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Why People Follow and UNfollow: Eight Statistics You NEED to Know

Knowing what draws in followers and what might chase them off is crucial knowledge for anyone who manages a brand social media account. Luckily, we have a lot of data to pull insight from thanks to companies like Hootsuite, Later, and Startup Bonsai. In this article, I've pulled out the top reasons that people follow and unfollow brand accounts to help you as you develop your social media strategy.


So why do people follow brands? These are the four most commonly given reasons for hitting the follow button:

  1. to learn about new products or services (57% of people indicated this was a reason)

  2. to stay up-to-date on company news (47% of people indicated this was a reason)

  3. to find out about promotions and discounts (40% of people indicated this was a reason)

  4. to be entertained (40% of people indicated this was a reason)

To put these statistics into practice, your content pillars should include (if applicable) info on your products/services, news about your business/organisation and your sector, announcing promotions and discounts (including teasers). These stats also show how important it is to include funny and thought-provoking content whenever possible (and whenever appropriate).

On the flipside, why do people UNfollow brands? These are the four most commonly given reasons for leaving a brand's audience:

  1. the person judged the brand's products or support to be poor quality (49% of people indicated this was a reason)

  2. the person believed the brand offered poor customer service (49% of people indicated this was a reason)

  3. irrelevant social media content (45% of people indicated this was a reason)

  4. the person has seen too many ads from that brand (45% of people indicated this was a reason)

While you're considering this second lot of stats, I'd like to share one of the best pieces of advice I've been heard in my time as a social media manager: think about what YOU don't like when YOU'RE the follower or customer and avoid doing that. This may seem simple (and it is) but, as someone who knows your brand inside and out, it can be easy for you and your team to lose perspective and not realise you're falling into these traps. For this reason, I recommend taking a step back every now and then and put yourself into your audience's shoes. Can you remember a time when you knew nothing about your products? Can you remember a time when you knew none of the lingo that now easily rolls off your tongue? A quick perspective shift like this will do wonders for maintaining (and building) an engaged audience!

So after reading these statistics, will you be changing your social media strategy? Tell me in the comments or send me a DM; I'd love to hear what you got out of this.


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If you would like to read the full report by Startup Bonsai, click here.

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