“The nature of trust is different online than it is face-to-face”, according to Dr Nick Morgan, author of Can You Hear Me? How to Connect with People in a Virtual World. That title might be a mouthful, but the book’s message is an important one.
In this digital age, where we’re inundated with email, messages and online information, it’s easy to skim through everything in the race to empty our inboxes. Not only does it mean we’re sometimes ill-informed, it’s also chipped away at our ability to empathise with who we’re talking to, Morgan says.
The nuances of body language and facial expressions that are so crucial to understanding when people communicate face to face are lost in the impersonality of the virtual world. Luckily there’s a solution to the problem: emojis.
Yes, you read that right – and here’s why.
Those funny little pictograms are better at quickly grabbing recipients’ attention than even the most carefully crafted text.
It goes without saying that context is everything. Emojis should be used with care when dealing with new clients and rarely in corporate communications. The more formal your tone of voice, the less likely you are to use them.
That said, for less formal situations, emojis offer a more personal connection that can help build trust with clients. Recent research shows that 61% of employees use emojis at work – people are used to seeing emojis within both text, and email speak.
It’s also worth remembering emojis are not just random cartoon expressions – they’re a fantastic communication and marketing short-cut that effortlessly translates across all social media. If you can find or create an emoji that really chimes with your brand and ethos, why not make it a part of your communication guidelines? That way your whole team will know when to use emojis – and when not to. Remember when communicating with internal colleagues, marketing to external clients or on social media, you’ll want to portray a consistent message that aligns with your brand.
They’re also great for using within messaging apps such as WhatsApp to ensure what we’re saying digitally is interpreted correctly by recipients. A well-placed smiley face could mean the difference between a tongue-in-cheek message tickling a funny bone and bruising a client’s feelings.
Need help keeping on-track with your business communication? Virtual Assistant Whiz can provide support on an ad-hoc or regular basis. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.