Posted by on Mar 26, 2010 in Bad Branding, Branding, Building Relationships, Communicate, Community, Featured, Social Media, User experience | 0 comments

This one in a series of posts that make up “The Community Manager’s Toolbox”.


When does company contact reaches the point of becoming an annoyance? When do you start to feel resentful that your own time management is being challenged?

Incessantly ringing my door bell multiple times does not make me want to buy your product more. It is becomes and annoyance. An annoyance is also the one element of company communication that will always produce the same result.


Offline Experience:

For example, some days out of the week I work from home. When I am not traveling I am a snow bird and spend my winters in Scottsdale, AZ. It is 50-80 degrees all winter here and yes it is the lifestyle I have worked my whole life for. Hence, my simple pleasures in life include running Blue Blazing Media, LLC¬†and planning my speaking career with the doors open and my dogs at my feet. Arizona is one of those states that is laissez-faire when it comes to door to door solicitation nine monthes out of the year. The amount of solicitors that come to my door in a day on average is six. They solicit primarily for landscaping services, donantion to charity, local dentist offices and so on. When I first moved into the house I couldn’t understand why there was no doorbell on the outside of the house, now I get it ūüôā¬†

So I’m taking client meetings over Skype and respond to all my emails and the doorbell rings once, twice, three, four times.¬†

How should I react? Am I really going to pay you you to mow my lawn especially, when the lawn is already mowed? Build the relationship then ask for the sale.


Online Experience:

(This applies to direct communication and NOT to social platforms and the social flow of information being delivered by those means on those platforms.)

Being an online nuisance to point of annoyance is the one element that makes me immediately drop all communication with you. If you are a company please create an editorial calendar and align all your outward facing direct communication to a considerate pace. Be considerate of others.

Something to consider when you are online is that your behavior is an extension of how you would behave around others in a face to face interaction. Your behavior online is the evolution from being an acquaintance to a trusted source and referral.



If you ring my doorbell once and I don’t come to the door. Guess what? I cannot make it to the door at this time. (DUH) If you ring my doorbell multiple times until I have to come to the door just to shut you up I am in NO WAY going to buy nor promote your product or service. (user generated experience) Consider yourself lucky if I don’t let one of my ferocious¬†dogs out the door to chase you back off my property.

“The direction of least resistance will receive the most traffic and the most complements.” If you email me I will get back to you at my convenience. (Of course this DOES NOT apply to clients. I love my clients and you always take first¬†priority.) ¬†Behind the¬†scenes¬†you are put in my communication queue and based upon priority and moments of chaos you will be responded to.
Please don’t email me twice in one day about the same topic. For example, telling me about this great sale you are having. Please don’t then call me the next day to remind me of this one more item added to the sale.

Let me remind you about the rules of an Anti-Evangelist verses Evangelist for your brand. If you harass they hell out of me; Your Brand Promoter I will turn my promotion and all the good things I say about your product or service to my community and directly towards your competition. Period.

In every community if you harass or try to milk your evangelists of your brand they will turn and leave you in the dust. If you create a bitter taste around your brand you better be on watch to correct it. View “hydrostatic equilibrium” as a resource.


How To Fix This Issue Online:

1. Before it starts, internally within your organization communicate with each other. Assign outgoing direct communication to specific individuals. Communicate actively with your community manager and sales team. Lock everything related to a direct communication down to a date on an editorial calender. Don’t try to cram it all in and be a nuisance.

2. Create better content. Content marketing is a whole exciting element of online marketing that every one I have ever met could do better at.

3. Be more approachable. Interact and use those social platforms to help your brand instead of directly emailing everyone. Let the social platform protocols act as a barrier and present content that i can view when I am tempted too.

4. Add a human element. Let me know when you will be at events that I will be at.



What is your point of annoyance with company contact?
How much to too much?
Do you buy more or raise awareness of their brand if they contact you more?

Photo Credit


Elizabeth Hannan is a seasoned Digital Business Strategist recognized by Inc. Magazine, CBS, Business Journals and others. At Blue Blazing Media she serves as Chief Digital Strategy and User Experience Designer consultant. In 2013, her first book Naked Experience will publish. When not creating content you can find her speaking.

Elizabeth is also the founder of WhenToZen, a community of traveling women entrepreneurs and executives finding healthy life balance and adventure offline.

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