The Pathology Of Lost Followers – How A Social Post-Mortem Could Save Your Brand

The last couple of weeks have seen plenty of discussions centered around the apparent departure of US teenagers from Facebook, along with a study from Princeton that suggested by 2017 the social network would only have 20% of its users remaining. In a somewhat humourous rebuttal, Facebook used to same methodology to predict that by 2018, enrolment at Princeton would have halved.

This flip-side of the US drop-off of teen Facebook users, is that growth in other parts of the world is far outstripping the decline in the Western hemisphere. This highlights how net growth can often hide underlying problems – and that could be a very bad thing indeed.

Say for example you run a Twitter account for your company, or on behalf of a client. You’ll chart the overall number of followers, and as long as the number goes up, your boss or your client will generally speaking be happy. However, you could still be losing a significant number of followers who at one point felt an affinity or connection with the brand, it’s just that you’re bringing on new followers marginally faster than the old ones are leaving.

Understanding why people have made the conscious decision to disconnect from your brand will help you prevent making the same mistakes in the future.

With SocialSafe, every time you back up an account you are notified of how many people have disconnected with you, and who they are. You can also export your lost contacts as a raw CSV file, which with some simple filtering in Excel could shed more light on why they have jumped ship.

Imagine that over a month 1,000 people stopped following your company Twitter account. If you then exported that data, ran a filter on Location and discovered that 700 of them all came from the same country, you could then go away and look at any marketing activities – both online and offline – that might have caused such a negative reaction in that particular part of the world. Likewise if you lost a number of Facebook fans and discovered that they all left around the same time, you could jump straight to that date range within SocialSafe to see the content you posted.

Research has shown that people are more likely to tell someone about a bad customer service experience than a good one, and it is often said that we learn more from our mistakes than we do from our successes. The same line of thinking can be applied to your social media strategy. If you are able to find out why people are turning away from your brand, you then have the opportunity to adapt your activities before you lose more of your existing or potential customers.


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