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Why Are You Not Getting Likes on Instagram? (6 Reasons)

Wondering why you’re not getting likes on Instagram? Find out the common culprits of lost engagement and how to fix it.
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Why Am I Not Getting Likes on Instagram
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Instagram likes are addicting. Posting feels so much better when people acknowledge them with a “like.” But some creators are finding that no matter what they post, it seems like they’re no longer receiving the engagement that they once did.

If you’re suddenly getting less likes on Instagram, you’ll need to:

  • Analyze your posts
  • Start optimizing posts
  • Check your posting activity

Any of our readers who are not receiving likes on Instagram even though they’re posting good quality content will want to go through our guidelines below and take immediate corrective action.

Here are some of the top reasons why likes decline on Instagram and how to fix them.

1. Your Content Isn’t Appealing to Your Audience

Monthly, 2 billion people log into Instagram. People love the platform, and there is so much content to consume that it’s easy to tap the follow or unfollow button. Loyalty is hard to find on Insta because there’s always someone posting something new.

And creators must work harder to get likes on Instagram.

You can no longer:

  • Post randomly and hope for a lot of likes
  • Post low-quality content

If you continue to post just low-quality content, it’s a recipe for disaster. Your lack of commitment to your posts can mean the difference between the algorithm promoting your posts in follower feeds or not.

So, what can you do?

The Solution

An easy solution to make your content more appealing to your audience is to:

Once you have the data in front of you, it’s time to dissect your posts to better understand why posts with the most likes were preferred.

Did you:

  • Add a better description?
  • Post an image or video?
  • Use a hook?
  • Focus on a particular topic?

Try to analyze all of the data at your disposal so that you begin learning what makes certain posts more likable than others.

Also, you’ll want to do a few other things to get more likes, which we’ll cover in greater detail below.

With that said, if your post warrants it, be sure to edit the post using one of the top tools that we recommend. If you’re not sure what works for your audience, but consider viewing your competitors’ posts to find out.

Why?

You can gain insights into the reason why some of their posts get more likes and which topics their followers prefer. Once you’ve made sure that your posts are high-quality and the best that you can create, you need to be honest about your posting dedication.

2. You’re Not Active Enough

Instagram Posting Schedule

How often do you post on Instagram? Your followers have the attention span of a goldfish – maybe slightly longer – and you need to stay at top of mind at all times. If you’re not active enough, your followers will like your posts less often.

We recommend posting:

  • Multiple Stories daily
  • Reels 4 – 7 times a week
  • Photos 2 – 4 times a week
  • Carousels 1 – 2 times a week

Creators are posting a lot, and you need to be posting often, too.

The Solution

We recommend that you create a content schedule that will help you post more often. Consistency is key on Instagram, so you’ll want to start with:

  • Open up a Google Sheets
  • Add columns for “Post Idea,” “Date,” “Time,” “Creative made,” “Posted (checkbox)”

Now, you’ll want to fill out this doc and be sure that you keep posting consistently. If you do not want to post manually, there are rumors that scheduling tools receive fewer likes and engagement.

For example, if you post on LinkedIn using a scheduling post, it’s thought that the algorithm will punish you with fewer views and engagement because it clearly knows that you’re using an API to post.

Try posting all of your content on Instagram manually and see if it leads to more likes.

Adapt your posting schedule to see what works best for your audience or not. Often, just a few posts a day will help a content creator get a boost in likes. But if you’re a business reading this, you’ll want to adjust your posting schedule to be lower.

It’s much harder for businesses to come up with viable posting ideas compared to individual content creators, and your followers may actually get fatigued from you posting too often.

Engage With Your Followers More

Being more active means more than just posting frequency. You also want to engage with your followers who leave comments. For example, if you have a comment, reply back to it and start conversations with the people willing to engage with your posts.

And if you want to take it a step further, click on some of your followers and:

  • Go to their profile
  • Like a few of the most recent posts
  • Leave a comment or two on the post

3. You’re Not Optimizing Your Posts

You’re Not Optimizing Your Posts

Posting isn’t enough. If you want to get on the good side of the algorithm, you need to optimize your content.

Poorly optimized Instagram posts are a big part of the reason why many people struggle to get likes or start losing likes.

And remember – Instagram’s algorithm is constantly changing. What works today may not work tomorrow.

The Solution

Start optimizing your posts today and keep up with algorithmic changes so that your new content is always sending the right signals to Instagram.

How can you optimize your posts?

  • Add relevant hashtags. Choose tags that are related to your niche and searched by people on Instagram. Not sure where to start? Try out our free Instagram hashtag generator.
  • Add keywords to your captions. For example, if you’re posting your fitness routine, add the words “fitness routine” to your caption. The words and phrases you add to your captions will help Instagram understand what your content is all about.
  • Add location tags if relevant. Locations can help other users find your content more easily.

4. Your Captions Aren’t Engaging

You know the importance of optimizing your captions, but are you making them engaging? Are you hooking people in and keeping them on your posts? Are you giving them a reason to like your posts? 

If you’re doing nothing more than adding hashtags to your caption, then this may be part of the reason why you’re not getting likes on Instagram.

The Solution

Tell a story. With every post that you publish on Instagram, write a story to go along with it. We’re not talking about writing a novel. Just tell people your mindset or what was going on when you created this post.

Your followers and other users will be more inclined to like your posts if they feel an emotional connection to your story or can relate to what you’re going through.

Your story doesn’t have to be lengthy. Just a few lines will more than suffice for some posts. 

5. You’re Shadowbanned

If you’re not getting likes on Instagram, it could be because you’re shadowbanned. A shadowban is when Instagram limits your content reach by restricting its visibility.

In other words, the platform has decided not to show your content to people outside of your followers.

Instagram denies that they shadowban people, but there’s enough anecdotal evidence that says otherwise.

The Solution

Getting “unshadowbanned” can be tricky, especially if you don’t know what triggered it in the first place.

But you can try a few things to get your account back in the algorithm’s favor:

  • Stop using unapproved third-party apps
  • Remove any content that violates Instagram’s community guidelines
  • Get rid of banned hashtags from your posts

If all else fails, you may need to start a brand new account or wipe out all of the content you posted to start fresh.

6. The Algorithm Changed

Instagram’s algorithm is constantly changing, and if you’re not keeping up with these changes, your engagement may drop. Why? Because the platform won’t be showing your content to as many people.

One simple change to the algorithm can quickly send your likes, comments and shares tumbling.

The Solution

Stay on top of algorithm changes. Blogs and news outlets that focus on social media marketing will likely talk about algorithmic changes, so check in with them regularly.

Also, pay attention to your analytics and insights data. Are your views and likes starting to dip? If you can pinpoint when and where things started to go wrong, you can make changes as quickly as possible and reverse course right away.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Increase My Likes on Instagram?

The best way to increase your likes on Instagram is to create better content. Engaging and unique content will get more attention and encourage people to tap that heart button under your post.

You can also use our free Instagram Likes tool to add some more likes to your posts.

How Many Times Should You Post on Instagram?

How often you post on Instagram will depend on your niche and audience. But as a general rule of thumb, experts recommend posting three times per week. You can post to your Stories more often. Many users will post new Stories at least once per day.

When is the Best Time to Post on Instagram?

The best time to post on Instagram will depend on where your audience is located. However, there are some overall best times to publish new content.

We recommend the following times:

  • Monday at 9 AM and 10 AM
  • Tuesday at 9 AM and 10 AM
  • Wednesday at 5 AM, 11 AM and 3 PM
  • Thursday at 12 PM and 5 PM
  • Friday at 9 AM, 10 AM, 5 PM and 6 PM
  • Saturday at 8 AM and 12 PM
  • Sunday at 10 AM and 2 PM

Weekends are not ideal for posting on Instagram, but if you must, the times above will help you get the most engagement.

Do Likes on Instagram Matter?

Yes, likes do matter on Instagram. Why? Because they’re a measure of engagement. The more engagement your content receives, the more likely the algorithm is to show your posts to other users.

A high engagement rate is also valuable to brands, so if you want to land lucrative sponsorships, you need to focus on increasing your likes.

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