Have you ever wondered why emojis and image-based posts are still so popular on business social media pages? And do they really matter in business?
Some might think that using emojis, photos or cartoons in a business context is unprofessional. But communicating feelings is necessary in the virtual world. Online communications are non-verbal and faceless. We cannot interpret each other’s body language, facial expressions or tone of voice. And yet, we keep scrolling through our social media feeds because our brains are receiving an emotional reward. Whether it is joy, sadness, humour or outrage, social media posts evoke emotions within us. And the more we feel, the more we engage.
Emotional Intelligence (EI) is defined as “the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.” (Oxford Languages). Being aware of each other’s emotions allows us to recognise, evaluate and to consider our own responses analytically before we react. Being able to anticipate how others might feel in a given situation, allows us to strategise and to plan an approach that will produce a predictable reaction.
Social Awareness and Relationship Management are attributes of Emotional Intelligence that are teachable. Used in workplace relations, leaders can improve their EI skills to influence how others might respond, and to create successful results for the business. Used by employees, EI can help to create understanding and empathy, leading to a more cohesive and harmonious team environment.
But what about customers? How can we use Emotional Intelligence to communicate more effectively with pet owners? I could write a whole other book about using EI in a face-to-face context or on the telephone, but today I want to focus specifically on Social Media communications.
Creating an emotional bond with our clients is a long-term objective. Every time we share a story about a patient’s recovery or a team member cuddling a pet, we invoke feelings of trust, gratitude and familiarity. When we use language that is relatable and in a tone that is inclusive, our followers feel cared for. They recognise expertise and they know that we genuinely care for our patients. They start to learn the names of the vets and nurses, and they learn about the services we provide.
By using images and emojis that convey emotional subtleties, and by giving followers the opportunity to respond with their own feelings, we are effectively using EI to build a bridge across the digital divide, and to connect with pet owners in a meaningful way. When we have an emotional connection with our clients, it is much easier to target our marketing messages with authenticity, and with a much higher chance of converting an enquiry into a booking.
Another benefit of using emojis and images in social media is that they are colourful and eye-catching. They help your posts to stand out, and readers are able to understand your message more clearly. Don’t be afraid to experiment with videos, animations and music. CANVA has all of these capabilities, meaning that you can easily create a slideshow or add graphics to make your photos pop!
So — keep those wonderful team and patient photos coming. Show off your expertise, build familiarity between your team members and your clients, and start to build more personal relationships that will generate long term gains for your practice and for your patients.