July 6, 2015

Unfortunately, I have to admit that more and more frequently I am seeing "bad" Instagram accounts out there. I guess it's inevitable. The more people that start using the platform, the more marketers try to throw themselves or their brands onto the platform without really knowing why they're there. And it creates chaos and confusion - for both the business and the audience.

So, if you have minimal engagement, little to no growth in followers, or poor interaction resulting from your Instagram account, let me try to take a few minutes to explain why this is likely happening to you.

First of all, and I've stated this before, Instagram is NOT the same as the other social media sites. It has succeeded as its own because it is its own platform - with its own personality, style, and way of life. It is not like Facebook, it is not like Twitter, it is not like SnapChat, and it's not like Pinterest. So, whatever strategy you are using on those platforms, STOP trying to shoehorn them into an Instagram strategy!

Instagram needs an Instagram strategy.

It needs to be built around your audience - not you. I don't know how many more ways we can stress this. It's not about what you want to share. It's about what they want to see.

So, with that in mind, here are the three primary reasons that your audience likely hates your account.

It's TOO Personal

You know I love when brands humanize their business - show behind the scenes, some personality, a selfie now and then, or share stories of the people behind the name.

But there has to be a limit to this personalization. Unless you are a major celebrity, there is absolutely no reason for your Instagram feed to be full of selfies and endless photos of you. I'm serious. Even if you're in the fitness industry where showing you and your workouts is important, there has to be other content besides just you.

Similarly, if you're planning to use your Instagram account for business, and your bio indicates that you are a professional or a business, then your content should reflect this business. It should not be endless posts of your kids, your family, your weekend excursions, your pets, and every meal you choose to make at home or eat out at a restaurant. This is just too much.

If you want to use your account for your own personal reasons and share your personal side, then make sure that your bio reflects this purpose and people can choose to follow you accordingly.

If you're using your account for business, it should reflect that business. It should highlight what you do while providing valuable content that benefits your audience.

Your Content Is Confusing

Your Instagram account should tell a visual story of your business. It should reflect who you are, what you do, and what you have to say.

It should not be some mish-mosh disjointed gallery of a million different things.

If your content varies from post to post with no real relevance to each other, has no cohesion to the message behind each post, and each post has a different style, then you're going to lose your audience before they can even choose to follow you.

Your posts should look similar in style - even if the content is different, there should be some stylistic aspects that make them look cohesive.

Your message should be consistent. If you're a product based business, your posts should relate to the products you sell.

Whatever it is your business is, your Instagram account should convey that - not 1000 other things.

You Repost the Same Content All The Time

This seems to be more popular among the newer marketers jumping on the Instagram bandwagon but I see it all too frequently. I am going to say this once again - social media is not a megaphone to blast your message over and over and over.

That means that you should not take the same marketing message and repost it to Instagram every. single. day. Stop it!

Yes, you can incorporate marketing messages and content. You totally should! But you should not post the same image over and over and over so that your whole gallery looks like a giant billboard for your self-promotion.

The same theory applies to product or message content. Just because you sell a certain product does not mean every post needs to be that product. Just because you offer a specific service does not mean that every post needs to highlight that service. And unless your account is dedicated to motivational inspiration, every post should not be a motivational quote.

Mix up your content! Showcase your products in different settings, uses, and capacities. Highlight how you offer a service rather than just reusing the same graphic over and over. Try mixing in a little creativity and personality into your strategy.


If you're going to Instagram for your business, I want you to see real success with it because I honestly believe it is one of the most powerful platforms our there. So if you have any questions or want help with your Instagram strategy, please contact me! I love helping business owners like you better understand the nuances and tactics to successful Instagram marketing!

Did you find this helpful? Please share:
  1. Hi Jenn. What are good statistics for engagement and interaction that we should be striving for with our Instagram accounts?

    1. Hi Owen! Great question!
      The average Instagram user sees an engagement rate around 5-6%. So this is something “good” to aim for. But, of course, this is far from a holy grail of what you should expect. As your audience gets larger, your interaction rate will decrease significantly – as you tend to accumulate more “casual” followers as you get bigger who tend to be less active than your big advocates when you’re smaller.
      If you wanna take a look at Locowise’s free Instagram Analyser tool, you can see what other accounts in your size range are doing for interaction and get a better understanding of how you’re performing.
      But I always want to stress that you should be focused on what is best for your audience and business. If you are seeing growth in numbers, new people interacting, and positive engagement, then you’re on the right track. If you’re successfully leading conversions through calls-to-action and clicks to your website, etc. then you’re doing well – and that’s what’s most important.

  2. Hi I came across your blog this morning and I was hoping if you could help me out with a mini Instagram bug! I was on my explore page and I was scrolling down to the point where I couldn’t scroll anymore so I want back up to refresh the explore page and something weird happened, it said “No Posts Yet.” I tried it out on my other accounts (logged into different devices) and they all did the same! It goes away after a few minutes but it only displays a little amount of photos from 3-9. Might I have done something wrong, did my account break? Thank you for your time!

    1. Hi Lilly. I have never heard of this kind of issue with the Explore page and honestly don’t know what would cause it, especially since you tried it on more than one device.

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