What the Great Google Cheeseburger emoji faux pas means for your online marketing

Before we pursue this relationship any further, I have to know one thing: Where do you stand in the Great Google Cheeseburger Controversy?

Yes, the dust has settled a bit since the emoji hit the fan recently, but it’s worth revisiting the cyberspace kerfuffle for a few moments because I think it will help us get the pulse of the digital citizenry. This knowledge should help you with your online marketing efforts.

In case you’ve been living in a cave – or have better things to do – the online world had a cybercow the other day when Google released a set of emojis and it included a cheeseburger emoji with – gaspthe cheese on the bottom between the burger patty and the bun!

It seems that Thomas Baekdal may have ignited the controversy with this tweet:

It got the attention of Google CEO Sundar Pichai who tweeted: Will drop everything else we are doing and address on Monday:) if folks can agree on the correct way to do this!

You have to enjoy this kind of Internet hijinks, but at the same time realize that there are a couple of lessons to be learned, namely:

  • Nothing is too small to rile people on the Internet, and
  • Emojis are extraordinarily popular communication tools.

Tread carefully

The fact that “The Internet” has a thin skin and can get emotionally wound up by the smallest grievances is important to understand. If you want to engage and nurture prospects online, you need to know who you’re talking to and what their sensitivities are.

When you’re casting a wide net, you must understand that anything hinting at controversy may anger half your audience. The young man behind the silly and feel-good Twitter account WeRateDogs got into trouble when it looked like he wanted to make a few bucks by cashing in on President Trump’s “covfefe” typo tweet. People objected to the mix of politics and commercialism coming from such a benign Twitter account.

Consider this when you’re defining your customer personas. This also highlights another advantage of segmenting your lists. You might have customers who are less sensitive to some issues while others are more sensitive.

Communication styles

I think the most practical lesson you can learn from the Cheeseburger emoji matter is how important these little icons have become to us. Not only is this illustrated by the ill-designed Google emoji, the release of Apple’s iPhone X also makes this case.

As I read reviews and look at promotional materials for the iPhone X, the ability to animate emojis seems to be the most important new function on the thousand-dollar phone. As cool as that is, it’s not going to change anyone’s life in a material way. However, it does reflect in a very important way how we communicate today.

In other words, you should be using emojis in your communications. I discussed this once before in light of email marketing. Using emojis in subject lines boosts open rates.

A friend of mine has begun developing Facebook Messenger chat bots and one of the lessons he has learned is to frequently incorporate emojis into responses and chat conversations. Are you engaging customers via chat, text messages, or social media posts? I’m sure you are, but are you taking advantage of emojis?

Make them part of your vocabulary. I guarantee you that they will help you connect with your audience better – especially your younger prospects, who represent the future success of your business! ?