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If you are a brand or company trying to gain traction on social media, amassing a number of followers is no small achievement. While there are plenty of people who try to “cheat” the system and simply buy a load of bot followers, that strategy makes for a poor long game. Either you get penalised for not adhering to the rules or it’s obvious that your followers are bots, because they never engage with your content.

Indeed, the real payoff comes from a steady build-up of people and parties who are interested in you and what you have to say. If you’ve done that, give yourself a pat on the back—but don’t put your feet up quite yet! Assuming you’re now putting out regular content, the next step is to get into the details of what’s working and what’s not on your social media channels.

As I’ve said time and time again, measurement has changed everything. Indeed, there is no point in investing company time and resources into pushing out content on your social media accounts if you’re not going to track what content is garnering attention and what is putting your followers off. The first and most essential thing to do this is to track your follower count week on week. If you notice your follower count is dropping, you need to go into social media crisis mode to figure out why. Below are some of the most common reasons why you may be losing followers on social media networks like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn.

(Note that if you have bought followers or likes, your follower count is likely dropping because the powers that be have recognised and deleted those bot accounts. So the tips below only pertain to legitimate, earned followers.)

  • You post too often 

This is probably the most common reason why social media followers click that “unfollow” button. Just because they want to hear what you have to say doesn’t mean they want to hear it every single time they log in. You want your posts to be a gentle and maybe even slightly fun reminder that your company or brand exists, not a foghorn that screams “look at me.” Keep in mind that social media is crowded already, don’t crowd it even more by serially re-tweeting every mention you’ve had in the past week or posting five articles on Facebook at once. Maybe you could say, “Less is more!”

  • It feels automated

Let me guess, every one of your images is a stock photo, your content is repetitive, and even you sound bored in your copy. If these things are true, it’s no wonder you’re losing followers. Think outside the box when it comes to how you present your content. Don’t just say “check out this interesting read.” Instead, find some interesting stats, facts, or quotes directly in your post that will provide context even without clicking on the link. In addition, if you’re posting original blogs, be more inventive with the photos and graphics you use. Spend a little more time making interesting visuals and you’ll find that your content gets more engagement as a result. Lastly, don’t include more actual hashtags than copy in your posts. It reads as formulaic and bot-like, which is the opposite of how you want to sound.

If you missed our last blog on how your business can avoid a social media  crisis, click here!

  • You didn’t deliver what you promised

Let’s say someone followed your account hoping to read about the inner workings of digital marketing, but all they’re getting are blurry photos of office antics and retweeted memes from Buzzfeed. This would be a case of false advertising, and your followers are right to unfollow you in return. The lesson? Make sure you’re posting things that are consistent with your brand’s identity. It’s okay to stray every now and then, but not so much that your feed becomes a case of confused identity.

  • You don’t provide value

Everything you do on social media should be done through a filter of creating value. And I don’t mean value for your bottom line, but for the community you’ve agreed to be a part of. You wouldn’t run around a cocktail party shouting about your impressive sales figures or latest venture the entire time, and you shouldn’t do that on social, either. By all means, share exciting news when you have something to say, but mix that in with a healthy dose of valuable information for others. That could come in the form of interesting reads your followers will find useful, amplifying other clients or company’s achievements, or providing context around an issue or topical event that you are uniquely qualified to give. You don’t do this because it earns money; you do it because it makes you likeable, and followable.

Tip #2: Make sure your posts do four things: Add value, deliver on promises, be real and be cool!

If you want to learn more about utilising social media platforms for your business and providing content of value, please see these blogs below:

Content is King & Social Media is its Chauffeur

How to Use Twitter for Business: An SME & Start-Up Guide

Using Facebook & Instagram in your Social Media Strategy

How to Leverage LinkedIn for your Business


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