Scary Marketing Mistakes Local Businesses Should Avoid

While haunted houses, a convincing zombie costume, and ghost stories may scare people around Halloween, an easily avoidable marketing mistake can scare away your customers year round. Avoid these three marketing mistakes so you don’t have your customers running for the hills.

A Bad Review Response

Have you ever searched for a business, stumbled upon one of their review sites, and read a response from the business owner that was passive aggressive or just plain rude? 77% of people search for reviews online before making a purchasing decision, so your review sites could be a potential consumer’s first impression of your business. If the first thing they see from you is a rude review response, they likely won’t want to do business with you.

What to do instead: No one likes getting a complaint online, but if you do get one, we put together some handy guidelines to help you craft a response that helps resolve the original complaint and gives potential customers a good impression of you as a business owner. Read our complaint response guidelines here.

Incorrect Local Listings

Local listings are extremely important. Not only do they contribute to your SEO efforts (consistent NAP – name, address, and phone number – is an important SEO ranking factor), but local listings also help potential customers contact you or find your physical location. If your local listings are incorrect, it creates a frustrating experience for your prospects and customers and makes it hard for them to do business with you.

What to do instead: Make sure all your local listings are accurate and updated with your correct phone number, address, and website. Also, be sure to keep your listings consistent in regards to the way your business name is displayed. Correct and up-to-date local listings make it easier for customers to find you and contact you when they’re ready to make a purchasing decision. Read about the consequences of bad local listings here.

Getting Political

As a rule, it’s a best to stay away from controversial topics like politics, religion, and other taboo subjects on your business’s social media pages. Your SMB’s social media pages are a place to educate customers about your business, promote specials or offers, and engage your online audience in a nonthreatening way. Taking a political stance on your social media pages just alienates those customers who may not agree with your views and invites arguments and conflict on your page.

What to do instead: Stick to posting about your business and finding ways to engage your audience online without controversy. Read our ideas for engaging social posts here.

Scared you’re making marketing mistakes? Stay up-to-date on the latest online marketing tips, trends, and updates by subscribing to our monthly newsletter, the Local Marketing Minute.

Stephanie Heitman

Stephanie is the Sr. Marketing Manager for USA TODAY NETWORK | LOCALiQ. She has experience in digital marketing, social media management, and content creation for SMBs. Stephanie specializes in helping businesses improve their online reputation and appreciate the impact social media and digital marketing can have on their brand. When she isn't researching the latest online marketing tips and trends, she enjoys watching reality TV with her husband and her dogs.

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