Your Facebook fan base is an incredibly powerful marketing asset. You should be aiming to grow the number of fans of your business page in order to continually expand your reach. At the very least, you should be looking to retain the fans you already have. But they already “Liked” your page, so you shouldn’t have to do much to keep them, right? Well, as it turns out, not only is this not true, but it’s actually a very dangerous assumption to make.
Last fall, Facebook came out with the “Unlike” button, which allows fans to unsubscribe from business pages. According to a recent study by DDB and OpinionWay, this button could have serious implications for your Facebook page, considering the study found that 2 out of every 5 Facebook users “Unlike” business pages.
A survey to find out why fans unsubscribe from brand pages revealed the following reasons:
In another study conducted by ExactTarget and CoTweet earlier this year, research revealed that the top 4 reasons for fans hitting the “Unlike” button were companies posting too frequently (44%), fans' desire to get rid of the clutter of marketing posts on their wall (43%), content becoming repetitive or boring over time (38%), and that fans only “Liked” the page to take advantage of a one-time offer (26%).
With these daunting percentages, it may seem like the odds are stacked against you when it comes to retaining your Facebook fans. However, there are many things that you can do to avoid high “Unlike” rates.
4 Ways to Keep Fans From “Unliking” Your Page
1. Keep your posts interesting. The top two reasons fans unsubscribe from a page are because they've lost interest in the company or they've lost interest in the information the company is publishing. This means that your top strategy for retaining fans should be to publish interesting content. Don’t be repetitive or boring! No one likes to see the same messages in their news feeds over and over again. Facebook is social media, which means people are looking to have fun and read interesting things. Next time you write a status update or post a link to some content, ask yourself, “Does this sound exciting enough to make my fans want to read it?” If not, try to find a way to make it more interesting before you hit that “Post” button.
2. Publish relevant, valuable content. Not only should the content you publish be interesting, it should also be relevant and valuable to your fans. Make your posts informative and helpful. Think education, not marketing pitch. The point of content marketing is to establish yourself as a thought leader and educate your reader base, thereby enticing them to want to learn more about your product and offers. So don’t use Facebook for direct sales. Use it for engagement that generates leads.
3. Find a good balance for publishing frequency. Another top reason fans hit the “Unlike” button is because the company publishes too often, which gives fans of the page the feeling that they’re being flooded with updates. This can very easily become overwhelming and/or annoying, making it far more likely that fans will choose to unsubscribe from the page. On the other hand, though, 14% have “Unliked” a page because the company didn’t publish often enough. Publishing too infrequently leads the fans to either feel like there’s no point in remaining subscribed to the page, since they’re not getting any updates, or to lose interest in the company (and its page) and choose to unsubscribe. Find a posting frequency that maintains a good balance between these two extremes so you can keep your fans satisfied but still hungry for more. Which brings us to the final point...
4. Keep them coming back for more. The ExactTarget and CoTweet study we mentioned earlier found that 26% of Facebook users only “Liked” a business page to take advantage of a one-time offer. Running a Facebook contest or promotional offer can be a great strategy for attracting more fans to your page, but don’t let it stop there. Once they have “Liked” your page, keep them engaged. Give them more reasons to be excited they are fans of your page, whether it’s new offers, unique content, exciting company and industry updates, or fun games, quizzes, and contests. In other words, make your fans glad they found your page through that one-time offer, not because of that one-time offer alone.
There’s no shortage of ways to take advantage of a large fan base on Facebook to improve your marketing and extend your reach. So keep drawing in the fans, and once they’ve “Liked” you, use these tips to show them you’re too awesome to even consider “Unliking.”
What do you do to keep your Facebook fans engaged? What makes you excited to join a fan page?
Originally published Sep 21, 2011 5:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016