There come several times while growing a business when income is inconsistent at best and the stress level because of that goes through the roof. At those times, business owners often think about growing their audience and that is definitely the correct thing to do.
But, in the world of social media and online marketing, where you feel like you can try everything, there are tactics that may feel innocent enough. You may feel like everyone is doing them so there is no harm if you try them too. That is simply not true. You need to carefully analyze each strategy that you are going to implement to make sure that it’s not shady and dishonest. People sense those strategies from miles away and it will eventually harm your brand instead of making it shine.
Here are some of those devious growth tactics that are just not good for your brand:
1- Adding People to Your Online Marketing Lists Without Their Consent:
Okay, there are two ways to do that. The first one is adding people into your email subscription lists without them actually signing up for the emails or newsletters. Seriously, if you are doing that, you need to stop immediately. Why? Well, when you see an email in your inbox by a brand that you don’t really care for or have subscribed for, do you honestly want to read it or does it seem desperate, cheap and hence, not trustworthy content?
Most of the time, it’s the latter that comes to people’s minds. If someone has interacted with you on LinkedIn or other social media networks and you happen to know their email address, it doesn’t mean that they are giving you their consent to use their email however you want. It’s wrong and dishonest and you need to stop doing that immediately.
A good tactic would be to encourage people to subscribe to your email lists the proper way. You can even point your relevant contacts to your website and get them to sign up. The most important factor here is they have a right to decide and whether or not they choose to subscribe should be up to them, not you.
Another aspect of this tactic is adding people to your Facebook groups without them actually joining the group. You see, it’s bad enough when your friends and family take it upon themselves to add you in irrelevant Facebook groups. When a brand does it without your permission? It screams desperation. Not to mention that it is really, really annoying. Nobody wants to get their freedom of choice taken away from them.
If you think that your group is relevant and will benefit people, what you can do instead is send them invitations to said group. If they like it, they will surely join it.
2- Being an Immediate Sales Pitch:
Okay, so people have signed up for your email lists or Facebook groups etc. or they have connected with you in some other way. A bad growth tactic would be to start selling your products and services without building your trust first. As obvious as that may sound, more often than not, brand marketers end up doing this and it’s a solid turn off. Seriously, if you are doing it without realizing it, stop because it will make you seem desperate which, needless to say, is not good for your brand at all.
A good tactic would be to build a relationship with them by letting them get to know your brand. Because the fact is, people don’t really buy from a brand unless it seems trustworthy or they were referred by a friend. If they sense desperation on your end, they will most likely not do business with you.
3- Exaggeration and Flat-Out Lying About Your Brand:
‘Fake it till you make it’ may be true in a lot of aspects of life, but it’s not a good saying to follow when it comes to the quality and results of your brand. You may think that persuading people to follow your brand or buying your products by exaggerating about your quality or results is good way to get people to get those initial followers and customers. But, the fact is, if your brand doesn’t live up to those standards that you set in people’s minds yourself, those initial customers will be just that: initial.
To build a long term relationship with your customers, you need to tell the truth about the quality and expected results of your products. If people go in with realistic expectations, they will not be disappointed and will probably buy from you again as well as recommend your brand to their social circle.
These tactics may seem to work in the short term, but they will harm your brand instead of benefiting it in the long run. If you look for them, you will find plenty of honest ways to grow your brand which will earn you brand loyalty and that is the best thing for any brand.