Would you like to stop losing social media followers?
Having many social media followers isn’t just about gaining them it’s also about not losing them. Even the smallest of mistakes can drive followers away. But if you don’t disappoint them and keep them happy they will stay on as your followers for a really long time and all the hard work you have put in gaining them won’t go to waste. Below will find steps you should take and mistakes you should avoid that will help you retain hard earned followers…
1. Stop sharing too much at one go:-
I have noticed this mistake on almost every network. You might have actually noticed it quite often on Twitter and Pinterest. Here the user uncontrollably shares post after post. You will see a swarm of posts shared at one go which will just cloud up your feed. This can frustrate the user’s followers.
On social networks people tend to follow many people as they want to take a look at all their posts and if one person goes on tweeting every minute, all people will see is that person’s post. This can really irritate followers and they will end up unfollowing them. So if you want to make sure that people will continue to follow you limit the amount you share. The amount you share will differ for different networks. For Twitter the maximum limit would be to share one every hour, for Facebook you need to stick to sharing just 1 to 4 posts a day, etc. There are several tools which can simplify this process. To make sure you get more people to see your posts without annoying them share them at the most effective times.
An example is Heyo’s Twitter account. You will notice that their tweets have time intervals of at least an hour between them.
This way they can make sure that they aren’t over-sharing and that their tweets are having their highest impact, as a study (5th infographic on the post) shows that the click through rates of the links in your tweets go up when there is a sufficient time interval between them.
2. Stop sharing irrelevant content:
It’s important to make sure that you consistently share content that is relevant to your company and your audience. If you stick to sharing a limited number of posts at long enough time intervals, but share posts on various irrelevant topics that don’t relate to your company in anyway, you will still continue to lose followers. So only share relevant posts with your audience.
If you are a restaurant, share posts relating to food and eating out, if you are a publisher share posts relating to books and literature and so on.
A fantastic example is MDG Advertising’s Facebook page where they share posts on topics like advertising and marketing. This works out really well for MDG Advertising as they provide these services. It will help them attract the right audience and it will display their brand.
3. Too much self promotion:
Also promoting oneself too much can drive followers away. Social media isn’t just about self promotion. It’s about promoting others along with yourself, networking and building relationships and the best way to do this is by sharing others work. Of course you might stick to sharing helpful content, but if you share only your content it won’t have the best effect. Also when you share others work you will have a lot more to share.
Chris Brogan has mentioned that he’s been successful on Twitter as he follows the 12:1 strategy, where he promotes others 12 times more than he promotes himself. The same thing applies to other social networks too. When you share your content along with others, it will have the highest impact.
4. Sending automatic direct messages:
This is something you might have noticed on Twitter. As soon as you follow someone, you get a direct message asking you to buy something, visit their website or to like them on Facebook. This can be really annoying as the person is selling something even before they have made an attempt to build a relationship. Like I mentioned earlier in the article, social media is about building relationships and when you ask people to take an action even before you have built a relationship it could really upset them and they might end up unfollowing right after they have followed you. So if you have set up an automatic direct message on Twitter – remove it right now. Next time when someone follows you personally wish them with a tweet. Address them by their name, thank them for following you and ask them meaningful questions.
5. Share regularly:
You might think that sharing very little will help you retain followers for a long time. But this will actually drive away more followers.
Let’s say people follow you or like your page and then for some reason you completely stop sharing anything. But after about three months you start sharing again and the people who subscribe to your updates begin seeing them. What do you think they are going to think?
“Who is this? Did I really follow them? Did I really like them? Maybe the rumours that accounts have been automatically following and ‘liking’ others is true.”
And then they will unfollow you unsure whether they have ever followed you. Three months is a huge gap and not hearing from you will get them to forget about you. You could get away with doing this on sites like Twitter where there are just too many things to look at. But on Facebook this will be a huge problem as it will also lower your Edgerank. So make it a point to send out a message every day.
6. Stop sending out too many marketing messages:
The best way to promote yourself on social networks is with content. Content helps you engage users, build relationships, trust, drive website traffic and generate leads. This is what your audience checks their feed for, they want to you to help them with your expertise. It would be okay for you to directly promote your products and services at regular intervals, but make sure you don’t overdo it as this can cost you followers. Keep a ratio in place. For every 10 or 20 helpful tweets on content you could send out one marketing message. This will not only help you promote yourself, but it will also keep your followers happy.
Content Marketing Institute knows how to do this right as all they do is create and share a lot of useful content. You don’t see any marketing messages about their services. This should help them attract people who are interested in learning more about content marketing and they will more likely continue to follow them as there won’t be too many marketing messages which will deter them.
7. Stop getting hacked:
I regularly get direct messages on Twitter like ‘I found this embarrassing picture of you’ and ‘Have you watched this video of you’. Some of them have a lot of vulgar language in them too. These messages end with a link. As soon as I see this I know what has happened, the person has been hacked and if I click on the link in the message I will be taken to a page which looks similar to the Twitter login page where I will be asked to sign in so that they can hack my account too.
Getting these messages regularly can be quite annoying. I can understand if it happens to a person for the first time, but if it repeatedly occurs to them people will eventually unfollow them. So always keep an eye out and prevent your account from being hacked. And for some reason you ever get hacked make sure you apologise to the people the DM was sent to.
Next time you get a DM with messages like the one I mentioned above ignore it. Here are some tips on how to prevent your social media account from being hacked.
8. Show some appreciation:
It’s necessary that you regularly show some sort of appreciation to your fans and followers if you want them to continue following you. One way to do this is by thanking people for sharing your work or retweeting you.
There’s an article on Entrepreneur.com which shows that Justin Bieber has a powerful following on Twitter (who constantly retweet and respond to his tweets) because he shows a lot of appreciation.
Other ways to make followers feel special is by asking questions and responding to answers and by following people back. Following people back is one of the best ways to get followers quickly and retain them for long periods.
9. Write better messages:
One of the reasons why you could be losing followers is because you share messages without proofreading them. Every time you write a post, read it aloud thoroughly and get rid of any typos and add some proper punctuation. Also try to make them sound better. Once you start writing effective messages, people will understand your tweets better and will enjoy them more.
10. Don’t be negative:
Social media sharing shouldn’t be done spontaneously. You need to spend some time thinking about what you plan to send out. Think about how this will affect your company, your brand image, your followers, etc. You need to make sure the message you send out has no negative effect.
A study shows that sending out negative messages can decrease your follower count.
Recently Jon Loomer wrote about how a popular figure who has more than a million followers on Twitter lost quite a few because he posted a negative message at a really wrong time. Negative messages sent out without thinking can have other bad effects like getting fired, ruining their image, etc.
An example is Paris Brown who had to quit her job after she faced a lot of criticism from the media for all the negative messages she sent out on Twitter. In this age you will not be able to get away with what you post as your messages can be retrieved even after you delete them.
11. Attracting the wrong audience:
If you attract the wrong audience they will unfollow you as soon as they realize that the tweets you share don’t interest them. This is one of the reasons why it is necessary that you attract a relevant audience. To build a relevant following you need to have a bio that will draw their attention, you need to share tweets that will interest them, and you need to run campaigns that will attract them. A relevant audience will be more likely to promote you and continue following you.
Follow all the above tips to attract the right audience and keep them from unfollowing you so that you continue to have more followers.
What do you do to keep your followers from unfollowing you? Are there any tips you would like to share with us? Please leave your comments below.
Mitt Ray – has written 132 posts on this site.
Mitt Ray is the Founder of Social Marketing Writing and the Director of imittcopy (The White Paper Blog). He is also the author of the book White Paper Marketing. Connect with him on Pinterest and Twitter @MittRay.