We’ve all had those moments where we think, “That’s it… I just can’t take it anymore!!!” At some point, somebody has gone just too far. The proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back has you pondering… “should I unfriend this person?” or “Should I unlike this page?”
- Too political/opinionated – Sheesh, with a presidential election coming up in the United States, as well as other issues taking their turn on the hotplate (Yes, you Chick-Fil-A), extremely political discussions are becoming more and more ubiquitous. People are using social media to vent and spout off their opinions, and often those opinions are strident and can alienate people. I actually try to stay away from political discussions on social media (although it definitely can help with flagging engagement), simply because I find that people with strong opinions will routinely find your post and take you down a notch if your opinion isn’t in line with theirs. Further, they cannot be swayed or persuaded that others are entitled to their opinions. Not a polite way to behave on social media.
- Posting too often – It has been said that a post on Facebook will often die (okay, not literally) within 3 hours if nobody has clicked “Like” on it, so it really is okay to post multiple times a day. But how many times is too many? One page that I follow is Cox Communications, and they have an outstanding community manager. Cox’s fans have multiplied rapidly in the last year, so I see their page as a successful role model. Generally, they do 2-3 posts per day, and their posts are ridiculously viral. If yours are not as viral, it’s okay to post more often. On the other hand, if you are posting 7-8 times per day and fans are leaving, that’s a good sign that you are posting too much.
- Posting too infrequently – Occasionally, I’ll review my Likes page to “clean it out”, and I’ll come across a page and think, “Why the heck did I ever Like them?” If you are not using your Facebook page and you are not on the radar for your fans, you are a prime target to be unLiked. I mean really, why waste a “Like” on a page that has nothing to say to you? Being irrelevant is the death knell in social media.
- Too self-promotional – Social media, by its nature, is somewhat narcissistic… I mean, aren’t we supposed to be posting about ourselves? If you’re not posting about you, your services and products, then what is the point? While this is all true, there’s a fine line between letting people know about your company and being too self-promotional. Nobody wants to come to your page and all you have there is “Me… Me… Me!” You can also use your page to serve as a resource and to educate or inform your fans about the issues that matter to you.
- Offensive – It should go without saying that you don’t want to offend your fans and your friends. An old friend of mine posted a photo the other night of the staples in her son’s head. I’m genuinely sorry that her son had this injury, but must EVERYTHING be shared? Really, we don’t need to see such things. If she weren’t such a lovely and sweet person, I’d be trying to figure out how to handle our FB friendship. Also in this category, you need to be cautious about crossing the line with sexual innuendos, racist comments, or overly religious statements which might cause your friends/fans to feel uncomfortable.
While most of us don’t have a problem with Unliking a page, it’s a little trickier when it comes to friends. My favorite trick, in situations like this, is to hide a person’s posts. It’s actually somewhat passive-aggressive, because you don’t need to let a person know they are annoying you, but at the same time, you don’t have to read their posts. Nonetheless, it serves your purpose of minimizing your contact with that person, while not insulting them. You can hide posts in the following way:
When you see the person’s post, click on that arrow in the top right corner of the post. A drop-down menu appears, and you can click on “Hide Story” (like I could have done with the photo of the staples in that kid’s head) or “Unsubscribe from status updates” at the bottom. That will do the trick! In the meantime, page managers should consider what they are posting if their fanbase is disappearing.