Digital marketing, when done correctly, can access thousands of consumers with a click of a button, forge interactive relationships between company and consumer, and help develop a voice for the brand.
When done incorrectly, it can annoy and confuse customers and actually really damage a company’s reputation. Below are some of the most irritating, strange, and easily avoidable mistakes that digital marketers make that unintentionally hurt their companies:
When the online voice doesn’t match the company’s voice:
The company is very professional yet their online voice is weirdly young, fun and/or inappropriate.
Example: Your bank tweets “Just got my Friday paycheck! Can’t wait to invest it at @BankX ! #rollinindough”
The voice should be the voice of the company, not the voice of the digital marketer himself.
One of the key things marketers learn in school is that consistency is the key to a solid brand image. When luxury companies like Porsche come out with a crappy line of cars under the same name and begin using #YOLO in their tweets, consumers get spooked.
When the company confuses quality with quantity:
Digital marketers want to constantly keep their consumers engaged. They decided that the best way to make sure that people are always thinking about their company is by bombarding them with mass emails and annoying tweets every ten minutes. Emails should be used as tools to maintain relationships with customers or inform them of news such as a new product launch or a special offer. Emails sent every hour with near-random content crosses from effective marketing to the spam category, and the consumer usually unsubscribes. Along that same vein, tweets should serve to engage the consumer by publishing content that is interesting and fun, not shamelessly self-promoting every five minutes.
When it’s so clearly automated:
I recently read an article by a blogger who was getting extremely fed up with a company he had made a purchase from. He spent €500 on a couch, yet even after the purchase was made he continued to receive emails asking him if he wanted to buy that same couch. He felt somehow insulted by these emails and said that these annoyingly impersonal attempts to “connect” with him actually cancelled out all positive feelings he had felt toward the company before. It had become obvious to him that these offers were automated.
Digital marketers should personalize their offers using data such as shopping habits and personal tastes ALONG WITH past purchases to ensure that their recommendations are relevant.
When they aren’t properly tailoring their content to match the platform they’re using:
Example: An email that reads out like a tweet, or a Facebook post that reads out like an email. There exist subtle differences between the “norms” of content and voice on each platform. Learn them and use them!
Or they just aren’t properly using the platform:
Twitter is not a place to hold an open forum. The viral nature of the platform and the highly interactive environment is a recipe for young users to respond to tweets with sarcasm and hostility. J.P. Morgan hosted a Q&A on Twitter and ended up just getting heckled and ridiculed. The lesson to be learned is that PR interviews should be held in a controlled environment with rules, not on a nearly-anonymous, practically anarchist platform like Twitter.
Sometimes, the best kind of a How-To is a How-Not-To. In the world of digital marketing where a company’s reputation can be slashed by a single hashtag, it’s essential to be aware of these potential faux pas in order to avoid them.