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#OnFleek and Other Reasons Brands Get Unfollowed on Social Media

Posted on 8.18.2016

From altering and shortening every word in the English vocabulary (obvs, samesies, def, probs, bae), millennials have a language of their own but when brands - particularly legacy ones - use slang in their social media posts, their audiences just cringe. 

A new survey from Sprout Social reveals that 38 percent of people find the use of slang to be irritating and another 32 percent are annoyed when a brand tries to be funny–when they clearly are not. What is posted often comes down to the social media managers discretion though, so brands on a whole should have some guidelines as to what they are comfortable with and what just doesn't work for them (e.g., slang, humor, etc.). When it comes to what their peers think, 7 in 10 social media users have unfollowed a brand because they were embarrassed their friends might see.

It's a fine line, however, because when looking at a brand like Charmin (as in the toilet paper) one would think its audience would be minimal but that's not the case since the brand is genuinely a fun company to follow for its humor and how it monitors social to find great opportunities to respond with something witty and on-brand. Charmin has invested in its social audience, as should other brands.

Sprout Social reports most people have to see a product or service 2-4 times on social before they purchase it. And nearly 20 percent of people need to see a social post or advertisement 5-8 times. The survey also found that 57 percent of people are more likely to buy from a brand that they follow on social, but companies will need to keep content fresh even if their audiences need to see the content multiple times to convert. Sprout Social recommends altering the image or copy slightly or pulling a different data point to share, in order to help social followers make a connection but not get bored and unfollow. The key across any channels is of course relevancy as 41 percent will unfollow a brand that doesn't share relevant information, as well as helpfulness (57 percent are annoyed with too many promotions by brands). 

Companies will want to keep what they earned and that all comes down to being themselves (not trying to squeeze slang into their copy), being relevant and being helpful. 


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