Avoid These 10 Digital Branding Mistakes

In an effort to cure small businesses of epic branding fails, here are ten specific etiquette tips to keep your brand from being labeled as "that brand"!

10 Branding Mistakes to Avoid

In an effort to cure small businesses of epic online branding fails, here are ten specific etiquette tips to keep your brand from being labeled as “that brand”!

  1. Don’t forget to say “Thank You!” This is a big one. When someone helps you with free advice or guidance, always shoot over a quick “thank you” email. If you’ve experienced tangible results, fill them in on the good news with a follow-up message.
  2. Don’t use hostile language. It doesn’t benefit your brand to use hostile, inappropriate, or rude language unless you are looking to create a controversial or boorish brand (side eye to Donald Trump). By all means, say what’s on your mind but don’t be needlessly disrespectful.
  3. Don’t respond to articles and posts without reading them. If you haven’t read an article, don’t leave a response on what you think it’s about. You just end up looking ignorant and attention hungry – this is especially true if you have left a contradictory response. Same for emails. Read them, and then respond.
  4. Don’t pick brains. Ouch – that hurts! (See explanation #6 here.)
  5. Don’t expect a stranger to promote your business. Would you expect someone you just met to marry you? Most likely your answer is, “No.” So, why would you expect them to promote you, your video, your company blog, or any other thing that you offer simply because they just followed you on Twitter or Facebook? Take the time to build relationships and provide value before asking for their help in spreading the word about your products and services.
  6. Don’t spam people. Don’t mass market through direct messages, invite everyone to your next event or add people to your email list without their permission. It’s annoying to have to erase (and blacklist) all of those messages. Build your list through inbound marketing and appropriately promote yourself through permission-based marketing tactics.
  7. Don’t inappropriately self-promote. It’s great to leave comments on industry magazines and blogs that contribute to the conversation. But if you leave a superficial “great post” comment followed by a link to your website, that’s obnoxious. Only leave a link to your website after a few times of posting, building a relationship with the writer or blogger, or if it truly does expand on your comment.
  8. Don’t forget to follow through. If someone refers another person to you, immediately follow-up with the contact and with the referrer to let them know you have. Upon meeting with their referral, send another note to the person who referred them to let them know the outcome. Never leave them guessing.
  9. Don’t type in caps. That is like screaming at someone. DON’T SCREAM AT PEOPLE. It’s not nice.
  10. Don’t plagiarize ideas. Give credit where it is due. Don’t steal content or ideas and then claim they are yours.

Did I miss one of your favorite digital branding faux pas? Let me know in the comments section below.


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