There are certain idiosyncrasies that set the British race apart from the rest of the world. First and foremost is the sheer quantity of tea consumed on these shores. The world is set to rights over a freshly brewed cuppa. So much so that when Jeb Bush, presidential candidate, tweeted THAT picture of a handgun and simply tagged it ‘America’, Twitter wags hastily posted a picture of a cup of tea and tagged it ‘the United Kingdom’… amongst other mocking posts that is.
The Brits are also famed for the myriad of ways we say sorry. There is an endearing quality to this stilted, apologetic way we have of speaking, in fact Hugh Grant seems to have made a career out of it. ‘I’m fine’ can mean anything from ‘I’m in a wonderful mood’, to ‘I’m coping with a great tragedy’. In the workplace ‘That’s not bad’ is received as the highest compliment. ‘Excuse me’ is used as a genuine apology or an angry utterance. That’s another thing about us Brits, we can turn passive aggression into an art form. We are masters of the understatement, kings and queens of the veiled insult. And we seem genuinely bemused when our US counterparts don’t understand our sarcasm.
The British embraced Twitter emojis in all their expressive glory. A study by Bangor University found 29 per cent of people with smartphones use them in half of their messaging. For a nation of people who can’t quite express emotion without a long drawn-out apology beforehand, these cheeky little icons have saved everyone a lot of bother.
For business too, it is a huge relief that the UK has taken to emojis. Posts take on new life and new meaning with humour and friendliness that some brands could otherwise struggle with. A dry post becomes light-hearted – ‘cute’ even – and prompts responses with similar from followers. Anything that makes a business more approachable is good right? Right. Except when the business gets it wrong. See House of Fraiser’s #Emojinal campaign… but to do that PR disaster justice calls for specific emojis… or as we are more likely to say in Britain ‘it was disappointing’.
Let 24 fingers help your business to say what it really means.