Grammar and spelling turn off social media readers

161586According to a new study coming out of the UK, 42% of web users have their opinion of a brand negatively impacted by spelling and grammatical errors. That tops the list of things that turn people off of brands’ online postings, a list that also includes posts being too “salesy” and the perennial complaint that some brands publish too much.

All three of these are, of course, legitimate complaints but there’s only so much the publishers themselves can do about them. Unfortunately the realities of the world mean that many of the complaints cited will continue to haunt publishing programs for the foreseeable future.

Addressing the spelling/grammar issue specifically, even if a program has, effectively, multiple checks in place – meaning someone writers, someone edits/approves and someone else actually publishes – occasionally a typo is going to slip through. It’s true. If a program is publishing 200+ posts a week then one or two things may make it through the process with errors.

And here’s the real truth: That’s alright.

This may betray my Weblogs Inc roots but I firmly believe that a slip up every now and again shows in a way that all the experiments with voice and so on can’t. Yeah, I realize that it’s not good and equally believe that such errors should be avoided at all costs. But an error rate of <1% is well within what I believe to be an acceptable margin of error, regardless of what the Facebook commenters (many of whom can’t write their way out of a paper bag) might say. Fix it and move is is my motto.

That being said, there are things that brand publishers can do to make sure it doesn’t happen to them. I mentioned having multiple layers of approval in place and I’d also recommend doing drafting in something like TextEdit that will flag at least blatant misspellings where many online publishing software solutions may not.

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