Ever wonder if you’re boring your followers to tears on Twitter? Or wonder if your Facebook fans think you’ve become just a bit too spammy? Those are questions any business owner that’s active in social media should be asking. It’s hard enough to get customers to like/follow you, but once they do you also have to make sure you’re keeping them happy and in the fold. A recent study might help — it asked people why they stop following companies on Facebook and Twitter; i.e., what causes the fan to break-up with the business?
In both cases — Twitter and Facebook — the top three reasons that fans stop following businesses were the same. But, and this is pretty interesting, the order was reversed. On Facebook, the top three reasons people “unlike” companies were, in order:
- The company posted too frequently
- My wall was becoming too crowded with marketing posts and I needed to get rid of some of them
- The content became repetitive or boring over time
Here’s the full chart from ExactTarget’s Subscribers, Fans, and Followers report:
ExactTarget asked the same question to Twitter users that follow companies. And the top three reasons were the same, but Nos. 1 and 3 were flipped. Have a look at this:
What the Data Means
I think there are several things that need to be understood here:
1. Twitter users and Facebook users are different.
Sure, the top three reasons are the same, but it’s important to note that Twitter users were far more annoyed by repetition than Facebook users — 52% to 38%. They have different expectations than Facebook users do.
2. Facebook’s filtering algorithm may impact marketing efforts.
One reason that Facebook users aren’t bothered by repetition as much might be that they’re not seeing all of your updates and content. Facebook filters the content that appears in news feeds and your updates may not appear to fans that rarely interact with you in any way. You could be posting the same thing every day and many fans wouldn’t notice. (That’s not an excuse to spam Facebook; quite the contrary. In fact, you’ll need to focus on quality, not spam, to get your content seen by more fans.)
3. One strategy does not fit all.
Although the responses from Facebook and Twitter users are generally pretty similar down the list, the flip-flop in the top three answers suggests that smart marketing involves using at least slightly different strategies on the two sites. Twitter users don’t seem to be bothered as much by frequent posts … as long as they’re not repetitive/boring. On the other hand, Facebook users are a little more sensitive to seeing too many posts.
4. There’s not one dominant reason fans stop following.
With the exception of 52% of Twitter users saying “boring/repetitive content,” no single reason was cited by more than 50% of social media users as a reason for “breaking up” with a business. The takeaway on this point is simple: You can’t please all the people all the time. Understand that, no matter what you do, some fans/followers will have a change of heart. Let them go. Focus on the ones you still have.
(image via Shutterstock.com)