There you are, busily marketing your business or brand through social networking and suddenly you're experiencing a rash of unsubscribes, unfans, unlikes or unfollows on your e-mail, Facebook or Twitter accounts. What's going on here? It's like that old Righteous Brothers hit, "You've Lost That Loving Feeling." Only this time around it's not a mid-60s teenager who's hurting. It's you.
ExactTarget, an Indianapolis-based interactive marketing services provider, has released "The Social Break-up," a report exploring why consumers terminate their relationship with businesses and brands through these three major social media channels: Facebook, Twitter and e-mail marketing. Much like a romantic relationship, social network bonding begins with an initial attraction, whereby the consumer becomes a subscriber, fan or follower. But what is it that prompts that same enamored person to unsubscribe, eliminate their "Like" status or just ignore communications from your business completely?
In the case of e-mail marketing, the trigger that prompts 54 percent of consumers to unsubscribe is when the offending company bombards a subscriber's e-mail with too many marketing messages. Another 49 percent opt out when your content is boring. Becoming overwhelmed by e-mail in general accounts for 47 percent, and those who say the content was never relevant from the beginning makes up 25 percent of unsubscribers.
Of the 73 percent of online consumers who have created a profile on Facebook, whopping 64 percent claims they are "fans" or have "liked" a company or brand. The bad news is, 55 percent of those fans find they no longer want to view your posts, and 51 percent say they rarely if ever visit your business page on Facebook after "liking" it.
Not surprisingly, excessive posting accounts or 44 percent of the decision to "unlike," while 43 percent of Facebook users indicate their account is too crowded with brands. Thirty-eight percent say marketers aren't keeping the content fresh, while 26 percent say all they were after were the one-time offers and discounts. I suppose you could call those "one-night-stand-fans."
For the 17 percent of consumers who have a Twitter account, 56 percent have "followed" a company. The bad news here, however, is two-fold: First, almost half of those who create an account on Twitter say they no longer use Twitter. And second, almost half of those who admitted to following a company said they later stopped the practice. And the top reasons why people quit "following" companies on Twitter? Fifty-two percent say it was because the brand was repetitive and boring in its tweets; 41 percent say the tweet stream is too crowded with marketing posts; 39 percent cite companies that posted too frequently; 27 percent say they only signed up to take advantage of a one-time offer. And then, of course, another 27 percent said companies didn't offer enough deals.
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