Are you noticing a frustrating drop in your Instagram engagement recently? You’re not the only one. As Instagram moves more and more towards a pay-to-play model, generating organic reach is becoming increasingly difficult. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to low engagement on the app, but here are a few things that may be holding you back – and what you can do to combat them.
3 reasons you might be noticing lower reach and engagement:
- Changes to the feed:
You may have noticed that recently Instagram has changed the way they display posts in your feed; now, dispersed among the posts from accounts you’re following are “suggested posts”. These suggestions are based on the type of content you interact with, much like the explore page. Before this update Instagram claimed that users typically saw only 30% of what the accounts they followed were posting. Now with extra posts on the feed, it’s likely that number has decreased even further.
- Sensitive content:
Recently, Instagram put a new default setting in place intended to protect users from “sensitive content” by blocking it from your feed. Sensitive content is anything that can be deemed inappropriate or offensive. However, since this distinction is made by an algorithm there are times where the app may flag content that is not truly sensitive.
- Bot behaviour:
In the last year Instagram has started cracking down on bots and spam accounts. Much like with sensitive content, the algorithm flags behaviour that it deems to be spam. If you are using software to engage with accounts, or are doing things like using the same comments or hashtags over and over, your account may be flagged and your posts may be deprioritized in the feed.
So… how can you get your engagement back?
There is no surefire way to pinpoint which of these things could be responsible for your falling engagement, but there are actions you can take to help!
- Show fewer “discover” posts
On the top right of the new “discover” posts are three dots; click these and select “not interested”. While you can’t permanently turn off this feature, you can opt out of them for 30 days. It may be worth sharing this tip with your audience as well – the fewer discover posts they see in their feed, the more likely they are to see your content instead.
- Change “sensitive content” settings
Much like the discover posts, censoring sensitive content is Instagram’s default setting. However, it is possible to turn the feature off. Go to your account, select the three bars in the top right corner, and click “account”. From here you can select “sensitive content control” and change your settings to “allow”. Again, this will only affect how you view content in your feed, but by sharing this tip to your account, you may prompt your audience to follow suit and in turn get your content back in front of your followers.
- Be human.
There is no shortcut here; if you’ve been automating your engagement processes, it’s time to bring the human touch back. First, we recommend taking a break from Instagram – a few days should help. If you continue with the same level of engagement, even if the nature of it is different, Instagram may still assume that the activity is not authentic. After two or three days, begin engaging with your audience in a real and meaningful way. Leave thoughtful comments, and only follow accounts that you’re genuinely interested in!
- Create content which encourages engagement.
Finally, if your followers aren’t responding to the type of content you’re posting, it may be time to try out something new! Try to create content with engagement in mind – ask questions and have your followers respond in the comments, or create a resource that they are likely to save. All of these actions boost your engagement rate and tell Instagram that your followers want your content prioritized in their feeds.
Of course, the most important tip when it comes to social media is always to create engaging content that brings value to your audience. If you can combine the above steps with excellent posts it’s only a matter of time before your account takes off! For more tips on creating engaging content, check out this blog post.
Building your audience and increasing engagement takes time, skill, and strategy. If you’d like help reaching your dream audience, send us an email: email@example.com