Bravr’s Content Queen Adilla Parish explores if spelling and grammar still matter in the age of text speak
In a world where more and more people are using txt spk, is it possible that spelling and grammar still count when it comes to digital marketing, content and social media? Amongst the English geeks there are often (scintillating) conversations about how, in years to come, the Oxford English Dictionary will add m8, gr8, luv as approved spellings; about how the children of the digital generation will grow up using an almost entirely different written language to the long-hand generation. In an age where anything goes, where Americanised spelling is more and more often accepted as “ok”, how important are spelling and grammar to your marketing campaign?
Spelling, Grammar and Social Media
As far as brand awareness and confidence is concerned, Social Media is an incredible way to increase trust in a brand. However, it is also one of the biggest ways to lose trust and therefore established potential customers. We’ve all seen the odd clanger on Social Media; the grammar or spelling faux pas that make you want to gouge out your own eyes. These errors are becoming more and more common; does that mean that they are more acceptable? In short: no. One UK study last year asked just over a thousand consumers what would be most likely to damage their opinion of a brand via social media. The winner, with an overwhelming 42.5%, was…. you guessed it….. poor spelling and grammar. Even when these results were broken down into age, the 18-24 year olds, those aforementioned children of the Digital Age, voted for poor grammar and spelling as their second biggest brand turn off (after infrequent posts).
Spelling, Grammar and Digital Content
Right, so we no that your gonna loose custom if you’re English is bad on Social Media. Is it so important in digital content? I mean, as long as you know what you are talking about in your industry, whether or not you know the difference between “your” and “you’re” is irrelevant, right? Well, actually, wrong. Branding and marketing are essentially based on trust. Whatever your industry; travel, healthcare, automotive, b2b, correct English is a way of demonstrating your professional, knowledgeable approach. All too often we see ok content with terrible grammar. Instead of displaying their excellence in their field, these websites display unprofessionalism, a low marketing budget and a general lack of attention to detail.
It is important to distinguish between bad English and use of colloquialisms; we have talked before about the importance of understanding the target audience and using appropriate language to engage that audience. For example, when writing a glowing review of MIC you may say the last episode was “totes amaze”; a term that you would certainly not want to use when describing a B2B company’s service provision! As a general rule; if in doubt, keep it out! No one will notice if you have used a different word or term, whereas people will notice if you use a word, term, or punctuation inappropriately, with potentially drastic consequences.
As the English Geeks continue to nod their heads and congratulate themselves on their perfect use of the semi colon, it is most certainly time for agencies to take note; poor English skills may be on the rise but they are most certainly not acceptable. Whilst the English Language continues to evolve, one thing is certain; bad English can damage your brand and the lack or surplus of apostrophes could cost your business dearly.
Bravr provides digital content services to clients looking to increase brand trust and brand awareness. We will create content that represents your ethos and services whilst appealing direct to your target market. To find out more about our digital content services, contact us.