My Customer Broke Up With Me… and it’s Facebook’s Fault

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It hurts, doesn’t it? You can pretend that you’re fine with it, but I can see through that facade to the hurt inside. When you lose a customer, it just sucks. You take it personally, even if they say it isn’t. Take this conversation into the realm of social media and it’s even more personal. Social media is all about the personal conversation, which is the whole point. But that means that it’s even more personal when one of your customers, your fans, decides to check out.

I’ve faced this recently. I use a tool that tells me when someone unfollows me on Twitter. When I first started using it I said, ‘Oh cool, look at that.’ That changed when I started getting my daily emails telling me who no longer follows me. Then I said, ‘Oh crap. Why did they stop following me? What did I do?’ It was even worse when some of my personal friends stopped following me. What the heck?? Do I ask them why? Do I just ignore it? Do I egg their house?

Then I realized. It’s Facebook’s fault. I mean, I tell my customers all the time to ‘get personal’, to make that connection with their customer on a personal level. After all, people want to do business with people, not business. Make a personal connection with them and they are more likely to do business with you. But that is a double-edged sword because when the relationship gets more personal, then it’s more personal when your follower decides they don’t want to follow you anymore.

This whole Facebook/Twitter/etc phenomenon has really thrown us for a loop, and I think it has everyone a little on edge and jumpy. For example, the research recently published by those gents over in Scotland makes a whole lotta sense. They say that the more friends you have (or in the case of a business, the more ‘likes’ you have) the more anxiety you feel trying to maintain all those friends. Facebook use is leading to feelings of guilt and discomfort for having to reject friendship request and all that stuff. I have friend requests sitting inside Facebook right now that I don’t know what to do with. I don’t know if I should ignore them or approve them… what will I say if I don’t approve them and I see them in Wal-mart?? Decisions, decisions.

I recently read the report that came out called “The Social Break-Up”, which looked at the reasons why people unfollow, unsubscribe, and un-friend. It’s quite amazing.

So you see, it isn’t my fault. If Facebook wasn’t so darn addicting and I wasn’t so darn close to my followers, I wouldn’t care so much, right? So ok, maybe I won’t ask them to their face why they no longer follow me. Maybe I’ll just email them.

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