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Why People Unfollow Brands on Social Media and How to Avoid It

I'm sure you've done this before: you started following a brand and then a few days (or months later) you unfollow them. This isn't anything new, or shocking. Unless YOUR brand is the one that is getting unfollowed. Honestly, people will inevitably unfollow brands on social media. And since people are different, the reasons they follow or unfollow brands are just as different as they are. As a brand, it's pretty impossible to please every single person. However, there are ways that you can avoid getting unfollowed.

I like to call this: what you shouldn't do to further provoke people to unfollow you. It's a good idea to make sure to keep an eye on the following 7 reasons that people unfollow brands. Let's go ahead a take a look at what your brand should avoid at all costs.


1.  The Content Is Repetitive & Boring

No one likes boring content. In fact, it's hated so much that at the end of this post I'll discuss what followers consider boring. If the content you share is repetitive or boring, people will unfollow you. Let's face it, there's a lot of competition out there. Especially when it comes to sharing content. This is why you need to be innovative when it comes to your social media presence.

People follow brands for specific reasons and if you post repetitive/boring content, you can kiss those followers goodbye. People only follow brands that they really care about and they want fresh content. The social activities that matter most to people who follow brands are:

  • new content in each post
  • relevant content in each post
  • how fast the brand's response rate is
  • the frequency of posts

The best way to avoid repetition is to share new content every time you post something.

2. They Post Too Frequently

Now, this might be a no-brainer for some, but it's an all-too-real problem. Which is why around 19% of people will unfollow brands if they post too much. But what is too much on social media? The answer is more than 6 times a day. Surprisingly enough, most people expect brands to post only 1-2 times a day.

At first glance, this seems pretty fair from your audience's perspective. "Frequency" is a relative term when it comes to an individual brand's social media page. It honestly depends on what the audience likes and appreciates. I.e. you can't please them all! Who knows, your audience might actually like it if you posted more than twice a day! However, the sweet spot is between 2 – 5 times per day. The trick is to stick to a social media schedule, so your audience knows what to expect.

Here's how can you avoid losing followers because of your posting frequency:

  • Delve into your analytics/insights to figure out the best days and times to post
  • Create a few different schedules
  • Test each one out for at least a month - the goal is to generate enough stats and come up with a comparative study based on performance

And remember, whatever schedule you decide on, make sure you stick to it. Don't forget to streamline your social media presence.

3. There's Too Much Clutter In Their News Feed

This can be a tricky one. Simply because it depends entirely on the individual follower's mindset, interest and how much info they deem is clutter. Obviously, you can't stop people from unfollowing you if their main goal is to clean up their news feed. Yes, it sucks that you have to bear the brunt of their decision, but you might be able to avoid it.

You need to review your past posts and see which ones struck a chord with your audience. Once you find the popular ones, it's a good idea to share similar content. This will keep your followers focused and interested. This is where visual content comes into play. Images, videos, and infographics will always keep your followers interested. Especially when pitted against content without a visual aspect.

This is why this shouldn't come as a shocker: close to 50% of the people surveyed said that they preferred it when brands shared visual content on their social pages. Less than 7% wanted them to share ebooks.

4. Offended by the Brand's Activities

Just because your brand is on social media, it doesn't mean there are no rules to follow. Naturally, there's no rulebook (yet), but there is a certain code of conduct. One that you are expected to follow if you don't want to be labeled as an "offensive" brand. Trust me, you don't want that - it isn't good for business.

Social Media's Unspoken Rule: WHAT you share and HOW you share can have a significant impact on the nature of offensiveness.

So, what type of activities are considered “offensive”? It's honestly a myriad of things. Ones that you'd expect to be offensive and others that you might not have considered:

  • Too much self-promotion: don’t ONLY talk about yourself, your products, your services, or your events.
  • The use of automated messages: use automation to schedule your updates but NOT your interactions. P.S. this also applies to the use of Twitter auto DM’s.
  • Using humor as a way to criticize: it's hard to determine context online, so tone down the humor.
  • Poor use of hashtags: you should use hashtags responsibly and keep them relevant to the topic at hand. Head over here to find relevant hashtags.

5. Content Is Irrelevant To the Brand

Here's another tricky subject because "relevant" content can mean different things to different people. So, how do you keep things relevant to your audience? It comes down to how your audience interacts with your past content. Determine the content they like and stick to that type of content. For example, if your audience likes inspirational quotes, even though it isn't directly relevant to your brand, it doesn't hurt to share it. Give them what they want and they're sure to follow you.

This is why it's a good idea to review your past posts and see which ones did the best in terms of engagement. Afterward, you'll be able to figure out the relevancy factor by weighing them in.

6. Lack of Engagement

As a brand, you NEED to engage with your audience. It's crucial to interact with them in a personal and friendly manner. It's why 39% and 36% of people who follow brands on Facebook and Twitter expect brands to engage with them when they post on their social pages. The takeaway: they expect you to interact with them, so don't disappoint them.

Because the act of following/liking is directly linked the expectation of engagement from the brand. Which is why you should use your social presence as a medium to interact with your followers or you can kiss them goodbye!

7. They Find A Competitor's Brand They'd Rather Follow

Ouch, that stings! Sadly it's true. A very small portion of people will unfollow a brand if they come across a competitor’s brand they’d rather follow. Once again, this is a classic case of personal choice. And honestly, there isn't too much you can do to stop it. The only angle you have is to try and be better than your competitors.

This is why you need to check up on what your competitors are doing on their social media platforms. You can do this by analyzing your insights/analytics. You should take note of things they are doing right and what they are doing wrong. It also doesn't hurt to determine what works for them. This is a good route to take because you have a similar target audience. Just make sure to incorporate their best practices on your page to keep your followers happy.

Now that we've covered the main reasons people unfollow brands, let's take a look at how to avoid being boring. The more you read, the more you'll realize the correlation between boring and the rate of unfollows.



Here's the thing: you can either choose to feed your followers non-boring content or face their wrath. And honestly, no one wants to lose their customers due to boring content. So, how can you avoid it?

1. Share Helpful Information AND Entertainment

According to a survey by Disruptive Communications, most people follow brands on social media because they are looking for offers and discounts, funny/entertaining posts and brand/product news. Therefore your job as a brand is to share relevant and helpful information with a dash of entertainment. This is guaranteed to keep your audience interested. However, you should try to avoid basic/boring announcements about product launches and special offers.

2. Share Engaging Visual Content Instead of Just Text

Visuals aren't just for Pinterest and Instagram. In fact, people prefer engaging visual content instead of walls of boring text. The bottom line is to include visuals in your content in order to appeal to your audience. But you need to make sure that you use the right visuals, not just any visual. Always opt for visual content that is eye-catching. Just make sure it fits with your content.

3. Don't Make It JUST About You

Social media shouldn't be just about you and you really shouldn't use the advertising approach either. If your sole purpose is to advertise your brand and your products, people will most likely unfollow you. Instead, shoot for content that they can engage with and share with others. This will encourage your followers to love your brand even more than they already do. The trick is to target your audience with your content. Include an interesting fact or ask them a question that they can respond to.

4. Share Other People's Content Too

Yes, yes. Social media exists so that you can share your content with your followers. Even with those you want to target. But it's not always about YOUR content. Therefore you need to share other people's content too. Why? It's simple. Other people have interesting things to say as well. Plus, it gives you an opportunity to establish yourself as a valuable source of information in your niche.

All you need is a good distribution of both types of content on your social media channels. The 5-3-2 rule of social media sharing is a good rule to follow. It says for every 10 updates you post to a social media channel:

  • 5 should be content from others, relevant to your audience.
  • 3 should be content from you, relevant to your audience – and not a sales pitch.
  • 2 should be personal, non-work related content that helps humanize you and/or your brand.

5. Interact With Your Followers

People use social media to connect with the brand they care about, but they don't follow them just for the sake of following. Whenever people mention brands on social media they expect a response. Such as a retweet, a favorite, a comment, or even a response.

The key to building a meaningful relationship with your followers is to make them believe that you actually care about them. Yes, it takes time to personally respond but your followers will really appreciate it. Customers are most happy when brands take the time to engage in a two-way communication. It makes them feel important and relevant.

Here's a tip– don’t wait for your customers to ask you something or mention you to start a conversation. Do it without them asking anything at all.

6. Don't Be Dull - Show Some Personality

Being yourself (the face behind your brand) is one hundred percent okay. Especially when it comes to social media. Ask questions, share funny updates or quotes that inspire you. Don't just stick to a strict guideline of sharing only serious content. I'm looking at you, Batman! ;) People WANT to connect with you - they want you to have a human touch. People really like to connect with brands that show some personality and actually socialize with their followers.

So there you have it! We hope this will help you keep your unfollow rate low and your content exciting. Because let's face it, no one likes boring! If you have any questions or comments, let us know down below!