eCommerce Insiders

7 Reasons People Are Unfollowing Your Social Media Accounts

If you’re watching your social media follower numbers closely, you probably notice they fluctuate from one week to the next.

Just as you’re feeling excited about gaining a few new followers, others drop you without explanation. You rack your brain, trying to come up with what you might have done to offend those potential customers, but the reasons are never very simple.

In truth, you may not have done anything all that unusual. Often it’s the simple things that cause someone to click the button that makes your posts go away. Here are a few of the most common reasons people unfollow a brand on social media.

1. Failure to Deliver

Consider the primary reason a customer followed you in the first place. Chances are, it was for mostly selfish purposes. Your followers want information that can benefit them, including notification of big sales and exclusive coupons. If you’re filling newsfeeds with content that doesn’t help your followers somehow, they’ll eventually drop you.

2. Over-Marketing

While it’s important to help customers out by notifying them of special sales and offers, over-marketing will lose them, as well. If every message you post reminds your customers that you’ve launched a new product or your company is the best in town, they’ll quickly grow tired of you. To be most successful, limit your marketing posts in favor of fun, useful content and avoid repeating the same message.

3. Inactivity

Occasionally, some social media followers conduct a spring cleaning of their online accounts. When they do, they check for inactive connections and remove them. If you go months between posting, you likely will be dropped by a certain percentage of your followers because you’re inactive. Try to limit your online accounts to those you can maintain. If regular posting is difficult with your busy schedule, assign the duty to someone else.

4. Failure to Engage

Social media is a two-way conversation. It’s important that you go beyond deploying messages to your followers and take time to interact. Set up alerts for any mention of your brand on social media and reply to those mentions as soon as possible. You could also occasionally pose a question to your followers and stick around to respond to their answers. This will not only help you maintain followers, but it will increase customer loyalty and boost sales.

5. Lack of Professionalism

As a brand, you have a responsibility to be professional at all times. When you blur the line between business and personal online, you jeopardize your reputation. Retailers likely realize this, but they also often turn their accounts over to their employees to manage. It’s important to make sure your entire team knows that when they’re posting online about your company, they should remember they’re representing the brand. Complaining about customers, vendors, or even competitors should be strictly forbidden, with disciplinary action taken against anyone who violates those policies.

6. Type of Content

As mentioned above, customers follow a brand for primarily selfish reasons. This makes the type of content that grabs their interest important. A survey conducted by BuzzStream and Fractl revealed that while content alone isn’t enough to prompt an unfollow, some types of content are more popular with social media users than others.

When asked what type of content brands should avoid posting on social media, white papers and e-books tied for first place. Images and videos ranked as the most popular types of content, followed by customer reviews and company news. Images and videos also stand out more in user newsfeeds, so instead of investing in a white paper, a retailer may be better off putting that effort into an infographic or how-to video.

7. Failure to Grasp the Technology

Not every retail business owner has a solid grasp of today’s technology. If brands can invest in a social media manager or someone with marketing expertise, the investment will likely pay off. If not, the designated social media poster for a business should learn as much as possible about using various social media sites before starting. Professionals should learn how to re-tweet, reply, comment, tag, and use hashtags on relevant social media sites. This comes both from researching how these sites work and watching how other brands are using them. One major pet peeve of many Twitter users, for instance, is misuse of hashtags on Twitter, so it’s important to learn how to use them before you represent your brand poorly.

Retailers shouldn’t feel pressured to learn everything about social media overnight. However, the more time you spend on these sites, the more you’ll learn about them. Pay attention to how other retailers are interacting with their customers on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest and use their own approaches to inspire how you handle your social media marketing. You’ll likely find it’s the perfect outlet to connect with potential customers.

Stephanie Faris is a freelance writer and novelist who spends her days putting off working on the next chapter. Six of her children’s books have been contracted by Simon & Schuster and two, 25 Roses and 30 Days of No Gossip, are currently available. Her freelance work has been featured on,,, xoJane, Dell’s TechPage One, and HTC’s Breaking Modern, among many others. Find her on her website or on Twitter.


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