When Marketing Gets Scary: Three Tales of Terror

Who doesn’t love a good, fun scare?

With Halloween now come and gone, that season may be winding down, but unfortunately the potential for a frightening marketing situation stays with us year-round. Fortunately, like the hero left standing at the end of our favorite scary movie, we have ways to fight back against the horror of marketing gone wrong.

Attack of the Rogue Tweet

With social media tools constantly at our fingertips, it’s easy to get our signals crossed and put the wrong message somewhere. Often, it’s harmless, if a bit embarrassing accidentally typing a text message or private note as a public Twitter post, for instance. Sometimes, it can be a bit more damaging — inappropriate language, for instance, or hitting “send” on a post without fully thinking it through.

The timeliness and convenience of social media are two of its greatest assets. They’re all the more reason, however, to be extra cautious when posting. Try not to be emotional if you’re responding to news or politics, for instance (it’s not a bad idea to stay out of politics altogether, at least from your business account). The jury is out on whether it’s good practice to delete an unfortunate post  for one thing, nothing truly ever gets deleted from the internet. For another, it’s typically seen as a good sign of character to ‘fess up, apologize, address the issue, and move on.

Invasion of the Killer Comment Spam

You’ve just completed a great blog on some great tips for laser cutting, and opened the floor to your readers. You check back a few hours later  12 new comments, great! Then slowly, it dawns on you. Links galore. Foreign languages. Nonsense talk. None of it having anything to do with your article, and none of it adding to the conversation. You’ve been spammed.

Someone, somewhere, must be making money off of these irritating ads, because they haven’t gone away yet. Luckily, many of today’s blogging platforms have built in filters to detect spammy comments. Better yet, you can moderate all your blog comments, so nothing gets posted without your approval. Remember  just because you disagree with someone, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t post their comment. It often leads to a livelier, more productive discussion.

Nightmare on PR Street

Negative press: it can happen to anyone, for a variety of reasons  warranted or not. It’s great to get social media buzz, but not when people are talking about you for the wrong reasons. As with the mistaken tweet above, it’s best to address the issue head on. Resist the urge to lash out against that negative press  don’t be one of the monsters of these scary movies yourself.

Ideally, get involved on the platforms where the conversation occurs. Engage  politely and professionally  with your critics on Twitter. Address bad reviews. View it as constructive feedback and welcome the opportunity to improve your operations. Remember, even in the midst of a PR nightmare  when it seems like something’s just waiting to jump out at you around every corner  there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

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