Social media is the perfect place to publish your writing. Whether it is a blog, a Tweet, a status update or simply sharing an article, you have created something for the whole world to see.
In its simplest form, social media allows us to publish content that we would like our audience to see & hopefully deliver information that is helpful and valuable. Our strategy is to form engaging Tweets within 140 characters or write stories as a blog post. Whichever way we we look at it, creative writing targeted to each social network is at the core of our marketing tools to increase our digital voice.
However, as much as you can teach people to use social media networks effectively, is it possible to teach people to write online content effectively?
Poor presentation, grammatical errors and spelling mistakes
Sadly, as we travel around our social networks there are many poor samples of writing that have been attributed to well know companies. Is this down to the copy-writing team? Or is this simply a community manager who really should know better?
A website or blog is often the first place that you visit to learn a little more about a company or business, so if your online content has many spelling errors or grammatical mistakes, then why should your visitors take you seriously? Even worse, add into the mix the spelling mistakes in your promotional Tweets and status updates and suddenly the perception of your business can reflect badly on your credibility.
You may have fantastic products, amazing services or great stories and news to tell, but if it’s badly presented, muddled or ill thought out then your readers will probably go elsewhere for their information. This is especially important if you’ve gone to the time and effort to promote your articles publicly on Facebook & Twitter.
The web never forgets
Journalists and newspaper editors are often told to write so that the average fourteen year old can understand it, but this doesn’t mean that your content has to look like a fourteen year old has written it! Just take a look how many times you see ‘there’ ‘they’re’ & ‘their’ used in the incorrect context while your Facebook statuses scroll merrily along. The biggest and most popular mistake in the 2013 social media spelling charts is that all time family favourite – your & you’re.
It looks really unprofessional and sloppy if you casually throw content out to the world without checking it. The fact that you may use a spellchecker doesn’t cut it either. The spellchecker doesn’t know the difference between their, they’re or it’s and its. Everyone that comes across your Tweets and blog posts notices it though and it’s rather embarrassing if your industry is to provide professional services.
If you don’t have anyone else to proof read your content then read out what you are about to publish. This will show mistakes if you have muddled the point of your article or have missed using the correct spelling and punctuation. If it’s difficult to read, then re-write it.
Have publishing standards
If you are writing articles on behalf of a company or business, then please do check the content that you are putting out on the web. Anything of poor quality will just diminish your credibility in the eyes of your readers and the company that you represent. If you don’t have a skilled writer in your team, it may well be time to consider employing one to help with your social media and online copy.