5 Reasons Why People Unfollow Brands on Facebook
You know how it is. You've lost something in your email—somewhere—and then the panicked search starts. You know it's there. You know you didn't delete it.
I had this moment last week, but what was exciting was in my effort to find this email I was searching with keywords and found the most unusual thing in my search results. Granted, I am a bit of a pack rat when it comes to saving emails, but I'm here to announce that a lot of folks are talking about the reasons people unfollow brands on Facebook. Seriously, you would not believe how many emails I have with opinions about it, but one thing is for sure—everyone agrees that whatever the reasons, it's really bad when people unfollow you.
Now, if you're asking yourself why we need one more blog, article or email about this topic, I've decided to pull across the various reasons marketers and digital experts have given to give you a summarized list. Take a look because I think we will all find some of this (hopefully not all of this) in our brands' Facebook pages.
Why does this matter? Because it is estimated that consumers are 43 percent more likely to buy a new product from brands they follow.
- The You Problem: Yep, it's true. Some brands just can't stop talking about themselves. In fact, here's a quick challenge from Kairay Media: "Go to your Facebook page now and look at your last 10 updates. If 60% of these posts are about pushing your products (that they already know), celebrating your recent achievements, and inviting everyone to sign up for your newsletters, then you just hit the criteria of a self-absorbed brand."
- The Too Much Problem: This is one area where the more traditional fundraising channel (direct mail) differs greatly from social media. In direct mail, frequency of mail is only a problem if the mail is not relevant. In social media, according to several studies, the No. 1 reason people unfollow a brand is that it posts too much. The posts could be problematic or on-point, but frequency of posting is a problem. The challenge in the industry is that there are different opinions as to what is "too much." Some people say one post per day is the target, and more than that tips the scale.
- The Yawn Problem: What makes you yawn in a business meeting? What makes you tune someone out? Someone saying the same thing over and over—perhaps changing the words a little bit but the content is still the same. Well, guess what? This is one of the top reasons for people unfollowing a brand. Take a look at your posts from the last few weeks. Are you saying the same thing over and over, or are you trying to tell unique pieces of your "story" throughout all of your posts?
- The No Comment Problem: What's worse that someone saying "no comment" to questions? I'll tell you—not replying at all to questions and comments that people leave for you on your Facebook page. Granted, this does not mean you need to provide an answer—and by all means do not get involved in a "war of words" with your Facebook community if it leaves you negative feedback—but you need to respond. If people have questions, give them responses so they know you have heard them and are listening to them. Remember, Facebook is about community dialogue. Don't you want to be a part of the conversation about your brand? Also, general rule of thumb on those tough issues that occur every now and then (or more)—acknowledge publicly and resolve privately. Acknowledge when there are problems on your page so your community knows that you want to know how people feel about your brand, but always take the resolution of issues into a private communication.
- The "Ad" Problem: This is very closely aligned with No. 1 above but deserves its own callout because the problem is actually different. In No. 1, the communications are not enough about creating an engagement and open dialogue and desire to share content across the community. The brand just simply talks about itself too much. In this problem, it's simple—it's the constant ads. If a nonprofit, for example, constantly posts about the mission and asks for money every time, this is the same as a commercial brand that constantly advertises its products and markets them. Just remember, Facebook is a social media channel—key word being "social." Trust me, no one wants to constantly be talked to about what you need to do for them.
Take a few minutes this week and glance at your Facebook strategy and how you measure up against these five "problems."
Vice President, Strategy & Development
Eleventy Marketing Group
Angie is ridiculously passionate about EVERYTHING she’s involved in — including the future and success of our nonprofit industry.
Angie is a senior exec with 25 years of experience in direct and relationship marketing. She is a C-suite consultant with experience over the years at both nonprofits and agencies. She currently leads strategy and development for marketing intelligence agency Eleventy Marketing Group. Previously she has worked at the innovative startup DonorVoice and as general manager of Merkle’s Nonprofit Group, as well as serving as that firm’s CRM officer charged with driving change within the industry. She also spent more 14 years leading the marketing, fundraising and CRM areas for two nationwide charities, The Arthritis Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Angie is a thought leader in the industry and is frequent speaker at events, and author of articles and whitepapers on the nonprofit industry. She also has received recognition for innovation and influence over the years.