Is oversharing annoying? This is a question I had to ask myself when I was bombarded with emails, posts on social media, even live Facebook video streaming. It was related to a recent online competition for funding and mentoring. Businesses had to get votes and those with the most votes had the opportunity to pitch.


I always support others and was very excited that one of my business partners was involved in this opportunity: she reached the pitching stage. However, there were other individuals within my online networks who were involved, and I was happy to support them as much as I could. In the past, I have politely asked others for support and like to hope this support is reciprocated.

However, one business was contacting me with personal messages, posts everywhere and even Live FB video – even though I had already voted. I had never met this individual and was connected via a couple of social media platforms. I felt utterly bombarded with an aggressive marketing campaign; became angry and frustrated and eventually had to block the FB video, email newsletter (that I hadn’t subscribed to) and the messages. I fully appreciate this was a passionate business owner who wanted to to well but 5 personal messages + numerous blanket posting (spamming) of social media sites, completely blocking my streams within 8 hours was too much. I am sure this business is brilliant, but I have only negative feelings about this company now. Unfair, but the company’s behaviour led to my negative feelings about it. Reading posts in FB groups, other people felt the same.

I do appreciate that some competitions now rely on votes, and we all have to contact our contacts to encourage them to support us, and to remind them! BUT the communication of this particular company was, in my opinion, excessive and put myself – and others – off.

So in order to avoid over sharing and annoying contacts what do you need to do? And I welcome any feedback on this too.

  • Consider how you know people; are they social media contacts that you might not have met but are followers? Existing clients? Contacts you have met? Treating them all as one is a mistake. I didn’t know this individual yet was being messaged as though I did.
  • Plan your communication based on the type of client relationship and don’t fall into the trap of over spamming people that you only know virtually, very vaguely.
  • For people you know better, have met, worked with etc send personalised messages.
  • For these people, don’t keep hassling them. For example, I told one individual that I wasn’t able to vote twice because the system wouldn’t allow me. I then had repeated messages telling me other ways I could vote. I had never met this person or knew their business…. Rude.
  • Don’t put people on your newsletter list without their permission. Or in fact a Facebook group then keep messaging them. It really annoys them.
  • Be aware of how many messages you are sending. Most individuals get annoyed if their in boxes or streams are filled with repeated messages from someone.
  • If someone tells you they have voted, note this down and stop pestering them.

IN the end you want to engage with people in a positive way, not annoy them. You don’t want them to think “That is XXX who annoyed me with their voting campaign”. Negative impressions and energy are not helpful. We all want to get votes for projects that we are passionate about; let’s just consider our audience for a moment and how our actions might influence others perception of ourselves. #justsaying

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Susan Heaton-Wright
About the author

Susan Heaton Wright is a former opera singer who works with successful individuals and teams to make an impact with their voices and physical presence. Using her experience in using the voice and performing on stage, she works with people to improve their performances in a range of business situations; from meeting skills and on the telephone, to public speaking, presentations and appearing on the media.

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