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Why you should let your Facebook fans leave you

Head of Product

In a few recent posts I’ve been writing about how I think about a Facebook fan base, specifically Why people should follow you on Facebook and two posts about How to get the right followers. In this short post I’d like to encourage you to let some of your fans leave you, as a follow up to the previous posts.

You might be thinking “Why on earth would I want to do that?”. And sure, it might seem to make little sense at first glance, but fact of the matter is that giving your current fans an easy out of your updates serves a few important purposes.

You position your brand as more likable

Informing your fans about how to avoid seeing your updates in the News feed adds to your credibility, positioning you as honest and transparent (because you are, right?). It’s comparable to having an “Unsubscribe” link at the bottom of your email news letter. If you don’t let people know how they can opt out, you’re in the danger zone of being perceived as spam.

And no, all Facebook users don’t know how to do this. Sure, some might think of unliking your page, but that’s not enough to get rid of you completely. In order to do that they would also have to make sure to “Hide all stories from [Your page]”.

It increases the return on your ad spend

Provided that you sponsor your page posts targeting your existing fans (you should!), I’m pretty sure you’d want to reach the people truly interested in what you have to say. If they are not, it is unlikely they will spend money with you, so why spend money on reaching them?

I think it’s safe to say that the money previously spent on reaching the part of your fans uninterested in your content is put to better use by reaching new people more likely to engage with you.

It forces you to share stuff that’s actually valuable

In my opinion, this is the most important reason. As pointed out in previous posts, people follow you on Facebook in order to get something out of it. You are to blame if they don’t, sorry to say. Given that you agree, you probably also like the idea of getting clear incentives for putting resources towards this.

I have personally been opting out from quite a few news letters recently. While I appreciate the companies that make it dead simple (by confirming my unsubscribing with a simple landing page, no more to it), I’m surprised how few ask me why I’m opting out. Surely the purpose of the news letter is to engage with me and convert me to a paying customer. So if this objective has failed, why not ask why? This is the easiest way to get better and start creating content that would actually be valuable to me.

You can do that on Facebook, with a slightly different execution. Unfortunately you can’t ask people why they unlike your page as they do it, but you can ask your existing fans what kind of content they would like you to share. If you do however, make sure to follow up on it. Of course it wouldn’t make sense to run wild with every request, but at least communicate that you’ve taken part of the feedback and that you’re going adjust the content you share according to what your fans want – and to what makes sense for you.

Feel free to use one of our latest Facebook posts

A few days back, we posted a simple “How to get rid of us” via our Facebook page. You’ll find it below, and you’re more than welcome to use it if you find it helpful.

Happy marketing!

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