Emoji, emoticons, icons and star and smiley ratings are all around us but how much do we really know about attitudes to their use in business?

We wanted to find out! So we commissioned independent research; asking 1000 US citizens how and when they use emoji, especially in business. We got real insight into in the way they communicate with colleagues, and interact with and feed back to brands.

We put together a full report on our findings, with some background on emoji and how they’ve become part of our everyday lives. Click here, or click on the image below:

Emoji Research Customer Thermometer Link

If you wanted something to skim through instead of a full report, here’s an infographic of the key statistics:

Customer Thermometer Emoji Infographic web

1) The average American uses 34.71 emojis a day

This is across all social media, messaging, emails, etc.

2) 19% of men say they don’t use emoji, compared to just 12% of women

It seems more women are using emoji than men.

3) But, men who DO use emoji actually send more than women

Men send 35.9 per day on average, while women only send 32.8.

4) Generation Z send over five times more emoji than those aged 55+

5) Over one in five (22.5%) Americans already use emoji at work

This is across both work emails and collaboration tools like Slack and Teams.

6) Women especially appreciate emoji in the work environment as they find it friendlier

87.7% of women find emoji in the workplace friendly, over 73% of men.

7) The other biggest drivers for using emoji at work is that over half of Americans (55%) believe they avoid misunderstandings

This is because they believe it helps to convey a ‘tone’.

8) Over a third (35%) find using emoji faster than using words


9) The Midwest region of America is the least likely to use emoji

One in five Midwesterners state that they never use them.

10) Men are much less likely than women to use emoji in work email

Only 12.30% of men use emoji in work email, compared to 24.30% of women.

11) Interestingly, the over 55 have less of an issue with a boss sending an emoji to them at work

Only 15% of those aged 55+ find it unprofessional, vs. 23.5% of 16-24 year olds.

12) 27.9% of respondents said they find bosses using emoji to be reassuring

13) The majority of all age groups engage most with brands using emoji on social media above any other platform

So the best way to engage with customers is to use emoji in tweets, Insta and Facebook posts, above all else.

14) But… just over a third of those aged 55 and over find emoji use by brands to be unprofessional.

Bear in mind that if you are targeting those aged 55+, you might want to avoid using emoji… 💩

15) The age group most likely to give feedback to brands is 24-34 year olds

85.5% of 24-34 year olds have given feedback to a brand, whereas only 62.3% of 55+ say they have.

16) The channel Americans typically use to feedback is survey form

The most commonly used format is the long form survey at 38.2%.

17) However, over half (53.5%) of Americans would prefer to give feedback via a button embedded in an email

Maybe it’s time to switch it up? We can help with that…

18) A QUARTER of respondents have never given feedback to a brand

That’s a lot of feedback to miss out on!

19) When asked how they felt when they last gave feedback, the vast majority of Americans (68%) wanted to share positive feedback

Getting feedback doesn’t have to be a bad thing! ✅

20) When asked which emoji they would prefer to use to convey positive feedback, nearly half would choose a ‘thumbs up’ 👍 (49.1%)

This was followed by a star ⭐ (12.7%), smiley face 🙂 (10.9%), ‘ok hand’ 👌 (4.6%) and a red heart ❤️ 3.7%.

21) All age groups (41-53%) voted the ‘thumbs up’ 👍 emoji as their favorite, but another significant favorite for just 16-24 year olds was the ‘ok hand’👌

16.30% of Gen Z are number one fans of the ok hand. 👌

Want to improve your customer survey response rates? Customer Thermometer’s 1-click survey will up your feedback game. Send yourself an example:

How did we do today example