To smiley or not to smiley

by Wide
34 replies
So, was just thinking.

Am I the only one that don't post smiles when communication with "professional contacts", including customers/clients?

Have been removing smileys from my emails 1000s of times, each time with a feeling if I should let it be or remove it - it was removed 90% of the time.

To me smileys looks a bit "unprofessional".

I type them on forums and chats all the time though.
#smiley
  • Profile picture of the author Wide
    there we go
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    • Profile picture of the author Fahmod
      Originally Posted by Wide View Post

      there we go
      ...you're lucky, I was just about to reply ...so where is it then? ;-)

      I'm with you on this one, although, I don't like other emotional indicators like ...Lol, hehehe, or similar stuff like that.

      Smileys are nice though, but indeed, on professional/business level, if you feel something will be misunderstood, try to re-phrase more clearly. No need for smiley's I think.
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  • Profile picture of the author RegalWeb
    We share the same sentiments but I can't stop grinning.
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    • Profile picture of the author Vanessa Reece
      It all depends who you're talking to in those communications. Some professionals will actually send smilies and then you'd just mirror their tone.

      I don't find smilies the problem I find my need to add a kiss at the end of my sig a real pain - it's like a bad itch - to kiss or not to kiss that is the question.

      But as we're all friends... V x
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      • Profile picture of the author ladida
        I agree with this.

        Professionally I don't do it... unless. Unless the communication has naturally progressed to that level (meaning our general conversational tone has become friendly enough to warrant it). I think if you have someone communicating with you who uses emoticons or who generally writes in a very informal manner (see: hey ya, howdy, lemme know, etc...), to some degree or another I do think it's good business to meet them where they are. If not, you may run the risk of seeming cold and distant and therefore less likable. That... may hurt your pockets.


        Originally Posted by ITS-V View Post

        It all depends who you're talking to in those communications. Some professionals will actually send smilies and then you'd just mirror their tone.

        I don't find smilies the problem I find my need to add a kiss at the end of my sig a real pain - it's like a bad itch - to kiss or not to kiss that is the question.

        But as we're all friends... V x
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  • Profile picture of the author bryllescot
    And so do I. In my own point of view, inserting smiley in a formal business sense is such a big NO, this will only imply informality.

    However, to use it on pals, or individuals whom you've known personally is heartwarming.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andrea Wilson
    I dont know why but maybe because Im quite young that it is normal for me to use smileys. :p

    Sometimes I also think about how it may seem unprofessional to use smileys because they are more casual but I cant help it. Especially if you feel like smiling and wants the person you are talking to, to know that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tracey_Meagher
    I think we should call this Smiley Overuse Syndrome (SOS) ... or Smiley Out of Context Syndrome (still SOS ) . I've got it bad. I use far too many smilies in business and in personal communication. It's a habit I'm working to break.

    I think the need to smiley a lot comes from the desire to show you are a friendly, pleasant person in a communication context that is horribly impersonal or lacking the inter-personal!

    I'm a nice person ... really ----- > proof
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    • Profile picture of the author Wide
      Originally Posted by Tracey_Meagher View Post

      I think we should call this Smiley Overuse Syndrome (SOS)

      Good one :p
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      • Profile picture of the author Sandgrown
        I'd say it depends on who your professional contacts are and whether they/you are in a formal industry.

        I normally post them all the time in forums though.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by Wide View Post

    To me smileys looks a bit "unprofessional".
    It depends on the context, and the image of yourself that you're trying to project, I think. I find them very useful, sometimes, to convey "tone" in a way that would be much harder in words.
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  • Profile picture of the author tacoverhoef
    I could of course only answer in smiley´s but than you would probably not understand a word of what I would try to say. :p

    Any way in business mails I would not use them, but to my subscribers on a personal note I would and thats business to?

    So what is the difference, well lets just say that not all business are created equally.
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  • Profile picture of the author paulie888
    I've seen many professionals use them in emails, and I think it's become socially acceptable to do so for the most part as long as you don't overdo it. It implies friendliness and informality, and as long as you don't use it repeatedly in one email or drop it in a formal written letter then I think you'd be just fine.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lloyd Buchinski
    A lot of deep thinking has gone into that question, especially in this thread

    That's the very first smiley I've ever used. The thinking was just a bit philosophical, with questions like "Did any of the great traditional writers ever use smileys?" Never! You just don't see that.

    "Didn't Van Gogh add one to one of his letters?" Nope, that was finally exposed to be just a clever forgery.

    "What about Kevin Riley, does he use them?" Give that guy a small graphic and he'll use it to display his presentation points. But that's a good point; maybe it would be OK to use them.

    (That's an excerpt from my little odds and ends page.)
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    • Profile picture of the author tpw
      I add them to forums relentlessly, usually to offset what could ordinarily be perceived as a harsh statement...

      I include them in my articles occasionally, to pass on a tone of playfulness...



      I do include them in business communications, but only in email communications....

      It is really a question of style...

      With customers I have worked with for a long time, there is almost a friendship there, and smileys are acceptable...

      With other customers, I often seek to create a conversational relationship, so that my customers and I can communicate with one another more openly... Towards that end, I believe smileys help that cause...

      I do have two customers who insist on overly formal communications, and I always mirror their style... I have tried telling them to call me Bill... They won't... So, I always address them as Mr., avoid the use of smileys, and sign all communications with a full signature...
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Jordan
    My problem is that I forget to use smileys even in forums that I have to remind myself to use it to make it look friendly. Hmmm. I'm looking for that smiley and I can't find it.
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  • Profile picture of the author nigelzephyr
    well, for me having smiley's on forums or in communicating with your clients is depend on the situation you're in.
    beside a little smiley can't hurt for it shows what kind of person you are on the smiley you'll put..

    i guess it'll help you more in communicating your customers.
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  • Profile picture of the author oneplusone
    I think it depends on the situation.

    For example, if the tax people contact you and ask you some questions about your tax return, it probably isn't wise to reply back with smileys after your answers
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    • Profile picture of the author tpw
      Originally Posted by oneplusone View Post

      I think it depends on the situation.

      For example, if the tax people contact you and ask you some questions about your tax return, it probably isn't wise to reply back with smileys after your answers

      Yeah, I would not recommend the bird smiley for the revenue service either... Even if it is the one that will best represent your mood in that situation...
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      Bill Platt, Oklahoma USA, PlattPublishing.com
      Publish Coloring Books for Profit (WSOTD 7-30-2015)
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        To whom it may concern:

        Mr. Platt summed it up nicely for me in post #16, so I won't repeat it here.

        Sincerely,

        John McCabe

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  • Profile picture of the author Gary King
    If it fits your personality, then yes, use them.

    Be yourself. Not a back-side kisser. If you are a smiley person, then use them. If not, avoid them unless as others have suggested you are trying to lighten something that could be misinterpreted.
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    • Profile picture of the author oneplusone
      Originally Posted by Gary King View Post

      If it fits your personality, then yes, use them.

      Be yourself. Not a back-side kisser. If you are a smiley person, then use them. If not, avoid them unless as others have suggested you are trying to lighten something that could be misinterpreted.
      I agree, but don't forget that not all smiley's ARE smiling
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  • Profile picture of the author eddy6112
    In professional emails theres nothing wrong to put in a smiley when you pitch a product to develop more of a friendly relationship with the person on your list.

    Go for it smiles away
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    • Profile picture of the author oneplusone
      I think a line has to be drawn somewhere though





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  • Profile picture of the author Sarah Russell
    Oneplusone - Oh my god, I f'ing LOVE the moonwalk smiley...

    But yeah, I way overuse the smiley. I'm a happy person, and I want to convey that in my writing and business communications, but I know that it can convey the wrong impression.

    It does, however, come in handy when delivering back-handed complements via email...
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    • Profile picture of the author oneplusone
      Originally Posted by Sarah Russell View Post

      Oneplusone - Oh my god, I f'ing LOVE the moonwalk smiley...
      I got it from this website in the dancing category:

      Animated Smileys » Animated-Smileys.com

      It has a great collection.

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      'If you hear a voice within you say "you cannot paint," then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.' Vincent Van Gogh.
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  • Profile picture of the author Colin Palfrey
    I think it leads to a more interesting question, which is do you actually want that barrier of formality.

    I am not sure if the formal approach works anymore, and isn't modern business about building relationships? Something to think about anyway

    Regards,
    Colin Palfrey
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  • Profile picture of the author Andrew_Cheyne
    I personally think smileys are cool in e-mails,

    They are really great on forums and such, but in a professional e-mail maybe just use them like you would use an "!"

    I never use them in my actual "day job" where I have to send e-mails all day, but when I get one in an e-mail it seems ok, I don't think any lower of them...
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  • Profile picture of the author joadcrank
    Depends on the situation....
    If you are talking about some business things, I think the formal approach works more good instead the informal.
    Some people like smiles, some not, but the I think it's important for first to know the person who you're talking and see if he is that kind of guy that really likes smiles.
    Or... if you see that he is using smiles, then use them too.
    Good luck.
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  • Profile picture of the author peakperformer
    In my opinion,

    smileys can also be used in professional communiaction, but not too overtly.

    Personally for me, even when communicating with professionals and formal situations, i still use a smiley or 2 in my messages. I havet got any bad responses from this so far. In fact, the response to my communication are all pretty good.

    I think the reason for this is because if you can apper very professional and formal in your tone and communiaction style, and yet still add 1-2 smileys, it shows that you're dynamic and have another "fun" side to you as well. It makes the interaction seem less boring and serious as well.

    Even if the communication is very formal and you're talking to an absolute authority/ superiror, adding in a smiley or two shows that you know how to balance your style, and it makes him/ her feel at ease too. This can be even better than a whole message without any fun or smileys in it.

    So for me, it's still smileys most of the time
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  • Profile picture of the author radar9628
    I have to admit a :O) makes a message more human IMHO, but I think professionalism suffers if I throw them in to emails to people I barely know. I reserve them for people I have been emailing awhile professionally and pretty much whenever I feel like it for personal acquaintances.

    Good question!
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    • Profile picture of the author CCGAL
      This thread just taught me something important. :rolleyes:

      I wondered why sometimes I didn't see the Smiley box on the right. :confused:

      Well, I can't believe I failed to notice this sooner.

      Hitting Quick Reply on the bottom right hand corner brings up a box sans Smiley.

      Now I see that there's a larger REPLY button on the left hand side of the screen. :p

      That's where I find the Smiley Box.

      I am now a very happy camper.
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  • Profile picture of the author jointaldc
    I think smileys are important as well as "lol" because they way I am(very sarcastic) sometimes it's needed. Though, when talking to customers and other professionals, I try to stay away from the sarcasm as much as possible because I don't want to put "lols" and smileys in a conversation. Makes me look a lot less professional
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