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Business emojis: how, when, and where to use them

Fatima Puri
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Emojis are more than just for communicating with friends and family — they’re a useful tool for businesses to engage with their customers on a more personal level. Emojis can also help drive content and improve conversion rates for communication channels like email, text, and social media.

Our guide will help you learn when and how to use business emojis and share a list of common business emojis and their meanings 🤩

Advantages of using business emojis ✔️

Emojis can add a burst of personality to any business message and help grasp readers’ attention. In some cases, communicating with emojis can be better than words or pictures alone. When used right, emojis are a universal language so they can prevent miscommunication and help indicate message tone.

While previously thought to be unprofessional, emojis are now commonly used amongst businesses in internal and external communications. Emojis can be used in peer-to-peer, manager-to-employee, and company-to-client relationships.

As a note, it’s best to avoid using emojis in serious situations, like crisis communication, or if you’re interacting with a client who doesn’t use emojis themselves. Stick to emojis that are more well-known to avoid misinterpretation or confusion.

The places to use emojis 🌎

Most communication channels allow you to use emojis. As a business, this means you’re open to using emojis in the following ways:

Social media 📱

Studies have shown that using emojis on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok can increase engagement rates. For example, studies suggest that using emojis in Instagram posts increased engagement by 48 percent, and using them in tweets increased engagement by more than 25 percent. Businesses often opt to use emojis on their social media pages, even if they don’t use them elsewhere. 

HootSuite, a social media management platform, uses emojis in almost every post they share on social, and the company recently released a list of the trending emojis over the past year to celebrate World Emoji Day.

HootSuite shares a post about emojis on their LinkedIn page.

Business texting 💬

Emojis and SMS go hand-in-hand 🤝

Emojis in text can help set the tone and can be used in place of a wordy sentence. For example, instead of replying to a customer’s text message with OK, looks good, or got it, you could send a thumbs up 👍emoji to convey the same message. 

Additionally, here’s an example of how you can use an emoji in texting with a customer to set the tone!

A text message example of a business using emojis.

Email 📩

Like business texting, email is also a popular channel for using emojis. Many companies choose to implement emojis in their subject lines to increase open rates. Studies found that, compared to text-only subject lines, using emojis in email subject lines increased their open rates by 56 percent.

Fun fact: the snowman ⛄emoji is said to increase marketing email open rates by over 65 percent. (But we’d suggest not including this in your email subject line during the summer!) 

Internal communication 🏢

Nothing builds camaraderie like a good emoji. Employees use emojis to communicate with each other, or react to messages to let people know they’ve 1. read the message and 2. engaged with the content. 

Every week, Textline shares a new blog article on our marketing Slack channel, and its employees react with relevant emojis to show support to the writers.

An example of a Slack message using emoji reactions.

Company pages 📄

Some companies use emojis on their landing pages to add an element of fun to their brand. Textline asks its employees to share their favorite emojis to display on our About Us page. Customers can hover over team members’ pictures to see their favorite emojis. 

A screenshot of Textline's About Me page.

List of commonly used business emojis and their meanings 

😊 — smiling, happy, or giving thanks

👋 — greeting or farewell

😂😭💀 — laughter 

🤔 — thinking or intrigue 

🙏 — thanks, request, or greeting

💗 — support or sympathy 

🧵 — Twitter Thread

👍 — acknowledgment, approval, or encouragement

👎 — disapproval or sympathy

✅ — completed or done

❌ — canceled

💰💲 — budget or money

📍 — location

💡— brilliant or idea

📈🚀 — increase or improvement

📉 — decrease or deterioration 

👇 — pointing down to more content or information

📣 — announcement, boost, or engagement 

🏝️ — out of office or vacation

🏠 — work from home

🍽️🍔 — lunch

🍺🍻 — happy hour

💯🔥🙌🥅 — achievement or encouragement

✨ — joy, pizazz, or celebration

💃🕺🤩🥳 🎉🥂 — celebrate, party, or dance

🎈🎁🎂 — Happy Birthday

☪️🌙 — Ramadan or Islam

🎄🎅⛄ — Christmas or winter break

👻🎃🐈‍⬛🧛 — Halloween

🍂🧣☕ — Autumn or sweater weather

🌞 —  Summer 

The bottom line

Emojis are a fun and effective way to communicate with customers and employees alike. But if emojis aren’t your cup of tea, there are always words or emoticons to rely on. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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