Common Sense Editing
Sometimes I come across a post on Facebook that’s just so plain silly I wonder where all the poster’s left brain common sense muscles have evaporated to. Maybe they got tired. Maybe they’ve atrophied.
Maybe they’re on vacation.
Of course, I mean silly in regard to editing and writing. Not silly as in cat-riding-Roomba silly (that’s just plain funny).
Take this post, for instance:
The poster, a realtor, asks the question:
Are you decreasing your homes value with even know it?
Which has spurred me on to offer you good readers (and businesspeople) these
3 Common Sense Rules of Social Media Editing
Common Sense Rule #1: The words actually have to make sense.
I get this person was probably in a hurry. Perhaps they had a signing to get to, a showing to take care of, maybe there was some crazy client going to voicemail because this person was desperately trying to finish typing their one sentence promotional post. I get that: Promotion is important.
I get that things can get crazy and sometimes you may not realize what evil auto-correct is doing to you behind your back.
Really. I get it.
But I also get that it takes about two seconds to read a one-liner. And it takes just as long to realize that the words in said one-liner don’t even make sense. And it takes about five more seconds to realize that when you post something that doesn’t make any sense up on your business page people won’t take you seriously and you’d better fix it. Like, now.
Bam. Rule #1 in ten seconds. That’s faster than putting on spray lotion.
Common Sense Rule #2: Emulate accurately.
See the apostrophe in the shared article’s title, in “home’s”? See how that apostrophe isn’t in the person’s post?
Yeah. All they had to do was copy it. They didn’t.
Which means one of three things:
1. Their shift key isn’t working on their phone/laptop/tablet, so there was no way they could type an apostrophe. (Of course, that’s doubtful, seeing as they most certainly were able to type a question mark and, besides, on a normal keyboard you don’t even have to press SHIFT to type an apostrophe. Wanna see me do it? ‘ <– BAM! No shift key. Amazing.)
2. They’re too lazy to type an apostrophe, in which case prospective clients may not take this person seriously.
3. They don’t care about how they look on social media, in which case prospective clients may not take this person seriously.
Regardless of the reason, if you’re going to emulate a post you want to post about, then mirror it, punctuation and all (as long as it follows Rule #1, of course. Gotta make sense, people! Gotta make sense.).
Common Sense Rule #3: Check back.
Notice the time stamp: 10 hours. Sure, I was critical at first but I also thought that I’d give this person an opportunity to fix their post before letting loose my judgment. But… 10 hours? That’s a full-on workday-plus-commute of letting this post be up there like that, for all the world and bosses and prospective clients and friends and blah-de-blah to see.
Did nobody tell this person in 10 hours that their Facebook post is jacked? I was hoping that some kind soul somewhere (including their co-worker, who posted just minutes after) would send this person a text or a private message, something like…
“hey man I saw u put a post up. it dont make sense. u need to fix dat.”
That’s right. I’ll even take a haphazardly typed message as a fair warning!
But, simply, you can’t rely on people to let you know when your post is whacked… or when your fly is down… or when you have spinach in your teeth.
That’s why you’ve got to swing back around — eventually — and CHECK YOURSELF!
Ten hours and this person hasn’t checked back to see how their post was doing. Ten. Hours. They just type it out, forgo rules #1 and #2, and leave it there to simmer in its own nonsensical juices.
It’s a damn shame.