If you’re like most other Instagram users, you probably keep a close eye on your follower count. And you should. Follower count is an excellent way of gauging the impact of your online presence. Almost every Instagram user is looking for a way to gain more followers on Instagram, but they should be equally concerned with keeping those followers. No one wants followers who are fickle.
Why Keeping Followers is Important
Whether your account is personal or professional, keeping the followers you gain is vital if you want real, lasting engagement. Here’s why.
- Helps build a loyal customer base. If you have an Instagram for Business account, you know the value of customer retention. If you have a large number of loyal customers, those customers will promote your brand to new people. That will bring in new loyal customers, who will promote your brand even more – you get the idea. That cycle of growth is what you want to achieve, and keeping your followers is the best way to do that.
- Establishes your account as an authority in your niche. No matter what use your account for, maintaining a loyal following shows that you’re an expert in your niche. If you have fickle followers, people might doubt your credibility or expertise in your niche.
- Creates lasting friendships. Got a personal account? You need to retain followers, too! You want followers who are genuinely interested in you and what you do. For personal accounts, loyal followers often become friends. So if you want to meet new people and create friendships that last a lifetime, make sure your content is interesting enough to keep your followers interested in you.
Why You Lose Instagram Followers
If you’re doing any of the things on this list, you’re committing the ultimate Instagram sins – and it’s costing you followers.
- A lot of your followers are bots or spam accounts. Newsflash: when you buy Instagram followers, you’re buying robots, not real people. These accounts come and go constantly. It may seem like you’re losing followers when those spam accounts have actually been deleted. Pro tip – don’t buy followers, and don’t cater to spam accounts.
- Your content isn’t diverse enough. If you post the same kind of content over and over, your followers will get bored. If you’re promoting a brand or service, don’t just post photos of the product. Similarly, if you have a personal account, a feed full of selfies isn’t ideal, either. Mix up your content. Need some ideas on what to post? We’ve got you covered.
- You post too often. Don’t spam your followers’ feeds! Even though people use social media for both business and pleasure, no one wants to feel pressured into interacting with an account. Posting too much can make your followers feel overwhelmed.
- You don’t post enough. This point may seem in direct opposition to the previous one, but it’s just as important. If you don’t post enough, people will forget about your account. Find a healthy balance. Don’t post too much, but don’t leave long gaps between posts, either. A regular posting schedule can help you avoid this.
- You don’t use hashtags. If you don’t use hashtags, new followers won’t be able to find your account. Hashtags are bitesize ways of telling your followers what you do and how you use Instagram. The same goes for captions. Always add a caption and at least one hashtag to every post to maximize engagement.
- You ignore your followers. What’s the point of having a social media account if you don’t use it to socialize? Even if you have a business account, you should try to talk to your followers when you can. Respond to their comments and questions, and invite them to engage with you. You can host Q&A’s about your product or yourself. Followers who feel their opinions and comments are valued are more likely to stay on board.
- Your images aren’t high quality. Most smartphone cameras take high-quality pictures these days, but this isn’t always true. Your photos need to be crisp and clear. No one wants to follow an Instagram account that posts fuzzy photos.
- Your profile is incomplete. People are less likely to follow you if you don’t have a profile photo and a complete bio with a clickable link. These are the very basic components of your Instagram account. Since these things only take a couple of minutes to add, there’s no excuse for not having them. Not only does it tell your potential followers and customers that you couldn’t be bothered to make the effort, but it also makes you seem a little untrustworthy.
Fixing the Fickle Follower Problem
We’ve looked at some of the most common reasons people lose Instagram followers. Avoiding those things seems like a simple enough solution to the problem. But retaining loyal followers will require some work on your part. Check out our tips for making sure your account attracts followers who will stay with you for the long haul.
- Talk to your customers and followers. Everyone gets busy, and it’s difficult to respond to every single comment, but you should try to respond to as many as you can. See how the owner of Zelie for She, a clothing boutique in LA, interacts with her followers? That’s what you should aim for. As we’ve already seen, followers are more likely to stick around if they feel valued.
- Create a posting schedule. If your posts are random and scattered, you need a posting schedule. Inconsistent posting is one of the main things which prompt people to unfollow. So do a little market research. Find out the best times to post on Instagram, and tailor your post schedule according to those times.
- Optimize your content. If your content is repetitive or low-quality, you should work to fix it. That means you need to educate yourself on what good content is and how to create it. You should know how to edit images, create stunning typographical content, and implement the rule of thirds. Not sure where to start? Check out these invaluable tips and tricks for creating a beautiful and diverse feed.
- Use an Instagram bot – wisely. If it’s painfully obvious that an Instagram bot is running your account instead of you, it can deter people from following you. Yet most businesses on Instagram rely on bots to manage their accounts. People can’t be active on Instagram all day every day, especially business owners. If you’re going to use an Instagram bot, consider Gramista, which automates interaction on Instagram in a human way.
- Stay updated on what your competitors are doing. Is one of your competitors performing better than you on Instagram? If so, there’s probably a reason. You should keep an eye on your competitors’ accounts, and try to emulate their successful marketing and interaction strategies. This may sound a little like cheating, but you know what they say – imitation is the best form of flattery.
- Figure out a vision for your account. What do you want your Instagram account to say about your or your business? This is key for maintaining a loyal following. For example, 7 Bone Burger Co.’s vision is clear from their bio: “dirty, sexy burgers.” Their feed certainly delivers, and their follower count speaks for itself!
- Set goals. How many Instagram followers do you want next month? The month after that? The best way to create a loyal following is to set ambitious but realistic goals, and don’t give yourself the option to fail. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to reach your goals when you adopt this mindset.
- Take advantage of follower analytics. Instagram’s Insights shows you how many people engage with your posts. You might be wondering if there are similar services which keep tabs on your followers. Of course there are! Services like Minter.io can provide you with unique insights on your audience.
Now that you know how to keep your followers and why it’s important, it’s time to get to work! Follow our advice to kickstart your social media success.