Getting someone’s attention in our content-saturated world is challenging. Getting someone to actually click on one of your social media posts is even harder.

That’s why visuals are so important. While beautifully created graphics are great, another kind of image—the emoji—can be just as effective in certain settings. Of course, emojis may not be appropriate to include in every major communication, but they are often a useful form of shorthand for quick updates.

The bright folks of our #SproutChat community shared their thoughts on how these tiny popular graphics can have a big impact in engaging different audiences. Below are their suggestions.

Show Some Personality

Emojis have become their own sort of language. They began as a fun addition to a text message, but they can now be used to replace actual words and phrases, conveying an entire range of emotions. Frequent emoji users have set a standard for what each character means. Brands should test which ones resonate with their audiences while closely monitoring which emojis don’t get the intended reaction. Still, for the most part, emojis are a great way to foster a more personal connection.

Learn the Language

The list of emojis keeps growing, opening up the opportunity for brands to be more creative. While most may use emojis playfully, they can also be used seriously. What’s more, combining several emojis in one post can take on an entirely new meaning. Look into what emojis your community is already using to guide your brand’s overall approach and tone.

Don’t Force It

While emojis can resonate with a range of audiences, some people may find them off putting. Remember: Emojis aren’t just for a younger audience, but they do tend to resonate better with millennials and Gen X. That said, there are certain situations where an emoji just isn’t acceptable at all.

Embrace the Emoji

Let’s face it, emojis aren’t going anywhere. They have become accepted as a normal part of everyday communication. Seeing that the language has also evolved to incorporate different skin colors, as well as various foods and sports from a wider range of cultures, we predict that brands will start using emojis with even greater frequency.

Thanks for Your Support!

With Thanksgiving just around the corner in the US, we have a lot to be grateful for this year—including our awesome #SproutChat community. On that note, we’re also thrilled to share that Social Media Examiner recently included us in its roundup of the best Twitter chats for marketers, thanks to the feedback from people like you.

Of course, if you’re new to #SproutChat, don’t be shy; feel free to stop by every Wednesday at 2 p.m. CST, and/or tune into our Facebook community for weekly discussion topics. We’ll see you next time, as we discuss supplementing data and analytics to prove the impact of social media today.