Why They Unfollowed: The Dangers Of Overposting

It hurt me to leave. I loved them, loved everything they stood for. They were witty, charming, and seriously knew how to take a photo.

But in the end, I just couldn’t take it. I had to unfollow Vanity Fair.

The decision did not come easily to me, and outwardly, it is confusing to know why I unfollowed. I still subscribe to the magazine. I still read their articles online. I still like the brand.

But the thing is, they posted every ten seconds on Facebook and it was driving me crazy.

I’ve done unfollowed a lot over the past few years. When I started out on social media as just a user, that I did everything I could to assert my identity — I traded stickers, played games, and liked just about everything that I could. Now I’m a more passive user, only liking things that are important to me. And I don’t want a headache. As social media becomes more prevalent in the lives of people of all ages, we become more discerning. We curate our feeds to make sure its full of the stuff and people that we care about.

There is a fear in social media marketing of being forgotten. This is especially prevalent in the age of the Facebook algorithm, which slashes organic reach down to almost nothing. There is a glut of content online, which brands respond to by creating more content. They want to be visible to their users, want to drive their numbers up as much as possible.

This I understand. After all, upping interactions and shares is what social media marketing is judged on.

But if you overload people on your content, you risk having formerly dedicated fans disengage.

Think of your brand as a real person. It has hopes, dreams, goals, and stuff to share. Its relationship to its followers (or friends) is distant, probably an old high school classmate or a second cousin — your audience wants to hear from you, but maybe not all the time. Spamming their newsfeed will just make them unfollow you.

Play around with your feed, and post during strategic times of day. The general rule of thumb is nine, noon, and three, although some brands find that posting anywhere from one to six times a day works best for their social strategy.

Your fans and followers can be anything from observers to advocates of your brand. Posting in a way that doesn’t overwhelm them is helpful — another reason that I unfollow brands that I like is that they post so often that I can’t go back and find content that I wanted to look at, because it got lost in the glut of content being shared.

Social media marketing can be a difficult, uncertain occupation. You get instant feedback, and content can hit or miss depending on the hour, the day, and even the weather. Too often, though, brands can get lost in the numbers and forget that their followers are on social media to enjoy themselves. If they’re not enjoying you, you’re done.