Get your smiley faces and thumbs-up ready: World Emoji Day is July 17.
Emojis can add a fun, creative touch to your tweets and texts with friends and family. But are they ever appropriate on the job?
The answer is obvious to Bob Beres, a community relations officer for the S.C. Highway Patrol. More commonly known as Trooper Bob, he makes liberal use of the little graphic icons in his popular safety-oriented tweets — in fact, some are almost entirely in emojis. See if you can decipher this recent summertime post:
It’s going to be ☀️ and HOT today. The ????will be close to ????. Please drink plenty of ???? because you’ll be ????. Don’t leave your ???????????????? in the ????.
— Trooper Bob_SCHP (@TrooperBob_SCHP) July 7, 2016
He’s got more than 8,000 followers, and one of his tweets got 6,000 likes in the first hour (which cost him his pickup truck, but that’s another story).
“It makes you stop and think about the message, which makes you remember it,” a highway patrol spokesman explains of the Twitter phenom.
At this point you may be thinking maybe you can use that technique to get the boss to remember your insightful comment or brilliant idea. Proceed with caution, experts say.
Sharing a bit of your personality and sense of humor can help you build stronger working relationships. But it requires being mindful of who you’re communicating with and in what situations. Much like your company dress code, what’s OK depends on where you work and sometimes what you’re doing that day, and with whom.
Before you decide a picture is worth a thousand words, ask yourself these questions:
- Is it appropriate for my company’s culture?
- Is it appropriate for the audience and topic?
- Will it be easily understood, or could it cause confusion?
- Is the symbol’s meaning truly universal, or is it open to misinterpretation?
- Will it make me seem positive and current, or flippant and unprofessional?
Smiley face, anyone?