We have all seen the use of emojis of course floating around on social media. Whether they are on Twitter, Facebook, or even Instagram and Snapchat, there are pretty much everywhere. They are symbols that are used to communicate how we feel, what we are currently doing (ex. exercise, traveling, etc) but also represent the stories we share with our communities online. In fact, Rosanna Pansino even made a video showcasing how to make emoji cookies (which I may have to do next time I am at a social media gathering).
Are emojis the next big trend in social media? I’d say that it is certainly a component of social media to pay attention to, but also consider the various uses and strategies they can be incorporated into your various message strategies. Do you need a separate social media platform just for emojis? No. However, they could be integrated as a tool within a network like Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, or Twitter to get the point across. They are not for everyone – but if you want to create fun and visual messages with them, then these are right up your alley.
Personally, I am guilty of using emojis of course when I communicate on social media, especially the happy face one. I even got the nickname of “Dr. Smiley” by my good friend and PR colleague Geah because I use it in pretty much every form of conversation I have on social media.I also have used them extensively when I have been teaching my social media class at the University of Louisville.
There are several ways professors – who are teaching social media and use various platforms for their classes – to incorporate emojis into their classroom correspondence and conversations. Here are some ways I have been using them in my classes:
- Providing engaging feedback to students: It’s important to show your appreciation and feedback on class related conversations and activities. High fives, stars, and happy faces are simple to share and communicate with – but mean so much to the other person behind the screen.
- A new way to introduce yourself visually to your students: Emojis are visual, and it is an interesting way for people to use these to introduce themselves with each other. One thing I am going to be doing this fall for one of my classes is have my students not only introduce themselves to the class in person as well as online – but one of the tasks will be to use emojis to introduce yourself. It does make you think about how you would use symbols to introduce yourself with others. A fun exercise that could be different to incorporate into a classroom setting.
- Adding these to the social media etiquette document assignment: I think it is good for the students to discuss tools they use and what are the do’s and don’ts for emojis – especially when we are looking at businesses and brands. It is also good to discuss whether or not they are even appropriate at the workplace or come from your own personal account. Having this discussion and application of an assignment like this could be very beneficial for the students.
- Live tweeting events: Have students who are interns in athletics or working in various events for industries? Along with the messages and images with hashtags, there are possibilities for students and professors even to use emojis to add to these messages to be shared.
- Showcasing personality: I have to admit I’m a bit of a coffee fan. Just a little bit. However, when I share visuals and images related to coffee, of course I have to use the coffee emoji! Since we are not communicating face-to-face on social media, we have to go towards the extra effort to show our enthusiasm about various subjects, so emojis help with this.
In summary, emojis may not be for everyone, but they are a fun tool that can be incorporated into message strategies on social media. They can also entertaining, clever, and help showcase the personality and point of view of the user. Again, there is a time and place for emoji use and of course proper forms of etiquette when it comes to them. We also have to realize that they do not replace thoughts or images necessarily, but they add an additional element to them.
Hope you all are having a great day!