Welcome to part 2 of my INSTAGRAM SERIES all about improving your photography, manoeuvering your way around instagram and growing your blog traffic. In part 1 I provided 5 tips on making your travel photography on instagram stand out and this week we're looking at the top 3 reasons you are losing instagram followers.
It's so frustrating, right? You're posting your best pictures and are still losing instagram followers by the bucket load. You've not changed your photography and are posting great content, though somehow your followers are leaving your instagram account in droves and you can't figure out why. Despite your best efforts you can't seem to gain traction and grow your instagram following. Confusing and frankly a tiny bit upsetting, isn't it?
So today I'm sharing my 3 top reasons as to why you may be losing instagram followers. I hope you find this information helpful.
INSTAGRAM IS CLEARING OUT FAKE ACCOUNTS
There are currently over 700 million (!) active instagram users, according to this report! Pretty insane right?! But where there are users and money to be made there are also weirdos who want to take advantage of the positive platform that is instagram. That's where fake, bot and spam accounts come into play. Sometimes they seem innocent enough but most of the time they are keen to sell you stuff, hack your account etc. This April, instagram finally started to take serious action and aimed to get ride of the 8% of instagram accounts which are fake. This meant that if you had lots of bot accounts following you, you would have felt a major shift AKA a dramatic decrease in instagram followers.
WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT...
To avoid this from happening again, every so often scan through your followers. Notice an account without a profile picture and/or with a weird name (example @tbs7798grs887584)? Check them out! If they look dodgy, like an account that isn't real or one that will never like or engage in your instagram account in earnest then be radical and block them! This way you avoid a mass drop in followers when instagram erases fake accounts.
FOLLOW FOR FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM
I noticed that when I started my instagram account and had less than 1000 followers I had a lot of accounts follow me with the expectation that I'd follow them back. And when I didn't do what they wanted, they'd unfollow me. There's even a hashtag for this behaviour #f4f.
To have 10 new followers one day and then to wake up the next and find that you've lost them all is pretty disheartening, especially when you're just starting out and 10 followers make up 10% of your total follower count. It's why #f4f users prey on new instagrammers! But bigger accounts aren't safe either, so always be on the look out for people who follow you just so you follow them back.
SO WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?
Sure, you can follow for follow and grow your instagram account that way. BUT, in the long run, it's not really worth it if you ask me especially not if you want to blog full-time or are running a business which relies on genuine, real followers and customers.
Instead, it's just one of those things you've got to go through. As long as you put out good content, eventually the amount of real followers you gain will outweight the amount of #f4f users you loose. For most of us instagram is about slow and steady growth. So patience is what you need to overcome this hurdle.
INSTAGRAM REWARDS CONSISTENCY
Perhaps you THINK you've not changed a thing, but the reality is, if you are losing followers in 2 or 3 digit numbers consistently, you probably HAVE changed something. Could it be that when you started out you were only posting pink smoothie bowls and now you're posting savoury food too? Might it be that you initially focused on dark and moody photography and now your pictures are light and bright? Is it possible that you used to comment back loads and now are less social on instagram? All these 'little' changes can seem like massive shifts to your instagram followers.
WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT...
You've got two choices here. Firstly, if growing a large following quickly is the be all and end all (and I don't blame you if it is ;)), then think about being as consistent as possible. Most accounts that grow quickly are the ones that have a strong concept and stick to it. And no, in case you're wondering, followers do not get sick of yet another pink smoothie bowl. If that's what they followered you for in the first place, then that's what they want.
Secondly, if you are bored of posting pink smoothie bowls and want to develop your styling, photography and cooking skills then follow your heart and screw the numbers! If your work is good the real followers who will stick with you through thick and thin; the ones who welcome your stylistic evolution won't desert you. FULL STOP!
A FINAL NOTE...
If you are lucky enough like me to have more than 10K followers I suggest you stop checking your follower count on an hourly/daily basis, especially if it's getting you down. Once a week is fine if you are a full-time blogger and/or your business depends on follower numbers. Usually, if you're working hard and churning out great content you'll find that over the course of a week numbers go up rather than down. In short, less is more ;).
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See you all next week!