How To Fix Losing Instagram Followers

Stefan van der VlagGeneral, Guides & Resources

A blog post about how to avoid losing Instagram followers

Did you just find out that your follower count on Instagram has declined? “Why am I getting fewer likes on Instagram?” is one of the realizations you could have. Lost Instagram followers can be a bummer and a deep ache. Sometimes, you can still lose followers even when you are using the right posting strategies, using appropriate hashtags, and doing everything that it takes to build a strong Instagram profile. This is when Instagram becomes a tough cookie to crack.

We hear you, mate! You are not alone. Numerous people wake up to the same issue and wonder, “Why am I losing Instagram followers?” Despite all the hard work, there could be multiple reasons, such as a glitch in the application, shadow banning, bot followers, or several others that result in lost followers. To find the accurate reason, you must carefully understand them and connect the dots in the background.

We have compiled a detailed guide to help you get to the bottom of all the possible reasons for Instagram losing followers issue. Moreover, there are a few fixes that can help you get back those lost followers on your account. So, let’s dive into the details and figure out what could be causing the drop in your followers and how you can get your numbers back up!

Reasons For Losing Instagram Followers

A common question, “Why do my Instagram followers keep going up and down” that doesn’t have an answer can have the following core reasons. Make sure you understand each reason carefully and determine what could be causing you to lose Instagram followers.

1. Application Glitch


All of us have experienced technical hiccups while using Instagram at least once. It is extremely frustrating, right? Well, these technical issues don’t only impact one’s browsing experience on the platform but can also cause a reduction in follower count. An easy way to detect whether or not the loss of followers on your Instagram accounts is due to a glitch is by noticing the app’s behavior. For example, if you open Instagram and the app keeps crashing, i.e., closing itself, it is a glitch.

When anything like this happens, and your eyes hit that follower count just to find out that you’ve lost a few followers, this could be due to the glitch. It happens because the technical issue makes your account temporarily unresponsive, making it seem like you’ve been inactive to your followers. As a result, some followers think you have stopped posting, and therefore, they unfollow your account. Instagram shows a reduced number of followers while the app is down, in some cases. Once the issue is resolved, t brings the right number of followers.

So, how can you fix these pesky glitches?

The best solution is to stay on top of such technical hiccups and get them resolved as soon as possible. These include keeping the application up to date and clearing the cache. In case the issue persists, try uninstalling and reinstalling the app. Even the slightest glitch can have a significant impact on your follower count. So, make sure to stay vigilant and take action promptly to avoid any further losses.

2. Account Shadow Banned

Account shadow banning is a covert penalty imposed by Instagram. It is the phenomenon where your account’s content is made invisible to other users, even though the account itself is not banned. Shadow banning significantly hinders the reach and engagement of your account. Despite the account’s activation and continuous activities, the user is unaware of any violation of the terms of service. Since the phenomenon occurs in the shadows, it means the user doesn’t receive any notification or explanation from Instagram.

There could be multiple reasons why Instagram shadow bans an account. Doing so helps in preventing the spread of false news, spam, or inappropriate content. Instagram’s algorithms are extremely powerful and work by detecting accounts that violate community guidelines. As a result, the accounts are shadow banned without any notice to the account owners.

What Can Cause My Account To Get Shadow Banned?
People often ask, “Why did I just lose a bunch of Instagram followers?” without realizing that their account could be shadowbanned.

  • Bot Users
    One of the major reasons for getting your account shadowbanned is the use of bots. Recently, the social media giant has been very stringent about users who try to misuse the app. The algorithms usually target individuals who opt for automated software, commonly called bots, to manage their content and interactions on the platform.
  • Reported Content
    Sometimes you don’t realize if the content you post can be offensive to your followers. Additionally, even if your posts don’t go against the Instagram community guidelines, but a bunch of users constantly report it, Instagram takes note of it. In such scenarios, Instagram shadow bans your account to keep the platform a trouble-free place for the users.
  • Repetitive Hashtags


    This might come to you as a weird reason, but yes, using the same hashtags extensively in your posts can lead to shadow banning. This is because the usage of a particular set of hashtags is often done when the user has automated their accounts. Since Instagram wants the platform to be a socially engaging place, it identifies the pattern and makes the new posts invisible to the users.

How To Prevent And Remove The Shadow Ban From Your Account?

The foremost thing to do in order to avoid being shadow banned is to make sure that none of your content violates Instagram’s rules. Try to think outside the box and determine if your certain content can offend people of various thoughts in the community. Immediately remove the post that initiated the issue if your account has been shadow banned.

Also, remove all the hashtags from your recent posts and avoid posting for a couple of days. Instagram will judge your activity and recover the account. In the worst case scenarios, when a user violates the regulations multiple times, it can lead to the permanent shadow banning of their account.


3. Inorganic/Paid Followers

Inorganic or paid followers are profiles on Instagram that are created artificially. These artificial profiles’ intention is to inflate an account’s popularity. Third-party providers buy these followers. Then the followers put the fake profiles to work once the deal is done with the purchaser.

Now, these fake accounts only follow the account and provide like but don’t interact with the content. The Instagram algorithm detects this immediately and considers this a major red flag. Moreover, it penalizes users with such suspicious activity.

How To Remove Inorganic/PAID Followers?

The more you keep these fake followers in your account, the more likely you are to lose followers. One way to remove them is to end the deal with any third-party sellers for such a purchase if you have made it. Another way is to go through your followers, identify the inorganic ones and remove them manually.

Instagram Followers


4. Follow For Follow Game

Every other user, especially the business accounts, is playing the follow-for-follow game on Instagram. It is a tactic to gain followers by giving them the hope that you would do the same, i.e., follow their account. Businesses attract audiences by asking them to follow them, and they will follow them back.

However, they do follow but for a specific time. After a couple of days or weeks, once the business accounts have gained enough followers, they would unfollow all the other accounts. If you do this, Instagram can detect your follow/unfollow strategy and ban or permanently shut down your account.

How To Remove Scam Accounts?

Go through the list of people you are following and check whether they keep their promise of following you back or not. If they don’t unfollow those accounts. If you do it this way, you will be left with genuine followers who don’t give false hope and stay with you in your journey to success.


5. Wacky Posting Schedule

You must have heard this a lot of times; never mind, let’s hear it one more time. If you don’t have a planned schedule for your Instagram posts, you will start losing followers more than ever. Nothing is better than having engaged followers that love your posts and wait for the new ones.

It can only happen if you post with a proper schedule. Remember, consistency is the key. If you upload two posts in a week, then disappear for the second and come up with three different posts in a day, all of this would impact your account growth drastically. Such an inconsistent posting schedule will make the real users lose interest and ultimately start unfollowing your account.

What Is The Best Fix?

The key to preventing a significant drop in your followers on Instagram is staying organized with your posting schedule. Determine the number of posts you can make in a week and maintain a consistent posting schedule.

For example, if you wish to make three posts in a week, make a pattern of uploading each post with a gap of two days. This will not only hook but also encourages followers to stay on your account and wait for the new content.


6. Being Excessively Promotional

One common mistake most users make while running a public Instagram account is becoming too sales-y. This one thing annoys the audience a lot. They follow you because your niche and content attract them.

That said, not focusing on the target audience and their interest takes your follower count to a massive decline. It does not at all mean that you should stop promoting your brand to attract buyers. You should do all the promotion and stuff but don’t forget to keep a balance.

why am I losing Instagram followers - Too Promotional

Too Promotional

How To Not Sound Too Sales-y?

Being too promotional is only acceptable if you are running a business account. However, for a regular Instagram account, try to post content most relevant to your niche. If you have anything to promote, upload a single story or create a fun reel. In this way, you can grab the audience’s attraction while keeping them entertained.


7. Use Of Stolen Pictures Or Videos

We all know that using someone’s images is a direct copyright infringement. Moreover, many users steal appealing pictures and videos from applications like Pinterest and post them on their accounts.

Followers can easily distinguish between a stolen image/video and a picture taken by the user itself. If you keep posting what the users can easily find on various websites, you will be on the verge of losing a significant chunk of followers.

What’s The Fix?

The only fix is not to steal images and videos, no matter how much you like them. Though you can save them as an inspiration for yourself and try to recreate such content. Doing so will enable you to create unique pieces that might even come out better than your inspiration.


8. No Interaction With Your Follower

The lack of interaction with your followers leaves a detrimental impact on your follower count. Instagram engagement plays a vital role in getting better reach. Talking with your followers through comments, stories, or direct messages leaves a great impression on them. With no interaction, your followers won’t feel the connection and ultimately lose interest in your content and unfollow you.

Instagram and other social media platforms are designed to bring communities around the world together. It aims to build a connection between people through their posts and interaction. If you don’t engage with your followers, it will make them think as if they were never a part of your world. As a result, this leads to a decrease in the level of emotional investment they have in your content and a lower likelihood of them continuing to follow you in the future.

No Interaction

How To Interact With Audience?

The best way to do this is by posting content with a question in the caption. As the users answer your question in the comments, reply to as many of them as possible. Moreover, post Instagram stories and ask for feedback from your followers in DMs or polls. Another great way is to go live and have a short Q&A session.

All of these provide a great opportunity for you and your followers to have a healthy conversation and understand each other. It also tells the followers that you value their support.


9. Your Niche Is Getting Outdated

When your niche becomes outdated on Instagram, old-school topics can cause a decrease in the number of your followers. Your niche becomes oversaturated with similar content or when the interests of your target audience shift to other areas.

When your niche is no longer n vogue and becomes stale to your audience, it is likely that your content will receive very less engagements. This, in turn, cause a major decrease in the visibility of your posts and a lower chance of gaining new followers.

why am I losing Instagram followers - Outdated


How To Prevent Your Niche From Being Outdated?

Luckily, multiple ways can help you stay up to date, so you don’t lose followers. Here are some top methods:

  • Rebranding
    Rebrand your account to align it better with the current trends on the platform. It will also help in evolving the interests of your target audience. You can do this by updating your profile picture, bio, and the pattern of posting content.
  • Diversifying your content
    Incorporate new formats, topics, and themes in your profile that your target audience would find relevant and interesting. This is an excellent strategy for keeping your content fresh and exciting.
  • Collaborating with other accounts
    An easy way to stay in the limelight is by collaborating with other accounts having the same niche as yours. In this way, you will be able to expand your reach and find new followers interested in your content.

The Final Take Away – Why Am I Losing Followers On Instagram?

Losing followers on Instagram is indeed a disheartening experience. However, you must understand that there are many reasons why this can happen. Shadow-banning, having a poor content strategy, having no valuable content, having an outdated niche, and several other factors are responsible for losing Instagram followers.

So, if you’re losing followers on Instagram, don’t give up! Instead, take a step back, assess the situation, understand all the common and possible reasons, and take the necessary steps to turn things around and grow your audience.

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