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Losing hope on Instagram as a small creator? Learn how to revive a dead Instagram account fast in 10 easy steps.
There’s a lot of noise in the Instagram space these days, so it’s not hard to see why so many of us are frustrated with the video-first future of social media: specifically Instagram. This year has been super uncertain for the platform. So many awful and great features have hit and left the app.
In this post, you’ll learn about how to revive your dead Instagram account.
Saving a dead Instagram account isn’t impossible
If you’re looking to grow your dead Instagram account quickly, you should follow these 10 simple steps that work perfectly when you want to save a dying Instagram account.
How to Save your dead Instagram account
As I mentioned earlier, you won’t find any fast algorithm “hacks” or gimmicks in this blog post. I only share things that 100% work for me. In this case, I know that doing this exact method can save almost any dead Instagram account.
I say almost because I’m sure there’s an exception out there somewhere.
But know that I’ve done this on my account as well as on my clients’ accounts. It’s always worked, and there are no fancy or exhaustive tricks to this process. So it’s pretty universal and reliable — if you actually take the time to put in the effort and work.
But let’s begin with the basics…
Step 0: Check your analytics
Bottom line: You need a foundation — an understanding of where you’re account is currently at with zero activity. Pay attention to whether your stats are all in the red. Compare your insights at different stages: 30, 60, or even 90 days out.
Checking your analytics might seem like a depressing place to begin this process, but it’s ultimately where you’ll be able to grasp the baseline for later comparison as well as have the opportunity to let go of vanity metrics.
Step 1: Commit to showing up on Instagram every day
This process is my exact workflow anytime I need to save a dying Instagram account. The most important piece in your success is a simple commitment of your time every single day for at least 10 consecutive days — preferably two weeks.
I’m not saying you need to be hunched over your phone on Instagram for 20 hours a day. This whole process takes me about 20 minutes of my day. The reason why your commitment is the most important piece in this thing is that this method of saving a dead Instagram account seriously depends on at least the minimal effort possible.
This method works by simply priming your account for better organic engagement once the algorithm (and your followers) realize you’re an active user on the platform again.
Step 2: Do not post any new content yet (yes, really)
Engagement in this method is the heart and soul of all the success you’ll have. I find that a lot of people feel entitled to other people’s time and energy. All the while they refuse to grace fellow creators on their own.
I’m not really blaming them. The culture of Instagram growth is largely steered by the “big guys” or influencers who preach outdated growth tactics that aren’t working for brand new, dead, or tiny accounts these days.
Step 3: Find your clients or customers
There’s a reason that engaging others in your target client or customer-specific hashtags works for small creators. No gimmicks, either! It works simply because by doing so, you tell the algorithm that you value other creators.
Hands down the fastest way to revive your dead or dying account is to make the first move. Hashtags are the perfect way to engage with where your ideal clients or customers hang out regularly. They help contain segments of your larger niche or community — giving you a quick and convenient way to say hello and connect.
I’ve personally experimented with hashtags for a while to see if they still matter post-Reels release. They do — just not in the way that we all knew and loved.
I still make it a habit to explore the app using hashtags. Maybe it’s cause I’m an elder millennial. Maybe old habits really just die hard. Either way, hashtags are, in my opinion, the best way to network within your niche or industry.
When you’ve ghosted your Instagram account for a while, I’ve found I’ve forgotten the majority of people I’ve previously followed. So, where should you get started?
First of all, don’t target YOUR content marketing hashtags. This exercise specifically needs you to visit hashtags your ideal clients or customers use. But don’t pick the biggest hashtags. You should target any meduim-volume hashtags to make sure you’re only going to engage with the right, IDEAL clients and customers.
A medium-volume hashtags is anything that has at least 35k posts and a maximum of 400k posts. My personal sweet spot falls between 50k and 250k posts, though.
Let’s take a few hashtags I regularly stalk:
- #introvertentrepreneur (24,073 posts)
- #femaleentrepreneurship (243,257 posts)
- #onlinebusinessowner (269,047 posts)
- #soulpreneur (654,617 posts)
- #solopreneur (2,025,665 posts)
From that list, I could narrow down to just focusing on the top 3. Both the solopreneur and soulpreneur aren’t small enough to target a decent sample or depiction of my ideal clients. In my case, I’d still target the Introvert Entrepreneur hashtags because THEY are exact my ideal clients.
Step 4: Engage, engage, engage every day (with others)
Meaningful engagement typically attracts meaningful engagement in return. Notice I said “typically” because not everyone will reciprocate. We’re not doing this daily process for the clout or the likes.
Your primary objective is to let Instagram know that your account is active. You are simply priming your dead instagram account for when you return to posting new content.
I’ve pasted in my exact, repeatable re-engagement workflow below to help give you an idea of what I mean by “engage every day”:
- Find 1-3 ideal client-relevant hashtags
- Scroll down the page until you find the “Most Recent” posts
- Look at all the posts and find 5-15 you are NOT already following
- Follow their account
- Engage with their account:
- Reply to their story (if available) in any of the following ways:
- Send them a sentence or two responding to their story
- Do NOT send them a pre-written wall of text, canned message, or anything mentioning your offers, services, or products. You’re simply breaking the ice and responding to their content with a PERSONAL message for them.
- This should literally be solely about broadening your network on social media. NOT pitching your business or services.
- Choose and send them a friendly emoji
- Not the warmest way to say hello, but it certainly breaks the ice if you’re like me and are a perpetual introvert
- Respond to a poll in their story and follow up with a genuine question or comment about that poll or story
- Send them a sentence or two responding to their story
- Engage with their content in any combination of the following ways:
- Like 3-5 of the most recent posts (take the time to actually read them, please)
- Comment on 2-4 of their most recent posts with a meaningful response or question
- Share one of their posts to your story with a brief comment (tag them, so they know you shared it)
- Send them a genuine question about their content via direct or private message (if they allow that)
- Reply to their story (if available) in any of the following ways:
Step 5: Retarget comments on your most recent posts
The next step you should do when you need to revive a dead Instagram account is to retarget the most recent comments on either your most recent posts or your most recent top-performing posts if you happen to have a huge backlog of recent content.
When I say “retarget,” I mean that you should either like any comments on your most recent posts AND reply back to them. And yes, I want you to do this even if it’s been months since you last logged in.
Anytime you reply back to someone’s comment (and like it), they’ll get a notification. The strategy behind doing this retargeting is simply to reengage with some of your more recent audience. These users have likely forgotten you’ve existed, so by commenting back to them, you’ll essentially remind them that you still do, in fact, exist!
Keep in mind that the comments that should get priority are your ideal clients!
Step 6: Audit any existing content
Some of you might scratch your head at why this is so far down the list of steps. Honestly, every time I do this process, I just can’t be bothered with the “weeds” so to speak.
I want to see immediate or quick results. When I audit content, it takes me a few hours, and I’d just rather use that time doing that that helps me save a dying Instagram account in the now.
You need to find the best performing posts, and figure out what made those posts “work” so to speak. I’ve already mentioned this, but consider giving the most weight to engagement metrics over vanity metrics.
Step 7: Audit your followers & who you follow
Unengaged followers do nothing to help your dead Instagram account. If you’ve previously taken part in any follow-for-following, now is the time to cull your followers. Also, if your feed doesn’t resonate with you, your business, or your expectations, this is the perfect time to unfollow creators/users who don’t align with you or your business.
Step 8: Plan content your audience cares about
Now that you know where your older content stands, you should be familiar with what type of posts did well with your older audience. Any time you return after ghosting your dead Instagram account for a while, feel free to swipe your older captions and update them if you need to. Use them with a new graphic aligning with the type of content that performed well.
The easiest way to let people know you plan to save a dying Instagram account is to share something to your story! Whether it’s a behind-the-scenes look at what you’re currently up to or a look-back on why you took a break, share something now.
Think of Instagram stories as your personal welcome mat for your followers and profile visitors. They won’t see the welcome mat without the porch light on. Let them know you’re there!
Step 10: Begin posting engaging content again
Now that you’ve taken all the right measures to prime your account for new growth, it’s time to actually post content to your no-longer dead Instagram account.
If you’re looking to save a dying Instagram account, these steps can help you steer it to brighter shores a lot quicker than you might think. Try it out and see for yourself!
This post was all about how to save a dying Instagram account.
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This is great advice on reviving Instagram. I typically stay engaged so I haven’t had to revive my account. However, these tips sound like they also work for when you’ve noticed a drop in engagement.
Fascinating information! I confess I have not spend enough time trying to figure it all out and my results a reflection of this. I think there are tons of useful tips even if your account isn’t dead. Will see how it works with mine, thank you!
Hi!! Great post!!! My Instagram is just a new creation so I’m definitely going to follow these tips!! Thank you!!
These are great tips!! Thanks so much for sharing. I am trying to get more into IG so perfect timing 😉
This is so cool. I lost my account and now I need to revive it again. I will follow these tips and grow my IG. Thank you for sharing!
Super helpful post, thanks! I will be coming back to this one 😊
Great tips. I have slowed my interaction on Instagram lately. I’m not going down in numbers, but not moving up either.
Definitely do not message someone something selling your services- cringe! Love that you don’t sugar coat it – it’s not an overnight success type of thing but takes some patience and energy!
These are awesome tips! Consistency is key but it does get challenging, I love the idea of using comments to draw back attention to your newest posts. Will be keep these tips to apply and grow. Thank you for sharing!
Wow what a great post. I love the way you’ve broken each step down into an easy to follow process. I’ll try this out on one of my accounts. Thanks for sharing.
Oh my goodness, I totally needed to read this as I have neglected my IG for so long! I think Step 8 will be important to help revive my IG as I’ve shifted focus recently.
oof I definitely needed to read this! thank you for sharing these tips, very useful 🙂 x
mia // https://miasdiyprojects.com/
Great Post! I’ve recently come back from a blogging hiatus and this has definitely given me some food for thought!
Rose | Beauty & Lifestyle Blogger
@rosemaryhelenxo | https://rosemaryhelenxo.com
My question is, how do you do any of this without getting shadowbanned? I’ve had it happen to me for posting too frequently during the week, not posting enough, I had to switch my account from a professional account to a personal one because Instagram was actively suppressing my posts unless I paid for their sponsorship services. I once had to edit the description of a post that was doing really well to fix a typo, and ALL engagement stopped immediately. I feel like I can’t win here lol
Hi, Jan! If shadowbanning is in your account history, I’d try to create a more relaxed version of this plan. Perhaps liking less photos in favor of commenting on a select strategic few posts in hashtags your clients/audience use. I think the most important practice you adopt and prioritize is nurturing your account. Showing IG you’re not spam. Rather than posting a ton of content, post it to your stories so you’re active in different, diversified ways. Lmk how it goes!