When I was in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at UNC Chapel Hill, spelling and grammar played such an important role in everything we wrote and published, that in many classes, turning in a single error resulted in no credit whatsoever. Now, as someone who scours social media marketing on Twitter and Facebook throughout the day, I see liberties being taken with the English language that I cannot believe!

Obviously, social media has changed the way we communicate and blurred the line between good, bad, and acceptable grammar. In Twitter’s case, being limited to 140 characters necessitates abbreviations, acronyms and new spellings for commonly tweeted words. So, when I came across Twitter’s best practices for journalists, including examples, I was thrilled to see a guide on what Twitter itself thought about where the “line” still stood.

For their research methodology, Twitter looked at 150+ journalists and news publishers and analyzed thousands of tweets over a six-month period.

  1. Tweet your beat and tweet it live: For people who post a concentrated number of tweets in a short time span (i.e. liveblogging coverage), follower growth is 50 percent more than average.
  2. Use hashtags for context: Yep, we all know this one, but you probably didn’t know that it can increase engagement almost 100 percent (2x) for individuals and 50 percent (1.5x) for brands.
  3. @Cite your sources: This stat is a bit confusing, but it says that brands that tweet 20 percent fewer URLs and 100 percent more @mentions grow followers 17 percent more than average. This means you should mix up your tweet style to post a mixture of links and mentions to grow your audience. Again, probably something we all already knew.
  4. Share what you’re reading: News accounts receive 100 percent more (2x) active engagement on a high-performing tweet when a URL is included. Also, use that retweet button!

Most of these are pretty obvious, but the devil’s in the details, and it’s important to remember that your brand’s voice is just as affected by the grammar and spelling choices you make as your content itself every single time you hit publish.

We’ve harped on grammar and spelling previously, here at Argyle, so maybe we’re sticklers, but what’s your opinion? Are you LOL’ing with your community, or would you never substitute ‘tho’ for ‘though?’

Sources also include Media Bistro, and Image from Squidoo

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