The end of last year, and the beginning of this year, was rocky for businesses on social media. Instagram and Twitter dumped a bunch of fake accounts, and Facebook changed its policy so that inactive accounts would longer be including in a page’s total fans. Of course ostensibly this is a good thing – why would you want to market to a bunch of fake and inactive followers – but as most people know, higher follower counts on social media do help to boost a business’s credibility online. Losing a ton of people, then, can feel like a real shock. But don’t panic; there are a few things you can do.
Figure out why
Now, if you bought followers and, one day, they all disappeared, you know why. But a lot of small business owners never saw the point to buying fans, and they still occasionally see drastic dips in their follower totals. If you count yourself among them, there are few things that may have happened. The first is that you simply haven’t done very much in a while. Active accounts would have trickled off naturally over a period of time, leaving stagnant accounts behind. Every site handles inactive profiles differently, but if the powers-at-be choose to no longer show those accounts as following pages on their site, that would explain the sudden drop. Another problem could be what you’re posting. Controversial subjects, over-sharing, and spam tend to cause users to un-follow you en-masse.
Find a solution
Once you’ve figured out the why, the next step is, naturally, to fix the problem. People have to have a reason to follow your business – otherwise you’re just taking up space. So if it’s been a while since you updated, take a look at your profiles and give them a spit-shine. Add new pictures, make sure all your information is up-to-date, and start talking to people who interact with you. Alternatively, if you are a regular poster, look at the type of content you’ve been putting up. Are your last five updates about the same exact topic? Do you copy and paste across all of your profiles? Those sorts of actions scream spam, and spam is annoying.
Never stop fixing
I talk to small business owners all the time, and one of their biggest complaints about social marketing is that it feels they are screaming into an empty room. And I understand why – increasing your reach on Facebook is nearly impossible without paying for ads, it’s really hard to stand out in a constantly updating Twitter feed, Google+ and LinkedIn can feel like ghost-towns, and image-based sharing sites only work for people with a visually appealing product. But it’s important to remember that, unless you’re a celebrity or major brand, social growth is slow. You have to be patient, or you’ll never get anywhere. When you fixed the problem that led to the original purge, keep at it. Keep updating, keep writing and plugging content, and keep talking to people whenever you can.
A major purge is a shock, but it isn’t the end of your social marketing world. As you update, strengthen, and market your presence, followers will start to trickle in. And these are the followers you want – the ones who are active users, and who engage with your posts. Better yet, these are the quality of user who tend to stick around so, the next time there is a major purge of dead, fake, and inactive accounts, your numbers won’t take a sickeningly sudden dip.
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About Deborah Sweeney
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best.