My Social Media Engagement Is Down, What Am I Doing Wrong?

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I'm a social media strategist who’s passionate about making your life easier. 

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Caught yourself asking: “Why’s my Instagram engagement down?” Trust me – you’re not alone, and you’re right to be a little concerned.

Instagram engagement is one of the most important tools for an entrepreneur growing an online business. The results you’ll get from a solid social media engagement strategy will absolutely amaze you: You’ll build an organic audience, create trust with your community, and generate more leads for your business.

But I’ve seen a lot of small business owners expressing concern about low engagement rates on social media lately. And I’m here to tell you you’re totally not losing it! Instagram engagement has been on a downtrend lately. 

But there’s good news: Boosting your Instagram engagement doesn’t have to feel like rocket science. Before diving into some tips for increasing your engagement rate, let’s talk about what everyone wants to know: “Why is my Instagram engagement so low anyway?”

Help! Why Is My Instagram Engagement So Low?

to ask yourself, especially if your Instagram engagement is down these days:

Here are a few social media engagement questions to ask yourself, especially if your Instagram engagement is down these days:

  • Are you still talking to your target audience? Check insights and most recent followers to determine if you’re still attracting the right audience.
  • Are your graphics and copy clear? Start with the basics. Can people read your graphics, and do they understand what you’re saying? Yes? Then ask yourself some more strategic questions: Are you providing value? Is your content relevant?
  • Does your page have personality? Nobody likes a perfectly curated feed anymore – it’s all about showing up authentically. So, are you showing your face or sharing behind-the-scenes content that features your service or product?
  • What hashtags are you using? Too many? Too few? Too big? Too small? Are you interacting with new accounts you discover through your hashtags?
  • Are you taking advantage of new features? Do you try new features when they come out like collaborations with others in your industry for a boost and cross-promotion? (Hint: You should be!)

Let’s be honest: There’s conflicting information floating around about what is a good engagement rate and what’s not. The number varies from account to account, but a general rule of thumb is to aim for somewhere between 1% and 3%. No matter what number you’re seeing right now, know that it’s okay. All hope isn’t lost, and you can improve your Instagram engagement rate. Here are five tips to help:

1. Is Your Instagram Engagement Down? Revisit Your Target Audience

I’m a firm believer in quality over quantity. Always have been, always will be. Sure, gaining new followers is exciting and is definitely one growth metric, but it’s important that a good portion of your followers are your target audience. Who’s your dream client? How can your business help them? Can you spot them among your followers?

It’s a good idea to do regular follower sweeps, so go through your followers and remove accounts that are least likely to engage with your content. If you notice a bunch of your followers are bots or inactive accounts, you probably won’t see good engagement results. Get rid of them!

2. Post Quality, Interactive Content

When we drill down into social media engagement, interactive posts usually perform way better than any other kind of post. What exactly do I mean by interactive posts? These are posts that encourage your audience to do something. Whether swiping on a carousel post, leaving a comment, or sharing on Stories, interactive posts get more engagement because they’re more interesting. Simple as that! If you want to up your engagement, interactive posts are your new best friend. And don’t forget quality control! Make sure your graphics aren’t blurry or filled with tiny, hard-to-read text – people will scroll on by and you won’t get the level of engagement you want.

3. Be Authentic

Have you ever met someone and immediately knew they weren’t genuine? Yep, it is possible for your audience to feel the same way through a screen! The truth is it’s possible to provide value while injecting your true personality into your posts. In fact, it’s something you should ALWAYS be doing with your social media content. Pour your “secret sauce” all over your content, and remember to be human, NOT perfect. Be transparent, relatable, and remind your audience that there’s a real person behind your brand. Showing up authentically on social media is a cornerstone of a successful social media engagement strategy. 

4. Use Hashtags

Don’t let hashtags scare you! Hashtags are meant to help you get discovered – never forget that. And because people can search for hashtags on Instagram, you’ll want to use ones that are relevant to your niche or industry. Use a mix of hashtags that are mid-size, local, industry-based, niche-based, and community-based. When you’re working on improving your social media engagement, posts with relevant hashtags will always increase your reach because they let your target audience find you more easily, which, in turn, boosts your engagement. Win-win!

5. Take Advantage of Live Content

Instagram is constantly thinking of ways to help business owners and creators be more collaborative, and Instagram Lives are just one of those tools. If your Instagram engagement is down, try going live with another person in your industry – it’s an excellent way to engage with your audience in real-time. And bonus: You get introduced to the other person’s audience, too! Using Instagram Lives in your social media engagement strategy works wonders, I promise. (Need more proof? Hootsuite says that “82% of audiences would rather watch a livestream than see a social media post.”)

With Instagram engagement down for many business owners, it’s easy to get discouraged. Give yourself some grace and know it’s normal for your engagement rate to fluctuate! Just having a solid social media engagement strategy and applying these five tips consistently can help improve your account’s engagement rate.If you feel like you’ve tried everything, but you’re overwhelmed and left wondering “Why’s my Instagram engagement down?!” let’s connect. Book a 1:1 Strategy Session and I’ll give you clear, actionable steps customized for your account. Let’s work together and watch your engagement rate take off!

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Hi, I'm Ines,
Your Social Media Wizard + Biz Bestie

If there’s one thing that lights me up inside (besides my furry sidekick, Basil), it’s helping my clients win on social media. Whatever a “win” means to you – getting more engagement, having a Reel go viral, increasing your sales – I’m here to help. And in case you missed the memo, we’re gonna have lots of fun along the way!

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