Whether it’s the company’s email newsletter or branded Twitter marketing efforts, we all have encountered the dreaded unfollow. Seemingly without provocation, folks who used to love our brand on social media and email marketing drop us like hot potatoes, leaving marketing gurus wondering one thing: Why?
Remember when you used to get in trouble for talking too much in class because it was disruptive? Well, turns out we still don’t like chatterboxes, especially ones who are relentlessly trying to sell us stuff. According to a survey released last year by HubSpot, 54 percent of respondents said they dumped brands who emailed them too frequently. Ditto on Twitter, where 52 percent said in a different survey conducted by DK Media they unfollowed brands who were too noisy.
But just being noisy is only the beginning of the problem for unfollows. Turns out the quality of the message is equally as important. When Constant Contact customers were polled last year as to why they unfollowed, 56 percent cited irrelevant content being the catalyst to press that “unsubscribe” button. Thanks to smartphones, consumers are more savvy and more selective as to which brands they let in their in-boxes, and the ones who churn out boring stuff are almost certainly destined for deletion. Granted, it is true that many unfollows are caused by the rare customer that signs up for a one-time deal or who changes his or her contact information. But all of these surveys seem to hint at another big reason for the dreaded unfollow — desperation. “Begging tweets,” pushy emails and relentless Facebook postings which beg for approval all turn customers off.
In the end, the best thing brands can do to avoid the unfollow is to stop badgering and start having a conversation. Brands should talk to followers on social media and in email marketing just like they would to their friends. But you tell us, readers: What kind of crimes does a brand have to commit to warrant an unfollow? Sound off below!