Instagram growth may be a challenging and daunting task. Engagement rate drops, reach decreases, people visit your profile but never follow. If that sounds familiar to you, keep on reading.
Why your Instagram account isn’t growing?
Even though followers is not a definitive factor that influences sales, building a loyal quality community is vital for any business trying to monetize their Instagram.
Here we will consider specific factors that prevent proper Instagram growth.
1. Your Instagram account is not SEO friendly.
Search engine optimization is helpful beyond Google, Bing, and other search engines. It can also be a useful way of promoting on social media channels. You need to optimize your Instagram to be more accessible.
Instagram SEO means having relevant keywords in your username, bio, hashtags, captions, and filling out your Alt Text when making your post.
Similar to your website SEO, adding keywords into the meta description and copying, adding business-related keywords into your Instagram bio and username is key.
If you struggle to come up with relevant keywords or you already have them but they don’t work, you can try InstaCheck, an Instagram account audit for businesses, influencers, and casual users.
This audit will help you realize what works for your page and what doesn’t. You will get a report with your Instagram account analysis and unique recommendations on how you can improve your bio, captions, content, visuals, hashtags, engagement rate, and branding.
As for captions, don’t forget to add relevant keywords there as well. In November 2019, Instagram revealed how the Explore tab algorithms work pointing out that the AI analyzes our captions, media, and account.
After the AI analysis, your profile may get discovered on the Explore page by users who are interested in the content you make. Apart from relevant keywords, you should be consistent and post content related to your niche.
One more trick that helps you optimize your photos on Instagram is the Alt Text. This feature was originally launched to let visually impaired people find Instagram content; now marketers and social media managers utilize it for optimization.
To find this feature, start creating your new post and writing a caption as you normally would. Then scroll down the screen and tap Advanced Settings. Head to the bottom of the page until you find the Write Alt Text button. Tap on it and create an image description.
2. Your account is private.
People don’t typically tend to follow private Instagram accounts. Why? First of all, a follow request needs to be approved by an account owner and it takes time – hours and even days.
Second of all, users can’t see the content you post before following you, so they don’t have a clue what is going on in your account and whether they should follow you at all.
How often do you follow private accounts and stay with them for a long time? Not often, for sure. So keep your account public if you want it to grow.
3. Your account lacks communication.
Communication and networking are the keys to success.
So if you want to grow your followers and, more importantly, build a strong community around your brand, you need to communicate and network with other Instagrammers.
Don’t forget to like, follow, comment on other users’ posts, reply to their comments, respond to their stories, and reply in direct messages. That’s the least you can do to interact with your community.
Keep in mind that Instagram audiences tend to like more than just comments on other people’s posts. To engage followers into a vivid conversation, put a question in your caption or ask them to express their opinion on the issue.
In terms of networking, you can host live streams with other brands, your employees, influencers and even your customers. Publishing user-generated content is yet another actionable way to increase your profile engagement and trustworthiness.
4. You don’t remove faux followers.
You’ve surely faced this situation when irrelevant users like Instagram stores, mass followers, or people who don’t belong to your target audience start following you on Instagram.
Yes, the followers’ quantity increases but its quality doesn’t. But that’s not the only problem.
When you have too many ghost followers who don’t participate in your account’s life at all and don’t respond to your content, your engagement rate drops.
This is why it’s so important to remove such followers.
Here’s how you can do it: open your Instagram page and head to the Followers tab. There you will find the Remove button next to a username of a follower, then press it.
You may be wondering how to identify them and how to be sure these are faux followers. You can either analyze such followers manually checking each account or use third-party tools like Combin Growth which will help you find irrelevant users.
5. You take part in generic giveaways.
Giveaways work only if you host or participate in contests related to your niche, and offer prizes that your target audience really needs. In all other cases, giveaways are attracting irrelevant users who will follow you for a free prize and then unfollow you when the contest is over.
Thus your engagement rating decreases, Instagram penalizes you, and your trust score drops. You’ll get lucky if your account doesn’t get completely dead after these experiments.
Many personal and brand accounts cannot survive generic giveaways and not every social media manager is ready to revive them from scratch; sometimes it’s easier to create a new one.
6. You don’t cross-promote your Instagram anywhere.
Your website, company blog, other social media channels, Quora and Reddit are just some platforms where you can promote your Instagram account.
If you want to reach as many potential customers as possible, don’t forget to cross-promote your Instagram business page everywhere you can.
7. You post inconsistently.
Instagram promotion requires consistency, coherent visuals, captions, branding, and posting intervals. If you struggle to keep your audience entertained and come across spammy at the same time, prepare a content plan in advance.
If you post too rarely and then all of a sudden you publish several posts a day, people will more than likely start unfollowing you. And if you post once a month, your followers will get bored and forget about you.
Therefore, you should work on your Instagram content calendar to control and tailor the Instagram content strategy on time.
After the InstaCheck, you will get content ideas that are exclusive and relevant to your business page. Besides, you will get a report with a thorough examination of your current content strategy.
The bottom line
Instagram is a game of numbers. The number of followers, likes, comments, engagement rating, reach and impressions are naturally vital for safe and organic Instagram page growth. Yet, don’t focus on the numbers alone.
It’s a lot more important to work on developing a loyal follower base and a strong community, enhancing communication and improving your audience’s quality. As a marketer or an entrepreneur, you want to have thousands of engaged and live customers than a million bots.
Hopefully, the pain points I mentioned above will help you avoid them in the future. And if you already have some, you can start fixing them with the InstaCheck account audit today.
Klara Alexeeva is a content and communication strategist at Combin, Instagram marketing software developer. After years of working in the marketing and creative industries, Klara now loves to devote her time to helping other businesses to grow. Klara is a published writer at Jeff Bullas’s blog, Socialnomics, Hackernoon, MarTechToday, Digital Information World, and an editor of Combin Blog.