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Your Followers are Real People, and They’re Leaving You.

Blog Post Author – Kirsty
2nd December 2016

As a content creator, you can often fall into bad habits at work - like having bad posture at your desk, relying too much on online grammar checkers and constantly ignoring why people are unfollowing your brand...

Often, ‘unfollows’ are put down to bad quality followers, pesky chat-bots or the natural ebbs and flows of [social media](/ "social media). When you lose followers, the knee-jerk reaction is often the wrong one: cranking up paid advertising so follower ‘growth’ continues.

Losing followers should hurt.

If you don’t keep an eye on why a follower leaves, you have no way of knowing whether or not that person is Joe Bloggs from your number one target audience. In other words, someone who should love your work, engage with your posts and purchase from you. Without monitoring, you won’t know whether Joe was actually one of 71% SproutSocial found to have unfollowed a brand because the content was actually embarrassing.


In the social media world, content creators aren’t always responsible for reporting progress, so it’s understandable how a depleting follower count could be overlooked.

If you’re a brand that takes a genuine approach to growing and maintaining the right audience, keyboards down - you need to understand why your followers are leaving before you churn out anymore content.  

Reason 1: You don’t listen to what they’re saying.

If customers are complaining about your products or business on social media, unfollows could indicate a wider business issue that needs highlighting. Stat.

The answer: Monitor how followers react to your content week-on-week. Tools like StatusBrew will help you spot who’s coming and going on Instagram and Twitter. Whilst analytics could show that customers are interested, but only between 6-8pm, or that it’s time to drop Google + because you haven’t had an engagement there in the last 6 months!

When it comes to reviewing your channels, do sweat the small stuff. Adding just one more hashtag to a post can garner 12.6% more engagement online.  

Reason 2: You talk about yourself all the time

Picture this: It’s Saturday night, you’re curled up with a glass of wine and a chicken korma and ready to watch Strictly Come Dancing. But instead of your favourite dancing show, 45 minutes of advertising about how wonderful Strictly Come Dancing is comes on!

Even the most stalwart of fans would find themselves reaching for the remote.

As Social Media becomes the new TV for brands, many businesses are broadcasting adverts 24/7 – and scaring away followers in the meantime. Social media is a conversation channel, which means entertaining content and two way discussions are a crucial factor in maintaining your followers’ interest (we discuss the importance of 121 conversations in more detail.)  

Reason 3: You aren’t the brand they fell in love with.

Every new content creator can bring their own element to a social channel. Whilst this can keep things fresh, too much switching around can, over time, warp and alter your brand’s voice in a way that confuses your audience. On the flip side, if your ‘modern brand guidelines’ were created in 2013 and haven’t adapted in the last few years, there’s a big chance your tone of voice and strategy is now outdated and potentially even ‘embarrassing’ your followers.

Do you remember when O2's cool and casual social strategy saw their social following grow 4,836%, despite 7 million customers having connection problems? This was a perfect example of how a solid brand voice can comfort and keep your followers in times of trouble.

More often than not, when followers are leaving you, _‘It’s not them, it’s you.’ _Take a step back to get to know everything about your 2017 audience. Then, create a consistent voice that will set their world on fire!

Make understanding the reason behind ‘unfollows’ a habit that sticks. Whether it’s your voice, approach or consistency that needs attention, keeping things in check can prevent you wasting months crafting irrelevant content. What’s more, this practice will help you forge incredible relationships with loyal customers - that last.

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