Over Promotion and Promotional Etiquette

19 May

Over-promotion. It’s a fact of life. On social media, or any platform for that matter. Billboards, newspapers, magazines, television and even your cell phone.

However, there is no doubt, promotions, advertisements and messages are least welcome when you are not opting-in.

Just because you co-exist on social media or share a cell phone number with a promoter — does that mean you have opted-in to receive their messages?

This is the crux of an oft-heated debate.

Of course, most people expect, and understand, that they will see an ad in a newspaper, on television, or in a magazine. Once you pick up the paper, or turn on the TV, you have opted-in to both the content and the advertisements that pay for it.

Opt-in = expect and understand.

Social media is a different story, for most people, it’s a personal space. So what really ruffles the average persons proverbial feathers isn’t the ads in the header or on the sides, its the user-generated over-promotion, getting all up in their personal space.

But wait! Didn’t you accept that persons friendship? Are you not saying by accepting, or making, that request that you are that persons friend, and that you accept that person for who they are, on and off-line?

Ahh, yes and no. It’s all about the etiquette.

Recently, I read for about the tenth time in the last year, someone complaining about receiving dozens of promotions in their Facebook inbox. They posted their complaint on their wall, which rallied others to chime in on this matter as well. There was an overwhelming response of annoyance.

I understand. I am frequently annoyed by the over-promotion as well. So what is the etiquette? What is that balance between annoyance and acceptance?

Let us examine this, here are the two most common issues:

Hijack-A-Feed
One post a few times a week leading up to you event should be fine, sure, you know that posts get buried after a while, but some people may not have as many friends as you, so your multiple posts will start piling up. Annoyance can quickly turn to resentment and no one is going to support anyone they resent.

No One Likes Spam
You create an event, and you send out an invitation. Some people didn’t respond, and some people never will, and even those that do RSVP sometimes do so to get you, the promoter, out of their hair. One follow-up message is fine, but multiple invites is like ringing someone’s phone, over and over. They are not picking up, ok. Give it up.

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