Instagram is one of the most powerful tools for advertising a brand, creating a story, engaging with your audience, or increasing your sales.

However, achieving Instagram success isn’t granted. There’s a lot of things you need to pay attention to if you want to keep your viewers coming back for more. You need to define what type of posts your target audience likes the most, what makes them engage, and what doesn’t work so well. If you notice an engagement decline on Instagram, don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Instagram engagement decline is something you shouldn’t ignore.
Sure a lot is changing with Instagram and it’s getting harder to reach your audience organically. However, it’s not just them it’s likely on your end as well.

It’s a sign that something in your Instagram strategy isn’t performing as well as you wanted it to. It clearly shows you need to make a change and up your game. To do this, you need to choose the right tactics and employ them correctly.

Here are some of our favourites.

Let’s break them down.

Here’s how to deal with the engagement decline on Instagram.

Focus more on videos

If you’re looking for the right medium to reach new audiences, expand your reach, and stop the engagement decline on Instagram, videos are the way to go.

Whether it’s IGTV, stories, live videos or video posts, this type of material is what makes the audience stop scrolling and curious to know what you wanted to share.

It’s intriguing, dynamic, and fast-changing which is why it makes your followers stop for a second. Long enough for you to hook them into watching the whole thing.

The numbers support this theory.

Instagram has more than one billion active users worldwide, and a recent study showed that videos are the best way to engage them:

Users love them and if you’re not putting the focus on videos, you’re missing out.
So, what’s the right strategy to employ videos in your regular Instagram posting schedule?

Here’s a couple of things you need to know:

  • the first few seconds of the video need to be attention-grabbing to make the people stop
  • keep your Instagram videos under 30 seconds to get to those who are multitasking (Forbes)
  • add video captions for those watching with sound off
  • post videos on a regular basis: create a schedule to ensure a consistency
  • keep your videos easy to understand
  • focus on a single message

Videos are Instagram user’s favorite form of content. If you use this feature properly, you can significantly boost the declining engagement rate and revive your relationship with your followers.

Broadcast live


Instagram stories were launched in August 2016 and instantly became a major success.

They continued to perform great and today there are more than 500 million Instagram accounts who use them daily.

Live videos are a part of the Story feature and can work wonders for your declined engagement and other problems you may be facing.

Let’s take a look at the most notable advantages of going live on Instagram:

  • Instagram Live gets you to the first position in user’s Stories news feed
  • 80% of Instagram users would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog
  • you can interact with the audience live, by responding to their comments in real-time
  • the audience can be a part of the live video, using their comments to ask questions or express opinions
  • they are only available for 24h which creates a sense of urgency and makes your followers engage

Consequently, broadcasting live has a great potential to help you move your engagement rates up and stop the decline.

You could create a live broadcast of:

  • a Q&A session
  • behind-the-scenes of your office, team meeting, production process, etc.
  • announcing some big news
  • unwrapping your latest products
  • an interview with someone they care for

Live videos are like a secret window which gives the followers a glimpse into what you’re doing. It’s almost as making your followers a part of your brand’s family and making them actively involved in whatever it is that you’re doing.

Make sure you announce your live broadcasts properly. Tell your followers:

  • when the live stream is going to start
  • what’s it about
  • will there be something surprising or shocking revealed

Invite them to set their reminders and join you in your live session.

Try making live videos a regular part of your Instagram strategy and expect an increase in your engagement.

It’s stories time


Over 500 million people are watching Instagram stories every day!

The number speaks for itself and is a clear indicator that you need to focus on your daily Stories strategy.

Stories last for 24 hours but can be highlighted and pinned to your profile for as long as you want.

They’re great for engaging your audience and making sure they stay focused on your brand for as long as possible.

Here’s what you can do using Instagram stories:

  • Tell a story
    By posting multiple connected stories, you’re creating a sense of telling a story. It needs to have a beginning, middle and end to make the viewers stay with you the whole time.
  • CTA
    Call to action is a great way to get your users to engage more. You can add a Swipe Up or Tap Here feature to your stories and get the users to visit your website or e-commerce. Statistics say that 15%–25% of people swipe up on a link in branded Stories.
  • Repost UGC
    Use user-generated content to include your followers into your Stories, and repost their videos or images that include your brand. This will make them feel special, and encourage other users to produce content related to your brand, in the hope of being reposted themselves.
  • Polls & Questions
    Give your followers a chance to speak their mind and express their opinion by asking a question or posting a poll sticker. This will get them engaged and interested to see the results. Make sure you further show you’ve taken their opinion seriously and act as they’ve requested.
  • Create theme days
    Use stories to focus your audience’s attention to a special part of your brand’s story. Choose a theme and post images, videos, and ask questions related to it during the entire day.

Make sure you post stories every day and keep your audience engaged non-stop. You can even schedule them in advance but make sure you don’t skip a day.

This way, they’ll always have something interesting to read, learn, or see and this will keep them coming back for more.

Start your IGTV channel

Regular video posts last up to one minute and are used to deliver messages quickly. They usually deal with no more than one major theme, announcement, advice, comment, or message at a time.

For a more complex video strategy, you can create your IGTV (Instagram TV) channel and post videos up to one hour in length.

Unlike YouTube, IGTV has no advertisements (yet) and this may be an advantage for you to use.

These videos allow you to create more complex, in-depth materials and give your viewers a chance to bond with you and your brand on a whole new level.

You could create and post IGTV videos about things which require a little more than one minute of viewers’ attention. You can do IGTV videos of:

  • customer success stories
    Share how happy a customer was with your service or product. Create a story around it and share it using IGTV.
  • how-to-videos
    Show your followers how something is done and teach them a valuable lesson using the long video format.
  • tutorials
    Give them step-by-step guides and teach them something they might be interested in.
  • behind the scenes
    Give them a chance to get to know the face behind the brand, the team working on new projects or the office you sit in every day.
  • latest products information
    Create longer videos revealing everything they need to know about the features, characteristics, and peculiarities of your latest product.
  • unboxing & unwrapping
    Share the joy of unboxing a product your followers are interested in.

Everything you post on IGTV can be of some use and interesting to a certain group of people. To ensure maximum engagement and success, you should:

  • choose the right hashtags
  • test different video formats
  • test different types of content

Follow the numbers, gather the data, and make sure you find a pattern in what our audience likes and what they don’t like.

Then, continue creating long-format IGTV videos and your engagement will increase.

Hold contests

Your followers deserve a reward for being loyal and that’s why you should organize a contest or a giveaway from time to time.

In addition, contests are great for increasing engagement and raising brand awareness.

That means that both you and your followers benefit from it.

Statistics show that Instagram accounts that hold contests can achieve 70% faster follower growth compared to those that don’t hold contests.

This is only possible if you set clear rules, aimed at getting you the likes, comments, or other desirable actions from your followers.

The most basic rules are the most successful ones. In order for someone to participate, they need to:

  • follow you on Instagram
  • like/comment the contest post
  • tag one or more friends in the comments

Once people start fulfilling these conditions, what they’re actually doing is a free advertisement for you. You get more likes and comments and your engagement jumps through the roof.

In addition, people will keep following your page actively to stay informed about the end of the competition and the winner.

You should, however, make sure the whole thing is transparent, to ensure nobody accuses you of cheating:

  • choose reliable programs for converting comments into a list of contestants
  • use a reliable program for selecting a random number
  • do a live broadcast of the winner announcement
  • make a post-contest story with the winner

This way, your followers will be certain the whole thing wasn’t just a trick and they’ll be willing to participate in your future contests.

Connecting with your followers

People who are loyal to you and your brand probably follow everything you do on this social media platform. In addition, there are those who follow you but aren’t as active and alert as those mentioned before.

To ensure both types of your Instagram followers further increase their engagement and build even stronger bonds with you, you need to do something about the way you motivate them to interact with you.

Showing that you care, and acknowledging your followers is the golden rule of increasing engagement and continuing to have great results with every Instagram post.

Here’s what to do:

  • comment on their posts, especially if they’re relevant to your brand
  • like posts and watch their stories
  • send them DMs
  • repost their images, stories, or videos
  • respond to comments they leave you

Make sure everything you write and post is proofread and professionally written. Use a reliable writing service in case you need help.

By making individual followers feel special and appreciated, you’ll create deeper bonds and inspire them to interact back more actively. Also this works well with Instagram algorithm. The more you engage with someone the more likely you’re going to see content from them.

Final Thoughts

Engagement decline on Instagram can definitely be frustrating, but it’s not something you can’t fix. All you have to do is keep track of the numbers and react as soon as you see a decline.

Use the tactics above to refresh your Instagram strategy and stop your engagement from declining. Test out different combinations of the suggested tactics or use them all together.

In fact, you shouldn’t wait until you spot a decline. These tactics are great regardless of your current engagement status and can’t do you any harm.

Turn your Instagram around and give your followers a reason to check your account every day.

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Pat Fredshaw

Pat Fredshaw is a passionate freelance writer and content editor with a background in copywriting and sales. She is interested in creating engaging content that educates and entertains an audience.