Molly Buccini

Followers are an important measure of social media success, and most marketers create strategies to boost their audiences. But it’s important to remember that once users click the “like” or “follow” button for your brand, they always have the ability to opt out. And research shows that one in four will.

A new study from Global Web Index suggests that 25 percent of Facebook users unlike brand pages on the every month. The data was similar for Twitter, with 15 percent unfollowing brands each month.

Why followers leave you high and dry

Those who unfollow brands on social media typically aren’t doing it to declutter, but instead will follow new brands in the process. The study said users do this “in order to improve the relevance and appeal of the interactions they’re having on social networks; some brands are being cast aside, but others are taking their places.”

To understand why users unfollow brands on Facebook or Twitter, it’s important to know what made them follow a company in the first place. As Brafton previously reported, the number one motivation for users to follow a brand on Facebook is to show support (84 percent). Customers also look for regular updates from companies they follow (83 percent), while slightly fewer are driven by a desire for coupons and discounts (66 percent).

4 Quick tips to keep your followers engaged on social media

1. Find your brand’s “sweet spot” for posting: Most of us don’t want our timelines to be inundated by one person or brand’s updates, but it’s important to find a healthy balance between posting too much or not enough.

We’ll keep it simple:

Don’t have a Twitter presence but not sure where to get started? You’re not alone. Check out our Twitter guide.  

2. Mix up your content: Remember you’re dealing with individual audience members, and each of their preferences are bound to vary. Cater to all of your fans by giving them an array of content formats: From videos on Facebook (which can give your engagement metrics a 200 percent boost), to visuals on Twitter – think of the various ways you can showcase your assets and utilize them.

We think it’s pretty obvious which of these two Twitter feeds looks more inviting:

Twitter Screenshot 1

3. Decipher analytics & give your audience more of what they like: This seems simple, but most marketers are unsure how to measure social ROI. Intuition (which 27 percent say they rely on) can be an OK starting point, but you need to have hard data that proves which posts bring in referral traffic, create engagement opportunities and result in conversions.

Take a look at how we determined what our audiences wanted to see most on each social channel.

4. Respond (quickly): It’s 2015. Users want to know they’re being heard, and they’re not going to give you much time to prove yourself. A Lithium Technologies study found that 53 percent of customers expect to hear back from brands within an hour. When you take into account that one in three brands doesn’t ever end up responding, there’s a lot of room for improvement.

Keeping your audience engaged is one way to ensure followers stay connected to your brand. Check out these client strategies that resulted in major engagement boosts: