Nowadays, it seems like our number of “followers” can sometimes be equated to how well-liked we think we are. They are our circle. Our people. Our Tribe.
But what about when someone unfollows you?
Ouch. It’s like a slap in the face. It can sting. And it might sting even more if that person is an actual friend. But unless people are dropping like flies, un-followers aren’t such a bad thing. In fact, I think they are actually a great thing. Ready to feel better about yourself and more empowered in your business? Here are three reasons why it’s a good thing when someone unfollows you:
1. You’re narrowing your niche.
One of the worst things you can do when trying to grow a successful blog, is to blog for everyone. While you can often get away with blogging about multiple topics, blogging about far too many topics or for too many people doesn’t give your audience anything to grab on to.
Take this example: perhaps you used to post anything and everything on Instagram, from blurry pictures of your kids to a random flower in your garden to an aerial shot of yesterday’s lunch. But recently you decided to kick things up a notch and took a silent oath to only post gorgeous food-related photos. You want to start blogging more about recipes and nutrition, so it made sense to you to have an Instagram that matches.
But crikey! 8 people have unfollowed you ever since you switched your focus! Is it because they don’t like Pad Thai or because…they don’t like you? Actually, it’s probably neither. In fact, you’re just weeding out the people who wouldn’t be interested in your narrowed niche anyways. Thinking about it this way, unfollowers are a great thing. Isn’t it better to build a community of people who LOVE what you create? While you may lose a few followers if you’re transitioning your focus, you will gain plenty more in the long run.
2. You’re allowing engagement to flourish with your other followers.
Nothing says trouble like thousands of followers who completely ignore you. It’s better to have a small, engaged audience, than to have massive amounts of people who skip over all of your blog posts. By having people unfollow you, you’re allowing engagement with your other followers to really thrive. You’re building a community of people who care. And that is certainly more valuable than the opposite.
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3. It doesn’t mean they don’t LIKE you.
It’s easy to think that if someone unfollows you, they dislike you. Actually, our subconscious decisions to unfollow someone are usually more complicated than merely hating someone. And more often than not, someone will unfollow you for other reasons, like that your content doesn’t feel relevant to their lives (hello #1 on this list!) or they’re already subscribed to 900 newsletters and decided to do a strict purge.
A long while ago, I unfollowed a blogger, simply because her posts were no longer relevant to my interests. It wasn’t that I had any animosity toward her or that I disliked her in any way. I just wasn’t interested, plain and simple. Though we’d had little contact up to that point, she somehow discovered that I had unfollowed her and sent me a slightly angry email, wondering why. The email surprised me, because very little emotion had gone into my decision. It wasn’t something I thought about day after day, suppressing thoughts about how much I hated her blog. Nope. It was more like, “oh, this type of content isn’t really something I read much of anymore. I guess I’ll unfollow.”
The point of this story is to remind you that when someone unfollows you — because inevitably they will — to not take it personally or feel badly about it. Usually, unfollowing someone isn’t tied to a strong emotion of dislike or hatred. It’s just a natural part of growing a brand or blog, and often means you’re doing something right.
Of course, having people unfollow you isn’t always a good thing!
If your followers seem to be running far, far away from you or if people that you thought were part of your ideal audience are suddenly clicking the “unfollow” button, then you might have some changes to make. Here are a few reasons why someone might choose to unsubscribe:
- You’re too noisy. It’s good to be social on social media, but if you’re posting constantly, it might be too much for your followers to handle.
- Too much promotion. Whether it be promotion of your own products or sponsored posts for another brand, too much can annoy people.
- Your content isn’t beautiful. This goes primarily for sites like Pinterest and Instagram. If you’re posting ugly, uninspired images, then they might be warding off new followers.
- You’re not relatable. People love to use blogs and social media as a personable look at someone’s life. Even if you use it for business purposes, it’s important not to be robotic.
- You post #allthethings. Going back to #4, it’s great to be relatable on social media. However, if you find yourself posting things just to have new content, then you should reconsider its purpose. Aim to post things that are inspiring and fresh for your audience. So, send that dimly lit picture of your dog to your BFF instead of your Instagram followers. 😉
How do you feel when someone unfollows you?