How to Lose Followers and Alienate People on Social Media

anqicong
Anqi Cong Content Marketer, Insightpool

Posted on August 12th 2013

How to Lose Followers and Alienate People on Social Media

social media strategyIs your social media strategy driving people away instead of inviting them to explore your brand? Have you disregarded this advice on how to win friends and influence people on social media? Perhaps there’s something you’ve overlooked in your tendencies that bothers your followers. Here are some notable, noticeable, and notorious habits of people who lose followers and alienate people on social media:

Content Issues

1. They don’t listen to their followers. Your followers are trying so hard to interact with the good content you put out there about your brand and even ask you questions. They check their mentions day after day, without any response from you. Is it any wonder they unfollow you? Many social media magnates complain that they don’t have the time to reply to each and every one of these mentions – but if you don’t have time for the people who keep up your brand, what are you using your time on?

2. They don’t cater to what their followers want to see. Yes, your brand’s social media page belongs to the social media director. But it doesn’t mean that person shouldn’t be listening to feedback on what the audience wants to see and hear. They’re the ones that are consuming, after all. Don’t stop posting about your brand – start posting about your brand in a way that the audience likes. Don’t post irrelevant things, like inspirational quotes, and especially no “good nights”!

3. They talk without a purpose. Even Dale Carnegie, author of the original How to Win Friends and Influence People, said this: “Appeal to the nobler motives.” Translated, it means that no one should talk on social media without having an end goal in mind. Never, ever tweet just to tweet. This only adds to the unnecessary noise on Twitter. Always tweet for a purpose, always tweet like you’re on the road to somewhere.

Aesthetic Issues

4. They have intolerable typing habits. Most people agree that typing in LOLspeak (à la I Can Has Cheezburger), leetspeak (“l0l ur a n00b”), and mistaking “your” for “you’re” are unacceptable, and hardly anyone uses them. However, this culprit is a sneaky one – sometimes people don’t even realize they’re doing it. It looks like this: “I have a WONDERFUL and INSPIRING quote that I want to share with you all because I care SO MUCH.” Needless to say, this gets grating after a while, especially since they shouldn’t be sharing those so-called inspiring quotes in the first place.

5. Their Twitter/Facebook/other social media profile burns the user’s eyes. People have their own tastes in what a good profile should look like, of course, but if in any sort of doubt, do a user study. Form a survey and distribute it to your followers, ask coworkers for their advice, solicit opinions from friends. If the majority of these people think you should change your design even if you think it’s beautiful, listen to them! Ultimately, this page is not meant to please your eyes alone. If you enjoy having cluttered backgrounds in an amalgam of red, orange, and lime green with a giant image of your face, make it a poster and put it up in your house – and change your website.

anqicong

Anqi Cong

Content Marketer, Insightpool

Anqi Cong is a student at Carnegie Mellon University studying Business Administration with a minor in Computer Science. She is a content marketer at Insightpool, a company that allows brands to deliver "sincerity at scale" using its social engagement automation software. Anqi enjoys things typical to people on this site such as social media, marketing, writing, and dry humor.

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Comments

Christine Steffensen
Posted on August 12th 2013 at 11:54PM

If we think about it, social media is just another community alternative to what we see outside in real life. There are a few different people we see in a regular community just as there are in a digital world. There’s also a few ethics we follow and there’s a number of behaviors many frowned upon (like the annoying inspirational quotes and condescending posts).

There’s such a thing as social norm in social media that eventually changes and shifts itself. Inspirational quotes before were interesting, motivational and heartwarming. Now they’re just senseless, misguided and downright obnoxious. What is acceptable now may not be quite welcoming in the future, and that can cost or grant us followers depending on how we adapt.