10 Reasons You’re Losing Followers on Social Media

When you started building your social network, you had a number of goals in mind. Maybe you wanted to increase brand awareness, earn referrals or convert sales. But one thing you didn’t want to worry about was losing followers on social media!

It’s unrealistic to think each social media post will hit home for every follower; you can’t keep everyone happy all the time. But if you’re consistently losing followers on social media, you may be doing something wrong.

Let’s look at the various ways a user can unfollow you on social media and consider some of the top reasons they decide to cut ties.

How Facebook Users Unfollow

If a user doesn’t like your content, they can “unlike” your page and disconnect from your brand entirely. Pretty straightforward, right?

losing social media followers

When users break that connection, you may not even know it.

losing social media followers

Users now have tons of options on how to handle content they see, as noted above. Your content can be snoozed, hidden, or unfollowed altogether. According to a popular survey by Fractl and BuzzStream, 20 percent of Facebook users hide branded content they find repetitive or boring from their news feeds. Worse still, if you manage to offend them, they can report your post and block you entirely.

losing social media followers

Why Facebook Users Unfollow

1. You’re not sharing well.

Take an honest look at your posting habits.

  • Are you sharing too much too often, or are you not sharing at all? Your followers expect consistency and engagement.

What kind of content are you sharing?

  • Are you providing value to the reader or just posting photos from this morning’s breakfast? Followers don’t want a stream of unrelated, random content.

Does your Facebook wall read like a sales pitch?

  • Sprout Social found 57.5% of respondents said they would unfollow a brand for excessive self-promotion.

2. You’re not being social.

Start and join conversations, respond to comments and complaints, and show your followers you actually care. Keep in mind that social media users expect quick responses. One survey found 83% of people expect a response within 24 hours, and 38% expect one in an hour or less. Even if you can’t respond immediately to every comment, followers shouldn’t be left hanging for days.

3. You don’t have the “right” followers.

“Like us on Facebook for your chance to win…” We’ve all seen these posts before. Even more common now is the, “Follow us and tag three friends” rules to be entered into a contest.

losing social media followers

Running contests is a great way to collect new followers quickly, but the followers you gain may not be the followers you need. If they’re not truly part of your target audience, they will almost certainly unfollow once the contest is over.

Posting irrelevant content can have the same effect. You may get likes and new followers, but if the content isn’t relevant to what you do, the followers you gain may not be either.

Purchasing followers is another dead end.

How Twitter Users Unfollow

Twitter users have several options for customizing what appears on their timeline. For example, they can:

  • Add you to a created list that they rarely/never view
  • Mute you so your tweets don’t appear in their feeds
  • Turn off your retweets
  • Report or block you
  • Unfollow you entirely

losing social media followers

Why Twitter Users Unfollow

4. You’re abusing the retweet (RT).

There’s nothing wrong with retweeting content, but it shouldn’t be the core of your content strategy. Why should anyone follow you when they can go straight to the source instead?

Don’t try to retweet everyone who mentions your brand or uses your hashtag. It’s a well-intentioned mistake, but it can quickly clog up timelines and you will lose followers.

Also, don’t ask for RTs. If your content is great, the RTs will come naturally.

5. You’re using the follow/unfollow strategy.

This is something most of us experienced within minutes of joining Twitter. A brand follows your account, so you follow them back. It’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship…until you realize they’ve unfollowed you! This is no way for a business to build customer loyalty.

6. You keep changing your profile photo.

Twitter moves fast, and it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. One way your followers recognize you is by your profile photo. Unless you’re a big-name celebrity, changing your photo can confuse your followers. Believe it or not, they may not remember who you are, especially if your profile bio isn’t complete.

How LinkedIn Users Unfollow

When LinkedIn users tire of your content, they have two options. They can hide your content from their feed, or they can unfollow you and break your business connection.

losing social media followers

Why LinkedIn Users Unfollow

7. You’re sharing personal content on a professional network.

Where other social networks blur the lines of professional and personal space, LinkedIn is specifically a professional networking tool. This is the place to focus on your professional skills and accomplishments. Sell yourself (but don’t be heavy-handed) just in case a potential employer happens to be checking in.

8. Your photo isn’t what it should be.

According to LinkedIn, a professional photo makes you 14 times more likely to be discovered on their network. Unfortunately, many business owners fail to take advantage of this fact. Instead, you’ll find outdated headshots or photos of children and pets. Even worse, there’s no photo at all!

After a busy day of schmoozing at a business conference, it’s hard to remember the name of each and every connection you’ve made. But with a nice profile picture to help, it’s a lot easier to put the names with the faces. Don’t risk losing followers on social media because you didn’t feel like uploading a photo.

How Instagram Users Unfollow

It’s all or nothing on Instagram. If users don’t enjoy your content, they will unfollow.

losing followers on social media

Why Instagram Users Unfollow

9. Your account is private.

If your account is private, you may be losing potential followers. Think about it. Would you want to follow an account without seeing the content they provide? Even if the user gets over that hurdle, they’ll still have to wait for you to approve the request.

10. You’re clogging the feed.

You’re posting images too frequently or too close together. If followers have to scroll through 10 of your posts just to see something else, they’re going to get annoyed. Even if they don’t unfollow, they’ll likely tune you out. Spread out your posts to avoid overwhelming your followers.

Stop losing followers on social media

If you’re still feeling frustrated with losing followers on social media, let us help! Learn how OutboundEngine works to keep you connected.

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Last Updated 2/1/2018; Originally published 2/11/16

Erin Myers

Erin is the former Content Marketing Manager at OutboundEngine.