Great social media content creation includes a number of components. From vibrant imagery to a powerful message that encourages your target audience to take action, it’s easy for your business to forget one of the most important moving parts of content: good grammar. Not a grammar guru? No worries. With spell check and a host of other online grammar tools right at your fingertips, there’s no excuse for your business to post poorly written messages ridden with grammatical errors on its social media channels. Depending on your target audience, it may be appropriate for your brand to use more relaxed language, but it’s still important to use good grammar.
Our team has compiled a list of common mistakes we find on other company’s social media channels to help keep your in-house social media manager on the forefront of correct grammar:
The Affect vs. Effect Debate
This is a mistake we often see on social media. Affect is usually a verb that means “to influence.” Effect is usually a noun that means a result. For example, if your company is making a change to its business hours, your social media post may say, “Effective July 31, KWSM’s hours of operation will be 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.” If your business is trying to influence or communicate a change, then your posts may say, “XYZ Corporation’s new business hours may affect customers who come to our office to pay their utility bills on Saturdays.”
Could Have, Would Have, Should Have
We’re all human, which means it’s easy to make small grammar mistakes occasionally. But, occasionally and unknowingly making grammar mistakes mean two different things. When writing about something that could/would/should have happened, it’s never correct to say could/would/should of happened. Instead, you should save could /would/should have happened. If your brand’s language is a little more relaxed in its digital space, you may opt to use could/would/should’ve.
The Battle Between “I” and “Me”
If grammar isn’t one of your strengths, the decision of when to use “I” or “me” can be a tricky one. Simply put, “I” is a subject pronoun and “me” is an object pronoun. What does this mean? Use the pronoun “I” when the person speaking is doing the action, either alone or with someone else. Use the pronoun “me” when the person speaking is receiving the action of the verb in some way, either directly or indirectly. It can be difficult to know which one to use when a sentence has a compound subject or object, especially since many people use “me” in subject position and “I” in object position in speech—and this is OK to do. For starters, when deciding which one to use, try removing the other names in the sentences to see if the pronoun you choose still makes sense. For example, it’s correct to say, “Katie told me and my colleagues that we hit our third quarter goals.”
Just as using a consistent brand voice, correct grammar is also instrumental when it comes to effective content creation. Be innovative and be correct as you share your message with your followers. Click To Tweet Trust me; they will notice the typos.
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