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January 25, 2012

Everyone, by now, understands the importance of online brand presence and the various vehicles to help build and maintain it.  The most popular routes to boost one’s online brand presence where it needs to be are social media, blogs, and website content.  All three rely heavily on the written word yet companies are more and more often neglecting the English language.  There is no quicker way to lose respect from one’s audience and actually hurt online brand presence than by getting lazy with grammar and spelling.

Social media has been quite a blessing in terms of improving online brand presence.  All of the wonderful aspects of social media that make it so appealing are what make it so easy to lose control of proper grammar and spelling.  First of all, misuse of language is rampant on sites like Facebook and Twitter.  Even the most devoted English grammar-abiders can’t help but fall victim to the ‘everyone else is doing it…’ mentality.  While one’s audience may misuse homonyms and misspell common words frequently companies must take the high road and stick to writing good copy all the time to increase online brand presence.

The casual tone of blogs and social media also lends itself to the misuse of grammar.  While there is absolutely nothing wrong with dropping the formality, something which is a great tool for building an online brand presence, when posting on the company blog certain rules must still be strictly enforced. There should always be a distinction between conversational tone and bad writing.  Fragments should be avoided at all costs.  Misplaced modifiers should not exist and all words should be spelled correctly.  Tone has nothing to do with these issues.

Errors found in website content are perhaps the most disturbing. The website is the company’s online clothing.  It should display the best the company has to offer.  When customers and potential customers see misspelled words and grammatical errors within the website it damages online brand presence and sends the message that the company is not professional.  No matter what the company sales or offers in services correct grammar and spelling must be used on all web pages.

The trend to let grammar, spelling and punctuation slide is upsetting. The entire profession of editing exists to catch such errors and is now being disregarded in lieu of fast and easy.  While it might be fast to throw a Facebook post up without review it’s a company’s online brand presence that suffers if it isn’t up to par.  By taking just a little bit of time to review and edit all writing, even a simple Tweet, companies can guarantee they present a professional image and, in turn, maintain their online brand presence they worked so hard to attain.


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