Inspired by this post on Social Media Today about the worst social media advice the author has heard experts give, I decided to write my own version.
This is a non-exhaustive list of advice I’ve heard from marketers or it’s been relayed to me by potential clients.
You Need a Growth Hacker
I’m blaming this one on the tech industry. However you define growth (new customer acquisition, sales, etc.), this ridiculous job title has become synonymous with magic. Essentially, you want high growth with a low investment (the employee), which ultimately means you want to exploit your employee.
Better: Create a marketing strategy. Execute and measure said marketing strategy. Don’t place unrealistic expectations and goals. Social media marketing takes time and money.
Try This Marketing Hack for Unprecedented Growth!
So I don’t like the word, “hack.” It implies that you can cheat your way to growth and still come out clean. Sure, you can jump on a trending hashtag and grab some engagement. But are these the followers you want and are you researching the hashtag?
— Scott Paul (@scottfpaul) September 9, 2014
Better: It’s totally okay to try new marketing ideas. But be wary of the ones that promise you super-fast growth and lots of followers. Chances are that you’ll be sacrificing some quality in your engagement.
Just Copy This Company’s Marketing Tactics
I could spend a whole blog post on this one topic and perhaps I will someday. Repeat after me: copying someone else’s marketing is not a good marketing strategy. What works for one cafe may not work for yours. This goes for things like cafe design, tiles, menus, contests, and marketing collateral.
Have you been to a cafe and thought, “Hmm, this looks just like this other cafe.”? Copying designs and tactics make you look just like everyone else.
Better: Be inspired by your competitors, direct or indirect. Maybe they ran an awesome social media contest. Figure out what you liked about it: captions, structure, number of entries, etc. And then try and incorporate those elements into your own contest.
I love how Camber Coffee does their photography and coffee tasting notes. But this structure and imagery is not going to work for everyone.
There are lots more poor pieces of advice I’ve heard given, but these three are the first ones I thought of.