As society has become more and more digitally focused, acronyms and abbreviations have become a staple in texting, social media and more.
While reducing the number of words you type can save time, it can also leave your work illegible and unnecessarily complicated. There is a big difference between texting a friend and creating strategically crafted content for your marketing strategy.
Knowing the rules of abbreviations and acronyms can help you save time and space, while keeping your message clear and professional.
4 Do’s And Don’ts Of Abbreviation For Marketing
- Do: Shorten Names of Reoccurring Titles
Writing out the name of a business or title can become redundant and take up unnecessary space on the page, especially if you need to type it repeatedly. Even in your marketing content, it’s fine to go with abbreviations and/or acronyms that make sense – as long as it’s easy for readers to follow.
For example, if you are writing about the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s okay to refer to it as the CDC after mentioning it in full written form first. For formal documents, just remember to make a notation that it will be abbreviated from there on out, for example: Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Do: Keep Your Audience In Mind
You want your brand’s voice to be consistent across your social media platforms. Unless it’s part of a very specific marketing strategy only targeting a younger demographic, don’t let your updates on Twitter (or any other platform) read like a teenager’s posts.
When every phrase is reduced to three or four letters it’s not only hard to read, but can also cause frustration to those who may not be up-to-speed on the new lingo.
- Do: Use Numbers Instead of Writing Them Out
Using numbers instead of their written long form can save space on a post, plus it can be beneficial to your marketing. To a reader on a screen, the number 23 looks more appealing than twenty-three. This tactic is particularly useful if you are looking for ways to increase user engagement on social media or attract attention through blog titles and e-newsletter subject lines.
- Don’t: Abbreviate or Use Acronyms in Longer Content
With the exception of my first tip above, acronyms and abbreviations should not be included in any of your business’s longer content (e.g. website copy, blog posts, e-newsletters, etc).
Suppose you are reading a blog post, and all of the sudden you read “YKWIMR” with no context relating to the clump of letters. While this could stand for, “You know what I mean, right?” it is an ugly, confusing gathering of letters that your reader most likely won’t be able to follow.
Don’t give potential or current clients a reason to think you are unqualified or hard to communicate with, and don’t assume that your readers will know the same acronyms you do. Some take great interest in knowing digital slang, while others may not understand basic internet short-hand like TY (Thank You) or BTW (By The Way).
This is also true for acronyms or initialisms that are specific to your field. Hard to understand jargon or abbreviations without context are off-putting for those that may not know the ins and outs of your area of expertise. By utilizing easy-to-understand language, you’re more likely to secure customers.
Next time you are writing posts for your business’s marketing content, think about what you should and shouldn’t abbreviate. Readers may feel alienated or annoyed if they have to struggle to figure out what your acronyms mean. If you need something to remember all of this by, the classic KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) reasoning could help you along the way.
If you have questions about acronyms or need help with other parts of your marketing strategy, contact us at Three Girls Media for a complimentary consultation. We have a full staff of seasoned marketing professionals who are eager to help you reach your marketing goals.
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