You may or may not understand Emoji anything about emoji. If you do understand how to use (and regularly use) emoji, you may think that they can only be used for personal messages. Actually, emoji can be very effective and relevant to your business as well. No matter which social networks you work with, emoji will enhance every one of them and the results that you are looking for will ultimately better than if you didn’t use them. The truth is that emoji attract people. In fact, they are really beneficial part of any online content marketing campaign. The trick is, as a business owner, to learn how to use them appropriately for maximum results. Emoji will support your brand if you know how to use them correctly. Of course, the perception that you have hopefully built is that your brand is the one that others choose when they need what you are offering. If you choose to use emoji (which is a really good decision), you want to make sure that you use them in a way that really strengthens your brand as opposed to detracting from it. That is precisely why you need to learn how to use them properly. Emoji are not just there for decorative purposes. They have specific meanings. If you wish to convey a concept that goes with what you are trying to say in your content marketing materials, you will need to find the emoji that mean what you want them to mean. That will only take a little education. You can get up to speed on the meanings of emoji very quickly. Additionally, you will probably find that it is a lot of fun to use emoji in your business. Engage your target audience with emoji If you interact in real-time, emoji can be really effective. Using them will show the other person that you are human, just like they are. Emoji make the content real and the chances are great that the other person will react emotionally to what you are communicating. Because emoji are graphic elements, they enable you to stretch your creative wings. Not only do they allow you to express your emotional side but that human quality also includes your brand. That is something that other people can definitely relate to. As expressive and comprehensive as emoji are for the person on the other end, it is still important that you bear in mind that not everyone (universally) understands all of the emoji that you may share with them. It is important that you are sensitive to that so that you don’t leave anyone out when it comes to the content that you are sharing. If you keep it simple and as universal as possible, you should be okay. The worst thing that you can do is to use emoji that the other person doesn’t understand and is then left out of whatever you are trying to say. After all, you want the other person to really be able to embrace what you are sharing with him or her. Remember to be as clear as possible so that you avoid any communication issues. Be careful about special emoji Some business owners populate their content marketing campaigns with customized emoji. You will want to be careful about how you use those. The reason for the caution is the same as was already discussed previously. It is about whether the other person will understand what you are trying to say. It is really important that you don’t leave the other person out. If there is even the most remote possibility of that happening, you should make sure to avoid it at all costs. Be sensitive to when emoji are appropriate and when they are not The downside of using emoji (if you don’t use them correctly and appropriately) is that they may be misunderstood by the person on the receiving end. The rule of thumb is that you need to be absolutely sure that your emoji are conveying exactly what you want them to convey. That way, there will be no margin for error. When using emoji, the demographic aspects of your target audience are big factors. Of course, it goes without saying that your emoji must be appropriate in all ways for that particular target audience. Conclusion If you are not used to using emoji for your business, it may seem strange or even unnecessary. However, using emoji may be a very smart move for your brand. Additionally, they will help you to build the perception that your brand has human qualities. Of course, there is also the obvious, which is that emoji make your content visually appealing. Before you do anything else, you should educate yourself about how powerful emoji can be and then you can decide whether using emoji is an intelligent move for your brand and for your business. Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies. Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. He also reduced company travel and travel costs by introducing and implementing various collaboration technologies. The famous novel Moby Dick by Herman Melville has recently seen a translation activity fronted by Fred Benenson aiming to produce Emoji Dick, the world’s first (and perhaps last!) novel written in emoji. What is emoji? First a definition; emoji is not a language, it is the Japanese for picture characters, or in English, icons, sometimes animated, sometimes static. They have been standard on Japanese phones for many a year, then recently support has been introduced in Google Gmail and the Apple iPhone, although Apple have tried to suppress support for emoji in non-Japanese iPhones. One might think that there is a relationship between emoji and hieroglyphics, but as far as I understand hieroglyphics do codify a language and feature grammar elements, key features missing from Japanese emoji icons. How is it being translated? Emoji Dick is using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to muster multiple translators; each sentence will be translated into emoji three times, with the best version chosen from these three efforts. How will it be published? The output will be available in both electronic form and as the very first printed emoji book. It will be printed on demand effort, so don’t go looking for Emoji Dick in a bookshop. However, if it is a success, who knows, one might very well see Emoji Dick on sale in a bricks and mortar shop. But is it readable? In a word, no! One cannot read Emoji Dick, although it should be printed with Japanese emoji and English translations interleaved. Think of it as a manga graphic novel, which will need the English translation of emoji beside it as speech bubbles. What other emoji literature is available? So far, along with Emoji Dick, there has been a translation of the poem “What Lips My Lips Have Kissed” by Edna St. Vincent Millay into emoji, with the translation being done by Ken Liu. In addition, I have also produced an emoji Japanese National Anthem. Kimi Ga Yo in emoji using NTT docomo’s limited alphabet to produce the world’s first pictorial National Anthem!