This is why you are losing followers on Instagram — 19 common mistakes + solutions for if you’ve done some

Julia Moore
Gaining followers on Instagram is only half of the social media marketing story, and it’s not even the difficult one. Keeping users following you, maintaining their loyalty and interest is the other half you must thoroughly think about. You should figure out first — why are you losing followers on Instagram? And then, if you can change the situation — do it.
Reading time — 9 minutes

We made a list of common Instagram mistakes causing people to unfollow your account. We also suggest how to fix them.

Reasons why people are unfollowing you 

In general, reasons why your Instagram followers are decreasing can be divided into 2 categories — those you can affect and those you can’t. There are usually several reasons accompanied, they depend on your specific situation. So read all the Instagram mistakes and analyze.

1. Post to hype

When bloggers bring up a hot-button issue without looking into it first, they might give an inappropriate view on it. For example, a popular blogger who has no sound knowledge in medicine starts speaking that a vaccine harms. Be sure, the part of followers supporting the injections will unsubscribe. 

Fix it: No one can prohibit you from hyping. But don't be surprised you are losing followers on Instagram.

2. Indirect contact

Subscribers appreciate direct conversations with the author of a blog or course, or a brand owner. And if you’ve delegated your account promotion to a specialist, especially for someone not very experienced in the communication, you may lose followers. People who want to chat directly with you will unsubscribe. 

Fix it: When possible, do not delegate the duty. And if it is inevitable, inform subscribers and teach the assistant about your tricks and manner of conversation. Then users won’t feel the big difference. But still, talking to subscribers directly is the priority. 

Important: Don’t have enough time to answer everybody? Losing clients because of it? Set up automated direct messages to reply even when you are offline.

3. Going to rivals

It’s a shallow reason why people unfollow you. The genuine reason is in the competitors' advantages over you. For example, their prices are lower and the products are more useful, or other kinds of more beneficial offers. 

Fix it: Analyze rivals from time to time, monitor their activity and methods, learn from them to have several competitive edges and avoid mass followers migration from your account. 

4. Changing the approach

For example, you wrote about yoga at first. People liked your developed Instagram posts about the training at home. But suddenly they started getting only thematic pictures and no texts they liked. Their expectations don’t meet real life and people start unfollowing you on Instagram. 

Fix it: Doing nothing and following the line of thoughts “one leaves, another comes” is one of the options. But there are alternatives like being in contact with the audience. You will understand whether it likes your new approach to the content. Polls in Stories and engaging questions under posts are used for this purpose. 

5. Worthless content

Searching for a blogger, group or page in social media, users want to get some benefit. It means what they can take and apply. If users don’t see much of it in a profile, they won’t be long subscribed. 

Fix it: Provide benefits. They may be lifehacks on the profile topic, advice, reviews, recipes, compilations and so on. But do not forget about the target audience’s interests. Places to go fishing won’t be appreciated in a handicraft profile.

6. Lack of good design

If your profile has no design, followers are unlikely to subscribe. But if your post text is plain with no line spacing and much sense, and photos are of poor quality — your followers unsubscribe. Users on the social media platform are very finicky. 

Fix it: Separate paragraphs in a text with spacing. One thought — one paragraph, 4-7 lines is a good length. Emoji has become an essential in posts. But they should be relevant to the post topic and don’t overload the text. Use high-quality photos, alternate portraits, landscapes and other types of photo.

7. Bad service

You may promote your social pages properly and successfully gain followers, but it doesn't guarantee your followers won’t decrease. If managers are rude to the customers, don't answer follow-up questions, don’t call etc., a client won’t make a purchase in any case. What for business in the social media platform, people start unfollowing you on Instagram.

Fix it: Teach your staff to be client-orientated, introduce sales scripts, ensure they are used. 

8. Bots unfollow your account

If you’ve cheated subscribers, part of them are bots regardless what service you used. After a time they unfollow you and start following other accounts. As a rule, bots unfollow quickly in 1-2 days and in bulk. 

Fix it: Do you really have to? You should be happy to get rid of dozens of “dead souls” in one fell swoop. They were a bad influence on the Reach, Impression and other rates. Sooner or later you will have to delete them anyway.

9. Motivated traffic 

It comes as no surprise you are losing followers on Instagram after a marathon, prize drawing, competitions, raffles. Subscribers came to your Instagram account for the benefit. Since they’ve already got it (or haven’t got), they unfollow you.

Fix it: These people are not interested in your content, product, service, so you better not host marathons and prizes drawings. But if you do, choose the most relevant to your topic accounts to collaborate. They should be close to your target audience. Then, the difference between the inflow and outflow will be minimized. 

10. Cheated subscribers

These are the users you get automatically using online services. But Instagram rigorously monitors for breaking the rule. It may detect and delete cheated followers, and this will be a good case, at its worst — your Instagram account will be blocked. 

Fix it: Obviously, do not cheat. If you do, don’t focus on it and stay with limits. Work on the content and invite real people instead of making an illusion of popularity. 

11. Content proportion

If you run a commercial account or expert blog, people follow you for a clear purpose. They want to buy a product or get benefit. Loads of personal information in such accounts cause lack of trust, irritation, or you are losing subscribers because of it.

Fix it: Do not post personal type of content on a shop page. For other business pages — keep along the proportion of 80/20. It means 20% of personal information and 80% for expert view. 

12. Too much advertisement

This is similar to the content proportion. A blogger promoting a product or service in his account is not the problem. But it is when the ad is too much. The flow of advertisement non-stop instead of useful content irritates users, and they unfollow. 

Fix it: Do not misuse ads, dose it. Promote particular posts including them in your content-plan. Add ads once in two weeks. And once in a month add native advertising - mention a blogger or product in the context of your post. 

13. Stolen content

If you scrape others’ content, you will be losing followers even if you have a beautiful profile and incredible photos and videos. Plagiarism is easily detected. What's more, you may be blocked due to the copyright policy. 

Fix it: Choose the topic you are good at. Make photos and videos for Instagram by yourself, write unique texts. If you like ideas of other bloggers, interpret them.

14. Hackers

If you are losing followers on Instagram, your account may be hacked. Spam mailing, deleting followers or replacing content are the evident indications. Followers may not know the account is hacked and negatively react. 

Fix it: Change the password more often, use multi-factor authentication. Tell your subscribers the account is hacked in posts or Stories if you haven’t lost the access. It doesn't bring all the unfollowed back, but saves the remained. 

15. Rare posting

If you’ve been radio silent for months, only the most loyal subscribers will stay with you. Or those who follow 1,000 accounts, they will not even notice you haven't posted. But the rest of your followers will find an alternative. 

Fix it: Add posts and Stories regularly. But do not fall for the opposite extreme. Approximately 4 postings a day will be good for bloggers. Business accounts should post content up to 2 times a day. Creating a content plan is always a good idea. Let followers know they can turn on notifications to stay informed about your updates. 

16. Non-reciprocity

Some users may involve you in their follow-unfollow game. These people unfollow you because you haven’t subscribed back to them, liked and commented their accounts. 

Fix it: If you really need these followers, like their posts when scroll feed, comment, react in Stories. The more active you are, the more such users are interested in mutually following you. 

17. Review of the followings list

It’s simple: a user was reviewing the followings and deleted your Instagram account. The reasons are various. They might do it by accident, or they might be not interested in your type of content anymore. 

Fix it: You can’t figure out the real reason, so you are unlikely to change the situation.

18. Mass following

This is the case when users are cheating and mass-following. Their only aim is to promote their pages. And they need followings, so they subscribe to you. After a while they will unsubscribe. 

Fix it: Monitor your new followers using special services and delete suspicious accounts.

19. Changing the profile topic

Your target audience on Instagram may change after you change the topic of your profile. It doesn’t happen overnight. You will notice the number of followers decreasing, but then you will see your Instagram growth again. For example, a football blog transforms into a culinary page. Naturally, avid footballers leave. 

Fix it: You can't save all your followers, it’s ok. Keep working on the new direction. Now your aim is to find a new audience. 

The bottom line

People will unfollow you all the time. The question is why people unfollow you on Instagram and in what amount. And if you can’t help when bots and “marathoners” unfollow you, you can change the other situations. Make the corrections and get your results. 

When followers decreasing is good

If a proportion of you followers are bots, business pages and ghost followers, it hinders your promotion. So it's for your good when such people unfollow you, believe, you lose nothing. More to that, do not wait until they unsubscribe, check your followers and delete them yourself. 

You might be interested in how to get rid of ghost followers.

Important: Mass unfollowing must be exceeded with followings. Otherwise, Instagram bans you, and the account won't be ranged in subscribers’ Instagram feed. 

Does Instagram delete your followers?

Instagram doesn’t delete real users. But it detects suspicious profiles and blocks spam accounts. Of course, “suspicious profiles” and “spam accounts” are defined by Instagram algorithms, and some real accounts may fall under the ruthless deleting. But this is more of an exception due to Instagram engagement and activity analysis.

Are there apps to check unfollowers?

Yes. You can monitor your profile, get full information about the unfollowers and figure out the best time for posting in addition to the opportunity to check followers and unfollowers. The apps always give insights about the effect of image quality on flow of subscribers. 

Is it possible to promote an Instagram account only by advertising, and outflow of subscribers is not important?

This is an option if you have an unlimited budget to waste. Others need a strategy which includes work to stop losing followers on Instagram.