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The Evolving Art of Social Media Writing

Writing and language have changed in the last few years. Words have emerged in dictionaries that were unheard of in years past (Have you gotten “hangry” lately?) and styles have shifted. ProFromGo looks at writing in the social media era. 

Social Media Punctuation 

One of the most noticeable changes in writing is in punctuation. Double exclamation points (!!) are par for the course on Twitter and Facebook as a way to show emphasis. But the shortcuts of these platforms have inadvertently created a few issues, too. 

Punctuation Spacing and Trailing Thoughts

Have you noticed some odd spaces before periods on social media? That’s because of hashtags (#profromgo). The way hashtags work is to connect words as a single string in order to ultimately group trending topics, but they never include punctuation because we haven’t been taught to search topics with punctuation in keywords. As a result, periods, exclamation points and commas are offset apart, which is confusing at the end of a #sentence . See what we did there? The same thing holds true with tags and mentions (@profromgo).

Social media: Follow @profromgo for the best #digitalmarketingtips .
Word processing: Follow ProFromGo for the best digital marketing tips. 

Another confusing convention that’s gaining prominence is the trail off. More and more in social media writing, thoughts trail off without punctuation. You’ve written a quality post with valuable information, but on platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook have inexplicably left off the final punctuation mark in a post with three sentences:

Social media: ProFromGo Internet Marketing is your one-stop-shop for digital marketing, web development, design and content. We’ll take your project from ideation to completion under one roof. Call us today
Word Processing: ProFromGo Internet Marketing is your one-stop-shop for digital marketing, web development, design and content. We’ll take your project from ideation to completion under one roof. Call us today!

Grammar and Word Use

The simple way in which we use words has changed in the social space. It comes in a few forms, too—from spelling to improper grammar. The reasons? It probably has a bit to do with our reliance on shorthand and how quickly we communicate via social and text messages. 

Contractions and Word Forms

Did you ever notice that contractions have morphed? Check your social accounts. It’s likely that a friend could of done something recently. It happens the most with “have” contractions—could have (could’ve), would have (would’ve), should have (should’ve). The habit likely stems from writing the way that words and phrases sound, rather than how they are constructed. 

Language is incredibly fluid on social media, but word meaning remains. Words with multiple spellings are frequently confused. I’ll go to the birthday party, to. It’s easy enough to forget the right form of a word when there are three spellings (there, their, they’re; to, too, two). Because shorthand and quick typing are so common, though, it’s even more important to keep an eye on grammar to ensure that the intent is understood. We won’t get into a full on grammar lesson (though our content team would love it), but for instance, to is a preposition and should express relation to a noun; too is an adverb and should modify an adjective or verb. 

Trust ProFromGo for Social Media Management 

Writing doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult. In fact, we like to keep it pretty simple. But we can help your team to boost its communication game. Social media really has turned communication on its head, making conversational styles commonplace, even for companies. 

The important thing to remember as a business is the need to strike a balance between casual and professional. A few relevant hashtags are helpful for engagement and traffic (Keyword: relevant) and occasional emojis are OK, too. But be mindful of the differences in how you’d write for your personal accounts and your professional ones. Let our team at ProFromGo use their expertise to communicate effectively on social media and tell your most important stories. Get in touch about paid and organic social media management services today.

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