The answer is YES! If you are using LinkedIn for sales, and looking to connect with prospects, I’ve got news for you — many, many other businesses are doing the same. LinkedIn is noisy with businesses trying to establish and attract new customers, partners, and top talent. This makes it difficultA for most anyone to stand out, let alone a sales professional. Enter emoticons — colorful eye catching graphics that when used appropriately, can help you stand out and create a lasting, positive impression.
What is an emoticon or an emoji?
It all started in the early 1980s with the emoticon, a smiley symbol ? that became a marker for jokes for online communication. Since then, online communication has evolved. Now there are hundreds of symbols representing just about every emotion imaginable. These are more commonly known as, “emojis,” and they’re used in messages on mobile phones, Web pages and now, LinkedIn.
Some may see emojis as strictly for personal use, but before discrediting the use of emojis with your sales prospects and customers consider this:
Emojis make your message memorable when using LinkedIn for sales
LinkedIn, very much a professional network, didn’t make emojis (and GIFs) available in their messages for no reason. There are several benefits that come with using emojis in a professional setting and more specifically in sales.
Not only does using emoticons make you appear friendlier and more personable online, it can make your message stand out in a prospective buyer’s eyes when used appropriately.
The presence of emoticons affects cognition. Memory for chat content was significantly higher ? in the “emoticons present” condition than in the “emoticons absent” condition.
According to a recent study ? on Emoticons and Online Information Processing
Emojis help establish your personal brand
These days, businesses have to find a way to connect to their customers. Customers want to feel an emotional connection with those they do business with, and sometimes a name and a face isn’t enough. They want to know who it is they’re talking to. That doesn’t necessarily mean you should throw on a bunch of smiley faces at the bottom of your emails. But why not show off your personality a bit and use emojis that are unique to you!
Koka Sexton, LinkedIn’s Head of Social Media, uses emojis directly within his profile page – and it’s just for fun!
Emojis Convey Tone
It’s easy to misinterpret online communication. The way something is written doesn’t always come across with the same meaning as something somebody says. When emojis are included, it makes the meaning more clear because there’s an emotion behind it.
Scientists have discovered that looking at a smiley face online activates the same parts of the brain as when we look at a real human face.
So don’t be afraid to sign off your message, even if it is on the serious side, with an emoji. If it brings a smile to your prospects face it’s worth it. Here is an example:
Thank you for taking time to strategize before the meeting with your VP tomorrow. It is great to have an internal champion? like you.
Emojis make you more popular on social media
According to a recent study ?, the use of positive emojis is linked to social power.
“There is a strong link between the use of emoticons and social power. Powerful users tend to use emoticons often and a high Klout is strongly associated with positive emoticons,” according to the study. Your Klout score is a number that represents your level of social media influence based on a combination of different social media metrics.
Don’t underestimate the power of “Klout.” Salespeople with a high level of influence have an advantage because it makes them appear more reputable and knowledgeable to consumers, which helps them establish credibility and gain the trust of prospects faster.
Use emojis appropriately
As sales professionals, there are clear advantages to using emojis to stand out and leave a more lasting impression; however, emojis aren’t always well-received by everyone. If you use too many emojis or ones that are too personal, you may come off aloof and out-of-touch. If you’re reaching out to a more senior executive, you may want to take your emoji-use down a notch.
Be sure to consider who you’re communicating with before sending them that smiley with the stunner shades. And you NEVER want to use this one: ?
There are no secret formulas to determine the appropriate amount of emojis you should use on LinkedIn. It’s up to you to find that happy medium. Consider your industry, target audience, and your brand to choose which emojis to use in your messages, then use your best judgment from there.
Also, a little tip for incorporating emojis into web content. This handy site allows you to ✂️ copy and ? paste emojis into your content, no app or coding required – http://getemoji.com/.
Alyssa Trenkamp is the director of marketing communications ? at Velocify and a 15 year veteran in the enterprise technology sector. Prior to Velocify, Alyssa spent nearly a decade as a marketing and public relations consultant for Microsoft. Alyssa holds a BA in Journalism from Western Washington University.