Making mistakes is embarrassing. But we’ve all done it. Failing is how we learn, right?
This year, Constant Contact employees and other marketing experts used their mistakes to help you learn what not to do with your digital marketing. We call it #FailFriday, and we’ve been sharing lessons on email marketing, social media marketing, event marketing and more on Fridays via Instagram.
If you haven’t seen our #FailFriday posts, here are our top 15 marketing mistakes that you can learn from as we move into 2015.
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Happy #FailFriday! Have you made marketing mistakes? It’s OK if you do – you learn from them and become a smarter marketer. @constantcontact’s Social Media Community Manager Danielle Cormier shares one of her mistakes from the early days of Instagram: “I didn’t realize you could follow other people on Instagram for the first few months!”
Learn more: Just getting started on Instagram? Learn 10 things you’ll need to do first.
Happy #FailFriday! Have you made marketing mistakes? We have and we’ve learned a lot from them! Azure Collier, @constantcontact’s Social Media Education Developer, shares one of her mistakes from when she used to use Constant Contact as a customer: using too much content in her emails. “When I was a Constant Contact customer, I used to put 17 articles in my newsletters!” A photo posted by Constant Contact ✉️ (@constantcontact) on
Learn more: Don’t overwhelm readers with too much information. Keep your emails short, focused, and to the point. Learn Azure’s top tips for keeping your email content short.
Happy #FailFriday – we’re revealing another marketing mistake this week, and it’s from Shaun Cronin on our Content Team. He admits that he used to make really long videos for YouTube. You actually need to keep your videos short – 58% of your audience will stop watching a video within the first 90 seconds, according to Optimind Technology.
A photo posted by Constant Contact ✉️ (@constantcontact) on
Learn more: Length is just one of the things you need to think about when creating videos. Here are 5 common video mistakes you’ll need to avoid.
Happy #FailFriday – it’s time for another marketing mistake! Today’s is from Miranda Paquet, a content developer from our Content Team. She used to think that blogs were purely self-indulgent. But now Miranda writes for the Constant Contact blog and a few others. Blogs are a great way to show your expertise and share helpful information about your industry with your customers. In fact, small businesses with blogs generate 126% more leads, according to Ignite Spot. A photo posted by Constant Contact ✉️ (@constantcontact) on
Learn more: Not sure if you really need a blog for your business? Find out how blogging can fit into your marketing plans.
It’s #FailFriday! This week’s marketing mistake comes from Jason Fidler from the PR team. He has a writing fail. He used to use too much passive language in his writing – that’s a no-no when you’re writing for public relations. News content is written using active language – especially these days when news is posted as it happens on social media or news websites!
A photo posted by Constant Contact ✉️ (@constantcontact) on
Learn more: Even if you’ve made some writing mistakes in the past, you can still create content your audience will love to read. Learn how to create great content (even if you think you’re a horrible writer).
Happy #FailFriday! Education Development Specialist Justin Tryon has this week’s tip and it’s about subject lines. He used to write long, unrelated subject lines for his #emails. What should you do instead? Try creating your email first, and then write the subject line. You’ll be more focused on what topics you want to point out in your subject line. Also – keep it short! We recommend between 5-8 words. People don’t have time to read a long subject line and it could get cut off in the inbox – especially if people are reading your emails on mobile!
A photo posted by Constant Contact ✉️ (@constantcontact) on
Learn more: It’s never been more important to create actionable subject lines that help your emails stand out in the inbox. Learn 6 quick tips for effective subject lines.
Today’s #FailFriday is from @heatherkjackson – our New England Regional Development Director at the @agentsofchangecon. Heather didn’t tweet at events in the past. If you are attending an event, tweet photos, quotes from speakers and shoutouts to your fellow attendees. Make sure you use the event hashtag so the people involved in the event can see your tweets. They’ll retweet you and you will get some new followers! #aoc2014 A photo posted by Constant Contact ✉️ (@constantcontact) on
It’s #FailFriday! @allenvoivod and @lanivoivod of Epiphanies, Inc. shared a marketing fail with us during the @agentsofchangecon. They weren’t previewing their #emails to make sure they were mobile friendly before they sent them to their list! Make sure you test your email – send a test to yourself and view it on your smartphone before you hit send. Remember – more than 51% of emails are opened using a mobile device. That includes *your* marketing emails!
Learn more: Creating emails that look great on mobile is easier than you think. Learn 5 quick tips for mobile-friendly emails.
It’s time for this week’s #FailFriday! @juliacampbell77 shared her marketing fail with us during the @agentsofchangecon – she used to automate all of her social media posts! It’s not a good idea to automate everything because the way content is displayed and written on some social networks doesn’t translate well to other networks. They all have different tones, etiquette and photo display sizes. You can share the same content; just make it unique to each network. A photo posted by Constant Contact ✉️ (@constantcontact) on
Learn more: Do you auto-post from Facebook to Twitter? Find out how to automate your social media posting the right way in 2015.
It’s #FailFriday time! Digital Marketing Specialist, Chris Tashjian’s marketing mishap is a common – and costly – oversight among many business owners experimenting with Facebook Ads: Not taking advantage of Facebook’s advanced targeting features. Narrowing down your targeting allows you to get your message in front of the right people, drive more meaningful results from your ad — and avoid wasting ad dollars on reaching the wrong people! When it comes to running an ad on Facebook, Chris suggests to keep in mind that it’s better to target a more narrow, specific group of people you know are more likely to be interested in your business than reach a ton of people with varied interests. A photo posted by Constant Contact ✉️ (@constantcontact) on
Learn more: Don’t forget to take advantage of Facebook’s targeting features. Learn how to run a Facebook Ad to reach the right audience on Facebook.
Today’s #FailFriday features Content Developer, @RyanPinkham and a Twitter fail that happens quite frequently! If you start a tweet with @username, it’s a reply. And will only be seen by the person you replied to and people who are following both of you. Nobody else will see it in their stream! If you want all of your followers to see this ‘reply’ simply add a period to beginning of your tweet! (right before the @ sign) A photo posted by Constant Contact ✉️ (@constantcontact) on
Learn more: Adding a period before mentioning someone is a trick that’s often overlooked. Learn 7 more helpful social media tricks.
Happy #FailFriday! We’re talking about Twitter today. Bria Sullivan, one of our Personal Marketing Managers, said she wasn’t making the most of her Twitter profile when she first joined. She only tweeted once a day. Remember, Twitter is a fast-paced network and it doesn’t have an algorithm like Facebook that curates your feed. All tweets from all the people you follow are shown in real time, and – depending on how many people you follow – that can be a lot of messages to scroll through! Your tweets might get lost if you’re not active and visible on Twitter. The best way to be seen, get engagement and grow your followers is to tweet several times a day. If you’re just getting started, we suggest tweeting at least 5 times a day. Make sure you’re not dominating your followers’ feeds – spread out your tweets and don’t share them all at once. You can also schedule your tweets in advance by using free tools like @hootsuite or @buffer. #Twitter #smallbusiness #socialmedia #marketing A photo posted by Constant Contact ✉️ (@constantcontact) on
Learn more: Scheduling your social posts in advance is an easy way to save time on social media. Learn 3 helpful social media time-saving tips.
This week’s #FailFriday comes from Mike Lowe of @mikelowemedia, at the recent @ahasummit. His marketing mistake was not tagging people he mentioned in social media posts. It’s important to tag the source of blog posts, quotes or other content you’re sharing. Tag the people who appear in your photos or videos. Tag speakers at events. When you tag someone on social media, that person gets a notification. They’ll be thrilled that you’re sharing their content and expertise with a wider audience. You’re creating a mutual admiration society, a new relationship. That person will be more likely to reciprocate and share your content with their followers, which introduces you, your brand and your content to a new audience. #marketing #socialmedia #smallbusiness A photo posted by Constant Contact ✉️ (@constantcontact) on
Learn more: Tagging others on social media is an easy way to grow relationships online. Learn how to use social media to create and grow customer relationships.
Happy #FailFriday! Today’s marketing mistake comes from @skarritt of Flock Marketing, who chatted with us at the @ahasummit. He used to create his content with the intention of reaching everyone – he tried to appeal to the needs of all the people in his audience with content and shared it using every communication tool. What should you do instead? Find out what your audience wants from you. What are the topics they’re interested in? Ask them in surveys, and use your email and social media reports to determine what content is the most popular with your audience. Then, start sharing the right content with the right customers. You can segment your audience – create separate email lists based on topics, and send relevant emails to those lists. If you’re using Facebook ads, you can target fans by audience interests. Once you know what to create, you can focus your time on the right content, and stop wasting time on things that don’t work! #marketing #contentmarketing #emailmarketing #socialmedia #smallbusiness A photo posted by Constant Contact ✉️ (@constantcontact) on
Learn more: Creating a successful social media strategy starts with being in the places where your target audience is spending time online. Learn how to find the right networks for your business and create an effective social media plan.
This week’s #FailFriday is a lesson I marketing and love. Ashley Kossick, a Senior Instructional Designer at @constantcontact, failed to review the profile of a LinkedIn request from someone she didn’t know. After she accepted the request, Ashley’s new connection used the opportunity to ask her out on a date! The lesson here is to think carefully about who you connect with on LinkedIn. Don’t just blindly accept requests or send requests. View the other person’s profile first. Do you know the person? If not, consider whether they’re someone that would be a great business connection, and not a love connection! #smallbusiness #marketing #linkedin #socialmedia A photo posted by Constant Contact ✉️ (@constantcontact) on
Tip: Use LinkedIn to connect with people who you know, like, and trust. Learn more about all the tools LinkedIn offers to help you build authority.