Is Instagram engagement dying?

Is Instagram engagement dying
Have you noticed a drop in Instagram engagement for your business in 2021? You're not alone, read this article to find out why and how to combat it.

Is Instagram engagement dying?

With over 800 million people on Instagram actively engaging every single day, you might wonder how engagement could possibly be dying.

However, the numbers don’t lie.

Looking at Instagram’s data trends for Q1 to Q2 in 2021, there is a noticeable drop across all industry verticals.

  • Follower growth rate is down over 34%
  • The effectiveness of video as an engagement tool is down almost 6%
  • Overall engagement across the board is 23% lower

In this article, we’ll examine why this downward trend is happening and discuss ways for your business to counteract this trend with smart digital marketing tactics.

Is Instagram engagement finished forever?

How can the app that literally invented influencer marketing be dying? Instagram has been at the forefront of social media advertising ever since its parent company Facebook saw a large decline of active users in 2012.

However, what most marketers haven’t realized is that Instagram has been on a slow decline since 2019.

The engagement loss surge reached its pinnacle in 2021, and now people are starting to notice. 

Will there be a “new Instagram?” This report released by Dash Hudson urges marketers to follow consumers to TikTok to meet their target audience.

While we don’t think that Instagram is dead, we do know that TikTok engagement is on the rise. As marketers, we must be ready to adapt and go where the crowd goes. 

Even renowned influencers are noticing a drop in engagement, down to just 2.4% in June. If you’ve never used influencer marketing for your business, you might be interested in this article – Does my business need influencers?

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Why is Instagram engagement dying?

If you go out and ask people what they think of Instagram as a social media platform you’ll get a very different answer today compared to 5 years ago.

Many users find the platform oversaturated with ads and there is a broad dislike regarding the new algorithm.

It’s difficult to put the decline down to one specific thing, but some factors may include:

  • The rise of short-form video as a means of advertising
  • An over-saturation of ads for users
  • The change in the news feed algorithm
  • Increased competition from other social media apps
  • Recent bad publicity for Facebook

How can you increase engagement on Instagram?

Here at Optily, we’ve had a big discussion regarding this topic and come up with 4 effective ways to increase Instagram engagement for your business!

#1 – Be Genuine

As always, being authentic and providing real value to consumers will provide good things for your company. In the midst of reduced automation and the removal of many bots on Instagram, this is also the case. 

Considering your Instagram page as the digital world equivalent of a storefront will keep you focused on what you want to portray to potential customers and how to engage with them.

On this same point, businesses should focus on quality over quantity. As we now know, many Instagram users feel the platform is oversaturated with ads. So instead of clogging up the news feed with your ads, focus on creating quality content. Ads that flow with the natural newsfeed and are subtle often perform much better.

#2 – Engage with your Community

You should try to engage as much as your can with legitimate people who are interested and active in your business community. By doing so, you are providing a greater opportunity for your business’s name to become known in the industry.

As legitimate followers engage with you, word will spread to similar people and your reach will likely see an increase alongside engagement. 

#3 – Work with Influencers

Whether you’re a new business in the marketplace or not, working with influencers is very rewarding.

The influencer provides you with a known and respected voice within a certain community. When the influencer speaks highly of your brand, other like-minded people that follow them will notice. This creates a sense of trust surrounding your business that previously would have taken years to build. 

But remember, influencers can only bring people to your page it’s then your responsibility to keep them there. Choosing relatable and high-quality influencers is a key aspect.

#4 – If you can, pay!

There’s no denying that social media advertising for businesses is a pay-to-play world.

Using a paid social approach will allow you to increase both your reach and engagement for a small cost. There are many advertising options that should suit almost any business, no matter how small or big. Instagram’s algorithm is constantly changing, but it always prioritizes its own paid system. This means that if you are paying-to-play you’ll always stay with the new trends.

In this episode of Optily Radio, Akvile DeFazio: Grow with Facebook and Instagram, we speak about the best practices to optimize your Instagram ads.


Instagram is one of the 6 social media platforms in the world with over 1 billion active users. This number is only expected to grow in 2021 with over 50 million new users coming onto the social app. More businesses than ever before are using the platform to advertise.

However, the issue is it’s an aging population of users. Younger generations are leaning towards different platforms such as TikTok which is causing major disruptions in engagement.

The numbers are decreasing but it’s not time to jump ship just yet. Focuses on using these top tips to increase your Instagram engagement, while keeping an eye on other social platforms that your business may also benefit from advertising on!

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