12 Quick Editing Tips to Social Media Managers
JAPADOG Is a great little business that operates a food restaurant and truck in my hometown of Vancouver, BC together with all the stated mission of “creating the world happy and living via hot dogs!”
As it’s possible to imagine, a few JAPADOG lovers were shattered when this informative article seemed on Facebook:
Since commenters began mourning the final of the much-loved shops and carts and wanted the owners well in their future jobs, JAPADOG stepped in to explain that they were only closing for the day.
This is a cute and harmless example (though the “I just had a mini heart attack” commenter might disagree) of a case where a few seconds spent editing a post for clarity could have prevented a misunderstanding. This but the stakes are not always really low.
Accidentally tweeting pictures of nationwide tragedies to unwittingly making light of national violence, the sphere of social media bombarded with cautionary tales of brands reeling as slip-ups on societal burst into PR disasters.
And while there are some truly horrible typos on societal (like Yahoo Finance’s now-legendary accidental racial slur), a cringe-worthy typo may do irreversible damage to your new. Research by Worldwide Lingo has discovered that as many as 59% of clients will not conduct business with companies that publish articles with poor grammar or spelling errors.
A little good old-fashioned editing may conserve your brand and your job.
As an editor that began working back at the days once we’d publish copy decks and then mark them up using real pens, I have seen lots of things change through recent years. However, the worth of clear, accurate writing has not changed in any way.
Here are my very best pointers that will assist you to stay away from the nightmares of a media supervisor and make editing a speedy and painless portion of your publishing regular on societal.
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12 editing strategies for social media articles
1. Edit like a trauma surgeon
Trauma Surgeons utilize triage for a method to prioritize patient therapy and optimize the number of survivors.
As a social networking manager, you may not have the time to look up if there is one “l” or 2 at “traveling” (answer: it is different), but you need to really spare a couple of seconds to make certain you and your staff are not boosting your opponents or even depicting signaled sex functions in advertisements for a household restaurant.
Like an injury attorney, learn how to determine life-threatening (or in your case, career-threatening) requirements and treat them. Maximize the number of survivors.
2. Edits like Beavis and Butthead
Before If you are not planning for suggestive humor, then fix it until the web gets its filthy mitts on it.
For reasons that should be obvious if you’ve ever used the internet, supermarket chain @aldiaustraliasoon regretted this tweet:
3. Handle humor with care
Social Humor and media make a fantastic couple. Everyone enjoys a fantastic laugh… except if they are attempting to discover how to return a faulty product you offered them. Or if they cannot determine why an error message keeps popping up from the applications they purchased from you.
Before Cracking a joke, know about the psychological state of those people that you’re talking to, and of course, the broader context where you are communicating. Anybody who works in customer support will inform you the people who live in the refund line are a tough audience.
And as a social networking professional, you do not want me to inform you it’s never a fantastic idea to create a joke where the punchline relates to an individual’s ethnicity, sex, or financial status.
To bring this point home, here’s a now-infamous and spectacularly inappropriate #TacoTuesday tweet by Dave & Buster’s sports bar that never should have seen the light of day:
4. Have Somebody Else edit your job
If I had to guess, I would say none of the cases I have included up to now in this article have been seen with over 1 set of eyes until they were published.
As writers, we all have our blind spots. (I am pathologically and strangely incapable of recalling with confidence that grey is spelled with an”a” and also need to look up it all of the time. Go figure.)
Luckily, we work with different men and women. Even when you’re a solo professional, then there is likely someone in your life with an adequate sense of taste and style who would not mind glancing through your tweets until you launch them in the wild. And when you are in a service or brand, you have probably got a staff member (or a whole group) who’ll be happy to point out you should really quit using commas to join independent exemptions. Rewrite anything peculiar
5. Rewrite anything ambiguous
As the proprietors of JAPADOG discovered, ambiguity breeds confusion. Before submitting, ask yourself whether everything you have written may be misunderstood. If it might, start looking for a better way to write it.
“Biweekly” is a good example of an ambiguous term to avoid
All of the entertaining word videos in the editors of Merriam-Webster: term history, perplexing use, and other interesting facts.
Twitter Advertising information and solitude
When the dictionary apologizes to get a definition, so you know that it’s time to search for a different word.
6. Know the difference between good and bad compulsiveness
Yes, the principles of grammar and use are significant. No, every breach of those rules is not an error.
In the Elements of Editing (composed in 1982, but nevertheless a fantastic read), veteran editor Arthur Plotnik shares examples of terrible compulsiveness (fussing over small formatting and grammar principles ) and decent compulsiveness (obsessively rewriting a headline before it is perfect).
Plotnik’s Advice holds up now. After editing, maintain your focus on creating content as engaging and effective as you can, and on catching errors which truly have an effect on readability and clarity.
Another editor whose take on this I love is Carol Saller, author of The Subversive Copy Editor and editor of The Chicago Manual of Style Online Q&A. Her book is a worthwhile read on how editors can “resist compulsions, banish insecurities, and develop habits of carefulness, transparency, and flexibility.” If you are a word nerd, follow with her on Twitter in @SubvCopyEd.
Twitter Select Your style police
7. Choose your style authorities
A day in the life of a social media manager is far too short to waste debating whether to use the serial comma. (Wish my opinion? Simply use it)
Pick On a couple of style authorities to utilize as a tiebreaker in these types of talks (or even better, to look up words and use rules before you begin arguing with anybody). If you work in a service or in-house to get a new, your brand staff might have sorted out this for you.
You will need a design and use guide for overall questions of fashion, and a dictionary for punctuation. Here at HootSuite follow the Associated Press Stylebook for use and design and Merriam-Webster for spelling (equally have useful online variations, though you will pay a couple bucks per month to the AP Stylebook).
As your home style evolves, you will probably diverge from some of these spellings and use rules in your fashion authorities of selection –that is where your own fashion manual comes in.
8. Maintain a home-style manual
Each brand which publishes content needs to keep a home-style manual. A well-maintained style manual makes it simple for new authors on your staff to get up to speed, and it ensures you’re writing content that is consistent.
Launched brands typically have significantly more detailed and comprehensive style guides, particularly if they’re in the publishing industry. The Chicago Manual of Style is pretty much the gold standard for print, and the AP Stylebook is a popular one for journalism and general writing. I’ve long been a fan of the Mailchimp Content Style Guide, which perfectly strikes a balance between providing just enough guidance to write well without getting into overwhelming detail.
Your Style manual does not have to be superbly made or comprehensive, particularly in the beginning. Just create a record where you record design choices as you create them so you’re never going to have to make the identical choice twice. A cheat sheet of off-brand articles or alternative phrases and words to prohibit is a valuable section to add.
If you are ready to begin creating your home style manual, here is where to begin. Know what functions in your networks
9. Know what works on your networks
Creating Content that is free of new disasters, awkward typos, and inconsistent stylistic options is a fantastic baseline from which to begin –but there is not much purpose crafting perfectly edited articles when it does not inspire involvement and response from the audience.
Part Discover how to quantify the effectiveness of your articles. Learn how to utilize hashtags. Get Support from tech
10. Get help from technology
An Editor’s job is to assist authors to deliver excellent content. Great conservative backup editing is 1 way you can assist, but you will find an increasing number of software tools which may perform some of the heavy liftings for you.
Assess our listing of composing tools and try using a number of these along with your own team. I am a fan of this Hemingway App for eliminating unnecessary verbiage, also of Grammarly for assessing grammar, spelling, and internal consistency.
While you’re checking out Grammarly, I also recommend subscribing to their blog, if just for their cheeky editor-baiting welcome email:
11. Build editing into your social workflow
If you work in a service or on site for a new, you probably already use social networking management applications to handle various social networks and reports.
An essential characteristic of the sort of applications is the capacity to handle approval workflows. Hootsuite’s Team, organization, and Enterprise program s allow you to set up your groups and workflows to stop innocent mistakes –also as not-so-innocent rogue articles.
HMV could have benefited from workflow and approval features during their very public Twitter meltdown:
12. Write well
If You are likely to assume to enhance the material that a writer has agonized over, it is a fantastic idea to put yourself through a bit of the misery yourself.
At the very least, practicing the craft of writing yourself will make you a more sympathetic editor. it is going to also assist you to keep creating a nuanced sense of the finer points of speech –something that is indispensable in both editors and writers.
If you have not read The Elements of Design, get it and see it today. It is a classic and a fast read which covers the basic rules of composition and usage every author should master.
And for advice on composing for social websites, you have to look no farther than the abundance of advice on this site. We have composed a wealth of information about the best way best to compose calls to activity, clickable articles, and content which converts. Wish to write quicker? Want tools for non-writers? Inspiration from individuals who can enable you to write better? Launched tweets? It is all here. Enjoy.
There’s a lot more to editing than being a grammar grouch. (Incidentally, if you are still using the word “grammar Nazi,” please see this bit out of @grammargirl on why it is time to discontinue).
Maintaining your brand’s standing to assisting your staff to grow as authors, you perform with a Burning within you. We edit to allow the fire series through the smoke”