Study Shows That Spelling Still Counts

LOL, IDK and BRB mean more than just “laugh out loud,” “I don’t know,” and “be right back.” They are symbolic of the shortcut to communication many millennials are using in their text messages and emails. But as it turns out, these trendy communicators have little tolerance for spelling and grammar errors.

In an online Harris Poll conducted from July 31 to August 4 of 2015, Dictionary.com reports that responders in the 18-34 year age group were bothered – more than any other age group – by spelling errors on social media.

The study cited the types of misspellings, commonly confused words and grammar rules that bothered respondents of all ages the most.

As a writer, it’s nice to see the value of the written word hasn’t diminished by the shortcuts and abbreviations most of us use today to communicate. In our world where cell phones and tablets are with us 24-7, responding to messages or posting updates has never been faster and easier. We are always reachable, and replying is as quick as a few finger strokes. With that kind of volume, speed, and accessibility we are bound to make mistakes.

Mistakes make an impression about you and your business, so when you are composing or responding on the go to text messages, emails, or messages on social media, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Slow down a little. Devoting a few extra seconds to composing a message isn’t going to take up that much of your life. Editing will go faster if you haven’t made any mistakes to begin with.
  2. Proofread everything at least once before you send it. Even the shortest texts and emails. Be on the lookout for spelling errors, grammar errors, and words that auto correct guessed wrong. The Internet is full of embarrassing examples of auto correct’s well-intended suggestions that changed the meaning of a message entirely.
  3. Don’t rely on spell check. It’s a good first line of defense, but it’s not foolproof.
  4. Read each word individually. This will help you identify words you have left out because you couldn’t type as fast as you were thinking.
  5. Don’t get comfortable. While texts and emails can’t be retracted, most social media outlets allow you to edit your post or update. Don’t slack off on composing or proofreading because of this. You may not catch the mistake before someone else does.
  6. Be polite. Don’t forget your manners when you’re in a hurry. An abbreviated “pls” or “thx” for please and thanks goes a long way toward making an impression with your recipient.

Technology is a wonderful thing that allows us to be connected to each other and our customers more than ever before. The study proves that no matter what the age, most people still value accuracy when it comes to the English language. So get back to the basics. Proofread your work, even your shortest and fastest compositions, and make sure your message is received the way you intended it.

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My Inbound Certification

Last month I earned my Inbound Certification through HubSpot. I’d like to tell you what I thought about the program and the value it has added to my business.

HubSpot’s website claims that its certification keeps you current with the latest inbound marketing trends. The certification has credibility, as HubSpot is a well-known resource for marketing information and software. They frequently update the certification curriculum to provide you with the most up-to-date and valuable information. Once you earn the certification, it is only valid for 13 months. Then you have to retake the updated program in order to get recertified.

The certification is a combination of 11 online classes/videos and a timed 60-question test. The slides from each of the classes are available to download, and there are additional resources at the end of each class, such as blogs and ebooks, that relate to the topics if you want more information.

The certification is free to anyone willing to invest the time and pass the test. It won’t cost you monetarily, but there is a time commitment to the program.

Each of the eleven classes is 35-45 minutes long. And while the concepts may not be new to veteran marketers, their approaches and terms, like Inbound Methodology, Buyer’s Journey, and Buyer’s Personas, are very specific. They are referred to throughout the program, so it’s best to start at the beginning and watch each one in order in its entirety.

Once you’re certified, HubSpot will give you a personalized badge and certificate. You can print the certificate, and place the personalized badge on your website, in an email signature, or on your LinkedIn profile.

Overall, I was impressed with the program and thought it was well worth my time. While I knew much of the general content, HubSpot’s approach made me consider marketing processes and best practices differently. The certification gave me a broader understanding of the Inbound Methodology (i.e. sales cycle) and a stronger foundation for my work with clients.

If you are thinking about taking the class, here are a few benefits that earning the certification will have on your business and your clients:

  • It shows that you are serious about your work
  • It demonstrates that you are committed to growing in your profession
  • Your increased knowledge makes you a better resource for your clients and customers
  • It proves that you finish what you start

Please contact me if you’d like to learn more about my experience with HubSpot’s certification program or how I can help your business with its content needs.