More than half of consumers unfollow brands on social media if they post “irrelevant content”, while a third will turn off if they cover “politics and/or social issues”, according to a new report released by Sprout Social.
The research conducted earlier this year looked at the habits and interactions of 1,011 consumers on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook with the aim of uncovering the specific reasons behind their desire to either follow or unfollow a brand.
The study found that learning about new products and services drives 50% of consumers to follow a brand, making it the most popular positive action ahead of “to be entertained” (48%) and to keep abreast of breaking company news (40%).
While social media started out as a platform for brands to communicate with customers, just 20% now say that they will follow for this reason. Meanwhile, more than a third will click the follow button to be inspired and to be educated. 38% also want to learn about discounts and promotions.
Following is not necessarily a long-term commitment for audiences though as many are willing to turn their backs on brands if they fail to hit certain standards. The primary bugbear for users is “poor customer service”, which prompts a considerable 56% of consumers to unfollow.
Next up is “irrelevant content” with 51%, again highlighting the importance of posting high-quality, targeted content on social channels. Consumers do not like too many ads (43%) or promotional posts (35%) either.