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I sent a picture to my mum the other day over Facebook Messenger – it was of my plate, piled high with food at one of my favourite restaurants. Now, if you’d have told me a few years ago that she’d reply with a drooling emoji and a GIF of a chimpanzee rubbing its belly, I would have thought you were completely insane – but that’s exactly what she did.

Social media has transformed the way we communicate – we’ve gone from simple text messages to 10-second temporary videos and left or right swipes in the space of a few short years. While our grandparents were lucky to have a private wall-phone, many millennials and Gen-Zs struggle to cope with the thought of their iPhone being more than an arm’s-length from them during the night.

A recent report by LivePerson found that 74% of young people in the UK interact with each other digitally more than they do in the real world. As you can imagine, GIFs, stickers and emojis take up a large proportion of this chat as they seemingly become more important to communicating a message than the written word.

Whether you like them or not, they are everywhere. Up to 1 billion GIFs are served each day to over 100 million users through the Giphy platform and over 5 billion emojis are sent every day through Facebook Messenger alone. They have become part of our language and culture and the rapid growth in use has somewhat blurred the line between social and business communications.

So, could this informal and visual form of chat actually benefit your business and amplify your social media footprint? Many experts argue that it absolutely can. Here are just a couple of reasons why…

Emojis are fun and creative and enable your brand voice to be a bit more human. People buy from people and today’s consumer wants a real and honest response. Be like them, speak their language and convey emotion – a little smiley face can go a long way.

Using emojis and GIFs in social media posts is proven to boost engagement and conversions. As long as you don’t stray too far from your brand voice, users are much more likely to click on or like a post if it includes them.

Plus, don’t forget that social media is supposed to be fun, entertaining and a little less traditional. Even if your corporate tone is much more professional, your Facebook and Twitter profiles are the perfect place to show your more relaxed side.

Is it time for you to shake up your communications? Give us a call on 0161 941 4252 or tweet us at @peppertweets.