5 Grammar Mistakes to Avoid on Social Media

We’ve all seen improper grammar and spelling mistakes from people on social media, but how much worse is it when a business makes those mistakes? If your posts contain spelling errors and inconsistent use of whether or not you capitalize the second word of your brand’s name, your content marketing is falling short. Audiences expect professionalism in grammar from a brand, no matter how casual the voice of your brand may seem.

It’s best to reread and revise posts before posting, and depending on the importance of the content that’s being posted, it’s a good idea to have another set of eyes look over the material.

  1. Possessive Nouns

We all learned the basics of possessives back in elementary, but sometimes you might still find yourself wondering: is it dogs collar or dog’s collar? Singular nouns receive an apostrophe before the s as in dog’s collar. Plural nouns receive an apostrophe after the s as in the dogs’ collars. If the noun is singular but ends in an s then you must add an apostrophe after the s, as in dress’ ribbon. 

  1. Misspellings

Aside from purposely misspelled words that are in the brand’s name, misspellings should never occur in a social media post for your business. It’s also important to notice that if you’re pulling content from an international source, you may have to revise the spelling to suit your audience demographic. For example, if you pull information from an Australian article on “The Benefits of Yoghurt” and use a fact from the article, correct the spelling of the Australian yoghurt to the American yogurt.

Spell Check is not sufficient when it comes to misspellings. Read over every letter, not merely every word, in your post before publishing. Watch out for transposed letters (letters in reversed order), for example: motrgage vs. mortgage. If you are unsure about the official spelling of a word, use Merriam Webster Dictionary. Google results can render a variety of spellings, but with a trusted dictionary site you can learn the proper spelling.

  1. Use of i.e. and e.g.

I admit, I’m guilty of this mistake. The terms i.e. and e.g. are not synonymous. Beware of using one when you mean to use the other.

No, i.e. does not mean “in example.” The term i.e. is Latin for ‘id est’ (it is). Use this term when clarifying a statement – not when giving an example. Think of i.e. as a short-term for “in other words.”

 Although e.g. does not mean “example given,” the phrase is a helpful reminder to its actual translation. The term e.g. is Latin for ‘exempli gratia’ (for example). Use this term when listing an example (or multiple examples).

  1. Capitalization

One of the most common mistakes a business can make is inconsistent capitalization. If you use the same terms to describe a product’s name or services your brand offers, be clear with how you decide to spell them. Decide on a protocol for how your business chooses to use specific words. This tactic will create consistency for your brand’s identity. For example, will it be “Hair Care” or “Hair care”? When in doubt, always capitalize each word of a product, service, or keyword relating to your business. Capitalization helps brand a specific word and make it stand out as an important term instead of a general term.

  1. Incomplete Comparisons

While incomplete comparisons can include complete sentences, they are incomplete thoughts. Avoid making statements like “Our company is bigger and stronger.” What does this really mean? Bigger and stronger than who or what? Be specific. To compel your audience, you need to provide specific and unique information. For example, “Jim Bob’s Electric Appliance store offers 35% more washers and dryers than department stores.”

Remember, grammar is a basic but highly important lesson. Published authors have editors, so why shouldn’t the social media posts that are representing your brand? If you see a spelling or grammar mistake in an already published post, go back and edit it. Unsure how to revise already published posts? Learn how to edit a Facebook post. A properly spelled post makes for a professional brand.

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