Over half of the influencers on Instagram were not gaining but losing followers in the third quarter 2018, and the trend has intensified in 2019. Let’s discuss why it happens and what can be done to improve the situation.
Why does it happen? First, experts say that changes introduced to the platform are unlikely to cause follower losses. A lot of people think that their audience is getting smaller due to technical issues that “hide” their accounts and posts from some users. But in reality, Instagram has no intention to deprive influencers of their followers. The platform makes money by selling ads and wants to keep users loyal. People will visit Instagram more often and see more ads. Growing audience and positive interaction with the social network can guarantee that you will continue posting on Instagram. It means that depriving influencers of their followers makes no sense in Instagram’s business model.
Possible reasons for follower losses on Instagram
- Instagram is no longer a new and exciting thing
Instagram has been around for almost 10 years, and its growth rate in the US has reached a plateau: about 65% of people aged up to 34 already have an Instagram account. Moreover, the social network is losing its popularity as many users started to understand that it might affect their mental health. As a result, users become less willing to follow new accounts.
- People have become more selective when it comes to choosing content for their newsfeed
Instagram’s relatively long existence has another side effect. Instagram users have changed and started unfollowing accounts that no longer match their worldview and interests. Given the first two reasons, it becomes clear why accounts are losing followers and not gaining new ones.
- Instagram is now a highly competitive platform
The ability to make money on Instagram as a businessman or blogger attracts many people. As a result, competence there has grown significantly: new talented authors have come and are aiming to get your audience. Unless you create absolutely unique content, your followers are most likely to move to similar accounts but with higher-quality content.
- Instagram decisively fights bots
The first three reasons are fundamental and would have hardly resulted in a sudden drop in follower counts. Most likely, it was caused by Instagram’s fight against services that automate communication processes. Since May 2019, most of the services have been banned. Moreover, Instagram deleted a lot of ghost followers that users used to buy for their accounts.
What can be done to gain new followers on Instagram?
- Lower your expectations regarding audience growth
Accept that you can do nothing about the following reasons for follower losses: you cannot make Instagram new again, cannot force people to follow new accounts more actively, cannot get rid of competence and change Instagram’s policy regarding bots. The best you can do is to lower your expectations regarding audience growth and accept the thing that the way you attract followers will never be the same again.
- Make use of the best practices
Make sure that you follow all Instagram’s recommendations.
- Find out how many times a day you should post to maximize your reach.
- Optimize hashtags.
- Determine the maximum number of daily likes, comments, and direct messages.
- Think about and optimize the strategy that would allow getting as many photo tags as possible in as many accounts as possible.
- Launch the cheapest ad campaign on Instagram.
- Edit your page description—it should be simple and easy to understand.
- Develop a unique style for your photos.
- Be more engaged.
- You might find it useful: Instagram audience analysis.
- Improve your content to stand out among competitors
The better your content is, the less likely people are to unfollow you and move to a similar account. There is no “one size fits all” solution here, but the easiest way is to systematically get more engaged in the process of blogging.
- Move to a vacant niche
Another strategy for fighting against high competence is to choose a vacant niche or to present a topic in a nonstandard way. The fewer people can easily do the same thing that you do, the lower is the chance of your audience unfollowing you. You can judge how popular a niche is by the number of hashtags it has.
When everything is said and done, the best you can is to make your content be associated with your personality. People always can replace one product with another, but your personality is irreplaceable. This strategy will protect you from other accounts that are fighting for your audience’s attention.