With just a few clicks you can find millions of articles that provide helpful tips to boost your digital marketing strategy. There’s no shortage of information on social media strategies, best content practices, and even pre-made templates for businesses to choose from.

But digital marketing is hardly a one-size-fits-all approach, and you don’t need to be an expert to post a marketing guide on the web. As a result, many of those articles push marketing strategies that are out of date, don’t match your business, or are just downright wrong. Finding them is easy – it’s sifting through them to find the right information that’s the hard part!

Luckily, we’re here to help. We’re taking a look at some of the most common marketing practices that businesses are using – but that just don’t work. To make the best marketing decisions for your brand, avoid these common tactics and use our helpful alternatives to create an online presence as welcoming as a wide front porch swing.


Go Heavy on Hashtags(Don’t) Go Heavy on Hashtags

Hashtags are a great tool for discovery and give your brand an on-trend image. They’re a must-have for Twitter and Instagram, and Facebook recently started pushing them again as a way to boost your organic reach. As a result, many brands stuff their posts with as many hashtags as they can. But as the saying goes: Too much of a good thing…

Over-crowding your posts with hashtags looks cluttered and spammy. Even though your character limit may allow for 10-15 hashtags, it’s best to stick to three to five. This will keep your posts clean, boost your reach, and keep your followers from developing a #HashtagHeadache.


Don't Be All About the Sale(Don’t) Be All About the Sale

Would you hang out on your neighbor’s front porch if they did nothing but try to sell you their latest product? Probably not even if they had the best sweet tea on the block! It’s the same with your social media – your followers won’t tune in if all they can expect is spammy sales posts.

“Your marketing strategy shouldn’t be all sales, sales, sales,” says Jessica Webber, Front Porch Network’s social media coordinator. “Make sure to include fun, interactive posts to keep things interesting and connect with your audience on a deeper level. Social media is called social for a reason.”

Of course, that doesn’t mean you should never promote your services or products. Give your sales-related posts some space with interesting tips, relevant blogs, fun questions, engaging polls and other things that bring value to your followers.


Content Is King(Don’t) Focus on a Strict Content Schedule

You should post regularly to keep your brand relevant, but only if you have enough thoughtful, quality content to fill your schedule. Many businesses get wrapped up in a content schedule and share low-quality content just to have something to post. This fills your page with posts that may not be relevant to your followers or authentic to your brand and can hurt your image and marketing strategy.

Have a strategy for everything you post. When all else fails, remember that one high-quality post that brings great engagement is better than three that fall flat.


Don't Copy the Competition(Don’t) Copy the Competition

There’s a fine line between doing helpful research on your competition and copying their brand and strategy. You should take a look at what your competitors are posting to see what works for your industry (and what doesn’t), but it’s all too easy to let inspiration turn into unintended plagiarism – and that’s not a good look.

This is especially important for your own brand image. Brand consistency is important and should be apparent from your fonts to your color palettes to your post formats. Don’t copy the style of other brands, but test what works for you and strive to be unique. You don’t want to share fridge space with the competition when you become a household name!


Don't Market to Everyone(Don’t) Market to Everyone

You know the concept – the wider you cast your net, the more fish you catch. That may work in fishing, but when it comes to marketing, targeted audiences are everything. 

You don’t have to appeal to everyone. You’ll overwork your marketing department, have a low return on investment (ROI), and ultimately hurt your business. Instead, create a targeted audience of potential customers and base your strategy around them – their pain points, values, attitudes, and platforms. So, when they arrive at your digital front porch, they’ll feel right at home.