It’s not just what you say – how you say it also matters. As companies clamour to be heard on LinkedIn and other social media sites, the drive to share quickly and share frequently can lead to the types of errors you wouldn’t be happy to see on your website, in your advertising or on printed collateral. So why do we accept them on social media?
We know each channel has its own personality and protocols, and we’ve become used to seeing chatty posts on some outlets that blur the boundaries between formal and informal communications. But LinkedIn is primarily a business platform and, while it’s great to project your brand’s personality with your posts, ideally this should not be at the expense of minimal standards of spelling, grammar and punctuation such as those you’d expect to see on the CV of anyone applying to work for you.
In recent months I have seen some eye-watering bloopers in all sorts of online posts – even the BBC is not immune. I’ve seen senior figures and influencers sharing their wisdom with striking banner images that are let down by headlines littered with stray apostrophes. It is hard to believe no-one thinks it worth taking a second look or sharing the post with a colleague before it goes live.
It’s not just about spelling, grammar and syntax though. There are the vaguely worded posts that give little incentive to click on the supplied links; shared posts with no indication as to why the content seemed shareable; posts with no call to action; posts with so many tags and hashtags the viewer loses interest in trying to decode them, and then there are the ‘shouty’ posts in capital letters that are simply off-putting.
A good marketing communications professional will help you tell your story in your own words, but they will also make sure those words and their presentation don’t undermine your credibility. Of course, they will do much more than that, too – ensuring your posts engage with your audiences and encourage them to interact with your brand or your organisation; that the content you share inspires, educates or adds value for your followers. Crucially, they will work with you to ensure that your online presence enhances your reputation, so you can be seen as you would want your audiences to see you.