How to Use Emojis in Business

PR-agency Pioneer is actively engaged in scientific activities. In 2022, the collection of the Financial University (Russian Federation) published an article by Polina Garanina about the depth of penetration of the language of ideograms and emoticons into business communication. Below you can read an abridged version of the study:
The first set of emojis was developed in 1999 in Japan by programmer Shigetaka Kurita, he was an employee of a mobile operator company. The purpose of such a set was to diversify online communication between users of this mobile operator. In Russia, with the advent of computer technology, a limited range of emojis was also used, but not their Japanese version, but a variant based on classic emoticons (they were introduced into circulation in the university environment by computer scientist Scott Falman in 1982 in the USA).
The revolution in the using of the language of ideograms and pictograms, which led to the merger of the Western culture of emojis and the Japanese culture of emojis, began in 2011 - thanks to Apple. The guys decided to popularize the iPhone in Japan and released iOS 5 with an emoji keyboard! According to the Unicode Consortium, by 2021, more than 92% of Internet users used emojis.
How and which emojis came into business correspondence
Gradually, emojis from personal correspondence came into business communication. Why? The fact is that nonverbal communication, which includes business correspondence, does not involve the use of intonations, facial expressions or gestures, in other words, it is difficult to show your mood, emotions, especially their shades, in correspondence, and emojis give such an opportunity.
The first picture below shows comparative data from studies conducted in 2003 and 2022. Their goal was to find out the degree of penetration of emoticons into business written communication. It is noteworthy that the majority of respondents who indicated that they had encountered emoticons and could list them in 2003 were mainly employed in the fields of advertising and IT. In 2022, all professional boundaries have already been erased.
The most popular emoticons listed by respondents in 2003 looked like this:
Which emojis are most popular today in written business communication is shown in the second picture below.

In interpersonal communication, nonverbal communication transmits 65%, that is, most of the information. When expressing the attitude, body movements convey 55% of information, voice – 38%, words – 7%. Therefore, in business correspondence, the communicating parties have a rather limited range of opportunities to influence each other. The emergence of emojis gradually solve this problem. Although they create new ones, because the display of emojis on different devices occurs in different ways. Caution: emoji in business correspondence! In a study published on April 5, 2016 by Hana Miller, the University of Minnesota demonstrated that due to the fact that emojis are not displayed the same on different devices, misunderstandings often arise between interlocutors. During the experiment, the study participants examined 5 platforms on which the same emoji was depicted differently - Apple, Google, Microsoft, Samsung, LG.
At the same time, the focus group was also asked to assess the degree of the interlocutor's mood on a scale from -5 (the most negative) to 5 (the most positive). Anthropomorphic emojis describing human emotions were chosen as the basic emojis.
So, it turned out that the grinning emoji sent from an Apple device is regarded by iPhone owners as negative, but this emoji comes to other devices as an exclusively positive smiley. In general, the difference in the perception of 22 emojis varied by 2 points.