Companies and organisations deploy significant resources and professionalism to ensure their printed word is spot on, but I remain amazed when they fail to pay attention to their tweets.
Twitter is one of the main communication tools available and yet mistake after mistake is tweeted, something that can and should be easily avoided. Just this month on my timeline alone I spotted five examples of lazy writing/editing.
First up, this is Arriva Bus in Kent who “canceled” a bus service, didn’t start a new sentence, then “apologized” and finally stated they are “en devouring” to get the service back, with no period at the end. A period is the correct name for a full stop, in case you were thinking I’d just made a pretty weird mistake myself.
Here National Rail Enquiries chose not to pluralise “Customer” and used “there” instead of “their”… unless there was only one customer, in which case it should’ve read “The customer may use her/his ticket…”
National League South side Chelmsford City were delighted to announce a new signing. Unfortunately they identified Phil Roberts as a “former striker” whereas Roberts is very much still a striker who had formerly played for Chelmsford City.
This is the Ebbsfleet United supporters’ trust suffering from unnecessary capital letters and floating apostrophe syndrome.
And finally here’s Dominic from Transport for London’s new Elizabeth line. Firstly, the train company is Southeastern, secondly he’s used “on their service” closely followed by “on the new service” and then “on the Elizabeth line” when some variation would have been nice. Next it’s a Travelcard rather than a “Travel card” and finally that ticket will be accepted not “excepted”. Not a great tweet.
You’ll have noticed that these five tweets were published by two types of organisation – those operating in non-league football and travel companies/information providers. The former are likely to rely upon volunteers to provide their social media content, while the latter are either inundated with tweets or feel under pressure to issue information as soon as possible, or both. Does that excuse lazy writing?
Some would argue that the purpose of each of these tweets is to impart information, and each of them has done so successfully. The reader knows and understands the meaning of the message, so surely no harm done and let’s move on. Right?
Wrong! Spelling mistakes, poor punctuation and a lack of attention to detail presents an extremely unprofessional impression of a company or organisation. A tweet is as important as an annual report and should be checked prior to posting.