Let me start out by saying: to a certain extent, influencers are still very much so being followed. There are dozens of examples of people whose reach increases daily. New influencers are still popping up regularly on the scene. There is an endless amount of opportunity when it comes to people becoming influencers.

So I’ll speak from personal experience; the reason that consumers are unfollowing influencers comes down to two essential umbrella themes: boredom and lack of trust.

  1. Boredom.

    Lack of creativity. Lack of new content. Irrelevant content. Lack of interest. It all, logically, contributes to someone unfollowing. Someone might have had success with a formula in the beginning, but maybe that formula gets boring to older followers once they’ve seen it a thousand times. Example: a fashion blogger whose style you originally loved wears the same uniform of a sweater, boots, and jeans every day. Or someone who just stories about hauls or tweets about the same cars or video games.

    This is just part of life with social media. There’s no way that anyone can possibly be relevant to every single person that has ever followed them. Influencers may come into new hobbies, new points in their life like a new career, kids, dogs, a different car, or buying a house. Example: maybe a lifestyle blogger only posts pictures of her kids day after day, when the follower originally engaged for her home decor content. That doesn’t mean the influencer shouldn’t post her kids or that the follower shouldn’t unfollow if they want to; it just means that interests have changed.

    Just like influencers interests change, so do ours. I was planning a wedding for a year and a half and followed a lot of wedding/bridal related accounts. Once the wedding was over, I unfollowed slowly but surely. That’s not their fault, but I was bored with the content that was now irrelevant to me. But they really shouldn’t worry, there will be thousands of other people planning weddings this year that will fill the gap I left with gusto.

  2. Lack of trust.

    In marketing, there’s a common phrase of “know, like, trust.” It essentially translates to get your potential customers/followers to know who you are, get them to like you, and finally, get them to trust you. That final stage is where a lot of influencers fail.

    And it’s more common than you think. It only takes one post to leave a bad taste in a follower’s mouth and people can smell BS a mile away. Maybe an influencer fails to create authentic content or they “sell-out” to a company that doesn’t align with their values or they ignore the demographics of their audience.

    Some examples of this: Promoting a product for men when the majority of your audience is made up of women. Promoting a company that tests on animals when you’re a vegan. Aspyn Ovard got some negative feedback for promoting a pasta brand, which didn’t seem to align with her “aesthetic” and came off as inauthentic to some of her followers.

    Politics is another big one: a popular influencer, who has a large audience in liberal areas, posts something in support of a politician with anti-trans leanings. Or the opposite: a blogger with a conservative audience posts something in support of Kapernick. Or a blogger is inconsistent with their political messaging and only seem to be doing something because it’s trendy now (we’ve seen this particular example in recent years with the Taylor Swift’s support of the LGBT+ community). But really, fill in the blank. All three of these situations will likely result in many unfollows, because the audience no longer trusts that influencer.

    Again, that’s not to say that influencers shouldn’t post about political ongoings if they want to post about political ongoings, but that trust element is often overlooked in the outcome of certain posts or beliefs that are shared. If they aren’t shared, too, like with Maroon 5 who got some flack for playing at the Super Bowl.

    Bottom line: To get people to trust you, you have to show authentic, believable and trustable opinions. If you don’t, the urge to unfollow will eventually override.

In my eyes, those are the two big reasons that consumers unfollow influencers.