Social Media To Follow or Unfollow

Social media has become a staple in business marketing strategies. The results can vary from industry to industry, but the behavioral trends amongst followers can be tracked. Analyzing your social media data can provide insightful information on how to better deliver content to your online community members. Metrics within social media reporting platforms like Hootsuite and Sprout Social can tell you what content topics followers are engaging with the most, what times of days users are most active on your page, and what is causing followers to unsubscribe from your page. Below I dive into the top following trends of social media pages.

Why People Follow 

Have you ever noticed how you choose the accounts to follow on different social media platforms? Perhaps the images catch your eye, or you like the message the page expresses. How a person curates, their social feeds can be discovered through self-reported surveys conducted by insight platforms. Sprout Social reported that the top 5 reasons a person follows an account are: Interest in the product or service, interest in promotions, the account is entertaining, an incentive to follow was offered, or there is an interest in the industry. In terms of private healthcare practices, a potential patient can follow a Doctor’s page for health tips or existing clients follow because they like to engage with their physician outside of the office.

Why People Unfollow

The top five reasons that people unfollow a page are attributed to: too many promotional messages, the content isn’t relevant, too much content posting, language doesn’t fit the brand, or there isn’t enough activity on the page. Finding the right balance between too many or too little posts can be tricky; this activity can be measured by testing and analyzing. You could try posting an increased number of times per day or week for a given period. You then can measure the engagement your online community has with your page, followed by decreasing and analyzing the same metrics. You can repeat the exercises until you gather enough data to discover a trend in your followers’ behavior. The same experiment can be conducted with content topics and language. The importance of getting to know what issues are relevant to the majority of your followers is crucial for you to maintain or grow your social account. Imagine this example- the social network pages for your practice have two to three promotional offers for free first-time consolations per week. Your users could become bothered and get the impression that your business is struggling to find clients. This assumption could lead to a rise in unfollows.

Another example would be defining the audience of your account and communicating in the same language they understand. This refers to the type of vocabulary chosen. If you are curating an educational resource page for other physicians, industry jargon is acceptable. However, if your page is patient or client-facing, it should be written with common vocabulary.  

Next Steps

Take inventory of your social media pages. Are you speaking to the intended audience and using verbiage that relates to their needs? If not, this could be a great time to adjust your chosen vocabulary. Also, take a look at your engagement numbers and see how well topics perform. Which receive more engagement or which spike unfollows. Most of the time, users let us know how to communicate via social channels through the behavior they express. If you haven’t yet, read my last blog on brand extensions.