Social Media is full of myths and misconceptions, but one has become quite prevalent in recent months. I interact on multiple social networks on behalf of dozens of clients, so I’m constantly researching content, reading posts, blogs, etc. It’s unfortunate that so many people post to social networks under the assumption that online communications are informal. It is as if the social media gods loosened the rules with regards to spelling, grammar and capitalization. In my opinion, online communications personify you or the organization you represent. Whether you realize it or not, viewers judge you or the organization by not only what you write, but how you write it. Content is key, but if you post something of relevance with complete disregard for the English language, I’m far less likely to pay any attention to it. Yes, it is often difficult to consolidate your thoughts to 140 characters for the purposes of posting on Twitter, but is it really that hard to spell check your tweet or capitalize a person’s name?
Why should you worry about case sensitivity or spelling on Facebook? I can think of tons of reasons. For example, there is a laundry list of regulations limiting how much information a potential employer can request from a candidate, therefore many recruiters are looking beyond employment history for a broader view. Your interactions on social media provide a potential employer with a window into your world: your communication skills, your personality, your attitude about previous employment, etc.
Social Media is a fabulous platform for communication. Just remember to cross your “T’s” and dot your “I’s”.