Brand impacts: poor grammar and spelling in social media
I am surprised and dismayed at how regularly I see poor grammar, spelling mistakes and typos in business social media posts. And not just one-off errors, but multiple mistakes.
The importance of correct grammar and quality writing in all business communication cannot be overstated. It’s crucial in presenting your business as professional and trustworthy. When business writing is poor, it can quickly negatively impact your reputation. And that’s not how you want to differentiate your brand.
Making an occasional error in business social media posts is forgivable, and shows we are human. You might argue that it adds authenticity! Even those of us who are fussy about spelling and grammar make mistakes. (If you do notice an error in your post, edit and fix it immediately.)
A Facebook post by a small business offering sales training services prompted me to write this. In the post they had used ‘too’ instead of ‘to’, ‘their’ instead of ‘there’, and ‘weeks’ without an apostrophe when one was needed. And being extra picky, I’d point out the irregular use of double spaces (these are a hangover from typewriter days and unnecessary in modern typography – they are jarring and break the flow of reading). As well as using too many dots in ellipses (which consist of three full stops … with a space either side).
These errors may seem trivial, and some people wouldn’t notice them or care, however, those of us who are particular about such things (and there are many of us) would be left with a negative association with that brand. It made me question the quality and professionalism of the sales training the company would offer.
If you’re not good with spelling and grammar and want to avoid damaging your brand asset, here are a few tips:
Review your post before publishing it, and check anything you’re uncertain of.
Educate yourself on the common mistakes you make and develop a cheatsheet you can refer to.
Write your posts in Word and use the spelling and grammar check (however, this is not foolproof).
Get a colleague who is a spelling and grammar whiz to check your writing.
Invest in a professional writer/editor.
By improving the writing and grammar in your social media, you will protect your brand. It’s one of those things that no one notices you’re doing well, but it certainly gets noticed when you’re not. And it can impact your bottom-line.