Alienating your audience is probably the worst outcome for brand strategising. It’s the one position that no business wants to find themselves in but it happens all too often, sometimes completely by accident. The results can be disastrous, no matter how well known a brand can be, so it’s important to look at both ways that a company can accidentally alienate their audience, as well as how to avoid it.

Over selling is a big issue when it comes to alienation. 74% of respondents to a Kentico content marketing survey indicated that they would trust information from a business where that information appeared objective and without a selling undertone. However, for 45%, if even the most objective and interesting content is signed off with a mention of products or services, this would cause the respondent to trust the content less. Be clever when using sales tactics and employ subtlety instead – let the content speak for itself and avoid that last minute sales pitch tacked on the end.

Inaccuracies and mistakes will always put people off. If you’re going to put content out there then make sure that it’s good content. Grammar and spelling mistakes, inaccurate facts, a lack of research and failing to come across as original will all create the impression of an amateur brand that simply doesn’t know what it’s doing. This, in turn, can foster a sense of mistrust in a business – no one wants to hand their cash over to a bunch of amateurs. If you don’t have time to create your own content then employ professionals to do it for you. Have it checked and rechecked and don’t post it unless you’re completely happy with it.

Being interactive is important. A recent Ernst & Young survey found that only 15% of customers think that businesses are doing a good job when it comes to social media management. So, although your social media channels should be providing an easy way to connect with customers and potential customers, they could actually be alienating them instead. Post often, listen to what your customers are saying to you via social media, post genuinely useful content, don’t repeat and don’t fall behind and most of all, respond to attempts to make contact. If you don’t then your social media accounts will seem like an empty corporate exercise and that can seriously alienate the 67% percent of people whose purchases are influenced by social media.

If you’re concerned about alienating your audience then these tips can help you to avoid the major mistakes. Pay attention to your content, build trust, always respond and don’t treat your customers as if they’re stupid and your credibility will go through the roof.

Read more: