How You Lose Fans and Followers on Facebook & Twitter

I subscribe to the blog of Matt McGee, a search engine optimization expert of keeps a great blog for small business owners. Today I stumbled upon some research that he shared a little while ago about the reasons why consumers unfollow and unlike businesses on Twitter and Facebook. I think this is very insightful information. I have the tendency to run the risk of upsetting my followers because I’m an automation geek. My style of marketing is bent around putting things on auto-pilot and leveraging as many tools as possible. When it comes to social media that really can’t work. Its crucial to every organization to remember that a commitment to social media is a commitment to engaging and socializing with customers.


The top three reasons why consumers stopped following businesses on both Facebook and Twitter were:

  1. The Company Posted too Frequently
  2. My Wall was becoming to crowded with Marketing Posts and I needed to Get Rid of Some of Them
  3. The Content Became Boring or Repetitive Over Time.

The order of these top three responses was different for Twitter and Facebook. I encourage you to visit Matt’s blog post to read all the data and his conclusions!

It was funny to look back at a blog post I wrote a year and a half ago called “Top 10 Ways to Guarantee I Stop Following You On Twitter.” I wrote that right after I started using Twitter heavily and some things just never change!

Thanks Matt for the great information!

Jacob Paulsen


  1. Dr Ned on April 14, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    So what do you think the right amount of posts are? Or is it just a matter of having valuable posts?

    • Jacob S Paulsen on April 14, 2011 at 6:29 pm

      I think the key is engagement and not just posts. If you are just posting links all the time then any level of frequency is going to eventually wear on someone. If you are asking questions, posting entertaining or relevant news, etc then I think you should do it as often as people are willing to engage with you. So… yeah I think its just a matter of providing true value and “socializing” with social media.

  2. Sarah on August 12, 2011 at 7:45 am

    Those are three great things to remember as a business not to do! When I do my postings I try to remember If it would annoy me, it is annoying a lot of other people! Thanks so much for this great post and the link to Matt’s Blog!

  3. Heather on August 23, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    I’m new to my position and social media is one of my responsibilities. I’ve been posting about 5 tweets a day and 3 FB posts (brkfst, lunch, dinner) All of them are things I find interesting and relevant, however, I’m having a hard time getting people to chat about them (at least on FB) What would you recommend to get people to engage? A poll or a question a day?

    • Jacob S Paulsen on August 23, 2011 at 1:52 pm

      Heather, I would consider three things. First, how much audience is there? A lot of small businesses get frustrated with the lack of social interaction when they only have a few hundred fans… and that might not be enough. Second, what is the content strategy? Are you really putting out information/content that is interesting and attention grabbing? I see a lot of advertisers who only post ads for their business and that isn’t going to get a conversation going. Third (and I think this is where you are going), how do you encourage conversation? When you publish content do you ask people to comment, share, reply, etc? You have to ask.

      Remember that on Facebook your business page’s updates will only been seen in the news feed of “fans” who regularly engage in your page’s content or with your comments on their content. Be sure to get involved in the conversations already taking place by your consumers before you ask them to take part in your conversations.

      Hopefully that helps!

      • Heather on August 26, 2011 at 4:34 pm

        It does!! We’re just really now starting to see more “likes” since I’ve been regularly posting, and the info I’ve posted has been interesting and useful. I steer clear of advertising completely. I don’t think FB is the platform for that. Very occasionally, I’ll post a pic of a new product, but that’s about the extent of it. I think you’re right though, I just haven’t been ASKING for responses enough. I have tried it a couple times without too great of a result, but that doesn’t mean that I should stop. And in addition, you did mention one key piece I haven’t even thought about (DUH!) I need to be posting on their stuff too! (Why would they pay any attention to me if I’m not paying attention to them!) Really appreciate you following up! Thanks again!

  4. Brad Marcus on April 10, 2012 at 6:33 am

    Social media marketing is a commitment, not a magic pill. You have to WORK, I know, the dreaded 4-letter word that should be considered obscene. Your reach in social can grow exponentially, but you need to engage your audience. Write interesting things in a clear, concise way. Create value without being preachy, like me. Don’t always be selling. These are hard concepts for many in the business world, but critical for social media success. Who says it’s better for a business to have 5,000 followers who visit once and then zilch or 500 followers who interact.

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