Blog Post

Do you know which emoji to use in business texting?

business texting emojis

Plus 17 abbreviations to use in SMS

One of the benefits to business texting is that it creates more personal engagement with your contacts. With 98% average read rates and an average 48.5% response rate, you want to make sure your contacts are understanding what you’re saying.

With limited characters, emojis and abbreviations can serve a great purpose in getting the message across in a short amount of words. But do you know how each audience is interpreting your short-hand?!

A Duolingo and Slack survey found:

74% of people have had some misunderstanding with an emoji, either their emoji was misunderstood, or they misinterpreted someone else’s emoji…or both! 🤣

😭: 25% use it to mean tears of joy, and 25% use it for crying from being upset.

🙂: 37% believe it means happy, 24% use it for general positivity…and for 20%, it means deep exasperation or mistrust!

SMS is a preferred communication method—especially with younger generations, but how they view emojis and abbreviations is different than older generations. Emojis have become so popular even is evaluating the definitions. Here are the top translations so you can text more effectively.


Thumbs up emoji 👍

Millennials: Usually means a positive acknowledgement such as “good job” or “I got it”
Gen Z: Uses this more ironically or as passive-aggressive communication such as “sure, whatever”

Folded hands emoji 🙏

Millennials: Tend to use it as a high five
Gen Z: Tend to use it as a thank you

Hourglass emoji

Millennials: not used often but indicates time is ticking or time check
Gen Z: not used with anything about time; used to describe attractiveness and an hourglass figure

Some emojis’ intended use has changed regardless of the generation using them. Hootsuite found some emojis that have different meanings.

Clapping Hands 👏
Can be used to congratulate on a “good job”.
Can also be used as “clapping back” when someone responds to an insult or criticism in a witty fashion.

Hair Flip 💁‍♀️
Often used to describe sassiness.
It actually is the symbol of an information desk person.

Goat 🐐
GOAT acronym
“Greatest of all time” to emphasize someone amazing


Speaking of acronyms used as emojis…

Since emojis have taken on descriptions of acronyms, we thought we should also spell out a few common abbreviations + acronyms to help you communicate better!


2mr – Tomorrow                                                          OATUS – on a totally unrelated subject

ATM – at the moment                                                 SMB: Small/medium business

BTW – By the Way                                                       TBC – to be confirmed

DYK – Did You Know                                                  TIA – thanks in advance

HTH – Here to Help                                                    TIL – Today I Learned

ICYMI – In Case You Missed It                                 UGC: User-generated content

IMO – In My Opinion                                                  WDYT: What do you think?

LI: LinkedIn                                                                   WYGAM: When you get a minute

LMK – Let Me Know


Happy Texting!📱


State of SMS Engagement 2024

Looking to increase engagement with your candidates, prospects, and customers in 2024? Look no further! We conducted a survey paired with usage data to figure out which communication channels are most effective for which industry and size. Discover all of the tips about business communication and download our free report today!

text messaging demo

Get a TextUs Demo

Learn how thousands of businesses use TextUs everyday to communicate in real-time.