Marketers need to realize that social media is not a broadcast platform. It’s a conversation-based platform best suited for two-way interactions, as opposed to ad blasts.

The latest survey conducted by Sprout Social (social media management and optimization platform) highlighted the reasons that make people unfollow brands on social media. The survey analyzed thoughts of 1,000 people across different demographics, on various aspects of branded social media content. The study concluded compelling trends that emerged from the data that could maximize any company’s social media presence.

Apparently, respondents maintained that the most annoying mistake brands do on social is over-promote. Sprout Social says a staggering 75% of respondents purchased a particular product because of a social media ad.

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Firms, which run behind the massive reach of these platforms ignoring the ‘social’ element associated, often are the ones with maximum failed online campaigns. Paid ads have a different story, but social content should be balanced to avoid overly promotions. Users also opt-out of companies using slang and jargon for social media campaigns. Brands using tacky jargons to get in touch with the ever-elusive ‘Millennial’ market fail terribly. Every company account used for promotions on Twitter or LinkedIn should have its own personality. A profile with just auto-generated messages, re-tweets, or inspirational quotes with no context, will disconnect the audience from the brand. To align people with the brand mission and purpose, it is necessary to build a relevant social media content strategy.

Conversely, the report also suggested people are following brands just to hear about promotions and incentives, or solely for entertainment. This is an important consideration to build any brand’s digital presence. Post gaining followers it is more important to connect with them and engage them for the long run. Marketers need to make the content interesting, delivering contextually relevant messages.

The report also indicated that the majority of people are loyal to a brand they follow on social media. These findings reinforced the playbook for content marketing, which works on contextually relevant, entertaining content, along with some promotions and special offers to win over customers. Around 19% of people unfollow brands if they over-post on social media. As suggested by marketing experts, brands should not post more than six times a day. “Frequency” is subjective when it comes to a brand’s social media page, but the trick is to abide by a social media schedule, so the audience knows what to expect.

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It is also crucial to strike the right balance between visuals and content on every post. Almost 50% of the people surveyed agreed that they prefer brands with visual content pages. While less than 7%-preferred eBooks. 36% to 39% of the audience surveyed expects brands to engage personally and in a friendly manner with them.

A large number of follower or a bloated fan page can provide a nice ego boost, threatening competitors with a strong social presence. However, it is most important to retain those followers. People reported that they unfollow brands as they show that too much attention on getting followers, but not enough on catering to them once they subscribe. This hurts sales massively. The takeaway for marketers is that social media platforms are all about timing and the type of content. Posting contextually relevant things, as well as offering something of real monetary value, such as a special discount, are necessary to retain followers and convert their engagement into revenue.

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