Why you’re losing Instagram Followers


Instagram is probably the most relevant social network, depending on how you feel about TikTok. Here are some quick Instagram stats you should know. Instagram boasts that they have 1 billion active users, with over 500 million using the app daily. The average IG user spends 53 minutes on the app per day. With these kinds of numbers, it’s only natural that everyone wants to grow on Instagram.

When you start investing in Instagram growth, your follower and like count become more important than ever. Are people engaging with your content or are they ignoring your posts? While everyone wants that “viral” large account with thousands of followers, keeping them actively engaged is a job in itself. When dealing with large numbers, it’s inevitable that you’ll start losing followers for one reason or another. In this post, I’m going to outline some of the main reasons why you may be seeing a dip in your Instagram following and engagement.


Your first impression doesn’t convert

The more you invest in the appearance of your Instagram account, the more likely it is that your account will appeal to your target audience. Upload a professional headshot or logo and set it as your profile picture. No one wants to follow a burner account or someone they’ve never heard of. Use your bio to leave a few short and important details about yourself and the best way to contact you.


Your account is too broad

Sure, you travel a lot and love posting your daily cups of coffee, but why are your followers supposed to care? I’ve noticed that accounts that tend to stand out the most are the large niche accounts that focus primarily on one thing, such as memes, cars, coffee, dogs, etc.  If I follow an account dedicated to puppies, I can expect to see consistent puppy posts from that account (hence why I decided to follow in the first place).


Your upload quality is poor

When there’s thousands of accounts competing for everyone’s attention, the ones that will truly stand out and capture the masses are the ones that are consistently uploading high quality content. Unprofessional looking images, mismatched branding, watermarks from other accounts (indicating you steal content), and poorly cropped images are all detriments to your Instagram audience.


Your posting consistency is lacking

This point ultimately depends on your audience, but I find that accounts that post more are generally able to sustain their success and ride that wave into Instagram fame. Not everything you post will be a guaranteed hit with your audience, but that’s okay! You don’t need to dwell on the performance of one post if you continue to post consistently. Based on my experiences, having one post perform better or worse won’t really affect your overall engagement.


You aren’t putting much thought into captions

I see this problem a lot with smaller “meme” accounts. They’ll re-post some of the most popular memes that they can find with a single emoji as the caption. Those types of low effort posts won’t do much to convert your viewers into followers, so try to put more thought into your captions. What about your post is important to your followers? Why are they supposed to care? Try to identify these points and provide a caption that will truly resonate with your audience. Asking your followers questions is a great way to get some quick comments coming in.

Another small tip is that the longer your caption is, the longer the user is spending on your post. Time spent on your post is another way Instagram will decide whether or not to promote your content.


You aren’t building an authentic community

Let’s face it, the days of having an account that follows under 100 people while having several thousands of followers are long gone. Unless you’re a million dollar brand that everyone already knows, you need to invest time into building real relationships with your followers and similar accounts in the Instagram community. Take the time to follow some relevant accounts and your most familiar supporters. This will help you stay fresh in their minds and continue to nourish the relationship between follower / account. Be sure to like and reply to every comment on your post to keep the momentum going.


You’re posting too many ads or promotions

We use Instagram to follow brands and content we enjoy. No one wants to opt into a non-stop promotional account that only looks to sell to you.  If your Instagram strategy involves promoting your product or service, be sure to do it in a way that either educates, demonstrates, or provides value to the audience.



You’re shadowbanned or action blocked

Instagram doesn’t want you to use any apps that will help you grow your followers or check who’s unfollowed you. They view these types of advantages as spammy, and it goes against their terms of service. You can also get shadowbanned for using artificial likes, whether that’s through engagement groups or purchasing likes from bot accounts.

Getting an action block on Instagram means that they believe you were using the follow and comment functions too much in order to grow your account. Depending on how many times you receive an action block, they can last anywhere from 12 hours to a week. When you’re action blocked, you can still upload a new post, but you won’t be allowed to reply to any of your followers in the comments, which can be a frustrating feeling when you’re trying to grow a community. If you want to avoid receiving continuous action blocks, you’ll have to cut back on how often you follow / unfollow people. Keep these numbers limited (around 5-20 actions) per day to keep your chances of getting blocked to a minimum.


Instagram Bot Ban

Every so often, Instagram will decide to remove inactive / spam / bot accounts from their service. If you purchased fake followers or hired a service that purchased them on your behalf, you may see sudden drops in your following.


Generally, you can tell when Instagram does a bot purge by paying attention to accounts with the highest following on the app. If some of these accounts start losing thousands of followers in a short amount of time, it’s highly possible that it was because of a bot ban. You can see some of the most followed Instagram accounts here – https://www.brandwatch.com/blog/top-most-instagram-followers/


Wrapping it up

If you find yourself losing some followers here and there, there’s no need to panic. People that have no intentions of engaging with your account are better off being removed from your following instead of sitting there inactive and ruining your engagement rate. As long as you haven’t sabotaged your account with fake followers, you should be able to recover from your situation with a bit of effort.

If you’re looking for more Instagram tips, check out my post How to Market Your Brand on Instagram

Have a question about your Instagram account or digital marketing in general?

If you have questions about how to grow your brand on Instagram, feel free to reach out to me through my contact form. You can also shoot me a DM on Instagram if you’d like to chat.



Why You're Losing Followers on Instagram