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The Top 2 Reasons to Unfollow on Social Media

We’ve all seen those people on social media — the ones who spend far too much time spamming their followers with overly-detailed updates about their day, their latest workout routines, the food they’ve been eating for every meal — well, you get the idea. Unfortunately, this culture of oversharing can extend to brands, too.

If you’ve been perusing industry blogs like Fast Company, you may have heard about the Social Effort Scale, a joint effort between Axe, the company behind the men’s grooming products, and Barton F. Graf 9000, a New York-based ad agency. The Social Effort Scale, simply put, is able to determine whether or not you’re trying too hard on social media by measuring your exertion on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Using an algorithm, the site zeroes in on your social media posts, evaluating how often you post, the hashtags you use most frequently, the keywords you use, the number of times you mention your own name, and how often you sign into your various social profiles. Once the tool finishes evaluating, it gives you one of three “scores”: “effortless,” “trying too hard,” or “not trying hard enough.”

While this tool is more useful for individuals than for brands, it does point to some recent (and disturbing) social trends that companies should be wary of. Let’s take a look at a few of these criteria, and how brands can avoid falling into the “trying too hard” category:

“I can’t wait to share everything about my day.”

Social posting frequency can be tricky. You want to post frequently enough that your audience sees you have a constant presence, but not so often that they begin to suspect you’re staring at your computer screen and watching your social feed refresh every five seconds. Going too far in either direction can cost you precious followers, which is why it’s important to ensure that you’re not under- or over-communicating with your audience. Remember: your followers don’t want an update via social every time you get a new Twitter follower (the business equivalent of posting a food-related picture to Instagram after every meal).

Being too noisy is cited as the number one reason people hit the “unfollow” button on Twitter, with 52% citing that they had unfollowed someone for that reason. (eConsultancy)

When in doubt, ask yourself: would I want to read this social update? If the answer is no, scratch it!

“It’s all about me.”

Too much self-promotion is the second-most common reason that people will unfollow on Twitter (48%). (Econsultancy)

Remember that friend with the uncanny ability to steer any conversation back to themselves? Your reaction is probably to roll your eyes and tune out, right? Well, your social media followers will have the same reaction if you’re only posting about yourself. Your audience is following you on social media first and foremost to connect with you on a more personal level, not to conduct a transaction. By wasting their time with too much promotional material, you’re doing the equivalent of spamming them with #selfies.

What other mistakes can brands make on social that will cost them followers? Let us know if you have any thoughts in the comments!