Wondering why your Instagram account isn’t growing? It could be for a pretty common reason!
Instagram is by far my favorite social media platform to use, especially when it comes to marketing! From a personal standpoint, I love staying connected with people I know and brands that I love. As a Social Media Manager, the ongoing growth of the app and its wide variety of tools gives me tons of creative freedom, and I enjoy the challenge of keeping up with the digital world.
As Instagram continues to evolve, many users like myself are working to build their presence on the app, but have found that it’s not so easy expanding your following. This can be particularly troubling for growing businesses trying to make themselves known on the vast platform. At times, it can feel like you’ve reached a plateau and your follower count isn’t reflecting any real growth. This stagnation can be so demotivating, and you may find yourself wondering: Why is my Instagram account not growing? Where did I go wrong? What’s the real issue? Is this platform even worth it for my business?
The truth is, when you’re trying to develop a thriving Instagram profile, a few mistakes are bound to be made from time to time. Some of them prevent you from reaching your target audience, and others may result in losing your current followers. No one’s perfect though, and even the best social media experts fall victim to these oh-so-irritating social media slip-ups.
To avoid making these mistakes, let’s look at 5 of the most common reasons why your growth has stalled, and helpful solutions that will actually grow your Instagram account.
Posting the same old content that lacks any real message or opinion is one of the most common culprits to halted growth on Instagram. I know it sounds harsh, but your posts might not be visually appealing, or might not offer any real value, or perhaps they’re providing value that doesn’t really align with your audience’s interests. If your content isn’t connecting with your current followers and leads them to stop scrolling, they won’t engage and your post won’t reach new people. Keep in mind that if you’re just starting out, this likely isn’t an issue because you probably don’t have enough content yet, but be aware that this could happen down the line.
Start by asking yourself – What makes my content compelling? What makes it unique? How does it stand on its own? You can also use your “Insights” on the app to better answer these questions. See how many organic comments and likes you’re getting on certain posts compared to others. What content gets the most engagement? Once you’ve figured out what’s working and what’s not, brainstorm some new ideas and shift your content to align with what your audience wants to see.
(P.S. Instagram Reels are huge right now! And our team member, Amanda Filice, wrote a blog about it in case you need some help.)
No matter how amazing your content is, if you’re not consistently posting, you won’t get the results you’re looking for to grow your Instagram account. I mean think about it – the less active you are, the less space you will occupy in your followers’ minds. When you’re away, you no longer keep your audience informed about what’s going on, and after a while, they might even forget why they chose to follow you in the first place. It’s certainly easier said than done, but the extra time and effort you put into sharing consistent, quality content, the more likely your account is to grow!
To start, I recommend planning 2 to 3 posts a week to establish a good frequency. Over time, you can plan more posts, but starting small will allow you to get in the natural rhythm of posting. I also encourage you to use a scheduling platform! My go-to is Creator Studio because it allows you to schedule your posts, analyze your insights, and message from not just Instagram, but all of your Facebook pages in one place. Planning and scheduling your posts in advance will help you stay active on your account, without having to dedicate sporadic hours to it each day.
As I mentioned above, posting regularly to your feed is crucial for growth, but if you’re not utilizing Instagram Stories and its features, you’re missing out on tons of opportunities! Stories are incredibly useful for increasing your business’s visibility and allow you to regularly engage with your audience. If you’re leaving stories out of your social media strategy, you’re hindering your exposure, making it way harder to connect with your ideal audience on the app. You’re also missing a unique chance to step away from your curated feed and show off a different side of your personality, which is a key component of growing a loyal follower base.
Start sharing stories consistently! I recommend doing this daily, but you can start small by sharing them 3-4 days out of the week. People love getting a behind-the-scenes look into your business, so don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through. It sounds too good to be true, but this will organically increase your visibility and the engagement of your following. Don’t forget to take advantage of the story features! Use location markers and include hashtags to boost discovery potential, or share polls and ask questions to give your audience a chance to interact with you. Thanks to Instagram’s constant updates, now you can even add links to your stories, which is incredibly helpful for directing users to your site.
While I love social media as a marketing tool, users mainly look to platforms like Instagram to have conversations and to interact with others. If you’re devoting all your time and energy to just posting, you’re not making meaningful connections with your followers and you’re not expanding your network with other accounts in your niche. Users simply aren’t going to interact with you if you don’t make a conscious effort to build bonds with them. Leaving messages unread, failing to respond to comments, or sticking to your social bubble is sure to hinder your growth!
The best way to grow your Instagram account is to grow the relationships you have with other users. This is your opportunity to build rapport and create a positive experience for your followers, so start responding to people! Avoid giving vague, random responses, but rather insightful comments that expand on the topic. By doing this, you’re letting Instagram’s algorithm know that you’re active and open to discussion, which is beneficial for boosting overall engagement! You’ll also want to engage with other accounts in your niche. The more people you’re connected to, the more likely you’ll expose your content to new groups that aren’t already familiar with you.
Being real and authentic is important on any kind of social media platform, but this is especially true on Instagram. Really, the power of authenticity on Instagram is HUGE! Users want to follow REAL people, and this is why influencers are so popular on the platform. They open themselves up and make us feel like they are within our reach. I know it’s easy to let insecurity sneak in and prevent you from sharing your transparent and truest self with your followers, out of fear that they might not connect with you. But, the truth is, shying away from them will ultimately do more harm than good.
Just keep it real! Assess what you’re posting and pay attention to the tone of your captions. They shouldn’t come across as bland, robotic or sound like a sales presentation, but rather represent your voice! If you make a conscious effort to be authentic, even in the not so great moments, you’ll help to ensure that your followers will believe and trust you. One of the best ways to do this is through behind-the-scenes content or sharing spontaneous posts! On the flipside, if you’re the kind of person who likes to have a plan, schedule times to hop on your stories or go live.
These are the 5 big reasons (not the only reasons) why your Instagram account isn’t growing and what you can do about them! Now get out there and show off who you are to the IG world!
Hannah Scott | Social Media Assistant | Defined Media