You’ve set up your social media and you feel as if you’ve been doing a pretty good job for your business. But every day you see that you are getting people that are unfollowing your brand. “What is going on?” you ask yourself. Thanks to Fractl and BuzzStream, who produced a really helpful infographic on this subject, one can become aware of the reasons why people are unsubscribing your brand. To understand why your followers are leaving can be very helpful as it will give you insight on what you can do to improve your social media campaigns.
Getting right to the core of the problem, it seems that there are a range of different reasons that can lead people to unfollow a brand’s social media accounts. Twenty one per cent of people said that one reason for unfollowing will be if the content is boring or repetitive. Nineteen per cent reported that they would unfollow a brand on Facebook if it posted too regularly. Too regularly was considered to be more than six times each day. Eight per cent reported a likelihood of unfollowing a brand on Twitter if there was a lack of engagement noticed, such as no response to comments, or a slow response to comments. In terms of how recently people have unfollowed brands, 12 per cent of people said that they unfollowed a brand on Twitter in just the last few days. On Facebook, 25 per cent reported having unfollowed a brand over the course of the last month. On LinkedIn a very large 49 per cent reported that they do not unfollow brands on this social media platform.
Some of the reasons for unsubscribing from a company’s emails are similar to unfollowing on social media. For example, it was discovered that 24 per cent would unsubscribe from emails if they found that the content was too boring or repetitive. Thirty three per cent were not fans of content being sent to them too frequently and would be likely to unsubscribe if that occurred. Another reason, specific to email is that 28 per cent stated that they would unsubscribe from emails due to a need to cut down on the clutter in their inbox.
Looking at how to overcome the problems, the study aimed to establish the preferred content types that were posted by brands. In this regard, 22 per cent stated that they want to see images, and this is what they prefer brands to post. Fifteen per cent expressed a preference for videos over images, and another 15 per cent found customer reviews to be the most preferred content type posted by a brand. Fourteen per cent reported a need to see company news posted. For those expanding their content into different directions there may be some bad news in the fact that less than seven per cent of those surveyed had any interest in seeing white papers or e-books. In fact, ebooks and white papers were seen to be a turnoff for 11 per cent and 12 per cent of social media users respectively and could lead to unfollowing.
All of this leads to the question of what businesses can do to make their social media work, and to avoid getting unfollowed. One of the most important was reported to be having new content in posts. This means that businesses have to be novel and innovative in what they do. A second important factor was making sure that content that is posted is entirely relevant to the brand. Those that are using social media also need to ensure that they take the time to engage with followers. Consistent scheduling of posts is less important, but does have some relevance too. On the topic of engagement, 39 per cent of those surveyed reported that a brand is either very or quite likely to engage with them if they follow its Facebook page. However, 27 per cent think that following a brand does not lead to a change in engagement. On Twitter the figures are not dissimilar, with 36 per cent believing that a brand may be either very or quite likely to engage with them if they follow its Twitter feed, but 33 per cent believe there will be no difference.The unfollow algorithm
Paula Newton is a business writer, editor and management consultant with extensive experience writing and consulting for both start-ups and long established companies. She has ten years management and leadership experience gained at BSkyB in London and Viva Travel Guides in Quito, Ecuador, giving her a depth of insight into innovation in international business. With an MBA from the University of Hull and many years of experience running her own business consultancy, Paula’s background allows her to connect with a diverse range of clients, including cutting edge technology and web-based start-ups but also multinationals in need of assistance. Paula has played a defining role in shaping organizational strategy for a wide range of different organizations, including for-profit, NGOs and charities. Paula has also served on the Board of Directors for the South American Explorers Club in Quito, Ecuador.