It is no surprise that technology and the rise of social media channels along with generational differences change the way marketers communicate. However, there is one thing that every communicator needs to keep in mind that will never be outdated – grammar. I teach a college strategic writing class and discovered that grammar still plays an important part in what we do every day here at work. It turns out, even “Gen Z” finds grammar important in the tweets and social media advertising they see every day.
Grammar makes or breaks a brand’s image in the public eye. Bad grammar causes publicity, and in this case, not all publicity is good publicity. Case in point, a brand can lose both credibility and money by having errors in their SEO, advertising and on their website. Studies show that on average, a visitor who lands on the typo-free page stays 8% longer on the site. Maintain your customer’s trust and loyalty by avoiding careless errors so your product’s quality does not come into question.
Bending the Rules
With social media being so prevalent and companies being more friendly and relatable to their customers, the rules may be bent. Language is also a creative outlet for brands. Just ask Chick-Fil-A who created their iconic slogan in 1995 with their beloved cow mascot misspelling the word “chicken.” Trying to persuade a consumer to buy your product may involve bending the rules, but make sure you know who your audience is and use strategic messaging to reach them specifically.
Finally, the cursed comma. Professionals still debate the use of the Oxford (or serial) comma to this day. Some communicators consider the comma stylistic, but those abiding by AP style know that it should be thrown out the window. This means some professions still use and follow this rule, so just make sure to know what publication or audience you are writing for and research if they adhere to a certain use of the comma.
Grammar Is Not Dead
Much like journalism, grammar is indeed not dead. Even though marketers use casual conversation now more than ever to speak to their audience, it is important to use it strategically and not accidentally use bad grammar. Even for that tweet you’re about to post.