Are you getting less likes on Instagram and have no idea why?
If you’re getting less likes on Instagram, there are always reasons for it.
Having lesser likes can be demoralizing because you might have a lot more in the past.
If you have a sudden drop in likes, you might think that you will never recover.
However, this is not true in most cases.
With some changes, your engagement rate will bounce back up in no time.
Why am I getting less likes on Instagram?
The main reason why you’re getting less likes on Instagram is because you have a lot of ghost followers.
Also, if you’re using hashtags on your posts, it could be because you’re using the wrong hashtags.
To fix this, you need to remove your ghost followers and use better hashtags.
Below are 12 reasons why you’re getting less likes on Instagram and what you can do to fix it.
- You have a lot of ghost followers
- Some people don’t bother to like posts
- Your followers are uninterested in your content
- Insufficient time
- Your followers have way too many posts on their feed
- You are shadowbanned
- Your content is bad
- Your followers don’t use Instagram anymore
- You’re using the wrong hashtags
- Your posts are muted
- You’re not engaging on their posts
- There are fewer bots
1. You have a lot of ghost followers
To begin with, one reason why you’re getting less likes on Instagram is because you have a lot of ghost followers.
Ghost followers are followers that don’t like or comment on your posts.
In other words, they are inactive followers that you want to get rid of.
Ghost followers will negatively affect your engagement rate.
For example, if you have 1,000 followers but only 100 people are liking your posts (on average), only 10% of your followers are active.
This means that you have about 900 ghost followers.
Instagram’s average engagement rate is quite low, around 3%. So having a 10% engagement rate isn’t bad.
However, there’s lots of opportunities to increase it.
Regardless, if you have below 1,000 followers, you should aim for more than a 10% engagement rate.
Accounts with 10,000 to 1M+ followers tend to have a lower engagement rate.
This is normal because the more followers you have, the more ghost followers there’ll be.
So if you have 1,000 followers and below, you should aim to have an engagement rate of at least 10%.
Any lower, and your engagement rate is poor. Remember, the most important metric on Instagram is your engagement rate.
You can have a lot of followers, but if your engagement rate is low, it doesn’t mean anything.
2. Some people don’t bother to like posts
Some people just don’t bother to like posts on their feed.
If that’s the case, the problem isn’t from your end, but theirs.
Unfortunately, people like this are very common on social media.
Some people are egocentric where they don’t like anyone’s posts and expect others to like theirs. Others are either too lazy or indifferent about engaging.
These are the worst kinds of people on Instagram that you should aim to mitigate.
These people can be also classified as ghost followers.
People like this are usually following you, but they never like your posts.
Typically, random people that follow you who are not liking your posts are using the follow/unfollow strategy. This means that they followed you for the hope of you following them back.
If you encounter these kinds of people, they’ll not only not engage on any of your posts, but also unfollow you after some time.
The follow/unfollow strategy is one of the oldest strategy on Instagram that is still popular today.
The strategy is very controversial because it’s a selfish way of gaining followers.
However, it doesn’t work as well as it used to in the past because people are increasingly wary of spam.
Such spam can be interpreted as a random follower that you don’t know in-person or does not have any mutuals.
3. Your followers are uninterested in your content
The third reason why you’re getting less likes on Instagram is because your followers are no longer interested in your content.
This is more prevalent in theme or business accounts instead of personal accounts.
To clarify, theme accounts are accounts that are posting content in a specific niche (e.g. memes, travel, quotes) while business accounts are accounts based on a product/service.
On the other hand, a personal account is ran by an individual who post content of themselves (e.g. selfies).
If your account is a theme or a business one, some of your followers might be no longer interested in your content and unfollow you.
This leads to a decline in likes on your posts.
Don’t take it personally because people lose interest pretty quickly. They might like your content for a while, but lose interest in it shortly after.
However, people are less likely to unfollow you if your account is a personal one because your followers are mostly your friends/family.
Theme and business accounts usually have a lower engagement rate as compared to a personal account.
This is because people are naturally more interested in a personal account as they want to stay updated about their friends’ or family’s lives.
On the contrary, business accounts are be regarded as being ‘spammy’ at times because Instagram ads from businesses are too prominent.
For example, business ads are shown after every few posts on Instagram and people are accustomed to skip and not like it.
That being said, if your account is a business one, people are less likely to engage in your content due to the fact that it’s from a business.
4. Insufficient time
Fourthly, you may be getting less likes on Instagram because some people lack time.
Not everyone has the time to like every single post on their feed. Moreover, some people don’t use Instagram that often.
They might open the app, like a few posts and leave after a minute a two.
Because of this, they might have missed your post.
In order for your post to get seen by more of your followers, it has to be on top of their feed.
Now, you might be wondering, how do I get my post to show up on the top of someone’s feed so that they won’t miss it?
To answer this question, you’ll need to understand how Instagram’s algorithm works.
Whenever you post something, it’ll be shown to your most relevant followers (the people who have a high chance of engaging on your post).
Once your post gets liked by more people, it’ll be shown to your other followers (that are less likely to engage on your post).
So, in order to get on the top of your followers’ feed, a majority of them needs to like your post within a short period of time.
Hence, the more likes you post gets (in a short period of time), the higher it’ll be on your followers’ feed.
This is why engagement is important on Instagram.
If you have a low engagement rate, your future posts won’t garner as many likes as someone with a high engagement rate.
There are only 24 hours in a day — in order to increase the likes on your post, you’ll have to make sure that it’s being shown at the top of your followers’ feeds.
5. Your followers have way too many posts on their feed
Another common reason why you’re getting less likes on Instagram is that your followers have way too many posts on their feed.
If your followers follow a lot of people, their feed will contain a lot of posts.
Because of this, your post might end up buried in other people’s posts.
It’s hard for people to keep up with liking because of the sheer amount of content on their feed.
This is more prominent if they never muted any posts before.
To check whether a person has a lot of posts on their feed (thus missing yours), simply check their following list.
If they follow over 1,000 people, there’s a high chance that their feed is overcrowded with posts.
This is an exception if most of your followers follow a lot of inactive accounts; so you’ll have to check who they’re following as well.
If the people that they follow are rarely posting, then their feed is less likely to be overcrowded.
Unless your followers like every single post on their feed consistently, they won’t be able to keep up with it.
6. You are shadowbanned
If your recent posts have a sharp decrease in engagement, you may be shadowbanned.
A shadowban prevents your posts from being shown to new people.
This means that your new posts won’t be shown in the hashtag search results or in the explore pages.
Social media platforms such as Instagram shadowbans people mainly because they have violated one or more of its guidelines.
Instead of permanently banning people for a violation, Instagram imposes a shadowban instead, which is a temporary ban on an account.
This not only prevents unwanted content from getting beyond reach, but it also keeps users on the platform.
If you are shadowbanned, your latest posts’ reach will decrease drastically, and so will your likes.
However, if you realise that only one of your post’s likes are fewer than the others, you are not shadowbanned.
Many people claim that they are shadowbanned, but they are not.
To know if you are really shadowbanned, you need to utilize an alternate account.
Here’s how to check that if you’re shadowbanned:
- Post something using your main account and add an uncommon hashtag in the post (e.g. test123).
- Use your alternate account and search for the hashtag.
- If the post is in the ‘recent’ hashtag results, then you’re not shadowbanned. However, if the post is not in the ‘recent’ results, then you are shadowbanned.
A shadowban can severely limit the reach of your posts such that only your previous followers are able to see them.
Hence, if you’re getting a sharp drop in likes on your latest posts, it could be due to a shadowban.
7. Your content is bad
If you have bad content, you will get less likes on Instagram.
So what is considered as ‘bad content’?
Bad content can be due to a single factor (e.g. bad lighting), or a mixture of factors (e.g. inconsistent theme + random photos).
For example, if one of your posts have bad lighting, it’ll appeal less to others.
Thus, your post will get lesser likes, shown to lesser people, and vise-versa.
Before you post something, you’ll have to benchmark it to other posts.
Unfortunately, this is the reality of Instagram.
In order to get more likes, you’ll have to post higher quality content.
People are less likely to engage on a post that you spent little or no effort on beautifying or creating it.
Moreover, you should always stick to a consistent theme.
Your Instagram feed is really important because it’s one of the first things people see when they visit your profile.
Imagine if your feed is all over the place with random photos or videos.
People are less intrigued to follow you or like your content.
In order to get more likes, you’ll need to post Instagram-worthy content that appeals to your followers.
Otherwise, your number of likes will either decrease or remain stagnant.
8. Your followers don’t use Instagram anymore
If your followers don’t use Instagram anymore, your likes will decrease.
People that don’t use Instagram anymore are similar to ghost followers, except that they might have liked some of your posts in the past.
Followers that don’t use Instagram anymore are quite hard to track because you can’t utilize a third-party app for this.
If you’re utilizing a third-party app, it can only go as far as tracking followers who didn’t like or commented on any of your posts before.
The ones that liked your post(s) before are not considered as a ghost follower even if they only liked one of your posts.
This means that in order for you to find followers that don’t use Instagram anymore, you’ll have to do it manually.
Here’s how you can find followers that are not using Instagram anymore:
- In your list of followers, visit every profile that has not posted a story.
- Tap on their latest post and check the date that they posted it.
- If they haven’t posted in over a year, then there’s a high chance that they are not (actively) using Instagram anymore.
If your account is old, you’ll have a lot more inactive followers than a new one. So, you’ll have to constantly check for inactive followers and remove them.
9. You’re using the wrong hashtags
If you use poor hashtags, you’re missing out on a lot of engagement.
Hashtags increase the reach of your posts. However, many people utilize ineffective hashtags.
For example, using popular hashtags like #love or #happy won’t get you many likes. This is because these hashtags are too saturated.
You’ll probably get a maximum of 5 to 10 likes with these hashtags.
In order for you to get more likes, you’ll need to utilize niche-specific hashtags or hashtags that are specifically designed for getting likes ‘link here’.
Unfortunately, you can’t get as many likes as you would with hashtags now than in the past. This is because there are a lesser number of bots (explained in the last section).
In order for you to get the most amount of likes from hashtags, you’ll need to find the right hashtags.
Search for a common hashtag on Instagram (e.g. #l4l) and navigate to the ‘Recent’ section.
Then find a post with the most amount of likes that has posted recently and steal their hashtags.
If you use this strategy, you can easily find updated sets of hashtags that will deliver the best results.
10. Your posts are muted
The tenth reason why you’re getting less likes on Instagram may be because your posts are muted by your followers.
Whenever someone mutes your posts, your posts will no longer show up on their feed. This means that they won’t be able to like your posts unless they deliberately visit your profile.
There are many reasons why someone mutes your posts.
The most common reason why someone might want to mute your posts is if you post way too much. Posting too many photos at one go will overcrowd your followers’ feed.
This might bury the posts of people that they care about (e.g. close friends) at the bottom of their feed.
If you’re the type of person that likes to post multiple photos at once, make sure to utilize the carousel feature.
In addition, you should aim to post no more than once a day. Otherwise, your account may be regarded as spam and you’re more susceptible to getting muted by others.
Secondly, you might have posted something that your followers’ disagree with.
It could be conflicting views on something political or sports-related.
Either way, some of your followers might be offended by your content and end up muting your posts.
11. You’re not engaging on their posts
By not liking the posts of people that you’re following, it signals that you don’t care about them.
People will start noticing soon enough and not like any of your posts back.
For example, if you’ve been receiving likes from the same group of people over and over again, but you don’t like their posts, it’s easily noticable.
This is apparent if you post frequently.
Moreover, people utilizing a third-party app can easily track this and unfollow/mute you because you’ll be regarded as a ghost follower.
Whenever you’re on Instagram, you’ll need to make sure to like other people’s posts on your feed, especially mutual followers who has been always engaging on your posts.
That way, it shows that you care about your followers and your likes will definitely increase.
To succeed on Instagram, you’ll need to have a giving mentality.
So don’t expect others to like your posts when you don’t like theirs. It doesn’t work that way.
12. There are fewer bots
The final reason why you’re getting less likes on Instagram is because there are fewer bots.
Have you ever thought to yourself, “How am I able to get so many likes within a short amount of time using hashtags?”.
The answer is bots and automation.
People utilize automation to like posts with specific hashtags. This can be done to grab a user’s attention with the hopes of them liking your posts back or following you.
Since 2018 when Instagram announced that they will be reducing inauthentic activity, their algorithms and AI have improved tremendously.
This means that third-party apps or tools do not work anymore because Instagram knows if you’re using them. If you use them, you’ll either be action blocked or permanently banned.
Hence, if you were to use a bunch of hashtags, you won’t get as many likes as you used to.
If you’re getting less likes on Instagram, it could be due to multiple reasons.
Whether you have a lot of ghost followers, you’re shadowbanned, or your content is poor, there’s always a solution for it.
All you need is to spend some time in improving certain aspects of your account.