10 Reasons You're Losing Followers on Social Media - OutboundEngine

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. But as social media platforms and capabilities have evolved, so have the ways users can disengage with your content.

losing social media followers

Because of these options, you may not even know how many followers aren’t actually seeing your posts. 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.

losing social media followers

There’s another option as well that can hurt your page beyond losing followers on social media. If you manage to offend users, 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. It’s important to remember that once you participate in a conversation, you need to continue it.

In addition, know 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.

We’ve all seen these posts before. It used to be mostly “Like us on Facebook to be entered to win…” type posts. More common now is the, “Follow us and tag three friends” approach to bump up users and 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.

Buying followers is another quick way to the wrong type of followers. You’ll see engagement drop, your reputation could very well suffer, and buying followers violates the terms of service for most major social media networks. It’s worth the time and effort it takes to build the right audience.

How Twitter Users Unfollow

Twitter users have several options for controlling 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
  • 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 re-tweets. If your content is great, they 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.

As mentioned in point #3, this relates to the idea of building the right followers. Follow accounts that make sense for your business and brand. There’s no need to follow every single person who follows you and try to keep a 1:1 strategy.

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, report your post, or unfollow you and break your business connection.

losing followers on social media

Why LinkedIn Users Unfollow

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

Where other social networks continuously blur the lines of professional and personal, LinkedIn is a professional networking tool. Yes, there are times when this line gets crossed, but for the most part, the people who cross the line get called out.

LinkedIn is the place to focus on your professional skills and relationships. While being a human is an important part of being you, add personal information to your updates when it makes sense. Here’s an example of how you can weave your personal experience with a professional update:

losing followers on social media

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

Adding a profile photo should have been one of the very first steps you took when you created your LinkedIn account. If you still have a placeholder image or somehow forget to ever complete this task, it’s time.

According to LinkedIn, members who include a profile photo receive 21x more profile views and up to 36x more messages. If you’re a data person, this should be the evidence you need to load in that professional headshot.

Ideally, you should use a professional headshot taken by a professional photographer. When that isn’t an option, we’ve got a few tips for making your photo the best it can be:

  • Use a clear, high-resolution image.
  • Be sure you are the only one in the photo.
  • Choose a photo without sunglasses, a hat, anything that obstructs your face.
  • Keep your image current.

Depending on how you’ve met your connections or how long you’ve known them, it can be hard to remember the name of each and every connection you’ve made. But with a nice profile picture, it’s a lot easier to put names with faces. Don’t risk losing followers on social media because you skipped adding a photo.

How Instagram Users Unfollow

It used to be all or nothing on Instagram. Now users have the same options as they do on the other social media platforms. They can unfollow, but also block and report your account.

losing followers on social media

Why Instagram Users Unfollow

9. You post inconsistently.

If you post every month or two, you may be losing potential followers. You’re basically allowing people to forget who you are and that they followed you in the first place. Not to mention the Instagram algorithm benefits accounts with engaged followers.

Be sure you’re posting regularly enough that you stay top of mind.

10. You’re clogging the feed.

Posting images, stories, and videos too frequently is overwhelming. If followers have to scroll through 10 of your posts until they finally see someone else, they’re going to get annoyed quickly. Even if they don’t unfollow, they’ll likely mute you, which is just the same as unfollowing without seeing your count drop.

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! We help busy business owners by automating their social media marketing. That means writing, designing, and publishing their LinkedIn and Facebook posts. We can also help grow your network with targeted social advertising. Learn how OutboundEngine works with a free demo.

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Last Updated 2/18/2019; Originally published 2/11/16

Taylor Landis
Taylor Landis

Taylor is the Content Marketing Manager at OutboundEngine. She's passionate about helping businesses succeed by finding the right words and creating positive client experiences.