What feels great is launching an Instagram account, starting to post, and watching the follower count go up–“they like me, they really like me! ” People value your content enough to want to follow you so more of what you’re posting will show up in their Instagram feeds.
What doesn’t feel good? When you see that number sliding back down. On a social media analytics report somewhere, you find a negative number, in red, in the section on “follower growth.” Bummer.
So, just why might you be losing Instagram followers? If you know why people are leaving, you can take steps to solve the issues that stimulate adherents want to leave.
Here are seven reasons people unfollow others on Instagram.
1.) Overly promotional content strategy
If every post you publish looks like a desperate marketings ad, you will lose followers. You can offer promotions and bargains on Instagram, but if the same content is recurred and insistent, your follower listing will become an empty adherent list.
Solution: Tone down your promotional content. Then focus on the beauty, performance, and excitement of your product.
Offer text-based images about promotions interspersed with photos of your products or photos that give followers a” backstage pass” to your business process. If you offer a service, display yourself or your personnel performing that service or smiling from behind the front desk.
You and your product should be front and centre, with promotions appropriately sprinkled here and there in your creek of posts. Hiral Rana shares this advice on improving your Instagram content:” Brands can subtly grow followers on Instagram by maintaining their posts interesting and entertaining with lifestyle messages rather than excessive marketings or discount coupon offers .”
2.) Posting too frequently
You might lose adherents if your posts come in such rapid succession that people are inundated with your content and have a hard time seeing other types of content in their feed.
Solution: Scale back.
Though there’s no one-size-fits-all frequency for all businesses–despite what those‘ social media gurus’ out there are telling you–there is the best frequency for you and your business. You can find it through experimentation.
Post less frequently( like a few times per week) and move upward in frequency by steps to see what it does for your participation and follows. Instagram users are more forgiving of accounts that don’t post often enough and less forgiving of accounts that post too often.
Similarly, you might be posting too much of the same type of content. The answer here is to review what type of content is most successful and when it was posted. With this data-led approach, you can use Agorapulse to set up publishing categories to organize the variety of your publishing schedule.
3.) A content drought
Although you can go through eras of lower frequency, stopping wholly will hurt you. If you haven’t engaged with users or published a post in a very long time, at some point your adherents will think they are following an abandoned account. That may lead to some unfollows.
Solution: Keep the content going.
If you know you will experience a busy period in your business where social media might get less attention, plan ahead by scheduling posts.( You can do this with Agorapulse !) So now, you don’t have to create content during a busy season. For those whose busy seasons are unpredictable, maintain some evergreen content ready.
Using bulk uploading, you can pad out an entire month, or campaigns worth of Instagram posts. This is super-easy to do now. You can import up to 100 images with one bulk CSV file, then configure, schedule to post immediately, or add to publishing queues from within Agorapulse.
Turn your drought into a steady flow of awesome content!
4.) Inappropriate posts
Some people will unfollow an account if they feel the content, or even the tone of the content, is inappropriate.
What is inappropriate? This depends on the audience. If you are a rock musician, posting videos of you smashing your guitar on stage may be appropriate, but posting a photo of yourself wearing a “Classical Music is the Best” T-shirt may lead to you losing Instagram adherents( unless you’re being funny and your adherents appreciate your sense of humour ). If you are a vegan foods company and you post a photo of your recent deer hunt, you will deal with your carnival share of unfollows( and perhaps a rise in angry comments ).
Solution: Know what content is appropriate to your audience.
This doesn’t merely apply to holding back obscene words or images; it also applies to what your audience expects from you as a brand.
Some types of content are inappropriate for most audiences. Other types of content might be appropriate for one audience and inappropriate for another.
There are two steps to fixing the problem of inappropriate posts: 1) build a consistent voice for your brand, and 2) get to know your followers.
5.) You’re using software that transgress Instagram’s Platform Policy
Instagram states in its Platform Policy that it does not permit other platforms to “use the Instagram APIs to post automated content to Instagram, including likes and commentaries that were not initiated and entered by an Instagram user.”
If you use a software that contravenes this policy, your Instagram account is likely to be “shadowbanned” or, worse, deleted. Alex Tooby explains that using bots to automate your interactions with others on Instagram “can not only attract an unengaged and inauthentic following to your account, but it can also get you in trouble.”
Solution: Merely use social media management software that abides by Instagram’s policies.
One major sign of a platform that doesn’t abide by the policies is if it requires you to provide your login information. You should never have to give anyone( or any company) your password. Another sign of difficulty is if the tool promises direct participation actions, such as automatically liking and commenting for you.
6.) Buying adherents
Sure, buying adherents can increase your follower count in the short term. However, you’re not buying real adherents; you’re buying bot accounts. And bot accounts usually get discovered by Instagram and purged. Remember the great purging of 2014 ?
Whatever you buy, you’ll likely lose again in the long term. It’s just not worth it to let your ethics slide like that. In some suits, paying a third party to grow your followers will still be less effective than doing it yourself.
After experimenting with a third party that uses bots to grow customers’ Instagram following, Andrew Tate found that” the regular technique clearly beats the bot when it comes to acquiring followers, even though the bot was’ working faster’ than a human .”
Solution: First, stop obsessing over vanity metrics.
Followers aren’t the only people seeing your posts. If your content is good and you use strategic hashtags, people will see your posts and be influenced by your content, despite whether they choose to follow you. Case in phase: My sister once tagged me in an Instagram post of a product that I aimed up buying, and I never followed the account that posted it. I like to think that the account would rather that I buy the product than follow its account if it had to choose between the two.
Focus on your goals. Focus on real followers. Focus on what matters.
7.) You’re a victim of others’ follow tactics
If you gain a little or lose a little here there are still, don’t worry. There are a lot accounts out there that follow lots of Instagram users with the hopes that they will get followers in return. You may get followed by a few accounts, merely to see them leave in a few days. This has nothing to do with your own strategy and more to do with tactics others are using to increase their followers.
Solution: Don’t blame yourself for these unfollowers. They follow merely to gain your followback, then they unfollow.
Ready to stop losing Instagram adherents?
To avoided many of these issues that lead to losing Instagram followers, be yourself. Social media marketing uses different technologies and platforms, but in the end, it’s all about human relationships. People tend to “unfollow” for the same reasons online that they do in real life.
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Updated May 2019
Read more: agorapulse.com