Social media can be a powerful tool to foster communication between brands and consumers and develop customer loyalty. However, social media can also work to the brand’s detriment when they do not adequately engage with consumers. To know how to achieve success through social media, brands must first understand what causes individuals to unfollow them on social media and the behaviors that drive followers away. According to a recent study by Sprout Social, many consumers initially followed brands intending to engage with them and actively follow them; however, the brands failed to deliver what the consumers desire to see from them on social media. The strategy of ascertaining what an ideal post from what is not, however, is easier said than done, and brands often misuse social media in ways that deter their audience and result in them being unfollowed. Some ways brand’s lose followers are:
1. The Content Is Repetitive & Boring
A lot of brands do not make the time or effort to generate content, so many of their posts are repetitive and dull. When it comes to social media presence, brands need to be innovative as social media channels are very visual platforms. Brands should strive to post frequently, post relevant content, post new content, and often respond to trends and consumer concerns.
2. They Post Too Frequently
This may be unclear because, in the previous point, it was mentioned that brands should strive to post frequently; however, posting too often can result in unfollowed brands. There is a delicate balance between posting just enough and posting too much, posting more than six times a day is considered too much. Brands that post around 1-2 times a day on social media are often liked and appreciated by their followers; however, it is not a one size fits all solution. Some audiences may like it when the brand posts 2-5 times a day. The brand must conduct their research to discover what frequency of posting yields the best result from their followers and stick to a schedule, so followers know what to expect.
3. Offended by the Brand’s Activities
There is a particular code of conduct on social media to ensure your brand is not labeled as offensive. Brands always have to consider the effect what they post can have on their audience. The type of activities that can be considered offensive is relative, and so it is somewhat tricky for brands to distinguish what is offensive from what is not. Some examples would be too much self-promotion, automated replies, and poor hashtag usage. Most recently, I have observed some brands receiving backlash to their responses to touchy subjects and trends such as the Black Lives Matter movement. Many companies who have chosen not to acknowledge it have experienced a drop in their following, as have companies who decided to acknowledge it but not in an appropriate or accepted way.
Social media is a conversation medium to encourage two-way interaction between brand and consumer as opposed to just broadcasting ads. Some consumers follow brands to be entertained while some follow brands to acquire information about promotions and incentives. This is important for brands to take into consideration when generating content for their audience. Being able to entertain the audience and align them to the brand will increase the chances of that person becoming a paying customer.