Low Engagement on Instagram: Fix This Frustrating Issue!

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Karen Lin

Instagram 101 | May 29, 2024

Want More Real Instagram Followers?

There’s nothing worse than the sinking feeling of not getting likes or comments on Instagram posts you worked hard on. It’s not like your content is lackluster or anything—it’s just not getting enough traction for some reason. But what is the reason for getting such low engagement on Instagram even when you post consistently?

There are many reasons why your post might not be getting the engagement you anticipated. But that also means there are plenty of solutions to try to fix the issue. You might need to tweak something in your creative content strategy or think outside the box with collaborations. Or maybe you just need to play cat-and-mouse with the Instagram algorithm’s latest changes.

Are you tired of low engagement on your Instagram posts? Let’s diagnose what could be wrong and try to fix it together! Keep reading to see all our tips for improving engagement rates on the social media platform.

A colorful neon sign showing zero Instagram likes on a dark background.

Why It’s Important To Have a Good Instagram Engagement Rate

Your Instagram engagement rate is important because it’s a measure of how much of your follower base enjoys your content. Instead of just counting the number of likes and comments on a post, you measure that against your follower count. That way, you see how many fans you’re actually activating and engaging.

Computing your engagement rate is quite easy. All you have to do is take the number of your post’s interactions and divide it by your follower count. So, if you have 50 likes on a photo and you have 500 followers, your engagement rate is 10%.

Don’t let the number of likes and comments on your post fool you. Always check the engagement rate to assess your post’s performance better. For example, 500 likes on a post sounds like a lot. But if you have 50,000 followers, that puts your engagement rate at 1%, which isn’t good at all.

So, what do you get out of having high engagement scores? Well, the biggest benefit is that the Instagram algorithm might prioritize your content more.

If Instagram sees that people like and comment on it a lot, it will push out your post more. You’ll have better chances of getting on the Explore page or on top of someone’s feed when they open Instagram. This boost in visibility results not only in greater reach and engagement but also more followers in the long run.

Low Engagement on Instagram: Why Are My Instagram Posts Not Getting Likes?

Are you frustrated, stumped, and left wondering, “Why are my Instagram posts not getting likes, comments, or shares?” Well, there’s a myriad of reasons that can explain why Instagram engagement is low. Here are three of the most common reasons why some accounts don’t drive enough traction as others:

1. Uninteresting, Low-Quality Content Is Driving Content Fatigue

We know—this is a little bit of a rude awakening. But it might be true. Even if you like the content you put out, your target audience might not be as interested in it.

Maybe you’re putting out too much of the same type of content repeatedly. For brands, this might mean photos of their products every single day. For influencers, this could mean selfie after selfie.

Regardless of what you’re posting, it may be subject to a little something called content fatigue. Your followers are human—they can get sick of repetitive content and find it boring over time. And when they get bored, they won’t engage with your content.

Are you creating innovative content pillars and still not seeing high engagement? That might mean your audience isn’t interested in those types of posts. While they’re not exactly low-quality, they’re still uninteresting. It’s time to think outside the box and consider other types of content to experiment with.

A woman in a dark room looking bored as she scrolls through her mobile phone.

2. You Don’t Interact With Your Audience That Much

Another reason for having low engagement on the platform is that you don’t have a strong relationship with your fans. It’s important to interact with them whenever you can. That way, you can form somewhat of a “friendship” with your followers. This will encourage them to like and comment more on your posts whenever you upload something new.

There are many ways to strengthen your bond with your follower base. Something as simple as liking or replying to comments and DMs they send can foster that connection.

3. Constant Algorithm Changes Keep Your Instagram Engagement Down

Instagram’s algorithm is notorious for constantly changing and evolving. And sometimes, it can be stressful for brands and creators trying to make it big on the social media platform.

Sometimes, Instagram provides updates on what type of content they prioritize on the feed. So, brands and influencers tweak their content strategy to adjust to those updates. However, a few months later, when those brands’ strategies start to fly, Instagram might make newer algorithm changes.

It’s a super frustrating game of cat-and-mouse where you’re chasing what the algorithm wants to see with every update. If you don’t keep up with the updates, you might unintentionally keep your Instagram engagement down. Do your best to stay up-to-date about what Instagram’s algorithm prioritizes. This will increase your chances of maintaining high engagement.

An upset man reaching for the Instagram “like” symbol that shows zero likes.

How To Increase Engagement on Instagram: 5 Best Tips for Brands and Creators

Do you want to commit to trying out new audience engagement strategies but have no idea where to start? We’ve got you. Here’s how to increase engagement on Instagram in five ways:

1. Create Refreshing, Intriguing Content, Not Just Product-Centric Posts

Earlier, we talked about content fatigue, which is a difficult slump to get out of once you’re there. To spark your followers’ interest in your content again, get creative. Stop posting just product-centric posts about your business or boring selfies and brand deals. Come out with something fresh, unexpected, and entertaining.

Here are some examples of refreshing, engaging social media content your followers might like to see from you:

  • Behind-the-scenes content showing your business’s daily operations and creative process
  • Repost user-generated content people post showing off how they use your products in real life
  • Tutorials and how-to guides that show how to use specific products in your catalog
  • A “day in the life” video showing fans what your daily routine looks like

Cameras pointed at visually appealing plates of food at a photo shoot.

2. Publish Your Posts When Your Followers Are Online

Timing your Instagram posts perfectly can boost engagement tenfold. Think about it. If you post content when everyone’s offline and asleep, no one will be there to like or comment on it. This might signal to the algorithm that people don’t like your content and deprioritize it on the feed. So, even when people go online a few hours later, they might not see your post in the feed anymore.

If you want to maximize your post’s engagement potential, publish your content at the right time. Look at Instagram Insights to see when your audience is most active on the platform during the day. Then, post in one of those active times to build momentum for your post immediately. This helps boost both visibility and engagement for your post, allowing it to be more successful.

3. Write Thought-Provoking Captions That Will Trigger Comments

One way to drive comments on your posts is by writing a thought-provoking caption that can potentially spark conversation. Maybe pose a thoughtful question so that your followers can end in their answers in the comments section. Here are some examples of questions to ask in your captions:

  • “What’s one thing that made you smile today?”
  • “I had so much fun on this trip! What about you? Where are you headed this summer? 🌍✈️”
  • “This was such a fun recipe to make. Got any requests for what other desserts I should try? Leave them in the comments!”
  • “What do you think of our new product drop? Let us know your thoughts!”

Not only will asking questions like these increase comments on your post, but it can strengthen your bond with fans. You’ll learn more about what makes them tick. You might even glean important insights and feedback they have about your page. Use what you have learned to improve your brand strategy and creative content moving forward.

A man looking up and deep in thought while putting his hand to his chin.

4. Prioritize Carousel Posts Over Single Images

According to a study by Buffer, carousels are much more engaging than regular photo posts on the feed. The research found that carousel posts have engagement rates that were 2.37% higher than those of other photo formats. People are also twice as likely to save carousel posts vs regular images.

If you want to post static content and drive high engagement, carousels seem like the way to go. These posts allow people to scroll through many photos at a time. They allow you to tell an entire story and showcase different moments in one post. That means you have multiple chances to grab their attention and convince them to like or comment on your post.

Of course, don’t limit your content to just carousels. You’ll see better results if you diversify your content plan with other highly engaging formats, like Instagram Reels and Stories.

Someone holding a photo of a tree against a backdrop of many other photos.

5. Collaborate With a Trending Brand

Influencers can catch their target audience’s attention by collaborating with a popular brand that they love. Work together on campaigns and special product lines. This allows you to tap into a group of people who might not follow you yet. If they discover your page for the first time and follow you, it can result in higher engagement later on.

One trick to boost engagement on branded posts is to use the collaborative post feature on Instagram. This allows your post to show up not just on your page but also on your partner brand. The extra exposure to a larger audience can help drive tons of likes, comments, and shares.

A female content creator recording a video of herself reviewing a skincare product with her phone and tripod.

Bonus: Quick Tips on How To Increase Instagram Reach

The more people you reach with your post, the higher your chances of driving tons of engagement on it. So, it’s natural to wonder how to increase Instagram reach when your end goal is higher engagement rates. Here are some tips to help you reach more people:

  • Use relevant hashtags in your caption: Choose tags you know your target audience is interested in and might be following on the social media platform. By being strategic with your hashtag selection, your post can show up on the Explore page or on people’s feeds.
  • Promote your content with paid ads: If you have the budget for it, consider running ad campaigns to reach more people on Instagram. Ads let you choose which target audience sees your post. That way, you can rest assured that your content reaches the right people—and a lot of them.
  • Cross-promote your content on other channels: If you have other social media platforms, consider promoting your Instagram posts there. There might be people active on other platforms who don’t know about your Instagram page yet. Link your Instagram content to your Facebook page or perhaps embed it on a blog post on your personal website. Leverage your existing channels to drive traffic and reach for your Instagram page.
  • Create shareable posts: Think of what kind of content people are most likely to share with friends or on Instagram Stories. Once in a while, post funny, relatable content you know might go viral. When people share your posts on their page, it reaches their followers—a whole new audience for your brand.

Keep Your Eyes on Our Blog for More Instagram Engagement Tips!

To boost likes and comments on your posts, incorporate our Instagram engagement tips above into your content strategy. Get creative with your content pillars and spruce up your captions with hashtags. Experiment with carousel posts instead of typical photos. And whenever you can, collaborate with another brand or content creator to boost reach and engagement.

Do you want more tips on how to manage your online presence better? Keep your eyes on this blog for more growth and engagement techniques in the future!

Another way to drive traction when you have low engagement on Instagram is to grow your page with Path Social. We promote your page to your intended target audience until you reel in plenty of new, genuine followers. A bigger audience will see your content, leading to significantly more engagement on all of it. So, what are you waiting for? Hit us up and gain more followers on Instagram today!