the use of emojis to soften their communication. Emojis can also make communication – if used in the right way – more accessible in a practical sense. After all, we process images much faster than text. Emojis can smooth over language barriers and (audio) screen readers also pick up the alt texts (description) of the chosen emoji. For example, emojis can be of added value for users with a visual impairment or for people with low literacy. The Digital Accessibility Knowledge Base even encourages it and gives it usage tips.