Getting unfollowed on Instagram (or any social network) is just something we have to accept. It's part of the experience we'll all go through, but there are ways to minimize the amount of followers you lose.
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I have to admit I'm guilty of 3/5 of these red flags in my early days of using the platform! Since my following at the time was quite small and mostly just my actual friends, I wasn't getting unfollowed on Instagram, but I definitely wasn't gaining followers either. Zero sum game. Not fun. Try to guess which 3 sins I committed, leave your guess in the comments - I'll come up with some kind of reward for the right answer.
If you're a brand trying to build a following on Instagram, this probably isn't the article for you - this advice applies more towards personal branding. With that said, let's get right into it!
Reason 1: Lay off the selfies.
Millennials fall victim to this far too often, though we're seeing older generations get caught up in it as well. When selfies dominate the content you put out, don't be shocked when you lose your fans. Even worse if all your selfies look the same. Nothing says "I never leave the house" like a collection of bathroom selfies!
If I can scroll through your profile, stop randomly and get hit in the face (pun intended) with a series of selfies, it's time for you to make a change in your life. The beauty of cameras is being able to capture moments, not to showcase your ego.
Reason 2: You're obsessed with your children (or pets).
Sure, go ahead and post a few. Anything more than that and I'm unfollowing you. I get it, you have emotional ties to your (fur) baby, but that doesn't mean I care. Or that anyone else cares, for that matter.
Snap a thousand photos if you want, but keep it to yourself for the most part. My suggestion: start a scrapbook. Yes, a physical scrapbook like what your parents did for you. It'll become a much more sentimental possession than your Instagram account, guaranteed.
Alternatively, make a <i>single</i> Facebook album so you don't turn into <i>that</i> parent on Facebook either.
Reason 3: You're flooding their feed with your photos.
No one likes opening up their Instagram and seeing the same user's content over and over. Well, maybe there's some like that but they're a true minority. Space out your posts, 2-5 a day is way more than enough to satisfy your customer base. If you've got more content? Great. You're covered for a longer amount of time.
Quality over quantity! With Instagram's new algorithmic feed, the time of day you post is going to matter less and less. What does matter is your average engagement rates off organic reach, meaning the more interactions you get per post will matter more than the frequency of your posting.
Side Note: I suggest using Iconosquare to figure out your optimal posting times though.
Reason 4: You're just...not good at taking photos.
You don't have to be a professional. You don't even need to use a real camera. There's plenty of ways to make your smartphone photos look good, but just keep in mind basics of photography when crafting your Instagram posts. Think about what complete strangers who find your content through hashtags would feel about your photos.
Blurry, grainy photos have no place in anyone's lives. Don't waste our time with that shit. I'll admit that I don't really know much (if anything) about photography, but I'd say I have an eye for it. I suggest taking the 5 minutes to go through Ashley Klaty's video guide on how to take better Instagram photos for a quick crash course.
Reason 5: You're posting memes and screenshots too often.
This has to be the most hypocritical thing I've said considering I run several meme pages on Facebook and my Twitter is half memes / half business. But on a visual-focused platform like Instagram, this could be the death of your account.
Unless your account is solely dedicated to memes, don't even bother. Don't bother trying to use memes for your marketing either unless you're really dug into that culture and it comes up naturally. I used a Simpsons meme I made in my previous article on branding, but it came up naturally because that's a part of my identity. If it's not part of yours, skip it. You want to be as genuine as possible, right?
Preventing Yourself from Getting Unfollowed on Instagram
It's a simple task when push comes to shove, nothing surprising at all on this list I don't think. As your account grows in popularity and the snowball effect comes into play, you're going to lose a number of followers on a daily basis. Some are bots, most are real people who just don't care about you anymore (if they did at all in the first place). So be it. Let's just hope you've been following my Instagram marketing guide so you're gaining more than you lose.