Advice for Marketers: How not to be unliked

Many online marketers spend their days obsessing about attracting new fans and followers, but new research from ExactTarget and CoTweet suggest that they might be wise to spend more time thinking about how to stop people ‘unliking’ their brands.

The top reasons people cite for unsubscribing from emails is that they come too frequently, are boring, or are contributing to an email overload problem.


The study also looked at Facebook, where the same three complaints are the main reason given for ‘unliking’ brands:


(And shame on you if you can see your own brand in the category that 26% cited (“I only ‘liked’ the brand to take advantage of a one-time offer”), you should know better than to use social channels to create an artificial community.)

Finally, the research examined Twitter use and found, yet again, the exact same three reasons as the main drivers for ‘unfollowing’ a brand:


Here’s a thought: perhaps the reason people find your content repetitive is that you post the same messages to multiple channels, forcing your most ardent fans to see the same stuff numerous times. I’ve always recommended that you should treat every channel differently and respect the nuances that each channel provides. These data from ExactTarget/CoTweet seem to back this up. It’s not just common sense, it’s fact.

One final thought. When a brand relationship goes sour, 17% of email subscribers will continually delete or ignore email from companies they no longer wish to interact with rather than making the effort to unsubscribe. So, not only do they no longer like you, you’re also now spamming them repeatedly. On Facebook, 19% of fans will choose to ignore posts from a brand they no longer like rather than formally ‘unliking’ your page. That’s like having a big fall out with a partner then having your ex- turn up everyday to rub your face in their newfound happiness. Ugly… As ExactTarget points out, in social channels it’s far better to try to keep the romance alive than to suffer the misery of an unhappy break-up.

The Social Break-UP video

Full research available from: