Let’s just get that out of the way. In my opinion, the answer to this click-bait headline is a resounding “yes”.
It definitely depends on the audience you’re targeting – and in some cases the platform you’re using.
Let’s examine why.
For starters, we all get a lot more stupid – at least when it comes to grammar. According to a recent poll by Tidio, 94% of US respondents say they pay attention to grammar. Whew, grammar nerds!
However, when showing sentences that contained seven common grammatical errors, only 2.8% of the same people who said they were paying attention recognized all of the problems.
Holy crap. Apparently they didn’t interview any PR people!
So we’re not that smart. This is the relevant point 1 in support of “grammar does not matter”.
Item 2 – If you’re targeting a younger audience, grammar may not be as important to them as an older set. Think about how Generation Z grew up with a phone in hand. They’re not nearly as text-based as generations before – they spend more time on YouTube and TikTok, and use emojis and shapes from Broken English to communicate on Snapchat.
In fact, I’ve seen brands like Glossier post such things on TikTok on a regular basis.
Which brings me to point 3 – writing in the voice and style of the platform. Platforms like Snapchat, TikTok, Instagram and even Twitter in many ways favor brands that communicate with fans without adhering to general grammar rules.
Check out what McDonald’s is doing here.
No capitalization – multiple! And McD’s uses abbreviations for “your” and “you”. I can’t believe it’s in the McDonald’s brand style guide! But here they are, doing just that. Because they write in the style of the platform – and in their customers’ language (a lot of people don’t cut Twitter and use shorthand letters like McDs did here).
Finally, point # 4 – the focus is much more on the visual anyway. Choose your social media platform – in almost every case (with the exception of LinkedIn), the visual will be what gets customers’ attention – not your copy. So how grammatically correct does it really have to be? I’m not saying you have to do whatever it takes to make your posts grammatically FALSE. But maybe you don’t have to invest that much time in the approval process to make sure everything is 100% correct from a grammatical point of view.
Again, I ONLY play DEVIL’S ADVOCATE HERE.
My Opinion: Grammar is important. 100%. But I could see certain situations where when targeting a younger audience you might throw caution to the wind in order to get in touch with them a bit more.
It’s not just possible – it happens every day on the internet.
Grammar nerds: shuddering with horror.