A Firebrand Messaging client once reported that, after the first Facebook post we shared on her behalf, she lost a fan.
Let's get right to it: seeing your numbers drop on social media sucks, regardless of the reason. No one wants to put themselves (specifically, an extreme close-up of their face) or their business out there and have people turn their backs. I think that, both in business and in the world in general, we get conditioned to believe that when we make an effort, that effort will be rewarded. Especially when it comes to social media. After all, these people are our friends, right? Or, at the very least, supporters of our businesses?
So why,assuming you're not posting hate speech or gory images or inviting people to freaking play Candy Crush, would someone unfollow you over something innocuous?
Some people, especially on platforms like Instagram and Twitter, follow everyone under the sun, specifically to gain a follow back - they churn the list of accounts they follow constantly, because their goal was never to actually support your business or engage with you in any meaningful way.
Some people may have followed your business accounts out of courtesy (let's be real, you know you invited all your family members and friends to "like" your business page as soon as you launched it!). They were never really interested in your services or products, but now they're seeing everything you post show up in their feed. And some of them don't realize that, on a platform like Facebook, they can unfollow your posts without actually unfollowing your page.
And, there remains the distinct possibility that you actually did offend someone, to the point they can no longer stand to associate themselves with your page or account. (The likelihood of that is pretty slim, but some people are more easily offended than others, I guess.)
Regardless of the reason, I can promise you two things:
1. A small number of followers - especially if they're family, friends or any other non-customers - is not going to make or break your business. We've gotten so obsessed with the numbers of fans and followers we have, with no consideration of their relevance, that we're all being spammed by "bots" - fake accounts that sell followers. (Surely I'm not the only one constantly being pitched on "1K Twitter followers for $5!" or tagged in Instagram photos by these same scammy companies.) I swear that going from 409 followers to 407 will make absolutely ZERO difference in your bottom line.
2. Anyone who actually does support you, your business and your brand will not be turned off by something like a selfie, an article share or anything else of the sort. In contrast, your true fans will rally around you regardless of how you choose to express yourself on social media, because they respect and value you, and want to see you succeed. An example from my own experience: There's an artist I really, really like. I've invested in his work, have talked him up to tons of people, and basically think he can do no wrong in my eyes. At the same time, he posts things with the WORST grammar imaginable (quelle horreur for this word nerd!), and some of his personal views couldn't be any different from my own. I don't care. I *heart* him, I *heart* his work, and I'll like or comment on any non-political post he makes.
So, the point of this wordy post is that no one should lose sleep over losing fans and followers who were never really attached to you in the first place. I really like the Abraham Hicks quote, "People will love you. People will hate you. And none of it will have anything to do with you."
Never were those words more applicable than social media.
(Just as an epilogue...the client who lost a follower on her first post happened to gain a "like" on her second post from someone whose support she really craved. And the friend with the apparently offensive selfies? Well, there are plenty of us who happen to love his beautiful face, and I have a feeling his other incredible posts garner lots of adoration.)