Emoji Best Practices

Ready to emojify your content? 🀘 When used correctly, emojis can convey pride or emotion, provide context and help you engage and connect with your community.

However, using emojis does require some consideration. Before you use these in your social media content, review the following best practices.

How and When to Use Emojis

Emojis can be used to replace text or used alongside text to complement or emphasize the message. For example:

  • Replace text: We πŸ’™ our Bulls! 
  • Emphasize text:  Let's go Bulls! 🀘🏽

The emojis that you use should be meaningful and relevant to the content. Be sure it matches the tone of the message and is appropriate, especially when addressing serious or sensitive topics. For example:

  • Do: Addressing health disparities in WNY πŸ’™
  • Don't: Addressing health disparities in WNY πŸŽ‰ πŸ™ŒπŸΌ πŸ₯³

Note: Not every post, comment or caption needs an emoji. Before you publish, read it again and consider whether the emojis are enhancing your message or distracting from it. 

In social media, emojis can also be utilized strategically to help break up the copy in your content; just be sure to keep accessibility best practices in mind.

Preferred "UB" Emojis

πŸ’™ 🀘🏽 πŸŽ‰ πŸ™ŒπŸΌ 😎 πŸ’ͺ🏾 πŸŽ“ πŸ‘πŸ» 😍 πŸ₯° 🦬

The emojis listed above are on-brand and typically safe to use in your content, as long as you consider the context and intent of the message. 

There are many other emojis available that are also generally safe to use. Just be sure you understand their meaning and it is appropriate for the content you are creating.

Consider the Meaning and Context

When choosing emojis for your content, keep the following in mind:

Be aware of double meanings: Many emojis have developed dual meanings over time and cannot be taken at face value. Consider using the preferred UB emojis and others that you know fit UB’s brand, voice and values. If you are unsure if there is a double meaning associated with an emoji, do a quick Google search so you understand the context before you publish — or reach out to the UB Social team for help.

  • If you aren't sure what the name of the emoji is that you're considering using, resources like Emojipedia can identify them and provide context.
  • Meanings can evolve and change over time. Even if you think you know the context, check again to be sure!
Choose flag emojis carefully: Be mindful when using flag emojis in your content. There may be political sensitivities that you are unaware of. Double check that the correct flag is featured and that you are comfortable with the context in which it is being used. When in doubt, don't use them.

Formatting can change: Emojis format differently across different devices, social networks and operating systems. If you’re unaware of how a specific emoji will look across social channels, you can quickly find out using resources like Emojipedia.

Inclusivity and Accessibility

Consider the sensitivity: Especially around symbols and emojis that relate to culture, race and gender. Make sure that you understand the meaning of an emoji before you use it to avoid accidentally posting something that is insensitive or inappropriate. If you are unsure if a certain use is appropriate, consult with your Unit Social Media Lead or the UB Social Team before moving forward.

Showcase diversity: It is important to showcase diversity through the use of emojis. Don’t always use the default emoji shade (🀘) in your keyboard when utilizing ‘people’ emojis. Use every shade that is offered as you engage and post your content, whenever possible. 🀘🏻🀘🏼🀘🏽🀘🏾🀘🏿

Consider accessibility: While there isn't a magic number of emojis to use, be aware that screen readers will include the alt-text description of each emoji and it can be distracting and confusing if there are too many (for example, if you post πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™, a screen reader will read "blue heart, blue heart, blue heart"). If using a string of multiple emojis, consider placing them at the end of the content to help minimize this.