Great question, first of all we looked at data on this. Over half the influencers on the platform month over month are losing, not gaining followers. The reason for that generally is that every single time we post, people will unfollow you, that is natural, that's just going to happen. The forgot they followed you, they forgot they didn't like you, they're sick of you, they didn't mean to follow you in the first place, whatever it might be.
They think your trip to Positano was annoying. It used to be before stories that you would post, lets say 50 to 100 times a month, now with stories sometimes people are posting 3, 4, 600 times a month and so that is a lot more opportunities for people to unfollow you. People's feeds are also full and they're trying to clean them out. One, if you're losing following, you're not alone, this is happening to over half the influencers on the platform currently, today. It is more common to be losing followers than gaining them at this point.
Something that I think isn't discussed enough is how to keep followers. We talk all the time about how to gain followers but if you look at a big influencer, they may be gaining 20,000 followers a month and losing 18,000 a month. If they took that 18,000 a month down to 9,000, now they would be gaining 11,000 followers a month instead of 2,000 and I think that we weight our attentions so much on, "How do I get the next follower?" instead of, "Am I providing value and retaining my old follower." I just had breakfast recently with Grace Atwood and we were having a conversation.
She said that this summer she's really gone back to focusing on her followers, interacting with them, engaging with them, trying to build a community inside of her feed with her followers and that has been massively helpful to her. One, they just get excited about it again. Remember, you worked so hard to get these followers and then the second you get them I feel like people just forget about them. They say the goal is to get the follower and then I'm totally forgetting about them, but once they follow you, that's where the real work starts.
Then you have to provide value, then you have to make sure that you're entertaining, entertain people, educate them or enrich their lives in some way. If you're not doing that, why would they follow you. If they don't find you entertaining, if they don't find what you're talking about educational and they're learning things from you, if their lives aren't better by following you, they will unfollow you. If you're losing followers, think about how to keep those other followers, engage with them, reply to comments back, reply to DMs, put the work in to make sure that those followers are feeling taken care of.
Shoot more creative projects, I just saw this week Sai from @scoutthecity and Brooklyn Blonde and Krystal Bick were out shooting a personal project with Caroline Herera in the streets and on the subway. I saw the week before that that they went to a Yankees game in gowns. They're just doing this stuff for fun, they're just shooting creative fun projects, go back to that. I think we talked about this last week, but I'll say it again. If your feed has gotten to be 50% sponsored, think about if you were watching an eight episode series on Netflix and four of them were advertisements. That would be infuriating.
Go back and fall back in love with doing this. Fall back in love with fashion or beauty or whatever it was that you talked about. Take a step back from sponsored posts. Take a step back from hustling to try and figure out, "How can I make more money, how can I gain more followers? Why is this influncer gaining followers and I'm not? I think they're buying followers, this is so unfair, I hate everything, everything is terrible."
Just step back from all of that and say, "I have an audience who has chosen to follow me," and that is rare. Most people have just their friends and family and a bunch of bots following them. "I have an audience that is interested in what I have to say," lets put some thought into what I am saying and lets make sure that those people feel like they're glad that they follow you and they see that post, they're excited and they're going to read it and they're going to stop. They're just not going to blow on by because they assume it's another ad.
I know this is semi hypocritical to say as someone who runs a company that makes its money off doing sponsored content, but these are things we look at. We look at what percentage of your feed is sponsored. We look at how much you're engaging with that audience, we look to try and understand if you have influence over that audience or you're just speaking to them and trying to make money off of them. You want to be, not like a parasite to your audience, just taking things from them but you want to be giving things back to them. Ask yourself the hard questions if you're doing enough to keep your audience happy and keep them there.
If you're losing followers, yes you can try and work harder, if month over month you're losing followers, yes, you can try and work harder to gain more to make sure the delta is positive and not negative, but similarly you can just say, "I'm going to just focus on not losing as many," and do that. Don't despair, but get to work.
- How to Stop Losing Followers, Editorial Content, Brands Ghosting