We all know that Instagram Stories are a great way to engage with your audience and build relationships. But when your Story views are low, it can be frustrating to have your content not get the attention you hoped for.
So what’s going on? Are people just not interested in what you’re putting out there? Or is there something else at play?
To help you solve that puzzle, we’re covering five common issues that cause low Instagram Story views and the solutions for each one. Let’s get down to business.
Issue #1: Posting at the wrong times
If you’re not getting the Instagram Story views you want, it could be because you’re posting at the wrong times. If you’re posting to your Story at a time when your followers aren’t active, then it makes sense that you’re not getting many views.
This is because Instagram prioritizes new content. Sure, your Stories are available for 24 hours but if other accounts post right when your audience is online, those Stories will be placed front and center by the algorithm and push yours to the back of the line.
Solution: Study your analytics and post when your followers are active
If you want your Stories to get more views, try changing your posting schedule so that your Stories go live when your followers are most active. You can find out when that is through the Instagram app, as well as through a social analytics platform like Rival IQ.
To access this information in the Instagram app, go to your profile and tap Insights, then Total followers, and scroll down to Most Active Times.
Rival IQ, on the other hand, takes the same data and presents it in a more digestible format. See how you can observe both the best times and days to post, without having to toggle back and forth between “Hours” and “Days” like in the native Instagram app.
If you’re trying to reach an audience outside of your followers, it can also help to refer to industry analyses of posting times, such as our guide on the Best Times to Post on Social Media.
Check your best time to post on Instagram.
Check your best time to post on Instagram.Try Rival IQ for free
Issue #2: Infrequent or inconsistent activity
Another reason your Instagram Story views might be low is that you’re posting infrequently or inconsistently.
It’s not that your followers don’t care about your content. They just don’t know to seek out your Stories since it only happens once in a blue moon.
Infrequent or inconsistent activity also means fewer opportunities for engagement, which can impact how the algorithm recommends your Stories. If there seems to be little interest and engagement with your Stories, Instagram will eventually bury them in favor of posts that are being viewed more often by users.
Solution: Repurpose content and leverage scheduling tools
Needless to say, the best way to resolve this issue is by posting to your Stories more frequently and consistently. For reference, the average brand posted an Instagram Story 11 times per month in 2022, with the top 25% most active brands publishing a Story 17 times a month, or roughly every other day.
We understand, though, that it’s often easier said than done. Creating content and posting multiple Stories day after day takes a lot of time and effort. Luckily, there are plenty of tactics and tools that make it easier.
Rather than creating new, original content each time, try repurposing content for your Stories. Reposting Feed posts or Reels to your Stories is one great way to boost the exposure of your other content while also staying active on Stories. You can also add user-generated content (UGC) or relevant posts from other creators to your Stories.
If you struggle with finding time to post regularly, there are plenty of platforms and tools out there that allow you to schedule your Stories ahead of time so that you can maintain consistent activity, including Meta Business Suite.
Download the full 2023 Instagram Stories Benchmark ReportGet your PDF here
Issue #3: Not making your Stories discoverable or shareable
As social media has grown more prominent, users have started to use platforms like Instagram as a search engine to discover new content. This means there’s a huge opportunity for you to boost your exposure by having your posts and Stories viewed by people who don’t follow you.
Location tags, for instance, make it possible for curious users to stumble upon your content while searching for specific places. Mentioning other people allows those accounts to share your Story with their followers with a simple tap of a button.
However, if you’re not leveraging these features right (or at all), then this could be the reason why your views remain low.
Solution: Use location tags and mentions
Make it easy for your content to be discovered and shared by tagging relevant locations and accounts in your Stories. To do so, you can either use an Instagram link sticker or tap on the Mention or Location options that pop up when you start typing.
When you use a Location tag, your Story is available to be discovered by anyone who’s looking up that area, whether it’s a local curious about current happenings or an out-of-towner searching for places to visit on their next trip. This makes it a great way to not just increase views but boost awareness of your brand.
Using Mentions can have a similar effect when it comes to awareness. The main difference is that it allows you to get in front of a specific account’s audience rather than a location-based audience.
Mentions work best when you tag an account you have a relationship with — such as an influencer or business partner — since the exposure occurs when they repost your Story. For example, when Candle Media (1.2K followers, at the time of writing) posted a Story mentioning Hello Sunshine, the media brand shared it with its massive following of 1M+. Talk about a boost in reach!
Issue #4: Ghost followers
Did you know that Instagram Story views are best assessed in relation to your follower count?
Measuring views as a percentage of your followers allows you to accurately compare your view rate over time, no matter how big your following may get. Known as your reach rate, this metric also helps you to benchmark your views against your competition or industry peers.
Pro-Tip: Our recent 2023 Instagram Stories Benchmark Report has loads of up-to-date metrics you can use to benchmark your Instagram Story performance against, including reach rate.
With that in mind, if you’re noticing that your Instagram Story views are lower than before, it may be an issue with your followers.
Having too many ghost followers, or Instagram accounts that are inactive, can drag down your view rate. Despite following you, ghost followers don’t view your Stories, like your posts, or engage in any other interactions on the social media site. There’s a good chance they haven’t been on Instagram in ages or could even be a bot.
In addition to bringing down your view rate, having followers that don’t interact with your content may signal to the Instagram algorithm that your Stories are uninteresting and should be presented less prominently on the feed.
Solution: Clean up your followers
Thankfully, Instagram does allow you to remove followers. All you have to do is go to their profile, tap the three-dot menu in the top right corner, select Remove follower, and confirm by tapping Remove. However, try not to remove more than 30 followers per hour as doing it too quickly can be interpreted by Instagram as bot activity.
As for identifying ghost followers, there are two ways to do so.
One is by comparing your follower list to a list of accounts that have recently viewed or engaged with your content and taking note of the followers that haven’t interacted with you in the past six months or more (the threshold is up to you).
Unfortunately, there’s no magic button that gets you information on your active followers. You’ll have to manually compile those lists, either by referencing your list of followers and post likers in the app. While tedious, this approach is the safest. Apps, programs, or tools that claim to bulk delete ghost followers are not recommended as it may cause Instagram to flag your account as engaging in suspicious “bot” activity.
Another method is to go through your followers and identify “ghost-like” accounts, such as those with no profile picture, no posts, no followers, no engagements on their posts, or other signs of suspicious activity. For example, the account pictured above is an apparent impersonation of a real person and can be removed.
Issue #5: Your content isn’t engaging
Finally, having low Instagram Story views could simply be the result of posting content that isn’t engaging.
Maybe you’re posting the same thing over and over again with no variation or change in style. Or perhaps you’re posting content that isn’t relevant or interesting to your target audience. If you have a track record of posting unengaging Stories, it wouldn’t be surprising that fewer and fewer people tune in over time.
Solution: Identify engagement patterns and add interactive elements
If you want to create Instagram Stories that resonate with your audience, you’ll need to understand what it is they enjoy.
Review your analytics and look for patterns. What kind of Stories tend to receive the most views? What kind of Stories do your viewers typically engage with the most? If you notice that certain types of posts always get more views and engagements than others, then consider leaning into that kind of content more. Then, go one step further by researching the competition for insights and inspiration from their top-performing content.
Another way to encourage interest and engagement is by using elements that prompt viewers to interact with your Story. Instagram has plenty of stickers that directly urge viewers to slow down their browsing and chime in with their thoughts. These stickers include Questions, Polls, Quizzes, and more.
As an example, Hero Cosmetics’ use of the Poll sticker shows how you can use interactive elements to set the stage for your main message in a way that involves the viewer and keeps their attention.
Because the Instagram algorithm looks closely at both views and engagements to determine the best order to display Stories, encouraging your followers to interact is the best way to ensure that you’re presented prominently on their Feeds.
Wrapping It Up
In conclusion, low views on your Instagram Stories don’t have to be a permanent problem. It’s completely possible to boost your reach as long as you address the issues we covered, whether that’s by getting rid of ghost followers or experimenting with your content. Now that you know how to improve your Instagram Story views, all that’s left is for you to go out there and make it happen.