Do you speak emoticon? Or, are you one of those who thinks using emoticons in business communications and social media is unprofessional and consequently, a bad idea? Think again.

This post contains fun links to some of the best emoticon directories we found including Skype, Slack, and Pokemon Go – who knew!

However, if you’re not sold yet because of your skepticism, here are four scientifically-proven facts to ponder:

Fact #1:

Scientists have discovered that when we look at a smiley face online, the same very specific parts of the brain are activated as when we look at a real human face.

Why might this make a difference when it comes to social media and marketing?

Because human faces are so particularly compelling, attention-grabbing mechanisms.

Smiley face emoticons and babies

Fact #2:

An analysis of more than 31 million tweets and half a million Facebook posts uncovered the fact that positive emoticons can be a social media status marker.

The emoticon features achieved high performance, suggesting that there is a strong link between emoticon use and social power. Powerful users tend to use emoticons often and high Klout is strongly associated with positive emoticons. – Simo Tchokni, The Computer Laboratory University of Cambridge UK

Fact #3:

Studies on workplace communication show that when specific, negative feedback from a superior comes with positive emoticons, employees are more likely to feel good about the message and more likely to make the changes asked of them.

Our results suggest that using liking emoticons increases perceived good intention of the feedback provider and decreases perceived feedback negativity when the feedback is specific. – JAIS

Fact #4:

Research shows that experts in a subject matter who use emoticons are perceived as more “friendly and competent” than those who don’t.

In most cases, you can create a more positive customer experience simply by dressing up your communication with punctuation.

Consider the following two support emails. They are identical except for the use of exclamation points and emoticons:

Email with no emoticons

Email with emoticons

The second email (above) is an excellent example of why overt friendliness works in written customer communications!

Emoticons vs. Emojis

It all started with a simple colon, dash, and bracket used by computer scientist, Scott E. Fahlman back in 1982.

He thought it would help people on a message board at Carnegie Mellon distinguish serious posts from jokes. He proposed the use of 🙂 and 🙁 for this purpose, and the symbols caught on.

Carnegie Mellon University professor Scott E. Fahlman emoticons

Since then, thousands of emoticons like the smiley face have emerged, conveying a diverse and complex array of emotions and concepts.

We’ve written a few posts on how to use emojis and emoticons successfully in business communications and social media. Although they have different history and meanings, we are using the two terms interchangeably.

Make sure to read:

Where to Find the Best Emoticons for Social Media

We’ve put together an impressive directory listing of where to find everything emoticon related to:


Facebook Emoticons

Per Zazzle Media, Facebook posts with emoticons have a:

  • 57% higher like rate
  • 33% higher comment rate
  • 33% higher share rate

And now, Facebook Reactions (Like, Love, HaHa Wow, Sad, and Angry) give users a quick way to respond to your social media post.

Facebook Reactions brings Your Emojto Life

However, Facebook Reaction Emojis do not correspond to specific emojis in the Unicode standard:
👍 Like — Thumbs Up
❤️ Love — Beating Heart
😂 Haha — Laughing Face
☺️ Yay — Smiling Face (discontinued)
😯 Wow — Surprised Face
😢 Sad — Crying Face, showing an animated tear
😡 Angry — Red / Angry / Pouting Face

With all the new on Facebook, wouldn’t it be nice to bring back some old friends or some secret emoticons?

1 –Facebook Original: Get back your old friends.

This Chrome extension brings back the Pacman emoticon (and other original emojis) on Facebook.

2 – ExtensionMogicons

Are you tired of sending the boring facebook emoticons emoticons enabled by Facebook?

Fortunately, Facebook supports many hidden smileys, emojis and love icons. Feeling facebook emojis? Or having a facebook smileys moment? Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words!

This extension gives you access to all secret emoticons in Facebook comments and posts!


Twitter Emoticons

Ever wondered how people on your Twitter timeline type things like this?

Twitter emoticons have come a long way

Not worries, from, here are three sites to copy-paste emojis, text faces, emoticons, & more:

1 – CopyShrug: The Shrug Emoticon

What It Means: The humble shrug, expressed in the form of a few lines and strokes. Like this: shurggie-shown

It can range in meaning: “whatever”, “why not”, “who knows”, “doesn’t matter”, “enh”, and almost anything else that’s a quick dismissal.

Shruggie emoticons

2 – Lenny Faces: All the Wonderful Faces of Textual Lenny

You might not know it’s called the Lenny Face, but you’ve definitely seen it before. This smug little face and its many derivatives — like the “wearing cool shades” emoticon—can often be seen on discussion boards, Reddit, and even Twitter.

smug little face emoticons

3- Kawaii Face: Unleash the Creativity of Japanese Emoticons

The Lenny Face originally comes from Japanese forums and is a part of the Kawaii Emoticons trend. Kawaii is Japanese for cute, and the emoticons have a large variety of Unicode characters to show different feelings. In fact, Eastern emojis are different from Western ones, so you’ll also be able to stand out among your friends.

Kawaii face emoticons


Skype Emoticons

Feeling ? Or having a  moment?

Skype emoticons can liven up your instant message conversations, or add them to your mood message to let your friends know how you’re feeling.

  • Select the emoticon you want to use from the palette in the IM window (by clicking on the smiley in the chat window) or use the keyboard shortcut – a set of characters or a particular word in brackets. If you hover over an emoticon in the palette, you’ll see its keyboard shortcut.

Try some of these shortcuts:

Skype shortcuts for emoticons

Skype has loads of visible emoticons to choose from but here are some surprising ones:

  • Hidden Emoticons: You won’t see these secret emoticons on the menu, but if you know the keyboard shortcuts you can surprise your friends with them.

Try out the (gottarun) hidden emoticon – amusing – especially if you “really” do have to run 🙂

Example of hidden emoticons on Skype

  • Country flags: Flags are a great way of letting people know where you are or where you’re going.
  • Mojis: Mojis are short video clips you can use to express yourself in your instant messages – for those times when words or emojis just aren’t enough.

According to Microsoft, it has scoured the archives and handpicked the funniest, craziest, and most iconic moments from some of the best TV and movies out there.

Mojis categories currently available include Hollywood, BBC, the Muppets, Bollywood, Angry Birds, Spring and Love.

Here’s an example of one of my favorites: “Pull yourself together.”


Using Slack Emoticons

Slack uses the standard emoji codes found at Emoji Cheat Sheet. You can quickly add emoji to your messages by typing in the code.

Slack will automatically change common emoticons such as 🙂 to an equivalent emoji:

Slack will automatically change common emoticons such as :) to an equivalent emoji

Slack also allows you to create custom emojis for your team! Crestfallen by the lack of a certain emoji? Fret no more: Whatever your emoji needs, your team can make it happen with custom emoji.

As seen on Product Hunt:

Turning Your Team Photos Into Slack logo Emoticons Has Never Been Easier


Pokemon Go Emoji Keyboard

Unless you’ve been off-planet for the past couple months, you’ve probably heard about the huge success and popularity of Pokémon Go.

Not surprisingly, two French designers are working on developing a keyboard of emoticons that allow people to communicate using ‘pokémoji’. The flattened icons, rendered in a simple color palette and illustrated without three-dimensional effects, will bring your favorite comic characters to your fingertips.

The pokémoji keyboard will bring the uber popular pokémon emoticon to your fingertips.

pokémoji keyboard brings emoticon pokémon to your fingertips

For now, you can use Insta Emoji for Pokémon Go – Pokemoji Photo Editor Add Cool Emoticon Yellow Stickers to your Photos.


What are a few of your favorite emoticons? How about smiley faces or funny emoticons? I’ve shared mine. We would love to hear from you.