Why is engagement so low on my Instagram profile?

Instagram engagement low

Clients often approach us complaining that engagement on their Instagram profile is low. Some of them have thousands of followers but only receive a handful of likes and comments on their posts. You might be reading this because you share the same frustrations with your account. We generally find that there are five main reasons for low engagement:

  1. First, we must clarify one thing – the days of 30-50%, or more, of your followers engaging with your latest post are gone. When Instagram was in its infancy, worldwide user numbers were low so there was far less competition for users’ interest. So, most users would see high conversion between followers and likes – if you had 1000 followers you would generally expect to receive 100-200+ likes on new posts. Well, how times have changed: Instagram now has over 400 million active users a month!┬áBut, shouldn’t more users on Instagram mean a higher level of engagement?

    Well, no.

    Users now have a far higher number of accounts to be distracted by and their Instagram feed may see hundreds of photos a day. So, the post where you’re eating a bagel may be missed if your followers are not checking Instagram frequently. To add to this, there are a huge number of other social media platforms that users frequent which can draw their attention away from Instagram.
  2. Content is key! If your posts are boring, your followers will scroll straight past them and your opportunity for engagement will disappear. There are hundreds of great guides out there on the web explaining how to post quality content and we’ve also created one of our own. So, please refer to it: 5 tips for taking great Instagram photos.
  3. Your engagement might not actually be as low as you think. From our experience we find that engagement levels of 2-5% are about standard. Anything higher and you’re actually achieving more than most Instagram users. And, anything higher than 10% is fantastic! In fact, you can do a little test yourself. Have a look at some of the very popular accounts you follow, if their engagement is less than 3-5% you can probably put money on it that a lot of their followers are fake. You’ll start to notice that a lot of the big accounts you follow have really low levels of engagement. It makes you question whether they’re as Instafamous as they seem…
  4. We are regularly asked ‘how often should I post on Instagram?’. Our general response to this is to post once every 24-48 hours and no more. We’ve noticed that clients that post more frequently than once every 24-48 hours actually have lower engagement than those that follow our advice. We believe this is because followers feel overwhelmed by constant posts and lose interest. The boy who cried wolf comes to mind.
  5. Scope creep. One of the biggest reasons for low engagement on specific posts is when the post moves away from the general theme of the account. If you’re a bikini model and you post a picture of a guy fishing you’ll probably see less likes than when you post a photo of you in a bikini. It may sound simple but scope creep is big reason why users lose the interest of their followers.

If you would like assistance in lifting engagement on your account please get in touch. We make use of clever tools and years of combined experience to increase engagement.