Tips for writing cleaner social media copy

Data suggest people make more writing mistakes on digital platforms than anywhere else online. Don’t become one of them. Here are some things to avoid.

When was the last time you read a social media post that contained an error?

It probably wasn’t too long ago.

Great writing is in decline. As content continues to be mass produced, readers are seeing more errors in self-published posts.

Where do people make most of their writing blunders? On social media.

Grammarly—a popular writing app—analyzed more than one billion words, and data suggest people are making more mistakes when crafting social media posts. Email and blog copy were reportedly much cleaner.

Often, social media managers are posting too quickly and not catching all of their mistakes. Data suggest writers made three times as many mistakes on social media as they did in email, and more than six times as many mistakes with blog copy.

Here are some things to note, from Grammarly:

  • People made an average of 39 mistakes per 100 words in social media posts.

  • Early birds writing between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. made more than 18 percent fewer mistakes than night owls writing between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m.

Which words trip people up this most? The top five include:

  • Apostrophe mistakes (e.g., let’s versus lets)

  • Too versus To

  • Everyday versus every day

  • There versus their

  • Than versus then

Be sure to proofread your work—and try not to rush.

Michelle Garrett is a PR consultant and writer at Garrett Public Relations. Follow her on Twitter @PRisUs or connect with her on LinkedIn. This post first appeared in 2016.

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