You are working hard to build up your social media presence. You read blog after blog to stay up to date on current techniques and trends. You seem to be doing everything right, yet the number of followers or likes keeps declining! Where did you go wrong? You try to change up your strategy, which works for a week until the numbers begin to fall again. Everything was going so well, and now, no matter what you try, nothing makes a difference.
Here is a (not-so) secret, losing followers might actually be a good thing. This might seem counter-intuitive because isn’t the point of social media to amass a large audience? Well, yes and no. A company’s social media accounts can often end up ranking in search results, which is good for increased exposure. Additionally, there is some data suggesting that social media is a ranking factor for SEO. However, it is unclear whether this is influenced by the number of followers or not. So, why are you losing followers?
You aren’t posting relevant content
People initially followed you because of what you appeared to offer. If you all of a sudden change direction entirely, you will likely lose many followers. For example, if you are a restaurant and you used to post photos of your food or special deals, and now you only post political cartoons, your followers are going to be confused and likely leave.
You should be posting content targeted at your audience and customers. If people feel like your posts are simply no longer relevant, they will click “unlike” or “unfollow.” Social media is a fickle environment, so you have to prove that you are worthy of attention. It is always annoying when I follow an account because of their interesting posts, and then realize that the account posts hundreds of different random topics. Make sure your posts are consistent with your brand and represent your company well.
You are being spam followed
As your social media accounts begin to grow, the possibility that you will be spammed increases. This is fairly common on Twitter. These spam accounts always look very similar and are fairly easy to spot. They will have very bizarre usernames, and many times their bio will say something like “buy more followers today.”
If, out of the blue, you suddenly get a huge influx of followers, check to see if they are legitimate accounts. Spammers will often be deleted or deactivated at some point, so you might see huge drops in your follower count and wonder what happened. Remember that these were never real, and don’t count.
You post too frequently or you don’t post enough
Frequency is definitely a key player in the amount of followers. Whether you are on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, or anything else, the amount of times you post per day is going to affect your follower count. Check out this previous blog I wrote to determine how often your business should be posting. In general, there is no exact answer because it depends on your industry, the platform, and your audience. The best thing to do is test different ways and see what works best.
A huge pet peeve of most social media users is accounts that post too much. I think this contributes to unfollows much more frequently than posting too little. If your entire news feed is clogged with 50 posts by one person, you will not only unfollow but also have a poor opinion of that account. Don’t let that happen to your business! Be mindful and aware of your social media presence.
Even though too many posts are generally more annoying, not posting enough is also reason for unfollowing. Many people like to clean house occasionally and get rid of all the accounts that are inactive. It is all about finding the right balance.
You aren’t posting anything interesting
Most people visiting social media are looking for cool, interesting stuff. Often times, it is an escape from work, school, or stress. If you are posting boring content, well, don’t be surprised if you lose people. This doesn’t mean that every single post you make needs to be amazing or show stopping (although that would be pretty awesome), but you should be sharing something of value with each post.
A positive side to this is that while what you are posting might not be interesting to everyone, it might be interesting to the right people. Your social media accounts should be aimed at those who are likely to eventually become a customer. It shouldn’t be for everybody in the whole world. If you are losing followers, it probably isn’t a huge loss in the big picture. Think of it as trimming the fat. You are getting rid of the stuff you never even wanted and are left with a better product in the end.
Don’t worry too much about the number! If you are posting great content and working hard to stay engaged, then you will eventually see the pay off. You want to build the right audience. It is the difference between having 1000 followers who could care less and 100 loyal followers who love your brand. It might take time, but you want it to be worth it.