One of my current clients is a fitness brand. Personally, I’m interested in fitness and spend my own time reading articles and magazines about fitness, nutrition and sports. So, when I came across this article on EliteDaily about reasons why the fitness culture on social media needs to be stopped, I was pretty intrigued.
After all, fitness and social media go hand-in-hand remarkably well, and I can think of few better places to spread the fitness culture than on social media. If you’re interested in fitness, social media has a wealth of information, tips and tricks from medical professionals and everyday gym rats—a pretty valuable resource, all in all.
I was all prepared to write a really great blog post about the reasons why fitness social media brands need to be cognizant of how they use social media, so as not to offend their readers, but I stopped about two paragraphs in. Why? Within a single paragraph, the writer of the article misspelled both the words “tilapia” (a common whitefish) and “heifer” (“heffer?” Hmm…). I changed the trajectory of my post immediately, because I could no longer continue reading the article and assume that anything the author had to say was legitimate.
Maybe this is a little harsh, but it served to remind me of a few things about social media. First, find an editor for all of the content your brand produces. Even if you don’t use social media, and your company only produces web content or copy for marketing materials, use a copy editor for anything you produce. Copy editors are trained to look at a paragraph with a laser eye and pick out all those words, paragraphs, and phrases that need to be fixed.
Even if you think you’re the best writer in the world, you need an editor, and yes—it’s worth the money. Professional writers have their work filtered through an editor, because it is extremely difficult to produce any piece of content that doesn’t need to be edited. You must have another set of eyes to fix the mistakes in your copy before you publish it anywhere.
Errors are problematic for several reasons. They undermine your credibility immediately and make it seem as if you spent no time on the work. If you’re lazy about your social media, what’s to make a customer think you won’t be lazy about them? I have worked with brands that think their time is better spent on what they are good at, whether that’s fixing cars, selling clothes, or promoting public health. That seems like a great argument for hiring SMC!
In case you aren’t convinced, here is a pretty terrifying statistic for you: Studies show that a single spelling error can cut a company’s online sales in half. In half! That’s tremendous, and translates to an equally tremendous amount of money. “Companies’ websites, advertisements, and media outlets provide approximately a 6-second window to grab a consumer’s attention. That means whatever a consumer decides to look at in that 6 seconds needs to be 100% correct,” says BrandingBeat.
The moral of the story? Errors matter. Fix them. Allocate a part of your budget to a human Spellcheck. Hire a contractor. No matter how you decide to do it, make it a priority this quarter for your materials to be error free!
Image Credit: CC by Jess Pac