By Jen McKee
In these days of the instantaneousness of social media, there is often not as much importance placed upon grammatical correctness within the message as upon the message itself. That is, people are often in so much of a hurry to get their message out there, that proofreading becomes a casualty.
Unfortunately, despite the frequency with which this happens, it is a detriment to the message itself. Whether it’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or any other social media platform, you want your message to reach its intended audience, and you want your message to be effective. Incorrect spelling, grammar, or punctuation undermines your message – even negates it.
As a consumer, when I see a business post with grammatical and/or spelling errors, my confidence in that business feels shaken – regardless of what their specialty is. I may be so surprised by or disappointed in the error that I completely miss the message itself, or worse, decide to focus my attentions on another business altogether. This is the exact opposite effect the post was meant to have!
One of the easiest ways to identify likely scam emails/text messages is they almost invariably contain errors in use of the English language. Personally, if I see glaring grammatical or spelling errors in an email from someone I don’t know, I tend to identify the message as spam or junk and delete it before reading any further. I once wrote off an email from an employment recruiter because of a glaring spelling mistake. Thankfully the recruiter followed up with a telephone call, because it turned out to be a fantastic opportunity. But had she not called, her email may have ended up in my trash folder just because of what may have only been a typo.
Don’t let this happen to your message! The first line of defense against writing errors in marketing or networking social media contact is PROOFREADING! NEVER, ever post without first rereading what you have written. And don’t just skim it over. Deliberately look at each word, each punctuation mark. Read the post backward; this often helps your mind separate each individual word from your thought as a whole. Sometimes when you read through your thought, you see just the thought, and may not notice if you have an extra word or if you have used the wrong form of a word.
Never underestimate the importance of good writing, proper grammar, and correct spelling in your social media contacts. If possible, schedule your social media posts. Plan on what days you will post which messages. Write them ahead of time, review them, then put them aside and come back and review them again later. Have someone else read them over. I’ve said it before and I will continue to say it: your eyes will often see what you mean to say and not necessarily what you have actually written – it might take a completely different set of eyes to find errors. Don’t let simple, avoidable writing mistakes muddy your message. You could miss out on some fantastic opportunities for business growth.