Social media. It’s a bit informal, yeah? Nobody’s going to be checking your spelling or getting all pedantic with your grammar, are they?
Well, actually, they might. Just because you’re not writing a novel or a newspaper story doesn’t mean you can let all language convention fly out the window. Remember, it’s your brand you’re representing, and who wants their brand to look sloppy?
We agree that one of the beauties of social media is how quickly you can get your message out there, but if no one can understand what your message is, it’s a bit of a fail really.
Here are our top tips for making sure you’re understood.
Spell it out
While some firms have carried it off (online retailer ASOS brilliantly styled out a misspelling on thousands of plastic bags), more often than not spelling errors will just make you and your brand look unprofessional.
If you’re unsure how to spell a word, look it up. If you’re still unsure that you’ve got the right one, trade it for another. It might take an extra minute, but could be hugely important in making your brand look polished and professional.
Know your audience
Think about who you’re talking to. Are you only aiming at people in your particular field or do you want to attract followers from all walks of life? If you want to spread your message far and wide, keep it simple. We’re not saying dumb it down, but save the technical talk for your industry colleagues.
And on a related note, don’t try to be to down with the kids if you’re, um, not. Using the latest slang when it doesn’t come naturally to you or your followers is a big no-no and can turn people off your brand. In fact, research has shown that 38 per cent of users find it annoying when brands use slang or jargon, so pick a communication style that works for you and your audience.
Let’s eat, grandma
Take the comma out of the heading above – not so wholesome now is it? A misplaced comma can spell disaster for your message – you need to make sure you’re as clear and unambiguous as possible.
In fact, the humble comma is so important that, in 1872, its omission cost the US taxpayer millions of dollars. So, have a read of your posts before you send them off into the Twittersphere, and check that your message is really saying what you want it to say.
Of course, mistakes happen when our fat fingers are hurrying to get the message out, and the odd mistake won’t matter. But if your feed is littered with spelling errors, jargon and grammatically-ambiguous posts, it could affect your brand perception, and not in a good way.
Confused by commas? Stumped by syntax? Throw us a bone on 01325 486666 and let us do the hard work for you.