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Hello, is anybody out there? Where has everyone gone?

If you run an Instagram account, you can probably relate to this feeling. Increasingly, accounts are losing their followers, seeing smaller and smaller numbers each day.

When you’re trying to grow your Instagram account, this can be incredibly frustrating. For every follower you gain, it seems like you lose three!

To solve this problem, you first need to understand why you’re losing followers. Then, you can address the problem.

To learn more, keep reading to find some of the most common reasons for losing followers on your Insta account.

Instagram Is Removing Bot Followers

Losing followers overnight? This could be due to one reason–Instagram has been removing bot accounts.

Bots are basically fake accounts that someone has created to buy or sell, so if you’ve bought followers online in the past (it’s ok, we’ve all done it!), there’s a good chance that many of these followers were bots.

Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is—genuine growth usually doesn’t happen overnight! However, if you did have any bots following you, Instagram has been doing bot purges lately, wiping fake accounts off their platform.

It’s possible that you have bot followers, even if you’ve never paid for followers, but don’t stress! Even if these followers get removed, they weren’t doing you any benefit, since they weren’t engaging with your content.

Your Content Isn’t the Best

We hate to say it, but one reason people might be unfollowing you is because your content isn’t the best. Your Instagram captions, stories, posts, and reels need to be only the best, as there’s a lot of competition on the platform.

It might be that people aren’t impressed by what you’re posting, so they’ve unfollowed you. In this case, you might want to think about upping your photography game. It helps to think about the grid as well, ensuring your photos look beautiful next to one another—filters and editing can help with this.

Inst is a visual platform, so you need to be posting amazing photos. If photography isn’t your strong point, you might want to invest in a new camera for your photos, along with some photo editing software.

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Hop tip—with a mirrorless or DSLR camera, rather than a smartphone, you can take higher quality photos that you can edit, giving yourself a competitive edge. Photography, like any new skill, takes time, so keep at it and you’re sure to improve!

You’re Not Posting Enough

How often do you use Instagram? Just posting once a week isn’t going to cut it!

If you’re hardly ever on the platform, it makes sense that your followers are going to lose interest. They’ll notice that you haven’t posted in a few weeks and will think you’re no longer active on the site, leading to an unfollow.

To keep your followers interested and engaged, you need to give them lots of content! Yes, posting daily can be a lot of work, but many people use auto-scheduling tools to save time.

Remember to not just post photos on your grid, but also use the stories feature. Stories only last 24 hours and are a fun way for your followers to see what you’ve been up to.

You can post unlimited stories, but when it comes to your grid, try to post at least 4-5 times per week. Try making Reels and IGTV videos too, as these are additional tools you can use to reach a new audience.

These tips to retain Instagram followers should help you out as well.

You’ve Lost Your Focus

Most successful Instagram accounts focus on one niche, such as travel, fashion, food, or exercise. What’s your niche?

You should keep your niche in mind with everything you post. After all, your followers are following you because they like the content you create.

For this reason, don’t post anything that doesn’t fit into your niche. A travel account wouldn’t start posting interior design photos, for example, because it’s not relevant.

If you constantly change up what you post, it’s going to confuse your followers and they might decide to leave you. If you consistently stick to your theme, you have a better chance of retaining your followers.

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It is possible to change your theme (such as going from solo female travel to family travel, for example), but do it gradually. Also, explain to your followers why you’re changing.

The Dreaded Shadowban

While Instagram hasn’t publicly commented on its existence, many experts are convinced that shadowbans exist on social media accounts.

A shadowban is when your posts or content are hidden on the site, even though they still show up for you. Essentially, this means people aren’t able to see your content.

This would often occur if you had used controversial hashtags that the site might not want to promote, such as conspiracy theories, misinformation, or content of an adult nature.

Try searching for a recent hashtag you’ve used and see if your photo shows up. If it doesn’t, you could be temporarily shadowbanned, which could cause you to lose followers.

Accidentally using a hashtag that’s associated with something bad can be enough to get you in trouble, so be careful. For example, your business acronym might be #ana, but this hashtag has also been used in support of anorexia and eating disorders—Instagram will remove it.

If you’re unsure what a hashtag is used for, it’s always a good idea to check before posting.

Someone Has Reported Your Content

Another way to lose followers could be if someone has reported your content. Insta has strict guidelines on nudity, drugs, and adult content, so if you’ve breached these rules, your account could be suspended or deactivated.

If you do work in the adult industry, you can still use Instagram, but you need to post safe photos. Instagram wants to keep their site family-friendly in terms of the photos they allow.

Don’t take the risk. Be aware of Instagram’s content policies and never post anything that might jeopardize your account.

Be Genuine

Does your social media account come off as genuine—or fake? Often, businesses and influencers dedicate their time to growing a following because they want to make money off Instagram.

You can definitely do well in terms of making money, but the catch is that you need to be authentic and genuine. If your followers suspect you don’t really care about them and you only want their money, then they’re likely to unfollow you.

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To keep your followers happy, you need to keep your content balanced—this means don’t post markteting and advertorial posts all the time, as no one wants to see that in their feed.

To stay authentic online, try to focus on your audience, be personable, and answer any comments or questions from your followers. If you want to go above and beyond, the occasional Instagram contest or giveaway is sure to keep your followers happy too!

Instagram Fatigue

Are you still losing followers? Another reason could be Instagram fatigue.

With more and more social media platforms demanding our time, some people are becoming tired of it and stepping back. Sometimes, people will decide they’ve had enough of Instagram and might deactivate their account, focusing on other things instead.

Social media can be a huge suck, so it’s understandable that people are taking a step back.

If you’re a small business, this is why it can be helpful to be across multiple social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and TikTok.

Not all of your followers will use every platform, so you can maximize your reach by using all of them. Just be consistent in terms of your content and branding across all of your channels, so customers don’t get confused.

Can I Get My Lost Followers Back?

So, the big question—will lost Instagram followers ever come back?

If they’re bots, probably not. But if you’ve lost genuine followers, there’s always a chance that you can win them back.

To do so, really focus on making your account the best it can be. Post amazing photos, use the right hashtags, engage with other users, and use all of Instagram’s features.

Over time, you’re sure to start seeing your follower numbers grow!

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