Where are your haters?

Facebook goes through a lot of trouble to hide your haters.

  • One cannot dislike a post, the post can only be liked or ignored.
  • You can’t see a list of friends who unfriend you. You can only see who adds you and the list of current friends.
  • If someone posts a bad comment / tags you in an inappropriate photo, you can delete the comment / tag easily.
  • If someone annoys you, it’s very easy to block that person on Facebook.
  • If someone sends you a message and it’s not on your friend list, the message automatically goes into a folder which generally is not very visible on Facebook.

On Twitter there are tools who show you which users unfollow you, but with the standard Twitter interface, this is isn’t an option.

LinkedIn has no list of “lost connections”. You don’t easily see which people unfollow you.

Other platforms, though, are much more permissive with such data. You can have MailChimp send you an instant message as soon as someone unsubscribes.

There are dedicated tools to see who unfollows you on Twitter / Instagram: Unfollowers.com.

Also for Facebook, although they tend to block application such as these: Unfriend Notify for Facebook.

You surely must wonder why I try to suggest having a measure on the people who unfollow you, although, generally, online sites generally try to hide this information from you. Below, my answer on the matter.

Erik Gustafson - 14/365... Haters!!, https://flic.kr/p/5uZuR1
Erik Gustafson – 14/365… Haters!!, https://flic.kr/p/5uZuR1

First, let’s take their perspective. Why hide bad things in online?

It’s easy to see that if you have 100 friends on Facebook, and start posting some things which are irrelevant, and people unfriends you, and don’t like your posts, you will tend to be a bit disappointed. Not much, just a bit. Do this every day, and Facebook itself will not bring you much pleasure. Thus, you will begin avoiding Facebook completely. Facebook tries to hide the unpleasant information from you, because some specific unpleasant emotions might make you not like Facebook overall.

Or you post a status and you see that although 90 people liked your status, there are 5 people which pressed unlike. It’s like a mark, it stays there, and visible, and you don’t like this. Thus, you might begin posting fewer messages if you get negative feed-back.

Now, let’s get what might be your perspective.

I tend to watch the unsubscribed section on MailChimp pretty carefully, because it helps me make some connections between what I post and the ratio by which people unsubscribe from my emails. It’s an unpleasant lesson, but it tends to motivate me. It’s like someone analyzing you, and deciding your articles aren’t worth their time. It makes me think. It’s not a pleasant time, the time spent thinking about this, but, in the end, the answers to the question “Why do people stop following me?” gives me some good insights.

Another thing to note is that, in my opinion, most people are more motivated by loss aversion than the possibility of gaining. So, if on average I gain two more email subsbscribers per day, but I also lose another one, I will tend to hate the fact that I lost one person more than the fact that two more people joined my mailing list. Even if, on average, I gained one person, I tend to think on the person which I lost.

A quote:

… Loss aversion refers to people’s tendency to strongly prefer avoiding losses to acquiring gains. Most studies suggest that losses are twice as powerful, psychologically, as gains. (source)

Also, a person leaving you for good (unfriending on Facebook / unfollowing on Twitter / unsubscribing from the new emails) is an entity you will know nothing more about, and which will likely remember you with a poor connection (so, it will associate you with unpleasant emotions), and will likely not come back to you. On the other hand, you will possibly interact with the new people who add you on Facebook / follow you on Twitter / subscribe to your email list. So, you have a person who left your house, disappointed, and will likely not come back again. It makes you think, and it also make you want to ask that person “Hey, I’m very curious – «Why did you leave?»”.

A thought: most people who leave you tend to be invisible, although they generally have on them a valuable feed-back. Try to get some feed-back from them, unpleasant as this thing may be (talking to the people who don’t like you anymore).

A counter-opinion:

The reason we don’t get talker’s block is that we’re in the habit of talking without a lot of concern for whether or not our inane blather will come back to haunt us. Talk is cheap. Talk is ephemeral. Talk can be easily denied.

We talk poorly and then, eventually (or sometimes), we talk smart. We get better at talking precisely because we talk. We see what works and what doesn’t, and if we’re insightful, do more of what works. How can one get talker’s block after all this practice?

Writer’s block isn’t hard to cure.

Just write poorly. Continue to write poorly, in public, until you can write better.

I believe that everyone should write in public. Get a blog. Or use Squidoo or Tumblr or a microblogging site. Use an alias if you like. Turn off comments, certainly–you don’t need more criticism, you need more writing.

(source – Seth Godin: «Talker’s block»)

Finally, you surely know the “haters gonna hate” line from online. You do something a bit strange and you justify your action by saying “well, the haters are going to hate this anyhow, so I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t do the action, nevertheless. In spite of the haters, I’ll still act”. Do it anyhow.


Following the above logic, I suggest you use any means possible to track the people who leave your site. Use remarketing to speak to the people who visited your web site and left. Send a final “good bye” message via MailChimp, asking people why they left your newsletter. Track the people who unfriend you on the social networks you use most often and try to estimate their reasons for leaving you. Get instant notifications with the people who unsubscribe from your MailChimp newsletter. All of these are unpleasant actions, but, on the long run, might help you be better.

You should know where are your haters. :)


Source & more details: http://www.buzzstream.com/blog/unfollow-algorithm.html

I am a Digital Marketing freelancer. My expertise is in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) / UX (user experience) / WordPress. Co-founder of lumeaseoppc.ro (series of events on SEO & PPC) and cetd.ro (Book on branding for MDs). On a personal level, I like self-development - events, sports, healthy living, volunteering, reading, watching movies, listening to music.

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