2021 Survey Data: What Followers Expect From Brands’ Social Channels

And what makes them unfollow brand accounts.

I’ve been studying the data about customer / brand -relationships from two surveys by Sprout Social the last few days, which is always fun. I didn’t find anything groundbreaking or jaw-droppingly surprising, but I was once again reminded to shift my focus back to the basics—at least to evaluate that everything is in order. People managing social tend to have their focus on standing out from everyone else, which is understandable and a good goal, as long as it doesn’t come at the cost of half-assing the things people actually want and expect from a brand’s social media account.

Also, a positive side-note to social media professionals: The results were very much in line with my beliefs of Instagram’s and organic social’s increasing importance for brands—both from a customer and executive point of view. Customers see social media channels having more and more influence on their buying decisions. Executives have noticed this and are planning on shifting more weight on social, meaning increased budgets and hopefully increased appreciation to people in different social media roles.

On to the point of this post. Here’s what people expect from brand’s social channel and what makes them unfollow.

Top 3 things why people follow brand accounts:

1. To learn about new products or services

2. To stay up to date on company news

3. To learn about promotions or discounts

Top 4 things why people unfollow brand accounts:

1. Poor quality of product or support

2. Poor customer service

3. Irrelevant content

4. Too many ads from that brand

To sum up: people want to stay up to date on what’s happening with their favorite brands. They expect fast and kind customer service, and dislike being sold to or seeing something irrelevant.

This is super basic stuff, but you’d be surprised how many businesses do a terrible job at informing their customers properly of what’s happening, or don’t prioritize customer service. These same companies might put a great deal of effort into influencer marketing or producing creative content in hopes of going viral, but what good is it really if the bottom is leaking and all new followers will eventually be fed up with following you?

I recommend a checkup that these things are 100% in order, and even some brainstorming how you might improve on seemingly fine customer service and updates.

Maybe these questions will help:

- Can you be proactive with solving problems before people have to ask for help?

- Should you increase your posts about a new products your brand is launching, perhaps focusing on one benefit at a time, and making sure less people miss these announcements?

- Are you selling too much?

Then, by all means, keep thinking of how to stand out. I’ll help with that too with my future posts.


P.S. I’m going to be more active on Twitter from now on, if you want more simple observations about Instagram and other organic social.