There’s a lot of ambiguity slot gacor maxwin regarding the protocol for using emojis, GIFs, and memes in professional environments. Opponents are against using them in all forms of customer communication. Meanwhile, proponents view these “digital objects” as possessing a great deal of “folkloric material” that should be leveraged.
Indeed, research shows that dismissing their use “diminishes the way businesses, organizations, and individuals communicate with one another in a world connected through the internet.”
But is there a happy medium; a solid middle ground where we can all agree on their use online? And how should the subject of customer service through social media be approached? In this article, we explore the answers to these questions. Keep reading to find out more.
Let the numbers do the talking
Metrics are everything in business. Believe it or not, studies have been carried out to determine how these “digital objects” affect consumer behavior.
When it comes to emojis, we see a 25.4% increase in engagement rate on Twitter, a 33% increase in comments on Facebook, and a 48% engagement rate on Instagram. Emojis can also drive a 57% increase in likes on Facebook.
Meanwhile, there was a whopping 85% increase in push notification open rates with a 9% rise in conversions.
But the numbers don’t stop there. When it comes to email, some studies showed a 56% increase in email open rates. However, other studies analyzing 9,400 mobile marketing campaigns showed that having emojis in email subject lines led to open rate growth by 1,071% on Android and 662% on IOS.
This was all the way back in 2019. As such, the implications for business are serious.
Pros and cons of emojis, GIFs, and memes
Of course, every business wants greater social media engagement and improved email open rates. So it makes sense that organizations will want to generate memes, emojis and GIFs in order to incorporate them into their marketing strategies.
Indeed, using these digital objects can help:
- Make your content relatable and shareable
- Draw more customers to your brand because they feel understood
- Give your brand a distinctive voice, differentiating you from your competitors
- Create comfort with your brand
- Make your brand feel and seem more “human”, thus building relationships
- Boost customer loyalty, enhancing customer retention
- Add a personal touch with a display of honesty
- Grab your audience’s attention and boost their memory of your brand
- Using them can save space
- They seem friendly and make you more approachable
- They can be used to reach a wider audience without the need for translation
But it’s not all sunshine and roses. That’s because there are some drawbacks to using these visual materials professionally. Examples of these include:
- The fact that they are not universal, can be misunderstood and can be subject to interpretation
- They can get you into legal trouble, and
- They can make you or your organization appear less competent and unprofessional.
Social media customer service and “digital objects”: to use or not to use?
Although there’s been a lot of research done on the use of emojis, GIFs, and memes in marketing, little has been said to date about their use in social media customer service. Many organizations have realized that they need to meet their customers on platforms that they frequent.
And this is where social media customer service has started playing an important role. Covering before, during, and after-sales questions or concerns, your customer service agents need to be well-versed in the art of using emojis, GIFs, and memes in their communication with customers. You can use it to set good grounds for customer communication before they call you up on your business phone system. if you’re running a real estate marketing strategy, make sure to include emojis and GIFs usage in social media support.
But are there any best practices that can be followed? We believe so and we’ll share them with you below.
Best practices for using emojis, GIFs, and memes
The main rule for using emojis, GIFs, and memes in your social media customer service is that there is no rule. However, there are some best practices that you should follow.
Perhaps the most important one is to carefully study your industry and know it in depth. If your target audience is older and more conservative and values formality and tradition, skipping the use of visuals can be a good idea. A financial services provider is considered a more serious organization than a children’s online shoe store, for example.
Therefore, context is key and you need to know your audience, too. Further ideas to consider include using these “digital objects” include being moderate in your usage. There have been some major fails going viral where businesses have tried to over-use emojis to their detriment.
If your organization has developed a “digital objects” policy regarding the use of emojis, GIFs, and memes, it should also be strictly followed. Often, such a policy will take into account cultural correctness and prospects of misinterpretation. If you have the go-ahead to use emojis, you also need to ensure relevance to your message. Failure to do this can result in alienated and angry customers. That’s because emojis, memes, and GIFs can be misinterpreted and can cause frustration and confusion.
When they are appropriate to use
So, when is it okay to use emojis, GIFs, and memes in your social media customer service?
Here are our tips. You should use them:
- In greetings to customers
- In goodbyes to customers (when the situation warrants it)
- When helping to answer a customer’s question or to clarify something (i.e. in lighter situations as opposed to complaints)
- In response to a “digital object” used by your customers — let their response be your guide
- To show appreciation and gratitude
- To show authenticity
- To align with your brand
- When it is in line with your organizational policy
Why they are inappropriate to use
Of course, a balanced approach is always necessary. However, there are some instances when emojis, GIFs, and memes should not be used at all.
Our suggestions include avoiding their usage:
- In serious or strictly formal situations
- To mirror a customer’s emotions
- When your customer is angry (show that you respect their emotions by avoiding the humorous elements of these digital objects)
- When the customer’s tone of voice doesn’t warrant it
Social media customer service requires intense “listening” to the customer as far as trying to pick up on their emotions. Sometimes, “mirroring” those emotions with an emoji, a GIF, or a meme can backfire. That’s because these digital tools are primarily aimed at conveying humor, which may not be suitable in some customer service situations.
It’s therefore highly recommended that you first and foremost follow your organizational policy with regard to the use of emojis, GIFs, or memes in your conversations with customers. These digital objects are not suitable for every social media customer service conversation, nor are they suitable for every business.
However, when used appropriately and in moderation, they can enhance the customer experience with your brand and make your business more memorable. There are two sides to every coin and using careful reasoning and your own emotional intelligence can help you better navigate the world of social media customer service that much better.
- Are emojis the new language?
With over 3,600 emojis as of 2023, they may be considered a new language in digital communication. However, they should supplement text communication and should rarely be used exclusively on their own to convey a message to a customer or another person in a professional environment.
- Why are emojis important in digital communication?
The use of emojis in digital communication is faster in terms of typing and conveying a message to the intended audience or recipient. Since they use imagery, which can be highly relatable, they therefore convey meaning and emotions much more effectively.
- What are some of the problems that can arise with emoji communication?
Because they are not universal, some of the problems that may arise with emoji communication include confusion, misunderstanding, miscommunication, the risk of causing offense, and others.