Dealing with unfollowers


If you’re a social media nerd, you might have a tendency to obsessively watch post engagement. Let’s be real – we’ve all been there.

You’re at your 34th refresh when the unthinkable happens… Someone unfollows you on Instagram. There’s an unsubscribe from your newsletter. Your hilarious cat meme got blocked on Facebook.


It’s deflating and you can’t help but take it personally. But like a summer fling or an empty jar of Nutella – “don’t cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

Here’s why:

it builds a stronger army

Saying goodbye to uninterested followers will mean a strengthened engagement rate. If you were a teacher, would you prefer 30 students but a third of the class is distracted … or would you rather a smaller class of 20 kids who are all paying attention?

I know which class I’d choose.

When someone unfollows your account, make like Elsa and let it go. They probably weren’t going to drive business for you anyway. Focus on the loyal, engaged audience they’ve left behind.

It’s just one of dem days

As Monica advises in our favourite 90's classic about a girl's time of the month, don’t take it personal.

Just as there are countless reasons why someone chooses to follow you, there are just as many reasons why they’ll stop.

Maybe they want to simplify their feed or perhaps your content is just no longer relevant to their life.

I go through sporadic gym phases where I follow every fitspo account because liking pictures of kale juice makes me feel healthy AF. Two weeks later, I’m back stalking salted caramel hashtags.

People don’t unfollow because they want you to fail, they probably didn’t even think twice about it. It’s inevitable that every account loses followers, but the smart ones learn from it.

It’s a learning experience

With every Instagram post, I always lose a couple of followers but I also always welcome new ones.

That's standard. But a significant number of unfollows might mean you need to readjust your content strategy. Pay attention to what kind of posts are working and what causes a larger drop.

On @conceptjungle, I know motivational posts get the most engagement and my random corn on the cob shot caused a bunch of unfollows. That’s because my audience is made up of small business owners, creative-types and entrepreneurs. The lesson here was that either corn is severely underrated or more likely, people are not following Concept Jungle for #foodporn.

Facebook Insights allow you to compare the average reach and engagement rate of post types. For this particular client, you can see that video content is significantly outperforming photos and links.

Use the data available to you, and trends in follows/unfollows to learn more about your audience. Who are they? What do they enjoy seeing? What don't they like?


Social media followers may come and go, but brand advocates are forever. Just like that summer fling, if it’s meant to be, unfollowers will find a way back to you. In the meantime, there’s always Nutella to make you feel better.

Can you relate? Do you feel the sting of an unfollow? What are your most engaging post types? Leave a comment below...

#Instagram #Facebook #Blogging #Engagement

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