Emojis – you know you love them. And a recent Mobile Marketing Trends report from Leanplum and App Annie proves that you’re not alone. Their survey found that emojis lift push notification engagement by 85%! Could the same be true for internal communications? Do they catch employees’ attention or trivialize communications?
If I considered this question six years ago, I would have felt that emojis had no place in corporate communications. As a professional writer, I used to cringe when I received a work-related email punctuated by an emoji … or its predecessor, the emoticon. It was almost as bad as abbreviations like UR and L8R in a message from someone over the age of 18.
However, as a modern marketing and communications expert, today I recognize that visuals can often speak louder than words. The human brain processes images much more quickly than words and retains more information when it’s delivered visually. So, by using emojis along with words, we can activate multiple parts of employees’ brains, quickly get their attention, and increase the likelihood that they remember the message.
There’s also no denying how powerful and engaging a smile can be. Whether it is a live smile from a colleague or a yellow smiley emoji on a message, it evokes a positive emotional response and has a calming effect on recipients.
That’s not to say that we should start inserting emojis all over every email, newsletter or portal message. Emojis in budget optimization messages or crisis communications? Obviously not. Emojis in an email or slack chat about a wellness program at lunchtime? Sure, why not? Employees like to be communicated with at work in the same ways they would communicate personally. Using emojis – on the right channels, in the right sort of messages – can help with the challenge that many internal communications and HR professionals know all too well, connecting with younger employees.
Emojis can help communications professionals bring their words to life in a way that feels familiar, human and meaningful. To assume that they don’t have a place in employee communications would be to miss out on an opportunity to engage your audience, get your message across, and connect your employees to your brand. And no communicator wants to miss that.
Author: Estera Hayes