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Gifs, Memes and Emojis: Are They Right for Your Brand?

The Gif, meme and emoji thing has been around for a while now, and brands embrace it. But should you? And how should you manage the whole thing?Social media marketing is something that rarely stands still, and recently we have all had to deal with significant changes in how people communicate. From ‘text-speak’ creeping into society, to the various buzzwords we are faced with, there are always tweaks on how we get our messages across.Gifs, memes and emojis are not going away. But it isn’t always cut and dry as to whether a brand should use them in it’s marketing on social media. There could be problems with perception, and demographics always play a huge role.Your audienceWhen making a decision as to whether the visuals are right for your brand, you really only need to think about your demographics in your audience.For example, if you are a B2B company that sells to professional people, then having an emoji of a smiling monkey might not go down too well. The same for Gifs and memes. You don’t want to be offering up inappropriate videos and images that simply convey the message that you are not professional.

Your brandYour brand is precious. If you disrupt the message that your audience receives then you are looking at a situation where your audience could even abandon you.When considering the question of whether or not to use emojis, Gifs or memes, the following questions are worth asking:

  • ▪ Is the image you are about to publish appropriate? It may be an age-old question, but if you’re about to present something that is jarring to your audience, it can only mean bad news. Inappropriate doesn’t always mean something that is in poor taste either. It could simply be something that is so far out outside the thinking of your audience that it just doesn’t resonate on any level
  • ▪Do the images add value to what your brand is trying to communicate? It’s not just about appropriateness. The images you use should add extra levels of value to your brand messages and the service you are trying to provide. For most brands, at least some of your emojis etc. should be informational or provoke a meaningful response
  • ▪Is it ok to be non-serious? The thing about emojis, Gifs and memes is that they are often meant to be funny. It might work on Friday afternoon when you’re trying to send your audience off into the weekend with a smile on their face. But it might not be of any use to your audience, and it will be especially damaging if your brand is simply not known for anything but a serious approach to things

These questions should help you decide whether or not to use the images from your brand’s perspective.Some good news for social postingIt isn’t all bad news. In fact, as long as the above concerns about your audience and brand are addressed, there is plenty of fun (and ROI) to be had with this kind of work.With the brevity of business communication, it’s important to be concise. People don’t have time or reason to read long messages and will quickly get bored if you go on for too much length without adding any substance. Memes, emojis and gifs can help by staying within character limits while still containing key points that need expressing in a short amount of space.Let’s not forget that gifs, emojis and memes can, if done right, add a lot of fun to the messages you convey to your audience.With all of that in mind, it’s about understanding the impact of the things. If using them adds value to your audience’s experience and they don’t harm your brand, it is well worth adding them to your social media marketing arsenal.