I’m no English professor…but I do have a background in journalism. So I have numerous pet peeves when it comes to spelling mistakes. We’re not talking typos here, because I too have some clunky thumbs and constantly fighting autocorrect. What I am talking about is complete misspellings and wrong connotations of some common phases used regularly in the social media space.
Perception is everything and how you show up online speaks volumes about you and your business. While we’re not in competition to win the Putnam County Spelling Bee, spelling and grammar definitely matter. Did you know that a few years ago, the BBC reported that spelling mistakes in the UK cost businesses millions of dollars in sales in 2011? In just one year, businessmen and women missed out on mountains of money over something as simple as misspelled words. It’s not because they were lacking education or literary skills. More than likely it was due to failure to proofread and/or spellcheck. We’ve all been there right? You’re rushed to get that piece of content live for the world to see, so you type up a quick caption and post it only to review it later and find 3-4 typos and misspelled words. GAH! We’re human — but take that pause, read it again, then post!
So why is it that something as tiny as failure to give your materials a once over can have such a major impact? Here are a few possible reasons:
Spelling Mistakes can make your business look unprofessional and careless
I would love to be known as an expert in my field and I’m sure you would too! But that can be hard to do when spelling mistakes are present in everything from the copy on your website to your marketing materials. Poor spelling and grammar can make your business seem less than professional and greatly subtract from that expert title. And hey, you can be a next-level genius, but misspelled words have a way of waging an unexpected attack on your intelligence when all people know of you is what they’re getting through your material online.
Misspelled words negatively affect SEO
Misspelled words can lower trust in your brand
Every day can seem like you’re in the trust-building phase of your business because being online allows you to be exposed to new clients daily. When people don’t know you, they are less likely to spend money with you, so you must avoid giving them any extra reason to doubt what you’re capable of.
Now that we’ve discussed why proper spelling and grammar are important, let’s look at 5 commonly misspelled or misused words and how they’re supposed to be used.
Affect vs. Effect: Affect is usually a verb which means to impact or change, and effect is a noun which refers to the result of an impact or change.
To vs. Too: “To” is a preposition or a word that demonstrates the relationship between two things, while “too” means as well or also.
There vs. Their: “There” means in or to that place and shows where something is located. “Their” on the other hand is a possessive pronoun that means belonging to them.
Your vs. You’re: “Your” is a possessive pronoun that shows that something belongs to you. “You’re” is a contraction or a shortened form of “you are.”
BONUS: My absolute pet peeve on social media, and for all my real estate friends and product-based business owners, this one is for you, friends.
Sneak Peak vs. Sneak Peek: Peak is a sharp pointed end (as in a mountain peak or roof peak) whereas, peek is the proper term to use in this phrase to give you a look behind-the-scenes before anyone else.
So there you have it. My purpose wasn’t to give you an English lesson today, although I’m quite sure this could pass for one. But my goal here was to point out some little mistakes made by business owners, most of the time unknowingly, that can add up to big, costly mistakes. Just taking a few extra minutes to proofread or even employing some of the grammar software available (Grammarly is a great one!) can save you lots of money! And don’t hesitate to enlist some help if writing and spelling aren’t your strong points. Some most successful people are successful because they know how to build a team of people who are excellent in areas where they may fall short. Hey, we love to write over here and would be happy to join your team! Give me a call!