Fractl and Buzzstream recently surveyed 900 social media users to investigate the reasons for brands losing followers. It was found that to keep followers, brands need to ensure that they do not go overboard on the frequency of their posts and that they create and share content that is stimulating to fans.
Fractl and Buzzstream found that 21% of users unfollow a brand on social media due to lacklustre content. Therefore brands need to ensure that their content is both new and relevant to their audience. Neil Patel, writer for the Content Marketing Institute, mentions that Hootsuite, the social media management site, managed to achieve this through its viral video, A Game of Social Thrones (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=el8Ydwh0QlQ). Hootsuite realised that a large proportion of its audience were fans of Game of Thrones and the brand capitalised on this. Its Game of Social Thrones video received high engagement, with close to a million views within a few months. Hootsuite makes it very apparent that the brand wants to fight boring content to encourage user engagement. The brand’s blogs address key subject matter in a manner that is current, often incorporating a sense of humour.
17% of unfollowers report their loss of loyalty being attributed to brands overcrowding their newsfeeds. Brands need to ensure that they understand the balance between posting too little and too much. GoPro has achieved this balance by posting highly visual content on their Instagram 4 times a day. These are photos or videos taken in differing environments that emphasise the performance benefits of their camera. With 22% of social media users having a preference for brands that post images, and a further 15% being inclined towards video, GoPro has skilfully managed to tap into this market to gain its 4.5m Instagram followers. GoPro’s uploads receive a huge amount of engagement, averaging about 150,000 Likes per post. By carefully selecting the limited amount of daily uploads on the brand’s account, GoPro’s content visually stimulates followers without cluttering their newsfeeds.
LinkedIn is the social media platform with the highest level of brand loyalty, with 49% of users never unfollowing a brand on this medium. This can partly be attributed to the professional outlook of the platform, meaning that companies post less frequently on LinkedIn and generally only content that is intrinsically relevant to the brand. Those that follow companies on LinkedIn also tend to have a genuine relationship with the brand and an interest in their prospective career opportunities. Justin Koufopoulos, mentioned in Percolate, that 28% of LinkedIn’s long-form post’s by views contain the pronoun “You” or the 6 “W”s (“Who,” “What,” “When,” Where,” “Why,” or “How”). Hewlett Packard’s LinkedIn page uses the platform to inform followers about the latest company and technological news, whilst reminding users about how this can impact them. By repeatedly using the word “you”/”your” in their posts, users are involved in “what” the company are trying to convey. This strategy clearly appears to be working for the brand as it has 1,956,634 LinkedIn followers and all their posts receive hundreds of Likes.
Of course, user engagement helps to keep followers. Starbucks has a hugely successful Facebook page with over 35 million Likes. Fractl and Buzzstream found that 36% of Facebook users believe that brands are more likely to engage with them if they follow them on Facebook, and perceive it as an incentive to Like a page. The Starbucks Facebook page takes advantage of this, encouraging user engagement by providing interactive consumer polls that deliver feedback on their services. The brand posts visually appealing photographs of their products, that receive hundreds of thousands of Likes as well as comments, mainly consisting of consumers praising the brand. Furthermore, Starbucks creates competitions for consumers to participate in, which are posted on Facebook. For example, a recent competition encouraged customers to create their own designs on Starbucks takeaway cups. The best designs were then posted on the brand’s social media platforms, to provide visually engaging user generated content. The winning design was then printed on a limited edition Starbucks disposable cup.
To keep social media followers, brands must ensure that their content is appealing and sufficient in quantity. This will encourage higher user engagement levels and grow fans’ genuine interest in a brand’s activities. Of course, brands must remain authentic, creating content that is true to its story.