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Social Media Marketing

10 Reasons You’re Losing Followers on Social Media

When you started building your business’s social network, you likely had a number of goals in mind. Maybe you wanted to increase brand awareness, earn referrals or convert sales. But one thing you definitely didn’t hope for was losing followers on social media.

It’s unrealistic to think each social media post will be a viral sensation. You can’t please everyone all the time. But if you’re consistently losing followers on social media, you may need to step back and see if there is anything you can change

Let’s look at the various ways a user can unfollow you on social media and consider some of the top reasons they decide to cut ties.

How Facebook Users Unfollow

If a user doesn’t like your content, they can “unlike” your page and disconnect from your brand entirely. That means they won’t see any posts (unless they are sponsored posts) from your page anymore. Pretty straightforward.

But as social media platforms and capabilities have evolved, so have the ways users can disengage with your content.

Your content can be snoozed, hidden, or unfollowed altogether.

In fact, 20 percent of Facebook users hide branded content they find repetitive or boring from their news feeds according to a popular survey by Fractl and BuzzStream. Without being outright unfollowed, it’s hard to know what content anyone is seeing.

There’s another option as well that can hurt your page beyond losing followers on social media. If you manage to offend users, they can report your post and block you entirely. If your page receives enough of these, Facebook will take action

Why Facebook Users Unfollow

1. You’re not sharing well.

Take an honest look at your posting habits.

  • Are you sharing too much too often? If there are multiple posts a day, you are likely sharing more than you need to.
  • Are you not sharing at all? Look at your last few posts. Are there huge gaps of time between them? Your followers expect consistency and engagement.

What kind of content are you sharing?

  • Are you providing value to the reader or just posting photos from this morning’s breakfast? Followers don’t want a stream of unrelated, random content.

Does your Facebook wall read like a sales pitch?

  • Sprout Social found 57.5% of respondents said they would unfollow a brand for excessive self-promotion.

2. You’re not being social.

Start and join conversations, respond to comments and complaints, and show your followers you actually care. It’s important to remember that once you participate in a conversation, you need to continue it.

We always encourage our customers and partners to look at social media like a conversation. There is back and forth and give and take. If you are only ever talking and never engaging, you may start to see it translate into losing followers.

In addition, know that social media users expect quick responses. 83% of people expect a response within 24 hours, and 38% expect one in an hour or less. Even if you can’t respond immediately to every comment, followers shouldn’t be left hanging for days.

3. You don’t have the “right” followers.

We’ve all seen these posts before. It used to be mostly “Like us on Facebook to be entered to win…” type posts. More common now is the, “Follow us and tag three friends” approach to bump up users and be entered into a contest.

We’re not saying you shouldn’t try this every once and a while. Running contests can be a great way to add new followers quickly or get some brand exposure, but the followers you gain may not be the followers you need. If they’re not truly part of your target audience, they will almost certainly unfollow once the contest is over.

Buying followers is another quick way to the wrong type of followers. You’ll see engagement drop, your reputation could very well suffer, and most importantly, buying followers violates the terms of service for most major social media networks. Skip the quick fix and take the time and effort to build the right audience.

This Facebook cover photo shows a sampling of items sold by The Honest Company: makeup, baby care items, and cleansers and soaps. No words needed. You get what they do, what they offer, and what to expect by clicking “shop now.”

How Twitter Users Unfollow

Twitter users have several options for controlling what appears on their timeline. For example, they can:

  • Unfollow you entirely
  • Mute you so your tweets don’t appear in their timeline
  • Report or block you
They can also now select that your content is something they are not interested in. When they do that, they are telling Twitter to change your experience so they see less content from you. Here’s what it looks like when “not interested in this” is selected:

Why Twitter Users Unfollow

4. You’re abusing the retweet (RT).

There’s nothing wrong with retweeting content. In fact, you should! But it shouldn’t be the core of your content strategy. Why should anyone follow you when they can go straight to the source instead?

Don’t try to retweet everyone who mentions your brand or uses your hashtag. It’s a well-intentioned mistake, but it can quickly clog up timelines and you will lose followers.

Also, don’t ask for re-tweets. If your content is great, they will come naturally.

5. You’re using the follow/unfollow strategy.

This is something most of us experienced within minutes of joining Twitter. A brand follows your account, so you follow them back. It’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship…until you realize they’ve unfollowed you! This is no way for a business to build customer loyalty.

As mentioned in point #3, this relates to the idea of building the right followers. Follow accounts that make sense for your business and brand. There’s no need to follow every single person who follows you and try to keep a 1:1 strategy.

6. You keep changing your profile photo.

Twitter moves fast, and it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. One way your followers recognize you is by your profile photo. Unless you’re a big-name celebrity, changing your photo can confuse your followers. Believe it or not, they may not remember who you are, especially if your profile bio isn’t complete.

How LinkedIn Users Unfollow

When LinkedIn users tire of your content, they have two options. They can unfollow you (which keeps your business connection) or they can report your post. LinkedIn takes an interesting angle where they encourage sharing more than unfollowing by providing several ways to do so.

Why LinkedIn Users Unfollow

7. You’re sharing personal content on a professional network.

Where other social networks continuously blur the lines of professional and personal, LinkedIn is a pretty standard professional networking tool. Yes, there are times when this line gets crossed, but for the most part, the people who cross the line get called out.

LinkedIn is the ideal place to focus on your professional skills and relationships. Being human and real is an important part of being you, so add personal information to your updates when it makes sense. Here’s an example of how you can weave your personal experience with a professional update: