Posted February 22, 2011 4:08 pm by with 6 comments

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Getting customers to follow you on Facebook is hard enough, but once you have them, it’s just as much of a chore to keep them. According to the latest Subscribers, Fans and Followers report from ExactTarget, social media followers are like Goldilocks. Too big, too small, too hard, too soft — finding a happy medium that suits the majority of your visitors is nearly impossible according to their stats.

“After liking a company, 51% of consumers say they expect the company to send them marketing messages, while 40% say they don’t expect to receive marketing messages from the company.”

Forget Goldilocks, that’s more like Alice in Wonderland. If you don’t get the mix of entertainment vs value correct, only 57% of the unhappy followers will click the “Unlike” button but don’t rejoice yet. The rest of the unmerry band will simply ignore you or chose to stop showing your posts in their feed. Either way, it means you’re broadcasting to less people than you think you are. That’s why page activity is, in many ways, a better indicator because it’s proof that people are actually reading your message.

Why do people jump ship? Mostly because there were too many posts coming through either individually (63%) or because the have too many marketing messages in their newsfeed as a whole (43%).

38% said they unliked a brand because it was boring and 26% said they only signed up to get a one time offer and unliked soon after. I’m surprised that number is so low. With so many companies offering deals and giveaways on Facebook, I would expect that “one-time” number to be much larger.

The good news is that “unlike” doesn’t mean you’re un-loved. 63% of people surveyed said that their decision to disconnect from a brand on Facebook didn’t effect their opinion of the brand overall. I love Hershey’s chocolate but I don’t follow them on Facebook. Maybe I should.

Unfortunately, the point of all of this is that there’s no formula for success on Facebook. Random posts may work for Skittles but not so much for Bank of America. TV fans may tolerate multiple posts a day from their favorite show but as much as I love Del Taco, I’m signing off if they hit me up more than once a day.

The best thing about Facebook is that it’s easy to change the plan. Play around with content and frequency until you find the right mix that works for both you and your followers. It could take a while to get there, but if you hit the mark, it’s worth the effort.

You can download the full Subscribers, Fans and Followers: The Social Breakup report for free at ExactTarget.

  • Nice post i liked it. I am starting to do some social media on twitter and facebook. I started one fan page on facebook and it did really well and I am starting this other one for a gumball site and it is not doing as well. What would your advice be?

  • dax

    Hey i liked your post. I am also looking into starting a social media campaign. I am kind of new to this internet marketing thing. I have enjoyed your posts so far though. Random questions but what programs do you use for twitter if you use any?

    • Cynthia

      I used Hoot Suite because I like the interface, it makes sense to me where TweetDeck leaves me cold. The ability to pre-schedule messages is key to using Twitter for marketing and that’s one of the best things about using Hoot Suite over the Twitter application itself.

  • e3cardreader

    The best thing about Facebook is that it’s easy to change the plan.
    i think the best things is to get my friends

  • dax

    O thanks, I will go check it out.

  • Howdy! This is my first comment here so I just wanted
    to give a quick shout out and say I genuinely enjoy reading through your posts.
    Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same
    subjects? Thanks a lot!