Why Do People Follow and Unfollow Brands on Social Media?

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Why Do People Follow and Unfollow Brands on Social Media?

Social media platforms have become an excellent resource for marketers and brands to connect with and distribute information to their target audience. But what drives consumers to follow brands on these social media platforms, and what motivates them to engage with brand posts?

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Why People Follow Brands

Many actions make people follow a brand on social media. The primary reason consumers connect with and follow brands on social media is that they are loyal to the brand; they make several purchases from these brands. Another reason people follow brands is that they not only hope for, but they expect the brand to provide a quick response to their comments, tweets, and questions.  Other reasons consumers follow brands on social media are to learn about their products/services, to be entertained, to stay up to date on sales, product launches, pop-up shops, to learn about company news, to connect with similar people, to be educated and inspired and much more.

Brands use many tactics to get consumers to engage with their brand posts; they often utilize influencer marketing and promise a discount to their followers for following or sharing a story post about their brand. Although many people believe that all engagement is good engagement, this theory is wrong. There is such thing as bad engagement, and followers will comment and engage with content when they both agree and disagree with your content. The disagreement, distaste, and disliking of the material may lead to a consumer unfollowing a brand.

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Why People Unfollow Brands

While consumers have many reasons to follow brands on social media, they also have many reasons to unfollow brands on social media. As stated above, a follower may unfollow your brand if they disagree with your content. Consumers may also unfollow a brand if the brand posts too many promotional messages, if the information is not relevant to them, if they post too often if the content or use of verbiage doesn’t fit the brand’s image, if a brand is too quiet on social media, or if the brand does not reply to consumers comments or messages.

In today’s current events with the Black Lives Matter Movement, COVID-19, and the upcoming political campaign approaching, brands need to show their safety plans, plans of action, their support for building power to bring justice but refrain from sharing their political views, inaccurate information, or too much about the brands views. This is because current events and politics are very controversial subjects. Consumers won’t always agree with your stance on the current events, and a small post or reference to a controversial issue may cause you to lose brand followers and ultimately hurt your brand equity. On the contrary, brands need to post content that is up to date, and current as a brand’s choice to post or to not post about a current event topic may ultimately hurt them.

Brands need to reflect and learn from social media and change their posts content to suit current events because these current events are causing consumers purchase behaviors to change. For example, if a brand failed to share content on social media about the steps they are taking to keep their employees, customers, and brand community safe during the COVID-19 crisis, they might lose brand followers who feel strongly about the fact that brands should make this important announcement. Being too quiet or too loud in times like these can really hurt a brand and cause them to lose followers.


In conclusion, there are many reasons for people to follow or unfollow brands, and the trick to gaining and not losing followers ultimately depends on the brand itself and differs from brand to brand. Just remember to stay up to date on current events and stray from controversial content. Study and analyze your social media data and metrics to determine how often you should post, what content receives the best engagement, and what content you should and shouldn’t be too quiet or loud about. If you are interested in learning more, contact me today to set up a consultation.

Melina Miller

Melina Miller

Marketer Specializing in Digital Marketing, Marketing Analytics, Content Marketing & Personal Branding

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