Are you, all of a sudden, losing followers on Instagram and wondering what’s wrong? Well, there is a lot of change that happens with every algorithm update. So even if you don’t do anything wrong, you might end up losing a couple of hundred followers.
But that’s not a satisfactory explanation, and you must look for ways to stop it.
Look no further because today we will delve into every possible reason why you are losing followers on Instagram and how to stop it.
So, let’s dive in!
Understand The Basics of the Instagram Algorithm
If you keep asking yourself, “Why am I losing so many Instagram followers?” you need to start understanding the basics of Instagram’s algorithm.
The platform’s algorithm has changed a lot over the years, and in 2023, it has pivoted to a model that favors interest.
Now, what does that mean?
It means it will show you only those types of content that you are more likely to engage with. Therefore, your content will also get pushed only to those handles or accounts that like the type of content you are posting.
So, for example, if you post content on fashion and lifestyle, the algorithm will push it more to those who are already consuming a similar kind of content. And not to someone who’s into tech and gadgets.
So, if you ask – why does my Instagram followers keep going up and down – maybe you haven’t figured out your niche yet. This could be why your content is scattered and the algorithm isn’t pushing it to the right people.
To get better reach, you need to dig a little deeper and analyze which of your posts performed well, both in terms of reaching a new audience and getting engagement from the existing ones. And then try to make more posts like those.
Losing followers on Instagram is totally normal; however, if you keep losing followers on Instagram at an abnormal speed, then the problem may not be with the algorithm but something else.
Check out the next section, where we discuss all the potential causes behind a similar scenario.
Why Am I Losing Instagram Followers?
There can be a number of reasons why your Instagram followers are disappearing.
1. Inconsistent Posting Frequency
If you have established an audience base and catered to them regularly till date, then inconsistency can also make you lose followers on Instagram.
Platforms like Instagram and YouTube, where audiences come looking for entertainment, are all about how frequently you can post good quality content to keep them engaged.
So if earlier, you used to make 5 posts a week along with daily story uploads, and now the numbers have dropped, your audience might get bored and unfollow you.
2. Lack Of Engagement
Depending on your niche, you need to manage your engagement with your followers. When you post on your feed and someone drops a comment, they naturally expect a reply from you. This is especially true if they added words of appreciation.
If you don’t engage with them for long, there’s a big chance of you offending them. And as a result, they might unfollow you.
Besides, everybody wants to follow someone who is human and values their audience by reciprocating actively. Hence, your lack of engagement can also be a reason why you keep losing followers on Instagram.
3. Decline In Content Quality
As mentioned before, you need to post good-quality content more frequently. Hence, the quality matters more than the quantity.
If your posts are vague, repetitive, scattered across multiple unrelated niches, or of poor pixel quality, then you are less likely to attract and retain your audience.
So, if you are wondering why do I lose followers every time I post, this can be a reason.
Therefore, check if your post quality has recently declined or if you are posting the same kind of things over and over again.
4. Overuse of Automation
With recent updates in Instagram’s algorithm, you may have heard a lot of people complaining about losing thousands of followers overnight and incidents of Instagram dropping followers, and you wondered why.
The answer is the overuse of automation.
Now, what are the automation tools that can cause Instagram follower loss?
Bots that like posts, follow accounts, and will comment and reply on your behalf have grown in numbers. The market is filled with businesses that offer you these kinds of automation tools. However, they not only waste your money but can also be the reasons behind your Instagram followers disappearing.
Especially if you are using Instagram to grow your business and you use automation bots to engage with your audience, you will offend them and, as a result, keep losing followers on Instagram.
5. Failure To Adapt To Algorithm Changes
Instagram keeps updating its algorithm every now and then to maintain its top-of-the-line user experience. Due to this, it sometimes pushes certain types of content over others.
For example, looking at the rising popularity of short-form video content, Instagram introduced a Reels tab on the app for the users to get a TikTok-like experience.
Because of that, it was also organically boosting the visibility of those accounts that made more reels than static posts and stories. Plus, the more you use the in-app filters, music tracks, and visual effects, the more likely you are to get pushed by Instagram’s algorithm.
On the other hand, if you fail to keep up with all this, people will see less from you and assume you are inactive. Hence, you will experience a sudden drop in Instagram followers.
Why Does My Instagram Follower Count Keep Going Up and Down?
If, instead of just losing IG followers, your follower count keeps going up and down, the situation might be different. Here are some potential reasons behind it.
1. Follow-unfollow Game
If you are new to Instagram and have just experienced the infamous follow-unfollow game, brace yourself; you’ll see more of it.
Simply put, it is a sneaky tactic that many people use to gain more followers. In this technique, someone with fairly substantial followers will follow you, hoping that seeing their huge following or simply out of courtesy, you might follow them back.
Once you fall into their trap and follow them back, they will unfollow you after a couple of days. In that way, at first, it will seem like both gained a new follower, but in reality, it was just a cheap trick to make you follow them.
2. Content Appealing To A Niche Audience
If you make niche content that adds value, you can expect to see a huge spike in your follower numbers. It usually happens more if you are making a series on a topic or content pillars.
People who are interested in learning about that topic will follow, and once you stop posting, they will eventually unfollow you.
Apart from your followers going up and down, it can also be a reason if you were wondering why has my Instagram engagement suddenly dropped.
3. Inactive Followers Being Removed
If a large number of your Instagram followers disappearing and there is a sudden drop in Instagram followers, then it can be due to the removal of inactive users.
If someone hasn’t used their Instagram account for more than two years, the platform automatically removes that user. So, if you had a bunch of inactive people in your followers list, then even after doing everything right, you can expect to lose a few followers.
However, in this case, the numbers won’t be too big, as Instagram doesn’t remove users that easily.
How to Reverse the Trend
Here are some tips that can help you reverse the damage, to some extent, that has happened due to losing followers on Instagram.
1. Be Consistent
Consistency is the key, even in the case of retaining your audience. If you want to reverse the damage, you need to buckle up and keep posting consistently.
You can make a content calendar beforehand and follow that so you don’t give the excuse of not coming up with an idea and, hence, not posting.
What about holidays and stuff? Do you need to post then as well? YES!
Use the schedule feature on the app, and automate all your posts during your holidays. You will be surprised to see how the algorithm will favor you once you start showing up daily and posting consistently.
But how often should you post on Instagram for optimal results?
Well, the ideal frequency to post on Instagram depends on your goals, content type, and audience. But usually, it is a good idea to post 4 to 6 times a week, mixing carousels, reels, and static posts.
With stories, you can be more raw and unfiltered, so we suggest you upload at least 2 to 5 stories daily.
2. Engage Authentically
Not engaging enough is one of the biggest reasons behind losing IG followers, so don’t do that!
Especially if you are using Instagram to grow your business, it is a must that you engage with your audience. You will see a lot of Instagram growth hackers posting content that triggers conversation and engagement.
So, you can do the same by asking them to comment on your posts, give their opinions and suggestions, etc.. It will not only make you seem more friendly and likable, but the engagement will also boost your reach.
3. Prioritise Quality Over Quantity
While we suggest you post as much as you can, we don’t want you to post anything and everything.
Be thoughtful and meticulous about your posts, as they are the only thing that represents you in front of your thousands of followers.
So, take time to ideate content you want to post, and don’t always go candid.
4. Change How The Algorithm Changes
If the algorithm wants you to focus on something and you are ignoring that, be prepared to see your reach sinking.
You can’t control the algorithm, so don’t try to fight it. Instead, be observant and notice what’s trending and what’s favored by the platform.
Doing the same or similar can significantly help you increase your reach without spending a penny on paid ads. And the more people you reach, the more followers you can gain.
Why do I keep losing followers on Instagram despite posting regularly?
If you are posting regularly yet losing followers, chances are the quality of your posts is not up to the mark. Or what you are posting is not something that the majority of your audience wants to see.
So take a step back and analyze which posts of yours got the most engagement and what your audience demographic is.
Is it normal for my follower count to fluctuate?
Yes, it is absolutely normal to have your follower count fluctuate.
Can automation tools help me grow my Instagram followers?
Yes, automation tools can help you grow your Instagram followers to an extent. But you need to put in effort to retain and grow that further.
How often should I post on Instagram to maintain and grow my follower count?
The ideal frequency of posting on Instagram varies, but it is recommended to post at least 4 to 6 times a week on your feed (in the form of static posts and reels). And at least 2 stories daily.
So, the answer to your question- “why am I losing followers on Instagram?” is that either you are not posting enough, or your posts are not good enough. If none of these are the issue, then you may need to focus more on engaging with your audience to understand what they want to see from you.