Revive a dead Instagram account

This is originally a podcast episode. Listen to it on different platforms!

Today we’re dealing with the planning part of the process and we’re talking about reviving a dead Instagram account.

Revive a dead Instagram account

So what is a dead Instagram account?

It is an account that is not active. Meaning, it has low engagement, low reach and impressions, despite having followers.

There are a few reasons why an Instagram account might be considered dead.

You stopped posting on Instagram

Number 1 is that you stopped posting on Instagram a while ago. Now you’ve decided to start posting again, but your posts have very low reach, and the engagement is basically non-existent.

You bought followers

Number 2 is that you bought followers. You started an Instagram account, you weren’t able to grow and then you saw an ad telling you to buy followers. 10k sounded like a great number, so you went for it. However, you still have the same 25 real followers (maybe even some of those 25 are bots), and 10k fake ones. Nothing changed. Your posts still have 2 likes, people see that and you’re starting to realize you may have made a big mistake.

Your content just isn’t good enough

Number 3 is that your content just isn’t good enough. Okay, this one may sound a bit harsh, but hear me out. Instagram keeps updating the algorithm. Once you post something on Instagram, based on the interactions you get from the first chunk of the followers it’s shown to, it will push your content to more of your followers, and eventually your non-followers. If your content isn’t getting better, you’re not working on your design skills or you are not providing any sort of value in your content, people will eventually stop engaging with it. Once they stop engaging, Instagram stops pushing out your content, and you end up with a dead account.

You’ve changed your niche or your targeting wasn’t right to begin with

Number 4 is that you’ve changed your niche or your targeting wasn’t right to begin with. Let me explain changing the niche. Let’s say you started on Instagram as a dog grooming business. In the meantime, you decided you want to stop doing that and you want to start making jewellery. You had a significant following as a dog groomer, so you decided to use the same account. A few things would happen in this scenario. One, a chunk of the followers would unfollow you immediately. Two, the remaining followers would be confused and stop engaging with your content.

If your targeting wasn’t right to begin with, that means you probably have a bunch of friends and family as your followers, who will probably never buy anything from you, but they want to support you. Also, that means that you’re not clear on who you’re talking to. You wouldn’t sell glittery tank tops to 80-year-old men or hearing aids to teenagers. Of course, occasional buyers might come from a different group of people, but you should know who the majority of your buyers are going to be. So, if you weren’t clear on your target audience before, your followers might not be fit for what you’re selling. So, consequently, they stop engaging with you, and you end up with a dead account.

You’ve hosted a lot of giveaways

Number 5, which ties back to number 4, is that you’ve hosted a lot of giveaways. When it comes to giveaways, they can be a great tool to get new followers. But there are downsides to hosting giveaways. If you’re giving away physical items (especially physical products that are not a part of your offer) or cash, you will face a lot of people who will follow you just to get the prize. They are not interested in you, or what you’re selling. They just want the free thing. So, once the giveaway is over, they either unfollow you, or (worse) they stay and never engage with you again. If you’re giving away one of your services, you might see who is actually interested in them. The same thing can happen, but more of your potential clients will take part in it. While some may still unfollow you later, you know that these people actually want what you have to offer. I might have to do a whole episode on giveaways.

You used engagement pods

Number 6 is that you used engagement pods. What are engagement pods? Basically, they are groups of creators, on or off Instagram, who engage with each other’s content. Sounds cool, doesn’t it? Well, not really. All the engagement you get this way is fake. It’s not organic. Also, as soon as you stop engaging with others, your engagement drops, too. I will definitely do an episode on engagement pods. This is quite a complex topic, and I want to talk about it a lot more.

Okay, so I’ve covered 6 reasons why you may have a dead Instagram account. Now, is your account salvageable?

Save and revive a dead Instagram account

It depends on the reason why it’s dead, but good news! You can save and revive your account in most cases. However, some of them might be easier than others.

Before I tell you what account is worth saving, I want you to ask yourself the following question: Is this account worth saving? Is your audience who you want it to be? Are the right people following you? If this account was revived, would it be beneficial for you and your business? If the answer to these questions is “yes”, then you can start thinking about reviving your account.

However, if you have a lot of bought followers or you’ve changed your niche completely and your current followers would probably not buy from you, you should think about starting a new Instagram account. Starting from scratch is the best option for you right now.

How to revive your dead Instagram account?

10 steps to revive a dead Instagram account

1. Log into your account.

Tap on your profile, tap the menu in the upper right hand corner. Go into your settings and privacy. Scroll down to more info and support. Tap Help, and account status. You should have green ticks next to both recommendations guidelines and the community guidelines. That means your content is eligible to be recommended on Explore, reels and on non-followers’ feeds, and that you haven’t violated any community guidelines. If one or both of these don’t have a green tick, check what the problem is and if you can solve it. If not, it may be time to start a new account after all.

2. Clean up your account.

Archive all the posts that no longer align with your message. Remove bot followers (only if you know they are bot followers, don’t remove just anyone). However, if you’re working with an account where you bought followers, you will need to remove all of them. That’s not easy when you have thousands of accounts to remove, so definitely consider starting a new account. Update your bio, name and highlights. Update your profile photo. I did an episode about doing your own Instagram profile audit, so read that post to learn more about how to do it.

3. Create a content strategy.

I will do an episode about this as well, but make sure you post educational, motivational, entertaining and interactive content, along with the promotional content.

4. Create a plan (tied to your content strategy) and stick to it!

If you decide to post every day, and then you stop 2 weeks in, you haven’t really done much. Think about what you can sustain. If that’s 2 posts a week, that’s okay. Better to be consistent and increase the number as you go, than going all in and burning out a few weeks later. Make a list of all the content ideas you can think of, and divide them into your content pillars. You can download my free Asana content ideas bank to help you.

5. Engage!

I talked a lot about engagement in the last week’s episode. When you want to revive a dead Instagram account, engaging with others is crucial! Follow big niche accounts and start commenting on their posts. Show up every day! Even on the days when you’re not posting on your feed. I think my 10-day engagement challenge would be very interesting to you, so if you sign up to my newsletter to get the Asana content ideas bank, you will automatically be signed up for the engagement challenge, as well! I truly believe it will help you, because I share a bunch of tips and insights during the challenge.

6. Keep track of your analytics.

Make sure to check your analytics (Instagram insights) every so often to see what content performed well, and what content didn’t. Create more or even repurpose/repost the content that did perform well, and let go of things that didn’t.

7. Use hashtags.

I did talk about hashtags already, so make sure you read that post. But hashtags are an awesome way for smaller accounts to reach non-followers! Just make sure you use relevant ones and ones that aren’t too big.

8. Create reels.

Reels still have the potential of going viral when you’re a smaller account. Make sure they grab attention, so use a good hook and a nice video.

9. Post to your stories.

Post 3-5 stories every day, and use interactive stickers like polls, quizzes and questions.

10. Make sure there is purpose behind every post on your profile.

Be clear on the messaging and know who you are talking to. Know your audience’s struggles and pains, and create content that will solve their problems.

Once you have all of that in place, you are ready to revive your dead Instagram account. Now, let me be clear. This is not going to work over night. And it’s not going to be easy. It is going to take a lot of work. But I promise you that it will be worth it in the end.

So go and start creating!

If you need help determining whether your account is worth reviving, feel free to send me a message on Instagram. I will happily take a look for you.

That’s it for today’s episode! I hope you enjoyed it and that I’ve encouraged you not to quit Instagram. I am going to be in London next week, for the Podcast Show, so if anyone is there too, I would love to meet you! Have a wonderful weekend, and come back for another episode next week, when I will talk about repurposing content on Instagram! Bye bye!