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5 things your company should stop doing in digital marketing right now

November 29, 2011


While digital marketing is likely just part of your overall marketing strategy, doing it right can mean great results in a short period of time.

We’ve reviewed five steps your company can take, but did we go over what it should stop doing immediately?

Let’s examine five digital marketing no-no’s, also known as Wade’s pet peeves.

Stop adding people without their consent to your email newsletter list. It’s not just a good idea — it’s the law, better known as the CAN-SPAM Act.

It’s odd to hear business owners worry about spamming their audience with too many junk emails, but then dump every business card and LinkedIn connection into the subscriber list without hesitation. Spam is spam.

By not abiding by the law, you risk losing your entire mailing list, plus up to $16,000 in fines. Plus, everyone hates spammers.

The best policy is to use a third-party service for emails, require opt-in by the user and make it a simple one-click effort to unsubscribe.

You may not have as many subscribers at first, but they’re going to stick around longer because they chose to join the list.

Stop autoposting to Twitter. As a night owl, I see quite a few automated tweets from American companies between midnight and 2 a.m. This is just silly. Why not just rent a billboard truck to drive around deserted streets after midnight?

I also see quite a few daytime tweets from marketers updating their Facebook page, which then sends an overly long version to Twitter. The result? Truncated tweets with links back to Facebook.

A couple of real examples:

Happy Monday from a well rested [company name]. Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with family and… [link to original Facebook update I will never click]

It’s a wet, chilly Cyber Monday, perfect for staying in and giving your loved ones the gift of partnership in the… [another link back to Facebook]

Those weren’t edited: The tweets actually ended mid-sentence.

It’s a good bet that these active Facebook users long ago forgot that the two accounts were connected — they might not even know they have a Twitter account. Some “expert” told them they had to be on Twitter, and that it would be a snap to set up.

I also see a lot of automated tweets going out once a newsletter is sent or a blog post is published. What you save in time (mere seconds) compares unfavorably to crafting your marketing message deliberately for your different audiences.

Stop making everything about Facebook. This will be a fatal mistake for many companies over-invested in their Facebook presence.

As Facebook has shown time and again, it is more than willing to foist changes to the site and the interface with little warning or regard to how it affects users, companies, advertisers and app developers. For example, Ike Pigott shares an example of how his company’s mentions across Facebook simply vanished.

Imagine you are one of the billions of people who (gasp!) doesn’t use Facebook. That means each update, photo album, event, poll question and more from your company isn’t readily available to those users.

Give Facebook credit for this: It’s far easier to upload photos into albums and share quick bulletins there than your own website. Facebook is counting on your laziness to keep you feeding the beast day and night.

Instead, use your alternatives: your site and blog, email, Eventbrite and social media channels (Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and LinkedIn, for starters). The more your practice, the easier you’ll find publishing your stuff without the Facebook crutch.

Stop letting your blog posts wither after publication. Each blog post needs to be marketed, several times and in different creative ways.

A few options off the top of my head: Tweet it; mention it in an email to a valued customer; include it in the email newsletter; link to it in future related posts; turn it into a presentation or a live chat topic; promote it among trusted bloggers; update with additional information.

(And if you’re interested in how to market your blog overall, I have 31 tips just for that.)

Stop handing over money to marketers without metrics. Isn’t this the common lament of every consultant?

When we have our initial consultation, one of the standard questions I ask is about your numbers. How many subscribers, page views, visitors and clicks do you have? How many customers, sales leads and conversions are you after in the next 6 months? And so on.

Often, the ad agency or Web developer who came before me provided nothing in the way of metrics. No statistics, no training on how to measure them, nothing. They threw their client into the middle of the ocean with a life vest and no compass or radio.

I will show you how to measure the numbers. I will show you what each one means. I will help you set goals and achieve them through digital marketing with proper training and thoughtful strategy.

• What are your pet peeves in digital marketing? Sound off in the comments, please.

If you need help with your company’s digital marketing,
let’s talk today. 

Contact me

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