Too many businesses seem to forget customer service and best practice as soon as they venture online. They behave as though any sales behaviour is allowed via the internet.
In fact, with so many people relying on the web for shopping, socialising and research, these companies risk alienating huge numbers of people and damaging their corporate reputations.
So what kind of bad behaviour is most common and is your organisation guilty?
One of the newer social platforms to be used for online marketing, Twitter is already host to some abysmal practice.
Many businesses forget that it’s designed to be a social tool and they market at users relentlessly.
Of course, an additional danger with Twitter is that people can share their frustrations with their followers very easily, so mis-using this platform can be particularly bad for your reputation.
For example, some major brands have been slammed for using popular newsworthy hashtags to advertise their products. Negative comments on Twitter can spread like wildfire if you’ve behaved badly.
Here are a few more things to avoid. Make sure any marketing agency you use avoids them too:
- Tweeting marketing and advertising comments but nothing else.
- Failing to respond to genuine questions or criticisms.
- Spamming people simply because they’ve used a term you think is relevant.
- Following thousands of people in the hopes of generating more follows back.
All these common mistakes show that the business has not grasped the subtler purpose of Twitter.
The good news is that many companies have considerably improved their email marketing, partly because of legal requirements.
But many still burn out their contacts by misusing their details.
Here are a few of the most common reasons you’ll lose customer trust and damage your brand:
- Emailing irrelevant offers.
- Passing on their email addresses without permission.
- Sending too many emails.
- Failing to protect your data.
- Not offering an easy unsubscribe option.
- Landing in the spam/junk folder.
I spend so much time extolling the marketing and networking virtues of a blog but it’s important to remember that it has to be done well to be of benefit.
Done badly, a blog can make your organisation look unprofessional or spammy and your staff badly educated.
A bad blog is not better than no blog at all. In fact, you’d be better off forgetting the whole thing if you don’t have the resources to do it well.
So, here are the most common mistakes and issues that I see on corporate blogs:
- Sales pitches instead of useful, informative articles.
- Irrelevant or useless content.
- Attention-grabbing or alarmist headlines that aren’t backed up by the content.
- Errors in spelling and grammar.
- Rarely posting so the blog looks uncared for.
There are few things as satisfying within the online marketing sphere as paid advertising.
You put money in and you get a specific number of visitors and an easily measured return.
The more you refine the terms you want to bid on, the more relevant your visitors are, making them more likely to convert.
But even in this, some businesses make mistakes that risk alienating their potential clients and wasting their investment.
Most paid search mistakes will simply cost you money and waste your investment, but there are errors you can make that alienate your visitors and damage your brand.
Here are just a few:
- Bidding on vague terms, meaning you’re unlikely to give the visitor what they want.
- Advertising around contentious subjects, for example, a national newspaper bidding on ‘Madeleine Mccann’.
- Placing ads around specific products that you don’t have in stock.
- Advertising a specific product but then taking clickers to an irrelevant or generic page.