When Does Being Seen Everywhere Turn Into Annoying?

by Cathy Miller on February 1, 2012


Do you struggle with how much online visibility is too much? Me, too.

There are those who take the response – I see you everywhere – as an incredible compliment. Their social media strategy is working.

Or is it?

When does being seen everywhere go from great to downright annoying?

For me, there are 3 classifications of annoying –

  • The hands-down annoying
  • The borderline annoying
  • The not sure it’s annoying

Hands-Down Annoying

These are the no-brainers of annoying.

Same-day Postings of the Same Thing

This activity applies to the same posting on the same day – over and over again – to the same social media platform.

  • We heard you the first time
  • Or we meant to ignore you the first time
  • And we’ll go from ignoring you to blocking you

Posting Explosion

This one is the cousin to the Same-day/Same-thing Postings.

You swear someone’s computer just threw up all over the internet.

  • Multiple postings
  • Minute by minute
  • Clogging up our streams

I have one question – do you ever sleep?

Shotgun Responses

This technique is used by some who respond to questions in Answers, the LinkedIn category where users pose questions on a variety of topics.

It’s like a race to see who can post the most inane, worthless answers in the least amount of time.

They’re so bad, LinkedIn needs a new category – Spamsers.

Borderline Annoying

You know when someone tells you a story they told before?

  • 1st time – you grin and bear it
  • A few more times – okay, now it’s borderline annoying

If the person keeps telling that story, it’s going to move into Hands-down Annoying.

  • You see it in online visibility
  • Maybe it’s people in training for the higher category

Heck I’ve been guilty of it. Lucky I can blame it on boomer brain. Okay, maybe not.

These are a few examples. See if you agree.

  • Retweeting RTs of your Tweet with original message and names attached
  • Comments teetering on canned responses
  • LinkedIn invitations to connect with the pre-formatted request text

This kind of activity doesn’t send your blood pressure soaring, but it might have you twitching a bit.

Not Sure It’s Annoying

If you are like me, you sometimes question your social media strategy.

This is one award where you don’t want the top category. Here are some from my not sure it’s annoying category.

Same Post – Multiple Platforms

The growth of various platforms has many scrambling for recognition.

So we post the same blog posts to the biggies.

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+
  • LinkedIn

And then we add them to networked blogs and other places.

The theory is that not all people are on all platforms so post everywhere.

Good strategy or annoying?

Same Day Posting Revisited

We established we hate the same postings on the same platforms multiple times a day.

But, is same-day posting okay in moderation?

  • Is twice okay?
  • Three times?
  • Four?

How many times a day is too many? And who decides that?

Signs You Are Annoying

There are signs when you are pushing the envelope on annoying.

  • People stop responding to your posts
  • Comments are getting more personal and hostile
  • You even annoy yourself

It’s a fine line between online visibility and flashing. How do you keep your trench coat buttoned up?

Share your annoying categories. I hope this post isn’t on the list.


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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Mitchell Allen February 1, 2012 at 7:09 am

Oh, Cathy, you sure know how to punch ’em in the gut! I won’t say that I agree with each point, but I do understand them – and your stance.

Here’s the thing, though, people like me don’t really “get” social media right away. We wind up listening to too many experts and are genuinely horrified to discover that we have been annoying.

I just commented on Mitch Mitchell’s blog post about social media. I mentioned that – finally! – I have a plan. I keep the personal and business accounts separate.

At any rate, annoying is subjective, just as you’ve pointed out. But, what do you respond to the newbie who was told, “Not everyone in your ‘sphere’ uses Twitter, so be sure to share your content on Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn, your Bank account….”

Then, there’s the whole RT the Retweet. You mad me smile with that one. Believe it or not, a person whom I very much respect berated me for what I call naked thank you’s. If you retweet my blog post, I always thought it was sufficient to tweet: @millercathy Thanks for sharing my post! 🙂

This person tweeted (mind you, publicly!) that it would be nice to know WHAT I was thanking people for. Never mind that I wasn’t trying to be self-promoting. Never mind that most Twitter software has links to the conversation if you REALLY wanted to know…

So, on that point, I whole-heartedly agree. Which begs the question: should we “canned respond” to #FF tweets? I always thought the purpose of FF was as a discovery mechanism. Retweeting a FF in which you appear is like shouting thanks to a librarian who just handed you a slip of paper with 7 references to look up…

Okay, I guess you can see what annoys me on Twitter, LOL.

Thanks for the thought-provoking discussion and – watch out for rotten tomatoes!


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Cathy February 1, 2012 at 7:18 am

Hi Mitch-thanks for your thoughtful comments. You are so right that what’s annoying is totally subjective. And, as I said, I know I have fallen into activities that were considered annoying to someone. The nature of the beast, I guess.

I struggle with the posting everywhere. I tend to do it, but I do put it in the not sure it’s annoying category.

And I am totally guilty of sending Thank you for the RT. 1) because my mother raised me to always say thank you 🙂 and 2) I fear adding to RT with the link is annoying.

Confusing, eh?

Thanks, as always, for your perspective, Mitch.


Martha Giffen February 1, 2012 at 7:55 am

Cathy! I am laughing out loud! Your writing style is so engaging and this content is so relevant! I don’t think being seen everywhere is a bad thing but the methods of some are so annoying.

And, don’t forget the attention seekers who leave comments all over social media sites saying nothing more than “tweeted.” We get it. We see you. We know you tweeted to your whole list of 100 bloggers! LOL
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Cathy February 1, 2012 at 8:09 am

Hi Martha; Nice to see you back here. 🙂 Glad I could bring a laugh and thank you for the nice compliment.

Thanks for sharing your attention seekers activity. Like Mitch said, we all have different perceptions of annoying and I’m sure there are plenty I missed. Is it any wonder I have the not sure category? 🙂


Tea Silvestre February 1, 2012 at 8:38 am

Great rant, Cathy. What’s the etiquette on sending a link to this post to those who annoy us? You know they’ll never read this unless we share with them!
Tea Silvestre recently posted..Boost Awareness by Piggybacking on a Bigger BrandMy Profile


Cathy February 1, 2012 at 8:48 am

Thanks, Tea. My experience is they’ll probably think it doesn’t apply to them anyway. 🙂

Of course, you know I’m perfect. 😉


Sharon Hurley Hall February 1, 2012 at 10:58 am

Loved this, Cathy. I struggle with this question myself. I’ve been wondering whether I should follow the people I’m interested in on a single platform so that I see their stuff only once. I also wonder whether I should consolidate on one platform so my followers can do the same.

We’ve talked about the ‘thank you’ thing before – I think it’s polite and I’d rather see it than not, but I don’t want to thank people and include my original link – it seems a bit much.
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Cathy February 1, 2012 at 11:09 am

Thanks, Sharon. I promise not to include my link. 😀 I do find it perplexing.

LinkedIn is a good example (at least in my case) where I have contacts who are not on other platforms – or they may be, but not very active. Recently, I wondered if my blog link there was having any impact. Then I walked into a client’s office last November and one of the VPs told me how much he loved reading my posts from LinkedIn. At least he didn’t sound annoyed. 🙂

Thanks for sharing your perspective, Sharon.


Sharon Hurley Hall February 1, 2012 at 11:19 am

Perhaps it’s back to selective sharing, Cathy. I don’t share as much on LinkedIn and have been thinking about sharing more there and on Google+ and less on Facebook and Twitter.
Sharon Hurley Hall recently posted..It’s Time To Increase Your Freelance Writing Rates – Part 1My Profile


Cathy February 1, 2012 at 11:28 am

You’re right about that, Sharon. I definitely share fewer of my tweet posts there as I feel there’s a different vibe to LinkedIn.

And, as we discussed, I still don’t know what the heck I’m doing on Google+ 😀 A lot of that has to do with this exact problem. What sharing becomes plan ol’ annoying?


Wade Finnegan February 1, 2012 at 11:32 pm

I like it when people share things on multiple platforms, because I may miss it otherwise. Some days I’m on google+, other days twitter etc. What annoys me the most is when someone floods my stream with post after post. Post regularly if you like, but please space them out.


Cathy February 2, 2012 at 4:58 am

Hey Wade: Nice to see you here. 🙂

Thanks for sharing your take on posting on multiple platforms. I always wonder if that’s overkill on my part. I totally agree with you on the bombardment of posts. I definitely stop reading after awhile.

Thanks for stopping by, Wade.


Anne Wayman February 3, 2012 at 11:54 am

Cathy, what a great post and what wonderful food for thought to cliche’ at you. And I’m thinking….
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Cathy February 3, 2012 at 11:57 am

Anne: Yes….?? 🙂


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