10 Reasons Why You Might Be Struggling to Find Success on Instagram

Ready to find success on Instagram? Here are 10 crucial things to avoid.

Kate Starr
7 minutes read

Growing your audience on Instagram can be frustrating. It takes the right strategy, a clear set of content pillars and a consistent content calendar to create content that has the power to stop the scroll.

In this article, we’ll go through the ten typical reasons why you might be struggling to find success on Instagram – and what to do instead.

So let’s get right into it!



10 Reasons Why You Might Be Struggling to Find Success on Instagram

1. You Don’t Have a Clear Strategy or Goal

You need to be able to explain why your brand is showing up on Instagram in the first place. Are you looking to generate leads? Build a community? Expand brand awareness?

Setting Instagram goals and building a social media strategy isn’t just for show. These objectives will influence everything from your content strategy to the amount of time you spend on the app.

What to do instead

Once you’ve defined your goal and know exactly what you want to achieve on Instagram, you’ll need to map out a strategy to reach that goal. Maybe your audience expects you to post daily? 

Or share insights each morning via Instagram Stories? Research your audience and their expectations to develop a successful Instagram strategy.

2. You’re Not Posting Enough or Staying Consistent

In general, posting frequently leads to more followers and a higher engagement rate. It certainly takes more work, but it is worthwhile to batch-create content and schedule your posts to ensure consistency.

Why? Well, posting on a regular basis helps to foster an engaged community on Instagram. Your followers grow to anticipate your posts, helping to boost the reactions and reach you receive on each piece of content. 

Plus, you’ll be rewarded by the Instagram gods too (as posting consistently helps your content to rank well in the algorithm). 

What to do instead

Make a publishing schedule and stick to it. Make sure to plan what you’ll post when you post it and how your Instagram feed will appear by dedicating time to creating a content calendar.

Also, ensure that your content has a consistent visual theme and that you stick to relevant themes and topics. By using a visual Instagram feed planner, you can curate your aesthetic with ease and ensure every post you share looks and feels cohesive to your brand. 

3. You’re Not Posting Relevant Content

If you’re using Instagram for business, posting content that has nothing to do with your business isn’t a smart move.

While behind-the-scenes content is a great way to build trust, you need to ensure you’re also prioritizing content that adds value to your audience or solves their problems. 

What to do instead

Make sure you understand the distinction between personal and business accounts. If you have a separate account for your company, keep your posts, likes, and comments on that account. 

4. You’re Not Using the Best Hashtags 

You can’t expect users to locate your top-notch content if you don’t use tools to boost the discoverability of your posts. 

Hashtags are one of the most powerful ways to boost the reach of your content, giving Instagram ways to categorize your content. By researching and using popular hashtags related to your brand, niche and content, you can give your posts the best chance of success. 

What to do instead

Use hashtags and geo-location tags in your Instagram posts, reels, and Stories to increase their discoverability.

5. You’re Using Low-quality Images

Instagram is a visual platform, so using high-quality assets is a must. When uploading content to the platform, make sure to use high-resolution images that are bright, clear and focus on a single subject. 

If your image is overexposed, blurry or pixelated, switch it out for a different post. 

What to do instead

Invest in creating high-quality social media content. It may seem like a lot of work and resources, but trust us, it will be worth it. High-quality content can help you stand out and possibly stop the scroll, while a low-quality image or a video can easily get lost in the noise. 

6. You’re Not Doing Customer Outreach

Social media is a two-way street. If you expect to receive followers, likes, and comments, you should expect to reciprocate. Reaching out is essential for any business on any social media platform.

What to do instead

On Instagram, you may reach out by searching for hashtags, liking and commenting on photos, and following accounts that follow you. Find your competition and customers using hashtags related to your business. If you’re only targeting a local audience, try searching within city tags, neighborhoods, and community groups.

7. You’re Not Engaging with Your Audience

If you don’t reply to comments and messages, your followers will simply stop bothering to engage with you – after all, it’s called ‘social’ media.

While Instagram’s primary purpose is to showcase your visual story, it is still a social network. If you devote all of your time and energy to publishing, you won’t be able to keep your audience from unfollowing you.

What to do instead

Simply start responding to people who engage with your content. By connecting with your followers, you’re telling yourself and Instagram’s algorithm that you’re active and open to conversation. 

Ask open-ended questions and offer up information that keeps the conversation going!

8. You’re Not Utilizing Reels and Stories

Photos are great, but if you don’t leverage Instagram’s other features, you’re leaving a lot on the table.

Extending your content to include various content types will make your profile more appealing and increase brand visibility in new ways. For example, Instagram is pushing reels at the moment, and Stories are a great way to engage your audience.

What to do instead

Leverage various types of content – definitely incorporate Instagram reels and Stories into your content marketing plan.

Experiment with GIFs, Reels and Stories. Different formats might help you grab more attention and make your material more “thumb-stopping.”

9. You’re Not Being Yourself

Being genuine and honest is essential on any social media site, but it is especially crucial on Instagram.

People want to see real people on Instagram, which is why influencers and the Kardashians are quite popular on the network. They open up and let us feel like insiders of their lives.

What to do instead

Maintain your authenticity. Analyze your posts and the voice of your captions. Avoid over-editing your images.

Also, make sure your captions always reflect your voice. They should not be overly boring or robotic or seem like a sales pitch. Always try to be authentic, and you will increase the likelihood that your followers will trust you.

One of the easiest ways to achieve this is to publish behind-the-scenes Stories or even spontaneous content.

10. You’re Being Too Salesy

Ad blockers exist because consumers tend to shut out marketing material. Why? Well, salesly posts don’t tend to add value or build trust with your audience. 

What to do instead

There’s nothing wrong with using Instagram to sell or promote products and services – after all, that’s why advertisers are on the app. However, it would help if you were subtle.

Make your feed’s content less promotional and more organic. Don’t beg people to buy the items you promote. Instead, include content that will appeal to your viewers.

Ready to Level Up Your Instagram Game?

Now that you know why you’re not succeeding on Instagram, it’s important to implement these tips to level up your Instagram game. Most importantly, make sure to batch-create your content and download the Plann app to schedule your Instagram posts – this will help you remain consistent!

Ready to get started? Go on, redeem your 7-day free trial of Plann Pro. If you don’t like it, you can keep using Plann for free. 


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