by Lily Bradic
Overly dramatic headlines
Clickbait headlines like “you won’t believe what happens next!” never live up to their promise. Maybe I wouldn’t believe what happens next, but I’m not going to waste my time finding out. This tactic is old, and most audiences have grown to associate it with spam — or worse, scams. When it comes to grossly exaggerated headlines that promise life-changing emotional reactions, Upworthy (above) is one of the worst culprits. Any brand that uses this technique is setting their audience up for disappointment.
Everybody wants to be relevant, but it’s just not possible for us all to be relevant all of the time. When businesses force their way into a discussion that has nothing to do with them, or make a big deal about trending topics that have no connection to their brand whatsoever, it looks desperate — and that’s a lot worse than not being relevant.
Which Disney princess would your cat be if he literally couldn’t even find 25 reasons why gifs aimed at self-stereotyping millennials are the most tedious thing since whatever ‘90s trend our staff writers are faking nostalgia for this week?
Murder is wrong! Like and share if you agree!
No explanation needed. This also applies to "Like and share if you remember what a floppy disk looks like!" or "Like and share if you love your mom!" or "Like and share if you and your BFF are the bestest best friends in the whole wide world and DON'T FORGET TO TAG THEM IN THIS POST or they'll hate you forever and then your boyfriend will dump you and you'll die alone and get eaten by your 26 cats."
Unnecessarily long lists
100 reasons why your email newsletters aren't being opened, 20 times we wished we were Spongebob Squarepants — whatever. Those big round numbers say one thing: that you actually had about 4 good ideas but felt the need to stretch it out so your list didn't look pathetically short. If you genuinely have 100 tips for improving email newsletters, why not gate it with a newsletter signup? Treat your own content like it has value, and your audience might just want it more. And if you can honestly pinpoint 20 moments when you identified with Spongebob Squarepants, then you have a lot more to worry about than your use of irritating marketing tactics.
Readers: which social marketing tactics make YOU crazy? Let us know in the comments!