5 Reasons Why Brands Lose Followers on Instagram
Instagram features over one billion monthly users.
That figure alone makes it apparent why brands and marketers are capitalizing on the platform.
However, every other brand has the same idea. Hundreds of thousands of brands are vying for any given person’s attention daily.
The result is a highly competitive environment that amounts to a densely packed minefield. One false move could cause users to reach for the unfollow button.
If this is happening to you, you’re not alone. Let’s take a look at what you’re doing wrong so that you can learn how to stop losing followers on Instagram.
1. You Cheated the Game with Fake Followers
You’re likely sitting there saying, “Not me!”
However, studies otherwise indicate that more than half of influencers on the platform are using fake followers. Nearly half of all accounts may be fake.
It’s an extremely common tactic for new brands to buy bot followers. The more followers you have, the more likely you are to attract new attention organically. Instagram may also recognize your follower account and be more likely to promote your posts.
The problem is that it can catch up to you eventually. Instagram knows that this is a prevailing problem and is taking a proactive approach to banning these accounts.
Furthermore, if they can connect the accounts to yours, there’s a good chance you can receive a full ban or a shadowban.
You’ll know if your account is banned as you will no longer be able to log in with your username.
A shadowban is more subtle as it still allows you to access the account. However, Instagram will prevent your content from appearing to new users with this type of ban.
If you engage in these tactics and find your brand losing Instagram followers, you need to take a closer look.
You may be losing followers simply because those bots are being discovered and deleted. You may also want to do some testing or reach out to Instagram to determine if you are in fact on a shadowban list.
2. All of Your Content is the Same
Instagram is unlike your other marketing channels. You cannot expect to rely on similar strategies for too long and expect great results.
Social media works much more like a local, social hangout spot. People will drop in and out as they please. They typically only stick around if there’s something new and exciting happens to keep their interest.
Unfortunately, most brands go on with a full business-centric mindset. You end up being the most boring person at the event that everyone can’t get away from fast enough.
They know your brand and they’ve heard the same pitch one too many times. Instead of being a part of the conversation, you’re now talking at users instead of inviting them to join you.
One of the reasons this happens is that many brands do not devote the necessary resources to create a legitimate social media strategy. They end up creating an account, drafting up a few posts, and scheduling them to go out never to think about them again.
In reality, your brand requires a dedicated social media specialist. This person can consistently be active with other users on the platform. Not only does this provide firsthand insight into what’s trending or interesting, but it also gives them more freedom to test out different types of content.
Don’t be afraid to explore all types of media. Use pictures, create interesting infographics, and be sure to rely on video. Keep it quick and engaging, and always leave users hungry for whatever might come next.
3. Your Content is All About Trying to Make a Buck
Instagram users, and any social media user for that matter, are constantly bombarded with advertisements.
Any number of brands are vying for their attention on a given day. The result is that users automatically filter out promotional, “salesy” content without thinking. If all of your content is about selling, you might as well not post at all.
An effective social media strategy can and will help drive sales. However, your Instagram account is typically not the place to perform the hard sell.
Instead, social media is the place where you want to discover new leads and nurture those relationships naturally. It’s about being a part of the greater conversation and convincing your following that your content is worth seeing daily in their timeline.
That isn’t to say that you can’t or shouldn’t promote a sale or product. Highlighting a big sale or a hotly anticipated item is a great thing to include in your collection of posts. But, it shouldn’t account for all or even most of them.
Great content can be educational. It can give customers a look behind the scenes. It can even just be a humorous post meant to brighten someone’s day.
Brands must experiment more with different types of content to determine what resonates right now with the current audience. Just be sure that your content is consistent with your established tone and values.
4. Your Posting Frequency is Off
In addition to creating great content, the timing of that content must also be consistent.
Many social media users are creatures of habit. They have their social routine which may be checking before work, on lunch, or strictly on the weekends. If you establish a routine of posting new content on schedule, they’ll be sure to see it.
Conversely, posting on a haphazard schedule will cause users to miss your posts entirely. For example, posting during prime working hours may be a surefire way to alienate much of your would-be audience.
Different social platforms seem to have their peak times for ideal posting, and Instagram is no different. Sprout Social finds that the hottest times to post are during weekdays just around lunchtime. However, there also seems to be strong engagement throughout the afternoon before tapering off into the evening.
Your posting schedule may also vary depending on your audience’s behaviors as well as your industry type. Just like with content, you will also want to perform some testing to see which hours are the best for your brand to post.
Once you find a schedule that works, it’s imperative to show consistency. When users are clicking and following, don’t push them away by changing things up unnecessarily.
5. You Failed to Establish a Unique Voice
Finally, your brand needs to have something unique and interesting to say. If you fail to make yourself stand out, nothing is stopping your audience from unfollowing and discovering countless other brands in your industry.
It’s worthwhile to investigate the competition and analyze what’s working in their social media strategy. However, your goal should not be to directly copy their voice and style.
Instead, it’s time to do some deep reflection and think about what your brand has to offer that’s different from the other voices on Instagram. If you have a unique value proposition worth listening to, the followers will come naturally.
If you’re observing a loss in followers, it can be a result of this. Users may scroll through the timeline and one-day question why they’re following an account that is too generic or too similar.
Find ways to separate yourself from other voices in your industry. Furthermore, you can also use your Instagram account to survey your followers directly. Not only are users generally willing to provide insight, but adding this type of engagement to your repertoire could help facilitate better relationships in the long term.
Stop Your Brand from Losing Instagram Followers
Seeing a loss of Instagram followers is disheartening. However, we are lucky to have such immediate access to analytics and insights as this alerts us to a fixable problem.
Instead of panicking, stop reflecting on your current Instagram strategy. Review the types of content you’re sharing, think about your voice, and monitor your frequency. Some issues may be easily corrected, while others may require you to head back to the drawing board.
Marketing, in general, is a rapidly changing industry. However, social media is that much faster. Interests and trends can change without warning. The best brands on social are agile and ready to adapt to anything.
If you want to rebuild your Instagram follower base, then your brand, too, has to be dynamic. Create engaging content, target users at the right times, and results will come.