Why people don’t want to follow you on Twitter or Like you on Facebook


This morning I presented on the importance of remembering the people involved in social media - who you are engaging and what they want from you. When brands struggle on Facebook or Twitter it is usually because they haven’t thought through what is in it for the people they are engaging. It is easy as a brand to decide how you want to use social media, and what you want people to do. It is less easy, but more important, to consider what the people you are engaging want to do.

I decided to show this through a simple story - that of Mary (a mum) and Jack (who works in marketing for a large FMCG firm). Jack wants to sell a new breakfast cereal to Mary and thinks that social media isn’t the answer. But he has made a big mistake…

The story is simple but it is one many brands can learn from - understand the motivations, needs and interests of the people you are looking to engage. If you don’t they probably won’t want to follow or Like you.

Engaging with people in social media
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  1. khaled:

    that’s true I totally agree with you.

  2. Editorial Room:

    what about you random follow then they will follow you back??? coz I always doing like that, and its works :)

  3. PCS:

    Great Article! Ive been trying to increase my followers on FB with no luck!

  4. anoud:

    So what does Mary want? And how can Jack get her to engage on Facebook or twitter or a blog. It seems like this presentation just ends up concluding the same question that it set out to answer.

  5. Jakub Pajer:

    Jack must learn what Mary wants. Jack should use social media monitoring tools or / and search engine to collect data about Mary and then make this crucial decision - Is Mary the customer I should approach? If Mary IS the customer, Jack must decide what channels to use. As we learned from the presentation, Mary does not use Facebook to keep in touch with or explore brands / companies. She also does not have a Twitter account. Well then it`s obvious that we have to use social ads and target Mary`s interest (from the data we collected about her). Displaying a social ad based on Mary`s social behavior Jack believes he can attract her to learn more about his product and become a new customer.

  6. Dan:

    It’s simple really.

    Mary will ‘Like’ Jack’s brand on Facebook if he offers her something in return.

    A freebie, a discount, entry to a prize draw….

    I’m always surprised how people will ‘like’ a page for almost anything. We see it with our clients all the time.


  7. Ari Herzog:

    Something else to keep in mind, depending on Mary’s age, is she may prefer to be Jack’s friend on Facebook than like his page.

    I’ve observed through personal connections that Baby Boomers in particular are more likely to accept a friend request and comment/like updates than like a page and comment/like updates there. Boomers understand the friend model; they don’t understand the page model.

  8. Are 90% of the Likes on your Facebook Page by staff and relatives? « David Ndungu's Blog:

    [...] You can find other perspectives on this topic in this great article “Why people don’t want to follow you on Twitter or Like you on Facebook”. [...]

  9. Peter Jones, London:

    Great article, thanks.

    Trick is to get “customers” to talk about their busy schedule, not all will.

    Key pointer there perhaps was Runners World - helping Mary to run could be a way to “connect”, and start forming a relationship.

    Once again, it’s down to trying to understand very individual customers in a non-invasive way. Tricky !