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10 Culprits: Why is Your Instagram Engagement Dropping?

Are your posts losing engagement? Receiving fewer comments? Less likes? We reveal ten of the main reasons that your engagement is dropping – and how to fix it.
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We keep hearing people asking the same thing: why is my Instagram engagement dropping? Creators have been complaining about this issue for years. Meta changes its algorithm, and users who once had crazy comments and likes are receiving 90% less engagement than just days before. And the cycle repeats itself.

What gives?

Instagram does change the game every few months, so you need to adapt and change with it – or lose engagement. You may also be making critical mistakes that are causing your metrics to tumble because you’re missing small, critical details when you post.

If you want to change course and revive your engagement, we’re going to share 10 reasons for Instagram engagement dropping and how to increase it.

1. Competition is Higher – It’s Exploding

You may have noticed that competition is skyrocketing. Everyone is trying to be an influencer or build their brand on Instagram. Five years ago, there was far less competition than there is today, so fewer eyeballs are seeing your content.

Outpacing the competition requires:

  • Analyzing your niche and finding ways that you can create content that truly stands out
  • Posting consistently to keep more people engaged with your content

One fact to remember is that a lot of the accounts that are eating away at your engagement will not remain consistent for long. If you maintain a posting schedule and do everything you can to stay active, your content will be seen.

We’ll discuss what you should be posting and your schedule in great detail below.

2. Non-Following Content in Your Feed

The chronological feed was the pinnacle of social media. You could log into your account and see all of the accounts you follow and their most recent posts in order of newest first. Feeds were amazing at this time, but you may have noticed a change:

  • Ads and promoted posts are everywhere
  • Non-followers are promoted in your feed

What can you do? Absolutely nothing. Instagram will keep changing your feed and its order, pushing fewer people to see the posts you post. You can still receive great engagement and build a following, but you’ll need to work harder to achieve the same results as you did in the past.

3. You’re Not Posting Reels

Instagram has 1.3 billion daily users and an additional billion monthly active users. Your followers have a billion other people who they could follow, but they chose you in a sea of possibilities.

But people want more than just static images; they want to get to know you on a deeper level.

Reels are one of the leading forms of content for engagement and are heavily promoted by Instagram.

One issue that creators seem to have, aside from being camera shy, is that they don’t know what to post on their reels. We have you covered.

A few of the options for reels that work for any niche and audience are:

  • Vlogs – show your audience what you’re up to
  • Day in the life – show the daily life of your business or personal brand
  • Behind the scenes – give your audience a behind-the-scenes peek at a major event, product reveals, house hunting, or anything intimate to you

One hack that we want to mention because it works so well when posting reels, is to use trending audio. A lot of users will click on the most trending audio clips to find other creators who use them, and your reel will show up.

You can gain some exposure and increase engagement by following these reel-related tips and adding trending audio.

Hey! Don’t know where to begin when making reels? Read through our ultimate guide to making Instagram reels.

4. You Need to Level Up Your CTA Game

CTAs are a timeless method of driving engagement, but many people aren’t using them properly. You’ll find most creators are not deliberately telling their audience what they want them to do, and it is costing them a ton of engagement.

Don’t be afraid to tell your audience:

  • Tap the heart button if you ever felt like I did in this video.
  • Leave a comment below to let me know your thoughts on our new product.
  • Share this with your friends to help them learn my 5 secrets to getting fit.
  • If you loved this reel, drop a heart emoji in the comments to show me some love.

You want to be specific with your CTAs to encourage anyone viewing your content to take action. Trust me, this simple tip really works.

5. You’re Not Using Interactive Stickers

Stickers are interactive – use them. You need to mix up your content and use stickers as a way to encourage people to engage with you. A few options for content that you can begin creating to push engagement metrics higher are:

  • Polls
  • Q&As
  • Quizzes
  • Countdowns
  • Donations
  • Music
  • Hashtags
  • Locations

You don’t need to use stickers for every Story, but you do want to add them into your content mix to keep things fun and exciting.

6. You’re Not Using the AIDA Model

Many Instagram creators are using the AIDA model to boost engagement. If you’re not, this could be why your engagement is down.

AIDA stands for:

  • Attention
  • Interest
  • Desire
  • Action

It’s an acronym used in marketing that refers to the customer journey.

For the purpose of boosting engagement on Instagram, you want to use the AIDA model to:

  • A: Get your audience’s attention
  • I: Make sure your content is interesting to them
  • D: Understand what your audience desires and how you can provide it
  • A: Add a call to action telling your audience what to do next

The call to action is key to boosting engagement because it’s what will drive your audience to like your post or comment on it.

7. You’re Still Posting Content Like It’s 2019

Is your content plan a one-trick pony? If you’re still only posting static images with short captions and a ton of hashtags, this is probably why your engagement has dropped.

Instagram’s algorithm has changed a lot just in the last few years alone. Instagram itself has stated that they are not just a photo-sharing platform. You need to post a variety of content in order to see results.

If you want to increase engagement, focus on creating videos, Reels, and static images. Experiment to see what works for your audience and the algorithm.

8. You’re Not Creating Audience-Centric Content

Are you creating content for your audience, or are you just creating content for the sake of it? If you’re not creating reels, videos, carousels, and static image posts that your followers will love, they won’t engage with it.

Even if you are creating content that focuses on topics that resonate with your audience, you may be making other critical mistakes.

  • Your content is too long
  • You’re not using hooks

If you’re not creating audience-centric content, you’re going to struggle with engagement.

First, know your audience and the kind of content they want to see. Then, focus on how to present that content in a way that grabs their attention (using hooks) and feeds the algorithm what it wants.

9. You Ghosted Your Followers

One obvious reason why your engagement has dipped is because you ghosted your followers. You’ve either taken a long break, or you’re just not posting often enough.

Instagram favors content creators who post regularly. If your account goes cold, the algorithm will be less likely to show your content to your followers and people who may be interested in your account.

Because you’re not posting, no one is engaging with your account, and so the vicious cycle continues.

At this point, you may need CPR to revive your dead Instagram account.

You can be patient and create a plan to start posting again more consistently, or you can start over with a fresh account. Both will take work and patience, but it will be worth it in the end.

10. You’re Too Focused on Engagement

Another reason why your Instagram engagement may be down is because you’re so focused on engagement.

What does that mean?

It means that instead of creating great content that your audience will love, you’re too focused on getting:

  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Shares

It’s easy to get caught up on how your posts are performing when you want to increase your engagement. You want more people to interact with your account, so you start creating clickbaity, viral-like content just to build up those likes and comments. 

But here’s the problem: your content may not resonate with your audience. Depending on your niche and following, they may even be turned off by that kind of content – especially if it’s not really relevant or interesting to them.

So, if you want to boost your engagement, take those blinders off, and start shifting your focus to creating awesome content.


If your engagement on Instagram is dropping, it’s probably because of one of the reasons above. Now more than ever, you have to keep up with algorithm updates and focus on creating content that makes your audience stop scrolling and pay attention.

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