Marketing and social media can be an awkward interaction. Like a 13-year-old going on a first date sometimes you say/do the right thing and, well, sometimes not so much. As with any form of promotion it's a balancing act between form and function but on the web this is especially true. It's easy to try to take advantage of visitors to your website by blocking them from what they want until they do or watch something (or even just click an "X" button to close whatever's in front of them). Sure they're a captive audience but they also have a notoriously short attention span and likely dozens of other places they could go to get what you're offering. So long as there's an easy/quick opt-out option from ads that block me from what I want to get at I'm generally a happy web goer.
The popup you see above did two things that offended me. Upon first visiting their website I was asked to tout what they're all about on this or that social media network. I confirmed via cookies set in my browser that the annoyance would only show on my first visit which actually seems odd if you consider that, before I've seen any content whatsoever at that domain name, I'd be asked to spread the word for them. The second bug was that I had to sit and wait while a timer ticked down before I could view the content. No opt-out option.
There are as many theories about how to strike the ad vs. usability balance on the web as there are grains of sand in the ocean so I don't pretend to have the solution here. Instead, I'd just like to offer this post as advice of what not to do.
Deep Thoughts, Marketing, Social Media