Losing followers on Instagram? 8 Big Reasons and How to Stop It

losing followers on instagram

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With more than a billion downloads, Instagram has taken over Facebook as the most popular social media application. Over the course of time, it’s also turning out to be a favorite destination for businesses to be advertising their products online. So, if you’re a budding content creator that has spent a considerable time curating an account, it can be heartbreaking to find out that you’re losing followers on Instagram.

What are the reasons for this sudden drop in followers and what can you do to prevent it from happening in the future? Our social media experts have mentioned everything you need to know about the sudden drop in Instagram followers

Is losing followers on Instagram normal?

 If you’re a budding content creator like we discussed earlier, then you’ve already amassed a respectable amount of followers on Instagram. So, you’ll naturally notice when there’s a massive drop in your follower count. It’s completely normal for your account to see a small change in the number of followers. But, losing followers on Instagram at such an alarming pace should be a matter of concern. This might adversely affect your engagement in the future, so it’s a good idea to intervene right away.

How do I track my Instagram followers?

You can always go to your Instagram account and check for the follower count. But, it can prove to be quite cumbersome. So, investing in an analytics tool that specifically tracks and charts your Instagram followers count can be a timely investment. This ensures that you can gauge the gravity of the situation and choose to act accordingly.

Why am I losing my Instagram followers?

Now that we’ve realized that you’re losing followers on Instagram at an alarming pace, the next step is to identify where the issue lies. So, what are some of the most common reasons for the same?


  • Instagram is purging out bot accounts
  • You might not be posting enough
  • Your content needs improvement
  • You’re putting yourself out there too much
  • Your posts have little to do with your niche
  • You fail to make use of the right hashtags
  • You’ve bought your Instagram followers
  • It’s just a technical glitch

1) Instagram is purging out bot accounts

One of the things that seem to be troubling the social media platform is the dramatic increase in bot accounts. Tracking down on them and cutting them out takes a considerable amount of time and effort on the part of the algorithm. Fake followers networks continue to be the prime target for a purge. Here, a large number of accounts are suspended without a moment’s notice 

 So, if you’re noticing that you seem to be losing followers on Instagram, it could simply be because of such a purge. It doesn’t take the anti-spam algorithm a lot of time to suspend the account after it’s flagged for suspicious content. This obviously does get reflected in your follower count.

 Do remember that it’s just fake accounts that are getting shut down, so your engagement per follower isn’t really going to take such a major hit. You can simply continue to work on your Instagram account as always since organically building a community of genuine users has always been your objective.

2) You might not be posting enough

 With the Instagram algorithm undergoing a major revamp, one of the basic prerequisites to staying relevant is to keep posting. Your engagement goes down a notch when you forget to post regularly. So, it makes sense to construct a posting schedule for you to follow. Try to stick to the schedule as much as you can. Pick a time slot that you know will bring in the most engagement with your followers. For instance, if you pick to post every alternate day of the week at right about 7 pm, your followers always have something to look forward to.  Tease them with tidbits of your next posts to keep your followers continually engaged and to build a genuine sense of anticipation.

 3) Your content needs improvement

 In this day and age of digital advertising, content is the name of the game. With an unprecedented number of content writers arriving onto the scene, you’ll need to bring your A-game to stay relevant. Also, keep in mind that Instagram is predominantly a visual-based platform. So if your posts aren’t aesthetic, your followers will just end up scrolling past your post that you worked so hard on.

 If you don’t own a professional camera or a mobile phone with an advanced camera set-up, then there’s a chance that your pictures might not be too pleasing to the eye. So, consider investing in one if you have the resources on standby. You’ll also need a decent editing application with a ton of functionality to help you process the images further before you end up posting them.

 But, it’s not all about the pictures either. A good caption that captures the essence of the post can be the difference between a good post and a great post that grabs the attention of a follower. Look out for grammatical errors and typos before posting. Try to integrate keywords subtly to increase the likelihood of the algorithm picking up on your post.

4) You’re putting yourself out there too much

One of the most common reasons why you might be losing followers on Instagram could be because you’re promoting yourself too much. If you’re continuously posting about your business on a daily basis, it can get a bit tiresome for your followers.

 It’s worth pointing out that your followers are looking for quality content and not brand deals. There are already a ton of brands that do the same, so the distinction between your account and that of a large-scale business starts to blur. Users today have a ton of choices in front of them, so there always is someone out there who can replace you. Be mindful of the time that someone is investing in your account. So, ensure that they’re making the best use of it. All that it takes for someone to unfollow you is a simple press of a button.

 5) Your posts have little to do with your niche

You’ve worked hard to successfully carve out a niche for yourself. Now, this could be a multitude of things- poems, travel blogs, movie reviews, social commentary, facts, etc. So, when someone chooses to follow you, it’s because they like the form of content you’re posting. The theme that you’ve picked out for yourself appeals to them and they want to know more about it. So, it’s natural to end up losing followers on Instagram if your posts have little to do with whatever interested them in the first place. At time of Instagram marketing a post or two that stray away from your niche is acceptable, but more than that messes up your hard-earned identity as a content creator.

While it’s a good idea to start diversifying, but writing about anything and everything might not sit well with your followers. This might be based on the assumption that there aren’t interested enough in whatever you have to say, but that’s never the case. The reality is that there’s always an audience for everything, it’s just a matter of finding them.

6) You fail to make use of the right hashtags

A large part of users discovering your account is by the proper use of Instagram hashtags. They’re likely to contribute a large percentage of your followers. So, it’s natural that your follower count goes down significantly when you use hashtags improperly.

Think of relevant hashtags before you post something on Instagram. If you’re having a hard time doing this, then try making use of a hashtag app. It suggests hashtags that are tracking well on the social media platform so that you don’t have to spend a lot of time trying to think of one. Moreover, the app refrains from suggesting hashtags that are banned on the site so that you have one less thing to worry about.

7) You’ve bought your Instagram followers

Buying followers on Instagram is not uncommon, a large number of celebrities and multinational corporations do it to boost their image. It may be extremely tempting to simply buy yourself more followers instead of putting in the work to get ahead. But, it only ends up having a deleterious effect on your reputation in the long run.

Despite your best efforts, you will end up losing followers on Instagram either because the company that created the fake accounts decides to pull them out or the anti-spam algorithm cracks down on them. So, cutting corners in an attempt to stay ahead of the curb does not make financial sense. You’ll only end up spending more money than you intended to in hopes of acquiring more genuine followers.

8) It’s just a technical glitch

If you’ve exhausted all the other possibilities, then the reason why you might be losing followers on Instagram could just be a technical glitch. If that’s the case, then it’s not just you that’s going to experience such discrepancies in follower count. Sometimes, even a Google search should suffice for you to come to a definite conclusion.

There’s not really much you can do in situations like this. Just hope that Instagram fixes the glitch and you eventually get back your followers. It might take a couple of days, so use this time to take a break until things return to normalcy.

 Yet another drastic possibility for you to be losing followers on Instagram that we haven’t gotten around to discussing yet is the possibility of your account getting shadow-banned by Instagram. So, the next section of this article will cover this in detail.

What is a shadowban?

A shadowban is when you’re account is suspended by Instagram wherein the content you’ve posted stops appearing in the relevant hashtags you’d earlier inserted. It’s a particularly precarious situation as Instagram does not give any prior intimation about your account getting temporarily terminated.

One of the easiest ways for you to identify if your account has been shadowbanned is to check if your posts appear when the specific hashtag is searched for. Try to think of a relatively obscure hashtag that you may have used since it’s less number of posts to look through.

Why has your account been shadow-banned?

Instagram would like you to believe that there is no shadow ban happening on their site, but that couldn’t be further away from the truth. There are a number of reasons as to why your account may have been shadow-banned. Some of them are:

  • Usage of bots
  • Use of the same hashtags over and over
  • Your content may have gotten reported

1) Usage of bots

Like we’d discussed earlier, Instagram is eager to shut down bot accounts using its intuitive anti-spam algorithm. Bots are generally used to automate their content, or sometimes even the engagement with actual users. The bots would simply follow a large number of accounts in an attempt to get them to follow back, only to unfollow them after a couple of days. This follow/unfollow continues to be shunned and prompts instant action from Instagram.

So, it’s better to avoid the use of bots to further your customer engagement and brand awareness. Choose to focus instead on improving the quality of your content and posting regularly as per a predetermined schedule. You can make use of apps like Buffer to make a detailed schedule that takes into consideration your other commitments as well.

2) Use of the same hashtags over and over

There’s no denying that the use of hashtags can boost your exposure. But, on the other hand, the use of repetitive hashtags can end up landing you in trouble. When you keep posting using the same hashtags, Instagram perceives it to be spam. It’s akin to a tactic used by bots wherein a large number of posts with the same hashtags would be posted in a last-ditch effort to grow followers.

With the anti-spam algorithm getting stricter and stricter, it’s a very real possibility that your account gets flagged. An obvious way to avoid this is using different hashtags for different posts. This necessitates keeping track of all of your hashtags as well. So, instead of manually doing so, make use of a hashtag app. Such an app would suggest the most relevant hashtags for your new posts and ensure that you avoid repetition.

3) Your content may have gotten reported

 Another reason why you might be losing your followers on Instagram following a shadow ban is that your account may have gotten reported for violating their Community Guidelines. Some of the things that fall under the purview of such policies include:

  • Spam– Instagram does not tolerate any form of spam. It intends to keep its platform bot-free to ensure maximum social engagement
  • Nudity– Given that a large percentage of users on the platforms are teenagers, nudity is a strict no
  • Bullying or harassment– Instagram recognizes that the undue effect it can have on young minds. So, it takes strict actions to curb such activity
  • Violence or dangerous organizations– A no-brainer really, Instagram does not want itself to be associated with ant-social elements
  • Suicide and self-harm– May act as a trigger to some individuals with deteriorating  mental health
  • Hate speech or symbols– Instagram is a social platform, after all, and it does need to exercise some sort of responsibility towards it
  • Selling of illegal goods/ infringement of intellectual property rights– A large number of small business pages keep getting reported every day for advertising products that imitate the look and feel of products of major retailers

Can a shadowban be reversed?

 The answer is a resounding yes. Luckily, a shadowban is not permanent. But, there’s no conclusive answer to how long it might last. It could range from a couple of hours to days, or even weeks in some cases. The important thing is that you can revoke your shadowban status provided that you take a break altogether and refrain from making the mistakes that you made the first time over. Soon enough, Instagram will recognize that you’re no longer taking advantage of the platform and will consequently remove the shadowban on your account.

What can you do to stop losing followers on Instagram?

Losing followers on Instagram can be particularly alarming, especially if you’re an up-and-coming content creator. The obvious step ahead is to identify where the issue is and look to rectify it. It could be because of your content not being up to the mark or your posting schedule being too wacky. So, introspect and make some key changes to the way you work. It should hopefully have the right impact on your audience. Readers are always on the lookout to educate themselves regarding a certain topic.

 Promoting yourself while retaining your authenticity is a fine balancing act. Too little promotion and people don’t know who you are, too much self-promotion and people call it boring. It’s all about finding the right balance, a skill you will acquire with time. Kindly refrain from using bots to automate the process of engagement. Your followers might shoot up, but Instagram may terminate your account if they get a whiff of what’s happening. This is sure to dent your hard-earned reputation. Do remember that building a community of genuine users who like what you’re posting is the endgame. 

One otherway is Influencer marketing. You must have hear about this. In influencer marketing, you collaborate with influencers whose niche suits your services or products. The key to get effective results in influencer marketing is searching for premium creators related to your industry and within your budget. Prchitects marketplace provide such influencer marketing paltform where you can collaborate with over 1700 premium creators for viral marketing campaigns. Traditional advertising campaigns have become outdated these days. With the help of influencer marketing you can do promotions for your target audience in more engaging ways.

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