6 Ways to Avoid Being Boring and Getting Unfollowed

Social media can be a tricky place! On the one hand, there’s no avoiding it if you want your brand to get known and to reach out to all those prospective customers who spend most of their time online.

On the other, with 89% of businesses creating content for social media today, it can be a rather competitive place to be in.

If you want to stay atop or least at par with businesses similar to yours within that 89% figure, you need to understand WHY people follow your business in the first place. Then, you need to connect with your customers and target audience and keep feeding them with the stories they like to read and share.

Not just the occasional tweet or Facebook post about an upcoming offer or the launch of a new product (too BORING). Or posting ONLY to advertise your business and sell your wares (too SALES-Y).

Else, yes, and here comes the cold, hard truth – your precious followers are more than likely to UN-follow you on social. In fact, 56% of people have unfollowed a brand on social media because of the exact same reasons – for being too boring or too sales-y.

So, you see, the stakes are pretty high here. Either you choose to feed your followers non-boring content or face their wrath (by which, I mean they unfollow you and you lose out on, who knows, a buyer maybe?). Well, it’s not so much of a choice, I think, because obviously no business wants to lose customers because they think you’re too boring!

So, how can you avoid it?

How can you make sure your content remains interesting in chock full of News Feeds, Twitter updates, and pretty Pinterest pictures?

Here are 6 tips.

1. Share relevant and helpful information. And throw in some entertainment as well.

First, some good news.

Did you know that 77% of people follow at LEAST one brand on social media? This means that people are actually quite keen to connect with the brands they care about!

And “interesting content” is one of the TOP three reasons why people follow brands on social media. Well, there you go. You can’t choose to disappoint your followers!

According to a survey by Disruptive Communications, most people follow brands on social media because they are looking for offers and discounts, funny/entertaining posts and brand/product news. So, your job should be to share relevant and helpful info along with a touch of entertainment to keep your audience interested. Not just plain, ole announcements about product launches and special offers.

As an example, Old Navy frequently shares discounts and special offers on their Facebook page. But instead of simply putting it up as an announcement, they share short Vine videos to accompany the status update to throw in a little entertainment. This keeps the post interesting and encourages audience interaction.

2. Share engaging visual content rather than only text.

Nope, visuals are no longer only for Pinterest and Instagram. It has been proved over and over again that people prefer engaging visual content rather than lines of boring text.

I could go on and on…but I’ll stop here now because you get the idea.

Bottom line, include visuals in your shared content to appeal to your audience. The thing though, to keep in mind here is to use the right visual as opposed to using any visual. Use a visual that is eye-catching while making sure it fits with your content.

As an example, take a look at this Valentine’s Day promotion of Red Velvet flavored cookies by Oreo on Twitter. Even though its actually a promotion, (well, yes, they are trying to sell you their limited-edition cookies), the series of short videos is a rather clever way to attract their customers’ attention.

They are not sales-y, certainly not boring and Oreo wants you to watch the videos and decide for yourself whether or not you might like to try these cookies.

3. Social isn’t only about you. Don’t apply your advertising approach to social.

Applying an advertising approach to reach out to your social followers is BORING. There’s nothing much people can do about ads on TV (other than turn it off) – which by the way are intended to be promotional.

But if your sole purpose of being on social media is to advertise your business and your products, people can (and will) unfollow you with the click of a button.

No one wants to be sold to ALL the time on social. They want to see content with which they can engage themselves and ultimately share it with others.

Think about how would feel if you logged into your Facebook and almost, always saw an obnoxious sales post from your favorite brand in your News Feed. Not very happy right?

So, if you don’t want to be branded as boring on social, stay away from advertising yourself. Share content which will encourage your followers to love your brand even more!

As an example, take a look at this Facebook post by Whiskas UK, a cat food company.

It’s purpose is to encourage a healthy interaction with their followers and target audience – includes a fun fact, a cute image (keeping cats in mind) and a question asking their followers to respond with an image. All in all, a great post highlighting their audience’s interests without any self-indulgence.

4. Share other people’s content too.

Yeah, we know that social media exists so that you can share your content with your followers and those who you wish to target. But its not ALWAYS about you and your content.

In order to avoid being boring, you need to share other’s content too – because other people also have interesting things to say. Plus, it can help you establish yourself as a valuable source of information in your niche.

A good rule of thumb on how to distribute your own and other’s content across your social channels is the 5-3-2 rule of social media sharing. The rule states that for every 10 updates you post to a social media channel;

  • 5 should be content from others, relevant to your audience.
  • 3 should be content from you, relevant to your audience – and not a sales pitch.
  • 2 should be personal, non-work related content that helps humanize you and/or your brand.

5. Interact with your followers.

As I’ve pointed out before, people use social media to connect with the brands they care about, not just to listen to them talk. When people mention a brand on social, they expect a response 99% of the time – such as a retweet, a favorite, a comment or a response.

For example, you post an update on Facebook and get tons of interaction from your fans. Lots of people like, share and comment on your update. But you stop at just that. You don’t respond to anything and move on to posting your next update. Trust me, your followers won’t consider you anything other than downright boring!

The key to building a meaningful relationship with your followers is to make them believe that you actually care about them and one of the steps towards that direction is to take the time to respond personally.

Customers are happy when brands take the time out of their busy schedule to engage in a two-sided communication. It makes them feel important and relevant.

Better still – don’t wait for your customers to ask you something or mention you to start a conversation. Do it without them asking anything at all.

Here is another Facebook post from Whiskas UK to show how brands can interact with their followers by asking a question.

6. Don’t be a dull brand. Show some personality.

Social media is, well, a “social” place. Yes, you are there to promote your brand to a certain extent but you don’t need to be rigid and a 100% professional all the time.

Don’t you just hate it when brands don’t pay any attention to what they’re sharing online – like repeatedly auto publishing content from their blog or republishing their tweets as Facebook status updates?

It is absolutely okay to be yourself on social – asking questions, sharing funny updates, quotes that inspire you etc. rather than sticking to a strict guideline of sharing only serious content from your blog.

In fact, people will readily connect with you if you seem to have a human touch. People like to connect with brands who show some personality and actually socialize with their followers.

And here’s another important point. 48% of people think that spelling and grammar are important in a brand’s social post.

So, even though you might be showing a lot of personalities, if your updates contain typos and grammar errors, it gives an impression that you don’t care to double-check your updates before posting them and that quality isn’t one of your priorities.

Make sure you always check your posts thoroughly before sharing it with your followers.

So, there you go, these six tips should give you enough ideas to make sure that your content always remains fresh and varied on social so that your followers are NOT easily bored. Here’s a quick recap.

  • Share relevant and helpful info. And throw in some entertainment sometimes to lighten up the mood.
  • Share engaging visual content (photos, videos, infographics, slide shows) rather than only text.
  • Don’t apply an advertising approach towards your social updates.
  • Share OPCs (other people’s content).
  • Interact with your followers and,
  • Show some personality.

What did you think of the above? Have you tried any other strategies to keep your social followers glued to your updates?