Why You’re Not Getting As Many Instagram Likes (And How To Fix It)

Unlike other social media platforms, Instagram is focused on engagement. Advertising, content marketing, and direct sales are limited, and users are restricted as far as content depth and length are concerned. Therefore, a company’s success or failure centers on the comments, likes, hearts, and shares it gets from its followers. There are a few reasons why brands don’t get the likes they’re looking for, but they typically come down to one or more of the following causes.

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Choosing The Wrong Subjects

While Instagram does have rules—which are primarily related inappropriate content—that’s not the focus of this section. Instagram is a powerful promotional tool because, as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. However, pictures only have value when they’re well-chosen. When companies promote their products and high quality service, it’s best to focus on topical, relevant photos. Don’t post memes unless they’re trending and relevant.

Hashtag And Text Overload

Instagram also puts limits on the text that accompanies pictures. Every post can come with a caption of up to 2200 characters, and that limit also applies to comments. After approximately 240 characters, however, comments and captions are cut off for the sake of brevity. Hashtags are limited to 30 per photo, but it’s best to keep them to 10 or fewer.

Shadow Banning

It can happen to anyone at any time, for almost any reason: the dreaded shadow ban. You’re not kept from accessing your account, but your content just won’t show up in others’ feeds, and the only real sign comes when hashtags won’t work. There’s no way to avoid shadow banning completely but ensuring that all your content falls within Instagram’s rules is the best bet.

Moving Too Fast

Businesses typically see the best results when they post on Instagram twice per day. On Instagram, though, value and engagement stay elevated even at higher numbers. It’s important to take a measured approach to posting on the platform; don’t start with ten posts per day and taper off to one or two.

When businesses post on Instagram, it’s important to consider the audience’s active hours and spread the posts throughout that period. Don’t post them all at once; they won’t all get the same amount of attention, and it may just drive potential customers away.

Ignoring Customers’ Comments

Social media engagement goes both ways. When users like a company’s posts, they’re expressing interest in its products and services—and finding the right way to respond can be a challenge. However, when a user comments on your Instagram post, it’s important to acknowledge it.

Instagram comments come in three forms: emoticons, thank-yous, and insightful remarks. It’s typically not necessary to respond to the first two; in fact, responses can be considered spammy. When users ask questions, though, responses should be clear, thoughtful, and tailored to the company’s marketing efforts.

Keeping Profiles Private

This mistake is a simple one, yet it’s surprisingly common. When setting up a profile, it’s easy to click the wrong settings. If you’ve created a company account and left it private, you won’t get much engagement.

There are only a few legitimate reasons to make Instagram profiles private, such as being hacked, rebranding, and leaving the site entirely. Other reasons just aren’t good enough—and they’ll keep your content from getting the likes it deserves.

Offering Low-Quality Content

Sometimes, doing the right thing just doesn’t yield results. Why? It could be because the content itself isn’t good enough. Poor Instagram content may be:

  • Washed-out or filtered images
  • Screenshots
  • Inspirational quotes that users have seen hundreds of times
  • Outdated and boring memes

There are other types of low-quality content, of course, and it’s impossible to predict how audiences will react to every post. The easiest way to avoid this pitfall is to focus on quality, not quantity, when producing Instagram content.

Algorithm Changes

Like those of many other social media sites, Instagram feeds are no longer chronological by default—which means followers won’t see (and like) new posts right away. The algorithm works by showing users content from the accounts they interact with most often. The more companies interact with their followers, the more likely they are to appear at the top of the feed.

Follow These Tips to Boost Engagement and Get More Hearts

Instagram is a powerful marketing tool, but it can be difficult to keep up with changing consumer preferences and algorithm shifts. With these tips, though, businesses of all sizes can get their posts in front of more potential customers.

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