Neil Steggall
Neil Steggall Partner at Wardour Capital Partners

How important is grammar and syntax in social media?

In your experience, does bad grammar and syntax have a negative impact on your social media?

Top voted answer
Bridget Holland

Bridget Holland, Director at

Top 10% Advertising

Sorry, but I think you're asking the wrong question!

The importance of grammar and syntax is first and foremost decided by who the target market is.  Teachers are likely to care more than teenagers if your grammar is not up to scratch.

The second consideration is what you are trying to sell.  People are more likely to forgive poor grammar from a plumber or a hairdresser rather than a financial advisor or a lawyer, even when all are selling B2C.

All that aside, the simple rule is that fewer people are turned off by good grammar than by bad grammar, so err on the safe side.  Unless of course you are a punk band with a rebellious anti-establishment brand position, or something along those lines...

Bree Vreedenburgh

Bree Vreedenburgh, Success Coach at BV International

Hi Bridget - I disagree with your second consideration - no matter what type of business you run, poor grammar and syntax make you look unprofessional - even if you are a lowly plumber or hairdresser. It's not difficult to ask someone to read over what you have written to pick up any mistakes you have made - if your post is shoddy, then your potential customers may think your work will be shoddy too!

Bridget Holland

Bridget Holland, Director at

Bree I think I need to clarify. I am firmly with the majority on the side of good grammar and syntax - however, the original question was not about whether these are important, it was about HOW important they are. My point is that if your offering is something which requires a high level of literacy (to read contracts, spot disclaimers etc), then errors in use of language become MORE important. So when a hairdresser offers 'free treatment with first 10 apointments booked', I am less concerned than when a financial advisor offers 'free super review with first 10 apointments booked'. BTW I wouldn't call a plumber or hairdresser lowly either. They (good ones at least) have great expertise - it's just that their expertise is not so dependent on language!

Lisa Creffield

Lisa Creffield, Founder at

It is incredibly important.  Writing well is a reflection of your intelligence and professionalism.  Social media is also public media.

If you want to use colloquial "text speak" among your close friends and family by all means do so, but make sure it cannot be accessed by anyone in the business world. 

Even with Twitter, and its tight character limit, it's still possible to write tweets without contractions ("u"/"ur"/"4") and it looks far better.

I'm always staggered how many people have errors of spelling, punctuation and grammar in their LinkedIn profile summaries. Including people who work in communications-related fields, from media to PR & marketing. There is absolutely no excuse for that.

Michelle Tupy

Michelle Tupy, Content Writer at Freelance Writer

I would say it is very important.  Of course we all make mistakes and the odd error slips through (particularly noticeable after we hit the post or send button) but if the text is laden with errors then I am definitely going to take the organisation or the individual less seriously.  If you want to look professional regardless of your field, then my advice would be to take care in all that you do and write.

Katherine MacPherson

Katherine MacPherson, Principal at The Hunter Box

At the end of the day, Social Media is a way to converse with your community. While Twitter is restrictive with the number of characters available (and therefore the audience is a bit more forgiving), I tend to agree with the majority here that bad grammar is bad communication - regardless of your audience. Always put your best foot forward, and find a way to get your message across quickly and in few words to get the cut through. 

Ling Lee

Ling Lee at Digital Marketing and Personal Branding

4 personal use, gramma and syntax doesnt matter, but for PR purposes it is extremely important - because what you post is a reflection of your company's image.

Tim Greig

Tim Greig, Owner at Green Galah Pty Ltd

I assume you're trolling, Ling Lee becasue you couldn't possibly be serious with a sentence like that!