It wasn’t that long ago that emoji were largely invisible in the workplace, but within the last few years they have become a ubiquitous tool for communication; helping to convey tone and improving human connection in an increasingly online world.

The question remains, how much should we be using them at work? Overuse will start to undermine the integrity of the messenger, but conversely avoiding use altogether can make a message sound unemotional and tone can be misconstrued.

There’s a lot to unpack here, but thankfully there’s a lot of literature available on this to help navigate this uncertain territory.

1. The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google

Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google are the four most influential companies on the planet. Just about everyone thinks they know how they got there. Just about everyone is wrong.

By Scott Galloway

All four of these companies use customer feedback, and have been pioneers of the ratings economy. Scott highlights that all four are bolstered by their users, made greater than the sum of their parts through continued use – the more data accumulated about consumer preference and feedback, the better the product becomes.

Read more about how they do it, and how they’ve come to dominate the world, in Scott’s book.

2. Marketing To Gen Z: The Rules For Reaching This Vast – And Very Different – Generation Of Influencers

…connect and converse with the emerging generation that is expected to comprise 40 percent of all consumers by 2020. The time to learn who they are and what they want is now.

By Jeff Fromm and Angie Read

If you thought Millennials were hard to market to, get ready because Gen Z are up and coming on the rails! Marketing to Gen Z tells us it’s not enough to simply update your marketing strategy for millennials to include Gen Z, we must learn their specific needs as a mobile-first and socially aware demographic.

Find out how to market to, and get feedback from, this crucial market segment.

3. The Science of Storytelling: Why Stories Make Us Human, and How to Tell Them Better

Applying dazzling psychological research and cutting-edge neuroscience to the foundations of our myths and archetypes, Will Storr shows how we can use these tools to tell better stories – and make sense of our chaotic modern world.

By Will Storr

Great storytellers can inspire, compel and drive us. Understanding the foundations of a good story and how to build one–especially given how critical pictures and emotions are to storytelling, whether mental or physical. Storytellers use the people in their story to emote and drive the narrative tone, and The Science of Storytelling can help us to understand this.

4. InstaBrain: The New Rules for Marketing to Generation Z

This generation of digital natives is an entirely different type of consumer—one that you need a completely new type of marketing strategy to reach. How confident are you that you can connect and engage this audience in a way that will resonate?

By Sarah Weise

InstaBrain is a useful tool across marketing, sales, and advertising for learning how to engage with this powerful, new generation of consumers. It’s easy to assume that this new generation will respond to the tactics and methods used for their predecessors, but Sarah argues for this to not be the case.

For a generation that demand an Instagram-style experience, don’t easily offer brand loyalty, and care about company values, it’s important to get ready for their entry into the market. InstaBrain can help you do this.

5. A World Without “whom”: The Essential Guide to Language in the Buzzfeed Age

Eats, Shoots & Leaves for the internet age, Emmy Favilla is the witty go-to style guru of webspeak. As language evolves faster than ever, what is the future of “correct” writing? When Favilla was tasked with creating a style guide for BuzzFeed, she opted for guidelines that would reflect not only the site’s lighthearted tone, but also how readers actually use language in real life.

By Emmy J Favilla

It’s vitally important in the current internet age to learn how to write in a way that connects to your recipients while maintaining standards, and who better to help with that than Emmy J Favilla, Buzzfeed Copy Chief? Buzzfeed has garnered a reputation as the millenial and Gen Z news outlet, striking the balance between factual information and lighthearted entertainment, both in its articles and in its style of writing.

As she says herself, “it’s often more personal and more plain-languagey, and so it resonates immediately and more widely. As a copy editor, it’s my duty to strike a balance that preserves that tone but also upholds certain standards“.

6. Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language

Because Internet is the perfect book for anyone who wants to understand how the internet is changing the English language, why that’s a good thing, and what our online interactions reveal about who we are.

By Gretchen McCulloch

Gretchen’s book offers an understanding of a vast range of linguistic navigations in the internet age, but the chapter of hers that we really enjoyed focused on the emoji: “What we really need is a dynamic system. Punctuation is good at representing tone of voice, but we’re still missing something, something embodied. This was the void that emoticons and emoji stepped into“.

She makes the point that emoji are not possibly a language as they cannot be used interchangeably with English, for example, and so they must be functioning in communication in a different way. Emoji, instead, can be seen as gestures, supporting language and adding meaning more practically than written description can briefly, but also never replacing the text it accompanies.

If you want to see how emoji can be utilised in engaging with your customers, particularly with Gen Z on their way into the workplace, give our 1-click feedback a test:

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