Biggest Social Media Turnoffs to Avoid

For many of you, increasing your followers on social media is probably part of your goals for 2017. But are your strategies actually hurting you? Take a look at the biggest brand social media turnoffs and see if you are making these mistakes.

Biggest Social Media Turnoffs to Avoid


frustrated consumers with brands' social media, unfollow brands

If adding and retaining followers on your social media accounts is important to you and your brand, you need to understand that there are certain actions you can take that will have the opposite effect… The dreaded unfollow.

About the Data

In a recent survey conducted by Sprout Social of over 1,000 Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter users, participants indicated the social media activities that turn them off from brands.

These actions that participants identified were not only figurative turnoffs, but literally turnoffs, as they resulted in participants unfollowing those brands.

Here are the biggest social media turnoffs

1. Too Many Promotions

Have you every stopped following a company because they kept posting promotions that filled up your newsfeed?

58% of participants indicated that when brands post too many promotions, followers start to get annoyed and unfollow them.

However, this is tricky as market research also indicates that consumers need to see a product multiple times before they decide to purchase it.

 DBI Tip: Play around with how many promotions you post. Depending on the industry, you may need to post multiple times a day, or maybe only a few times a week is enough. Take a look at what you competitors are doing and note if they are successful or not.

2. Lack of Authenticity

The next few brand turnoffs involve authenticity: using slang (38%), not having a personality (35%), and trying to be funny when they are not (32%).

Authenticity on social media is HUGE!

Does your brand have a voice or personality? Your social media activities should reflect that.

Any attempt to be something you are not, will turnoff your audience.

Be aware of your audience and your industry… using humor or slang may not work for you if you’re a financial institution, but might be appropriate if you are a lifestyle brand.

 DBI Tip: Even if you have a serious brand personality, make sure you are presenting a dynamic brand that your followers can engage with.


3. Poor Customer Service/Engagement


bad customer service online can lead to consumers unfollowing the company

The last major turnoff that brands commit is also the easiest for you to fix: not replying to customer messages (25%).

You want your customers to add their own content to your social media platforms. But, you definitely do not want negative content.

If nothing else, you should look at social media as part of your customer service department.

Just like you want the person who answers your phones every day to provide a positive customer service experience, you want to make sure your actions on social media also provide the same experience.

These are ways for your followers to actively engage with you. So engage back! Address any problems or negative reviews head on; do not let content that negatively impacts your brand perception sit on social media for too long.


Notice any other social media turnoffs? Please share!

  • Sue Lowe

    Oversharing is my biggest turnoff.

    • Sue, is this you being turned off by brands or you turning off customers?

      • Sue Lowe

        Both. I don’t want to turn off my customer by over posting and it’s a turn off for me, as a customer, to see 10 posts in a day…

        • Thanks for the reply. I feel the same than you. If it is a value you believe in, you should promote it.

          • Gina Wanless

            There is such a fine line to walk between over sharing and under sharing… but it always goes back to quality over quantity

          • Agreed.
            At the end, the important is how much value you add.

  • So true! I like #3. Sometimes all you need is to listen to your customers. Many brands could improve on this. You do not need to be funny or to share quality content, you just need to be there.