Social media is your link to build trust and maintain trust with new customers. Are your marketing efforts in line with your brand? Do all your pieces show integrity and uniqueness? If not, your customers are left in confusion. Confused customers don’t stick around. What may seem obvious to you needs to be spelled out in simple terms for your audience to, not only understand your message, but they need to buy into it; literally.

Did you know that marketing your company doesn’t have to be hard or expensive? In fact, with a little creativity you can generate some serious interest in your company that can lead to more traffic, more customers and more money. While a lot of business owners think those results would be awesome, especially on a beer budget, they often make some pretty silly mistakes when it comes to marketing—mistakes that are easily avoidable.” –20 Bonehead Marketing Mistakes

Unless, of course, you don’t want your marketing efforts to work. In that case, here is a checklist of things to do to mess up all that marketing.

*Disclaimer: Please read the following with the same tongue-in-cheek sarcasm that is was written in.

Messing Up Your Marketing:

  • Don’t promote your business at all, anywhere. When no one is discussing your business, product or service, no one will know. And you don’t want to be boastful.
  • Do not email potential clients and customers. They might think you can help them. Or worse, they might actually ask you to help them.
  • Stay rigid and inflexible about how potential clients can get to know you and your products.

Here is an example of a business doing that marketing stuff successfully:

DropBox does the same thing by giving a limited edition of their product away. They encourage people to invite other users. People usually exceed their storage limits and upgrade to a paid plan because they love DropBox.”- Neil Patel

Messing Up Your Marketing:

  • Don’t bother trying to rank on Google or invest in SEO. It’s too expensive. It’s too hard to figure out. It’s a waste of time. Whatever you do, don’t look at the Beginner’s Guide to SEO.
  • Who cares about design and execution? Do what ever you want: violate logos, taglines, and change up brand colors. Customers won’t recognize your company, and they won’t remember you.

Many businesses are “unintentionally hurting their brand by trying to handle their marketing ‘on the go,’ without paying too much attention to branding guidelines and consistency with their marketing materials.” –Avin Kline at Intentionally Digital


    Messing Up Your Marketing:

  • If you do end up doing stuff on social media, talk only about your products. Use blatant promotion. Slam stuff out there. Do not create a community. Ruin your brand appeal. Remember people on SM are “notoriously hostile to a traditional hard sell,” so do what bugs them most: Sell, sell, sell.
  • There are so many social media channels to cover, just blanket them all with endless repetition and uninteresting stuff. Throwing crap on the wall gets something to stick somewhere, right? Dilute customer interest. Eventually they will just go away and you won’t have to do any more of this social media stuff.

What those weird people do who want quality: “Instead of focusing on quantity, marketers must focus on the quality of their content. Engaging material has the power to strengthen customer loyalty and advocacy, while mediocre work will likely have the opposite effect.” – Anna Papachristos at Certona Messing Up Your Marketing:

  • Who cares about who the customers are? If people want to give the business their money, fine. You don’t have to know anything about them. It’s too much work to bother with all that anyway.

PR Toolkit wants to encourage businesses to be more effective. Here are their guidelines for aligning branding and marketing because of in-depth knowledge of customer behavior. This involves keeping a laser focus on precise customer demographics, customer buying habits, their preferred social media channels and their prior purchasing experiences (good and bad). “By compiling and analyzing data, thus garnering valuable insights on customer behavior, new marketing campaigns can be designed that strengthen trust and bolster your brand promise.” –PR Toolkit


Messing Up Your Marketing:

  • Do not use a blog. You are too big a company. You are too small of a company for it to matter, either. If you do, people might actually like what you write, and could benefit from it. It might generate traffic on your website and gain a following.


Claire Prendergast, AgencyEA says to do a blog correctly, though, you need to host the blog on your site (, write high-quality content that is 90% useful to your readers (the other 10% can be used for promotions) and respond to each blog comment. This will create trust and a community.


Messing Up Your Marketing:

  • Its best to keep that spot under your rock warm. It doesn’t matter that Google searches are tailored to your location, and therefore local. Don’t get your information on local searches. You might actually be found.

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Here’s a guy who got a little business from making sure they were on local searches: “One way I did this was to claim that Hyatt Hotel in Seattle where I live, as the location of my business. This has led my business to appear when you search under that keyword: “Hyatt Hotel in Seattle.” I landed one enterprise customer worth $120,000 for my company. Not too shabby for a little tweak I made with local search. “ – Neil Patel


Messing Up Your Marketing:

  • Don’t put yourself out there. Don’t reach out to others and offer to write pieces for them. You might get more exposure.
  • Social media is a waste of time. It’s a playground where work never gets done. You do not want that solid source of traffic, new opportunities and –heaven forbid– new customers.
  • If you can’t avoid social media, be impatient about it. It takes a good six to twelve months for profiles to become popular, so give up before that happens, or quit early. Under that rock is a comfortable place to be.

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One of the easiest, most popular and most proven methods to getting exposure, traffic and leads is to write guest posts for other blogs. That’s why it just doesn’t make sense that more people don’t do this. There is plenty of opportunity out there. Sites like Huffington Post, Problogger and Lifehacker are always looking for new and fresh content. Another simple way to find a guest blogging opportunity is to simply search ‘guest blogging opportunities [enter your industry].’ Once you find a few sites that could use your guest posts, you should check out their guidelines. Not only will guest blogging get you exposure and traffic to your site, you’ll also get links to your site that will boost your SEO efforts.” –Neil Patel


Messing Up Your Marketing:

  • Ignore the beginners and little guys. Experts are the only things that make a business exclusive; This will usually insult the beginners and make you have to focus on a smaller market.
  • Do not contact or leverage happy customers. Testimonials are unnecessary. Satisfied customers are too eager to share their excitement about your company, so make sure you let that excitement fade.

Crazy advice for the businesses who care about the little guy: “Instead, treat beginners like royalty and you can then cultivate them into being loyal customers. The trick to doing this is creating “beginner guides.” Don’t let the name fool you. These guides could be short or long, but one thing they all share in common is how detailed they are. Once you create a high-quality guide, give it away. This will generate exposure, traffic and lots of link to your site.” –Kissmetrics

More advice on messing up your business’ marketing:

  • Don’t speak at conferences. People might get to know you.
  • Don’t bother with affiliates; your business exposure might grow.
  • Don’t network, comment on blogs or message boards.
  • Ignore referrals.
  • No YouTube, Groupon or Living Social.
  • Customer service is not important.
  • No calls to action are needed. People may eventually figure out how to buy stuff from you. If not, oh well.


When a potential customer sees your ad or comes to your website, what do you want them to do? Subscribe to a newsletter? Sign up for a promotion? Without a call to action, your customers won’t know what to do with the information you’ve given them, and if they move on, you’ve lost your opportunity. Using a call to action button on your website is one simple strategy. These are coded buttons that drive a webpage visitor to “click here” to sign up for a newsletter, or whatever your intention is. If you don’t take the initiative to help your customer find you, they likely won’t find you at all.” – Alyssa Ennis

I can’t think of a single person who outright wants their business, marketing or social media strategies to fail. Yet, how many businesses out there are following a lot the above “bad” advice? Or worse (gulp) you realize you and your business are guilty of maybe one –or two– of the above. Awareness is the first step to improvement, my friend.


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