fewer likes on instagram

Why Am I Suddenly Getting Fewer Likes on Instagram?

Have you recently noticed a frustrating dip in your Instagram likes? Or maybe you’ve spotted a decline in comments? Your first instinct might be to blame algorithm changes. While that could be true, it’s better to take on the role of a detective in figuring out the answer. Because, in reality, there are often several overlapping reasons for someone seeing a drop-off in Instgram engagement. In this article, we’ll help you answer the question: why am I suddenly getting fewer likes on Instagram? Plus, we’ll give you some practical tips and strategies to fix the problem.

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Algorithm Changes in 2023 / 2024

Last year, Instagram made several updates to its algorithm. So, if you have noticed a dip in either your likes or engagement rates on your Instagram posts, those updates could be the likely culprit. Instagram made changes to boost its users’ experiences with the app. Their priority has been content that gets lots of interactions from followers. 

But being a content creator doesn’t mean you escape these changes on your Instagram account. They might have lowered your visibility in the feed, which in turn would reduce your likes and comments. It’s important you adjust your content so it’s more aligned with what Instagram wants to see. Go back in time to look at what your followers said they loved about your content. Are you still producing that style to the same high standards? Or has it slipped?

The Rise of Video

If you have been on Instagram for many years, you will have started off with traditional photos, and you probably got some fantastic engagement that way. However, Instagram is following in the footsteps of YouTube and TikTok. Instagram users want video content, and that’s what is doing well. If your number of likes on posts is declining, try your hand at some Reels and Stories, and use a video editing platform like CapCut to help you produce something that looks the part. 

The trick with video is to keep your target audience engaged for as long as possible, so think about how you can do that. Hints early on about something you’ll show or reveal are always a good tactic. Your first video is a starting point, and it won’t be perfect. But the more you experiment, the closer you’ll get to a format your followers love. 

The Volume of Content

It seems stupidly simple, but part of the reason you’re getting fewer likes could be the sheer volume of content now on Instagram. With new technology and business owners working on more streamlined content strategies, it’s not like the old days when it was easy to create professional content that stood out from personal accounts. Like other major social media platforms, there is a lot of competition and content, and sadly – yes, a few fake accounts. That has an effect on how easy it is to get noticed – and get likes, especially if your average follower has 500-1000 accounts they are following. People have short attention spans, too. It’s easy and fast to scroll Instagram, and the like button just isn’t as tempting as it once was. 

The Demographics Are Changing

New generations of social media users are joining the scene and shaking things up. That means Instagram users’ demographic profiles are changing, and your content needs to reflect that. Instagram is an aging social media platform, losing some market share to newer places like TikTok. If you want to use Instagram for your business, you’ve got to do some research into your target audience – even if you already researched the platform a few years ago. Examine your analytics to get a profile of your active users. If your audience is young, like college students, and migrating to other platforms, maybe you need to reinvent the types of content you produce on your Instagram page to appeal to the fast and addictive nature of the shorts you get on places like YouTube and TikTok if that’s what your audience expects.

An Influx of Ads

If you’ve been on Instagram, you’ll remember the early, calmer days of scrolling through pictures without ads flashing up on the screen. That’s changed. Promotional and recommended content is a huge part of the feed now, and it’s well-designed to capture the users’ attention. But for most brands not advertising, that could cause a sudden drop in Instagram engagement. If you currently rely on organic content, consider paying for promotional content. That doesn’t need to stretch the budget. A small amount will help boost your account and reach a fresh audience, which could prove useful. You should also counter some of these prominent ads by focusing on the quality of your content and adjusting your post times. 

The Impact of Social and Topical Issues

It’s hard to ignore the news. There has been so much happening in recent years. First, news moved onto places like X and Facebook, and now, you’ll start to see influencers on Instagram talking about social issues or raising money for campaigns. These are the sorts of changing trends you need to monitor if you are trying to maintain engagement on Instagram because it could be one of the possible reasons behind fluctuations in your Instagram engagement. Instagram followers want to watch videos about issues they care about and may scroll past more traditional content to browse current affairs if there is a big live news story. Try and think about how you time your posts, choosing times of day when people are more relaxed and not wanting to watch videos about current affairs. And if it’s aligned with your brand, think about a way of creating topical content.

​Platform Fatigue

One common reason for a sudden decrease in user engagement is simple fatigue from your followers, who simply don’t feel the need to add Instagram likes to a post when they are scrolling. People will naturally feel this exhaustion when they’ve been using a platform for a while; the content becomes overly familiar, and they don’t feel the need to interact with it anymore. Having less engagement can feel frustrating, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s because you’ve done something wrong with your content. It’s why you always need to be pushing for new followers, because if they feel your content is fresh, they’ll be the ones who enthusiastically award you with Instagram likes. You should also think about innovating with your content strategy to keep older followers interested in your account. 

Quality Vs. Quantity of Content

As a content creator, you’ll always want to strike a balance between quality and quantity. Frequent posting will keep your profile active, something the algorithm likes, and make it more likely you’ll appear high in followers’ feeds. But if you try too hard, you will end up sacrificing the quality of your content, leading to diminished engagement and not enough likes to justify that post. Followers may even see you as producing low-quality posts. So, while a regular posting schedule is important, stick to best practices with your quality to ensure you don’t experience the dreaded engagement drop. 

Try Out these Engagement-Boosting Strategies

If your business profile analytics aren’t looking great, take a proactive approach. Understanding how the platform works and using it to your advantage is the right way to go and an easy solution if you want to improve your interaction with followers. Here are our top tips:

  • Post at the right time: Use Instagram analytics to determine when your followers are most active. Post at these peak times, and you should see increased visibility and engagement. 
  • Use relevant hashtags: Hashtags aren’t as powerful as they used to be, but they are still a useful way to reach new audiences and increase visibility. Use specific hashtags that are popular and relevant to the content type.
  • Create engaging content: Go back to the drawing board and brainstorm new ideas for engaging content. Ask yourself whether your idea is likely to be shared and commented on. To encourage more interaction, try polls, questions, and call-to-actions. 

Implementing these strategies and checking your data should help you start to see a boost in engagement on your Instagram profile.  Be consistent when applying these methods. Patience is always rewarded when it comes to mastering social media. 

Why Am I Suddenly Getting Fewer Likes on Instagram? Some Final Thoughts

It’s important to understand and adapt to any dynamic market in business. That goes for Instagram, too. If you are asking yourself, why am I suddenly getting fewer likes on Instagram? don’t fret about external forces. Take action and fix the problem. The strategies we’ve covered here will give you a great starting point. Before you go, don’t miss out on downloading our free guide on another part of your digital strategy – your sales funnel. Get that free guide here. 

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