Deborah Lee
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Social Media: Are You Unfollowing For The Wrong Reasons?


So, you’ve set your up social networks in the hope that by regularly posting and interacting you’ll attract more opportunities for you and your business …

Most of us started out in social media with these intentions. But somehow, something happens to many of us once we’ve spent a bit of time finding our way around:

We sit back and wait to be entertained.

Somehow we lose the ability to see social media in a business capacity; in other words we look to the people we follow to make the grade instead of deciding that not only are we going to make the grade, we’re going to determine what that grade is.

Recently I asked a few people what their main reasons were for unfollowing people on Twitter, and I got a variety of answers back. But there were a few constants, such as:

“Boring tweets” … “Self-obssessed” … “Not relevant” … “People who don’t contribute”

Now, don’t get me wrong; I understand. Really I do. But here’s a fact I’d really like you to consider:

People may be getting it wrong because they haven’t grasped how this all works yet.

Is that a good reason to unfollow them?

If you’re unfollowing simply because you find someone ‘boring’ then you’re not seeing them as a potential business connection, a customer or an advocate.

Do you think if you struck up a dialogue and maybe helped them that they may then become a fan of yours, willing to support you whenever they could?

People can make some huge mistakes when they start out on social media. I know I did. And some will take longer than others to realise that the angle of their posts is not cutting it.

When you unfollow someone there is every chance they will unfollow you back. It’s kind of like a cyber-snub, is it not? “I don’t want to listen to what you have to say” … Get my drift?

Too many of us are hanging around in the Twittersphere waiting for someone to do us a favour, be interested in our business or to tell us they want to buy from us. And while we’re doing that, we’ll sit and wait to be entertained.

This approach will get you nowhere fast. Trust me.

This is ‘social’ media. If you’re a business then your first priority should always be your audience, not you personal entertainment.

And didn’t somebody once say that if you look after your customers well enough then your business goals will look after themselves? If they didn’t, they should have …

If you’re here to further your business activities then that is what you need to be doing. Sitting and getting sniffy about the social media marketing activities of your audience will not advance your cause.

So lead by example.

Show your audience how it’s done. Give them regular, quality content, Interact. Share the good stuff. Be helpful.

On that note, let me sign off by saying I will always unfollow people who are abusive, offensive or aggressive. There’s really no room for that in business, online or off.

So … in conclusion:

Stay connected. Stay communicative. Stay consistent. But above all .. stay social.

Leave a Comment:

chris birrell says

Great post Deborah. Really like the way here how you talk about being positive, not just going for the quick numbers and instead engaging with people & getting to know them & offering them good content. It’s so true. If they find value they will follow you and even if they don’t who knows how they may link up with you / help you back one day.

I’ve even got (facetoface) friends who I’ve followed and then later noticed they weren’t even following me back! To some of these non following friends I even told them and they didn’t realise they’d forgotten to reciprocate (and some still didn’t follow back but what they hay!) So a little engagement does go a long way with most people…

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