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Why Am I Losing Followers on Instagram?

Is there anything scarier than opening the Instagram app to find that a social media page you manage has LESS followers instead of more?! If you've been living this horror story lately, no need to panic: this is 100% normal. In fact, you're not alone: across the board, brands, and creators alike have reported seeing a plunge in their Instagram numbers lately. 

Rather than planning your grand exit off Instagram, consider your decline in followers as a sign that it's time to switch things up. Keep reading for our top tips on how to rebuild your audience and improve your overall engagement on Instagram. 

First things first: why am I losing followers on Instagram?

Well, this could be happening for a few reasons: 

Video Content is Taking Over 

Not only is Instagram prioritizing video content in its algorithm, but Instagram Reels appear much larger vertically on people's feeds. This makes it easy for static posts to not be as attention-grabbing as users scroll, causing them not to get the same level of engagement. 

Instagram is Changing

If you follow the head of Instagram Adam Mosseri, you're up to date on the many new features and changes they're making in an attempt to improve its user experience. Engagement and growth tend to decline when Instagram introduces new features, as it often impacts both the algorithm and how users navigate the platform. 

For example, Instagram recently announced its new 'favorites' and 'following' feeds, which gives Instagram users the option to control who they see content from. If someone chooses to use either of these feed options, it limits the discoverability of your content, which can impact engagement and follower growth as a result. 

There's a Great IG Migration Happening 

Due to a major decline in engagement and follower counts across the board for Instagram users (we told you - you're not alone!), many users are moving to other platforms in hopes that they can grow larger, more engaged communities elsewhere. As a result, fewer people are on the platform, which further impacts follower growth.

While growing an engaged following on Instagram feels a bit tougher these days, it's nothing a few minor tweaks in your social media strategy can't fix! Here are our recommendations for how you can start rebuilding your followers on Instagram: 

Keep Track of Your Metrics 

Oftentimes, we can find the answers to what our audience wants to see right in our insights. Use PLANOLY’s analyze feature to review your insights and log them in a spreadsheet weekly so you can keep track of what's working and what's not. 

Do you notice that funny & informative Reels are skyrocketing your engagement? Double down on them! Keep doing this consistently and you'll have a greater understanding of what kind of content you need to create to keep your audience and the algorithm happy.

Post More Videos 

If content is king, video is queen! There's no denying that video is dominating social media right now, and this isn't likely to slow down anytime soon. Focus on creating a healthy combination of videos with trends and videos unique to your brand, such as a signature video series. 

PLANOLY PRO-TIP: Use PLANOLY’s Reels Planner to make it easier to manually publish your videos. With PLANOLY’s Reels Planner. you can upload video content to IG Planner, select your cover photo (instead of a still from the video!), plan, and organize it on your grid.

Increase the Dimensions of Your Static Posts 

No need to abandon your static posts on Instagram - in fact, carousel posts have shown to still perform quite well, especially compared to single-image posts. Plus, carousel posts tend to be highly shareable, which makes them great for getting your brand in front of new people - a.k.a. your new potential followers.

In the newsfeed, Reels show up at the dimensions of 1080 px by 1350 px. Make sure your static posts don't get lost in people's feeds by designing them to be 1080 px by 1350 px as well.

Up Your Collaboration Game 

Instagram has tons of great features that make it easy to collaborate with others. Focus on incorporating more collaborations into your content because they're a great way to get your brand in front of fresh faces from a reliable and trusted source. You can do this by co-hosting Instagram Lives with fellow creators or brands who share your target audience, or by creating a collab post with another user that will be shared to both of your audience's feeds.

In social media, the only constant is change. Don't take it personally! Rather, consider it your sign to evolve your strategy, switch things up, and rely on your data to help you make informed decisions on what your audience wants to see from you. You got this!

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Gabriella Layne-Avery

Gabriella Layne-Avery is a Content Strategist, Creative Director, and the founder of the content marketing agency Strut Communications. Known for coining the term ‘sustainable social media,’ she believes it’s 100% possible for small business owners to leverage social media to cultivate engaged, loyal communities for their brands without spending 24/7 doing so.

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