Friday, 7 October 2011

"Proof reading your blog posts certainly helps too ;-)"

Last week I discussed the common misconception that Social Media allows everybody to be an effective marketer. This train of thought is widely propagated by a whole host of Social Media gurus and experts, who say just follow their hints and tips, or better still, buy their 'how-to' guides, and you too could harness the power of Social Media for your business.

Unsurprisingly, it's not that simple and these tend more towards those 'get quick rich' schemes, rather than actually transforming people into marketing whirlwinds.

As with any worthwhile outcome, Social Media marketing success takes hard work, knowledge and experience. If a company doesn't have the appropriate resources, they better look to a third party, such as eskimosoup, to conduct their campaigns.

Last weeks article was a response to one appearing in Marketing Week and here's a couple more to support the argument from their excellent writer, Mark Ritson. Very interesting reading, especially to see that even the big brand can get it wrong in Social Media

So moving on, this week I want to talk about a comment I received on last weeks blog entry. From 'anonymous', the comment said,"Proof reading your blog posts certainly helps too ;-)", indicating a mistake in my copy. I only spotted one, but there may have been more.

Of course I do proof read my blog's before posting, but apparently not well enough for the odd typo to get through. It's an important point that whenever you publish anything online, be sure to check and double check it.

With the advent of Social Media, with it's status updates and tweets, we're getting more used to publishing regularly. What we publish is more likely to be a short remark, rather than a long, considered article and this brevity, along with just how often these are posted, can bring complacency with the accuracy of the language used. Even big brands make mistakes if you keep an eye out for them.

Now, obviously the subject of this blog isn't the English language or grammar and eskimosoup is in no way an English School, so I don't feel too ashamed. But presentation is a part of our work and spelling mistakes or typos just don't look good. No matter what company you are and however forgiving your audience, mistakes always detract in some respect from your professionality.

Twenty years ago, before the online boom, when a company's marketing activities might be producing a paper catalogue, some posters and a handful of leaflets, there was a relatively small amount of copy to check and get right. In the modern world, where companies are expected to blog a couple of times a week, post several status updates through each day and constantly tweet, that's a heck of a lot more output to control.

But it does still need quality control. Being quick and responsive is part of the nature of Social Media, so having to wait for the Director to 'ok' everything just won't work. Whoever runs your campaigns needs a certain amount of autonomy, a good grasp of the written language and an eye for detail. They need to consider carefully what they're posting and not rush it or they risk those errors coming through and your brand being damaged.

As last week showed, there'll almost always be someone around to jump on your mistakes and leave a comment. This then puts a big sign up for any other readers who didn't notice, making the whole situation worse. It's much better to simply take the due care and attention in the first place.

Right. Now I've gone and done it and written about proof reading, so I'm really opening myself up with this one. Have I made any mistakes or typos? 'Anonymous', over to you...

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