Why You’re Losing Followers on Instagram & How to Fix It in 2022

Last Updated: November 25, 2022
In this article, you will get to know why you might be losing followers on Instagram even if you put in a lot of effort to grow your account.
Losing Instagram Followers? See Why & How to Fix It
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Are you losing followers on Instagram despite doing your best to gain them?

Do you post frequently on Instagram and use the right hashtags and still keep on losing Instagram followers?

If yes, then this article is for you. Many people face similar issues on Instagram and want to find a solution for it.

If you are one such person, then do not fret as we are here to help you out.

In this article, you will get to know why you might be losing Instagram followers even if you put in a lot of effort to grow your account.

Plus, you will know how you can prevent this problem and fix it to grow your followers.

Is It Normal to be Losing Followers on Instagram?

If you have lots of followers on Instagram, then you might already know that people can unfollow you for various reasons.

Thus, it is normal to lose followers on Instagram.

Generally, this happens when you do not post consistently with the right hashtags and do not engage with your Instagram audience.

If your followers are reducing quickly, then you must take immediate action since such rapid decline is not normal.

Losing followers on Instagram can affect your engagement on the platform, due to which it can become more difficult to get new followers as well.

Therefore, you must first know the reason why people are unfollowing you and then tackle it accordingly. For this, you must carefully look at your content.

Some of the reasons as to why you are losing Instagram followers are listed in this article.

Take a look at these reasons and see which one is most relevant to your account.

Tracking Your Loss of Followers

You can check if you are gaining or losing followers with the help of an Instagram follower tracker.

The follower tracker we recommend is GhostHunter.

It can tell you the number of people following or leaving your account every day.

This can help you determine if the follower loss is natural or something serious.

What Is Instagram Shadowban?

shadowbanned

Your Instagram account might have been shadowbanned.

This happens when other users report your account or content to Instagram, resulting in the loss of your followers.

It can also happen when you use bots and repetitive hashtags. Though, Instagram does not provide any explanation as to why it happens.

If you suddenly lose a lot of your Instagram followers within a day, then you might have been shadowbanned by the social networking platform.

When your account is shadowbanned, your content will not appear under the respective hashtags that are used in the captions or comments of your post.

Furthermore, Instagram does not inform you or give you an official warning when shadowbanning your account.

Thus, when you see a sudden decline in your follower count, then you can take it as a red flag.

If you want to find out whether Instagram has shadowbanned your account or not, then you can search some hashtags that you have used in your most recent posts.

Then, you need to see if your posts appear in that hashtag’s feed or not.

This is easier when your hashtag is obscure since then there would be less number of posts under it. Plus, you must check it from a second account in order to be sure.

Fixing the Shadowban

The shadowban is not permanent and you can remove it by not making the mistakes mentioned before, such as using irrelevant hashtags and unauthorized software and posting controversial content.

You should take a small break from this social media platform for one or two weeks in order to get its approval.

When you return, you should post nice content without committing the aforementioned mistakes.

If this does not resolve your issue, then you can contact customer support of Instagram and challenge the report on your account with evidence.

Even though it might be a bit difficult for you to contact Instagram’s customer service, it is still possible.

Plus, you should have the right evidence to challenge the report.

What Is Causing People to Unfollow You?

Some of the common reasons behind why you are losing Instagram followers are:

1. Inorganic Instagram Followers

You might be losing Instagram followers due to any inorganic methods that you used in the past to grow your followers.

These include buying Instagram followers, using Instagram bots, taking part in engagement groups, paying for giveaways, or paying for sponsored posts or Instagram ads for increasing your audience.

All these techniques can make you gain followers quickly, but eventually, you will lose them.

If you have gained followers like this, then now they are unfollowing you or Instagram is deleting the ‘empty’ accounts of these followers.

Fixing This Issue

If you use such inorganic methods to grow your audience, then someday they will surely unfollow you and you will only have followers that truly like your content.

The best way to fix this issue is to lose such followers quickly.

You can just look at your list of followers to find out the inorganic ones, such as those who do not have any profile photos and posts and seemingly have ‘dead’ accounts.

Listen to your hunch and get rid of these followers from your account by clicking on ‘…’ on the top right side and choosing ‘Remove Follower.’

Additionally, you should avoid follower apps that are misleading and promise to provide real followers overnight.

If you use such apps, your account can be banned by Instagram.

Plus, these tricks will not get you long-lasting customers who will purchase your products or services or engage with your content.

2. The Follow/unfollow Routine

Today, you would have seen many people follow you on Instagram just so that you can follow them back and when you do so, they unfollow you after a while.

Such people follow you to increase their followers and get your attention, even though they are not interested in you or your content.

They are not interested in developing real relationships.

Instagram is taking measures to eliminate such people from the platform by closing their accounts or restricting the number of people they follow.

The social media app does not encourage people who use shortcuts, play the follow/unfollow game, or use bots for audience engagement in order to grow their followers.

Fixing This Issue

Even though this game is unavoidable, you can still try to minimize it by not using generic hashtags, such as #photography, #cafe, etc.

If you use them, then you are more accessible to people playing the follow/unfollow game as they target accounts that use extremely popular hashtags.

Thus, you should choose your Instagram hashtags more specifically.

3. Inconsistent Posts

Many people post just once or twice a week or even less than that when they feel like or want to promote something in order to not annoy their audience with lots of Instagram posts.

However, this strategy does not keep the people engaged. When you post consistently, your audience visits your posts regularly.

On the other hand, when you post only once or twice a week, Instagram’s algorithm does not show your posts in the feeds of your followers.

And, if you do not post for many days, then your audience will engage with the content of other people.

Due to this, the algorithm of your followers will show less of your content and similar content and more of the content they are already seeing.

Fixing This Issue

You must try to post daily or consistently and at the same time. It is not that difficult and does not take much time when you schedule it beforehand.

In fact, it will only take you 30 minutes to schedule posts for a week.

You can create an Instagram calendar. This way you can stay consistent, save your time, and stay organized.

Posting consistently will maintain your position in the algorithm and feeds of your audience, thus making your relationship with them stronger.

4. Only Promotional Posts

Do you think that Instagram is only for promoting your products and services?

If yes, then you are wrong. Instagram is not just an advertising or promotional platform.

If you only sell your products and services on Instagram, then your audience will soon unfollow you.

In fact, you would also do the same. If someone just talks about their products or posts promotions, then you too would unfollow that person.

Once in a while posting some promotions is fine, but posting them regularly is a big no.

If you do the latter, then you must start following a new content strategy to maintain your followers.

Fixing This Issue

You should treat Instagram as a social media application, wherein you interact and engage with people.

Plus, you must focus on making real connections instead of just promoting your products or services.

Instagram is the app that leaves behind other social media platforms like Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook, when it comes to audience engagement.

This means that Instagram is a two-way communication platform, unlike a website and ads.

Therefore, business and brand owners need to follow the 80/20 strategy, wherein you provide value to your audience 80% of the time and self-promote or pitch 20% of the time.

5. No or Wrong Hashtags

Hashtags are a major feature of several social media platforms, including Instagram.

They allow people to discover your profile owing to Instagram’s search algorithm and they keep the content organized.

A lot of your followers would have discovered your content via hashtags only.

Hashtags allow your brand to be visible on the page of Instagram for a particular search. They also boost audience engagement.

Posts that have the same hashtag are put in one place. This allows people to see all the posts with the same hashtags easily in one place.

However, when you use wrong, ineffective, or meaningless hashtags, you do not become visible to your ideal audience.

Plus, if you do not use hashtags at all, then you might lose engagement and hence your followers.

You should also keep in mind that a few hashtags are banned, which means even if you use them, your post will not be visible on your followers’ feed. 

Fixing This Issue

It is not so hard to use the right hashtags, even if it seems like a tough task. You just need to do some research in order to find relevant hashtags whenever you require them.

Additionally, you can search for hashtags that are used commonly by your audience and industry competitors so that your customers can find your content easily.

You can also use branded hashtags that contain the name of your business, products, or services.

Moreover, you can take the help of a free online hashtag generator tool for getting some hashtag ideas and making a hashtag social media marketing plan.

Make sure you do not stuff your post with hashtags or use irrelevant hashtags.

For example, if you are posting a picture of Tokyo Disneyland, then do not put the hashtag #newyork in your post.

Furthermore, do not use banned hashtags on Instagram.

When it comes to the number of hashtags you can use in your stories and posts, it depends on you.

You can use all the allowed number of hashtags, that is, 10 in your stories and 30 in your posts, since they can help increase your followers and grow your audience on Instagram.

6. Deletion of Bots/Fake Accounts by Instagram

Fake-Followers

There are a lot of fake followers on Instagram as well as Facebook.

Due to the increasing number of fake follower networks, Instagram is now eliminating interaction automation services or bots by changing their detection or algorithm methods (commonly known as an Instagram purge).

As soon as the anti-spam algorithm of Instagram flags and deletes the suspicious profile, it vanishes from your followers as well.

The suspended accounts are shown as ‘user not found’ on Instagram. This can also be one of the reasons why you would be losing Instagram followers overnight.

Since mid-2019, many automation services have stopped operating due to Instagram’s blocking of automation.

The social media app is now deleting ‘ghost’ or fake accounts that are made by firms that sell followers for a fee. Instagram does this purge every few months.

Due to Instagram’s blocking of accounts that use automation and deleting of ‘ghost’ accounts, you might be seeing a decline in your audience.

This, in reality, is beneficial for you in the long run since the less number of ghost followers you have, the more real engagement you will get from your existing followers.

You will get to know who your true audience is so that you can better communicate and share useful information with them.

Thus, it will increase your engagement rates per follower, which means Instagram will make your content visible to more people.

Fixing This Issue

You can fix this issue by not using automation services or bots to increase your followers as they will only artificially augment your followers on Instagram.

Fake followers are not actual followers and do not add much value to your account as they will not visit your site, buy from you, or engage with your content.

They are just there to increase your follower count. You can increase your engagement by improving the quality of your content.

Plus, you should focus on engaging your current followers instead of worrying about the followers you are losing.

More engagement of your followers means they will convert into your clients sooner.

7. Similar Content

Instagram is a platform where you can discover new things, such as food recipes, workout and yoga routines, pets, etc.

Its purpose is to entertain and educate its users. When you post similar content, then also your followers can decrease.

Today, people get bored easily and have a short attention span.

Therefore, if you post the same type of images frequently on your feed, then your audience might unfollow you since they are not stimulating them.

This also includes if you post things that are similar to many other accounts.

Fixing This Issue

The solution to this is to post mixed and unique content that provides value to your audience.

No matter if you are a small business owner, brand owner, designer, or artist, you must mix up your posts instead of posting random pictures just because you have to post something.

Thus, you should also post images apart from the ones that tell about your products, services, or work, such as pictures of you, your workspace, and the unboxing of products.

You can also post some behind-the-scenes and lifestyle images while using your products or services.

Repurposing your earlier posts and adding some new twists to them is also a good idea, such as adding a new caption and giving some extra details.

This can pass as new content as your past followers will not remember it and your recent followers will think that it is new.

And, if you are posting something that several other people have posted, then you can share your individual experience or viewpoint on it.

This will make your content more noticeable and relatable to your audience.

8. Less Engagement

Engagement does not mean engaging with your audience on your profile only. Apart from conversing on your posts, you must also interact with people on their profiles.

This means you need to like and comment on the posts of other people as well in order to introduce yourself and boost engagement.

Additionally, if you do not comment on your followers’ posts, it will make them feel like you do not care about them or their opinions.

Fixing This Issue

You should spend at least five to 10 minutes each day liking and commenting on the posts of your followers as well as other people.

For this, you can select three to four hashtags that your ideal customer uses and then like or comment on posts that you find interesting.

You need to comment on your followers’ comments as well.

9. Irrelevant Content

Your content might not be focused on your ideal customer. This means they will not be interested in your content.

If you post random pictures without any objective, then you will surely end up losing Instagram followers.

Whenever anyone visits your profile, they see if the content is relevant or beneficial to them in any way and if they will learn anything from your content.

Fixing This Issue

For this, first you need to discover your ideal client and then post according to their tastes.

This means thinking if they will like it, find it funny, or be able to resolve their problem with your post.

You will not have to struggle with what to post when you focus on your one ideal customer.

Plus, you will be able to create posts that your audience will connect with, like, and comment on.

10. Blank or Confusing Bio

Bio and Pics

Your Instagram bio shows your audience why they should follow your account. It is an important feature of your Instagram profile.

Still, many people do not add the correct information to it or just leave it blank, due to which they lose the attention of their followers.

Fixing This Issue

You need to inform your audience in your bio about the type of content you share and what they will learn if they follow you so that you can grab their attention.

Your Instagram bio should hook your customers from the get-go.

11. Wrong Target Audience

Social media marketing is about reaching your potential clients and then leading them to purchase your products or services.

Your target audience is the one that has more chances of buying your products or services.

Thus, if you are aiming for the wrong audience, then you might lose your Instagram followers or not gain followers at all.

Fixing This Issue

You can fix this issue by aiming for the right audience and understanding your niche and potential clients better.

Do not include everybody because irrelevant users will not engage or follow your account.

Rather, you should target an appropriate group of people in your niche who will become your permanent followers.

You can put them in different categories depending on their position, language, location, gender, age, etc.

Plus, you can take some details from your previous and present customers.

This way you can expand your online presence as well as know what type of people require your products or services.

12. Boring Captions

Captions are as important as the images and videos you post on your Instagram account.

If you are putting stale or uninteresting captions, then your followers can leave you with time.

On the other hand, inventive captions can help grow your followers and brand.

Fixing This Issue

Creative Instagram captions can make your brand noticeable as well as boost your likes and comments. When writing your caption, you should put some thought into it.

Your caption should entertain your followers and get them to take some action, like tagging a friend, leaving a comment, liking your post, telling their opinion about your products or services, etc.

Furthermore, your caption should be relatable and witty with a strong Call to Action (CTA) to keep your audience engaged.

You can also tell a story or post some hashtags in your caption. Make sure you plan and write your captions beforehand.

You can search online about your niche to learn about some subtitles.

Then, you can make unique captions that highlight your brand identity and provide context to your pictures while distinguishing them from your rivals.

You can use motivating quotes so that your fans can get inspired by them and promote your post.

This way you can get more shares and stop losing Instagram followers.

However, you must know that sharing inspirational quotes does not work for everybody.

This means you must try different captions to see what interests your audience. 

13. Low Quality Content

Instagram is a visual platform, which means your photos and videos should look good. If you post low-resolution images on Instagram, then your followers might leave you.

This means if your camera is not good, your pictures will be of low-resolution. Apart from the quality of your images, your content should also be unique.

If it does not provide value to your customers, then you might lose them.

Fixing This Issue

The first thing is to have a good quality camera and learn to click fascinating photos and videos.

You can either invest in a proper camera or a smartphone with a powerful camera.

This is because Instagram is an image-sharing platform that has superb designers, media brands, photographers, and regular people who post amazing pictures and content.

Your content should be of high-quality, unique, eye-catching, engaging, relatable, and helpful in your niche in terms of your photos, captions, videos, stories, and reels.

You should not post generic photos that are taken from another online source.

Additionally, do not post boring and ordinary pictures and create an effective social media content strategy that you can follow.

Also, do not post your personal pictures, like food selfies or party pictures, on your professional Instagram account unless you are your brand’s face.

You can take some affordable online courses in case your photo clicking and editing skills are not good.

Through this, you can edit your pictures with sophisticated tools, like Photoshop.

This way you can improve your content in your niche and get more shares on Instagram.

14. Instagram Malfunction

It can also be just a glitch since Instagram has had similar issues before, wherein Instagram followers vanished from accounts for a few hours to days.

If something like this happens, there would be some online news about it.

To find out about such a problem, you can search for ‘Instagram glitch’ on Google. This will verify if it really is some Instagram malfunction or not.

Fixing This Issue

You can just wait out till the problem is resolved by the Instagram team. After they do so, your follower count will automatically return to what it was before.

You just need to be patient as this might even take one to two days.

How Can You Recover Your Lost Instagram Followers?

Instagram Followers 128

If you are losing Instagram followers due to Instagram bans and their accounts got suspended, then you cannot do anything about it.

However, if you are losing followers on Instagram due to other reasons, then you might get them back in the future.

Nevertheless, you must keep in mind that you cannot gain your lost followers overnight; it will take some time to win them back.

Just keep trying by posting quality content and engaging more with your current followers.

Final Thoughts

The Instagram community has grown rapidly, which means people have lots of choices as to who they follow or do not follow.

This means there is more competition on the platform now to make your content visible.

And, when you see that after so much effort you gained your followers, but then one day you start losing them, you get disturbed.

No one wants to lose their Instagram followers. Instead of getting depressed about losing Instagram followers, you should focus on the existing ones since they are your real followers.

Your success does not depend on the number of followers you have on Instagram, but it is about how many real relationships or connections you have on the app.

You should focus on maximizing the value you provide to your audience on Instagram as well as other social media apps.

Moreover, people unfollowing you is not really a bad thing as then you can focus on your true audience. It is completely normal.

Plus, it means that you need to make some changes to your Instagram content strategy.

There can be many reasons behind people unfollowing you on Instagram.

However, you can easily identify why you are losing followers on Instagram and then rectify those mistakes to stop them from leaving.

By following the tips mentioned in this article, you can quickly grow your Instagram followers.

And, if you keep on losing your followers for more than a month, then it is better to contact Instagram’s support team.

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Written by Jason Wise

Hi! I’m Jason. I tend to gravitate towards business and technology topics, with a deep interest in social media, privacy and crypto. I enjoy testing and reviewing products, so you’ll see a lot of that from me here on EarthWeb.