If you’re late to the emoji train, then you’d better hop on before your patients get off at another stop. Emojis are illustrated representations of faces, food, places, animals, activities, and flags, among other symbols. While emojis have been around for several years, they are now being used for marketing purposes.
For example, Chevrolet recently issued an all-emoji press release, leaving the media to decipher the “code.” That campaign fizzled, as it was too cryptic. Pizza Hut, however, found an emoji formula that actually works. Hungry customers can now order pizza from their devices by typing a simple pizza emoji. And, science educator Bill Nye has an entire series of short videos that use emoji marketing.
As a dentist, you won’t need to devise an entire campaign around emojis. But you do need to stay on top of marketing trends, and emojis are here to stay.
Which Emojis Will Resonate With My Patients?
Any business can find a reason to use the heart or smiley face, but you’ll need to get more creative if you want to draw the attention of your patients. Did your office manager get married? Use wedding bells. Is your office sponsoring a little league team? Use the baseball. You can use the book emoji if you’re running a back-to-school special for your pediatric patients or the clock emoji to tell your patients about your new hours. Make sure your message includes enough textual context to help your patients understand your message. A cryptic comment will lose your audience.
When Should I Use Them?
Emojis are fun and appealing, but don’t forget that you are a professional and need to convey professionalism as well as whimsy. Your website, for example, needs to instill confidence in your patients and promote your unique set of skills and services. Your social media posts, however, are a perfect opportunity to include emojis.
On Facebook, you can use emojis in your posts as well as to encourage engagement. Ask your patients to respond in the comments with an emoji. For example, your post can inquire how frequently your patients brush your teeth. But instead of having them respond with a number, they can use a sad face for once per day, a thumbs up for twice per day, or a fist bump for three or more times per day.
Since Twitter limits the number of characters you use, emojis can help you convey your message more concisely. Remember to use text, though. Too many emojis could put you on track with Chevy.
In emails, emojis can add interest to your subject line. Instead of “Happy Halloween,” use a pumpkin. You can also use the occasional emoji in the content of your email. Want to remind patients that gum disease is linked to heart disease? There are several heart emojis to use.
Now That You're Using Them
Once you’ve started to use emojis in your marketing, pay attention. Are more of your emails being opened? Are more people engaging with your Facebook posts? Is emoji-peppered content being shared and forwarded? If your patients aren’t into it, then perhaps you should only use emojis for targeted campaigns. The bottom line is that, used under appropriate circumstances with the appropriate audience, emojis can add fun to your marketing.