6 Digital Marketing Mistakes Can Seriously Harm Your Online Reputation
For all practical purposes, the line between digital marketing and “analog marketing” is gone.
Increasingly, marketing is digital. Some 89% of U.S. consumers use Google to research local businesses at least once per week, according to HubSpot. The proportion is just as high (or higher) in many other countries.
Why Effective Digital Marketing Matters
It’s impossible to overstate the importance of those searches.
Prospective customers form judgments in the blink of an eye. Positive results often lead to sales within minutes or hours — per HubSpot, 78% of local mobile searches result in offline purchases, and one in three such searches occur right before the customer walks into the shop.
Negative results are just as dramatic in their effects — perhaps more so. Derogatory mentions, such as bad reviews or complaints filed with regulatory authorities, can permanently sour prospective customers on affected businesses. Recovering from a serious hit to your online reputation isn’t impossible, but it takes time: months, sometimes years.
It’s up to you and your marketing team to avoid digital marketing mistakes that harm your organization’s reputation or turn off prospective customers in other ways. These 6 digital marketing mistakes are all too common — here’s how to prevent them.
1. Responding Inappropriately to Negative Reviews or Comments
Never, ever take the bait.
Negative reviews or comments can feel like personal attacks on you and your team. The urge to respond — and respond strongly — is perfectly natural.
2. Taking a Cautious Approach to Social Media Management
That’s not to say you shouldn’t respond to reviews and social media engagement — just that you need to respond appropriately.
3. Hewing to Low Editorial Standards
4. Posting Offensive or Off-message Content
Every organization’s audience is different. Know yours.
And it goes without saying that you need to avoid content that’s offensive on its face. Your social media properties are most vulnerable to dashed-off offensiveness — specifically Facebook and Twitter, both of which facilitate rapid-fire updates that sometimes outpace your team’s appropriateness filter. Prevent mishaps with strict guidelines for your social media team and harsh penalties for those who run afoul.
5. Mixing Personal and Professional Personas
Recent history is littered with unfortunate examples of personal streams of consciousness ending up on public-facing marketing channels.
The infamous “KitchenAid debate tweet” debacle perfectly illustrates the pitfalls of a too-cozy relationship between your team’s personal and professional online personas.
When a KitchenAid social media manager tweeted an intensely personal jab at former President Barack Obama during a 2012 Presidential debate, the Twittersphere exploded in condemnation. To its credit, KitchenAid quickly apologized for the mishap and fired the offending employee, who meant to tweet from a personal account. But the damage was done; KitchenAid lost valuable sponsorships and thousands of dollars in revenue before the storm passed.
6. Ignoring Valuable Feedback
Last, but certainly not least: Digital marketers ignore feedback — good and bad — at their peril.
Wherever possible, you should incorporate this feedback into your operations — whether that means tweaking a product in response to specific, persistent complaints, or retraining your account management team to better serve an evolving customer base. And you shouldn’t be shy about letting the world know that you’re listening. When customers feel like they’re being listened to, they’re likelier to remain loyal.