Posted on Mar 1, 2021

Why You Shouldn’t Ask Your Followers to Turn On Instagram Post Notifications and What to Do Instead

In 2016, Instagram changed its algorithm to favor curated posts based on a user’s taste, instead of posts in chronological order. Not surprisingly, this caused panic in the social media world, with fear of posts being buried in people’s feeds and going unseen by followers. 

Cue a flood of posts on Instagram with arrows pointing to the upper-right corner that asked users to turn on post notifications for their pages. 

Post notification settings would guarantee followers would see their posts, but was it a sustainable social media marketing tactic? 

While turning on Instagram post notifications has some benefits, it can also create too much noise for users and cause them to ignore your posts. Plus, the algorithm change gave creators the push to create better content that users wanted to see. 

Now that the dust has settled on the algorithm change, it’s worth questioning if you should encourage users to turn on notifications for your posts. 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of asking followers to turn on notifications? Are there better ways to leverage social media and grow your Instagram account?

Read on to learn more about: 

  • What are Instagram post notifications and how to turn them on
  • Why the Instagram algorithm change made people nervous
  • The advantages and disadvantages of Instagram post notifications 
  • Why you shouldn’t ask users to turn on Instagram notifications, and what to do instead 

Instagram Post Notifications 

Most notifications come from when people comment on or like one of your posts on Instagram. But another feature is the ability to turn on notifications for new posts of accounts you follow. You can also get Instagram post notifications for Stories and live videos. 

How to Turn On Post Notifications on Instagram

Instagram post notifications are activated when you turn them on for a specific account that you follow. When you click the three menu dots on a post, one of the options is “Turn On Post Notifications.” 

If you turn on this feature, the Instagram app will notify you when that account shares a post. 

Instagram’s Changing Algorithm Led to Fear 

When Instagram’s algorithm went from chronological order to curated, many Instagram marketers panicked. To avoid what TechCrunch called “death by algorithm,” many profile pages issued pleas to users to turn on notifications. 

Some of the posts were misinformed and thought Instagram was going to change the algorithm overnight. But Instagram assured users it was a gradual rollout. 

With any significant algorithm change, there is justified frustration, and quick problem-solving that might not be the best long-term solution. Change is hard, especially when you’ve created a social media strategy based on a specific way of operating. 

As many predicted, it wasn’t necessary to ask your followers to turn on notifications. Posts didn’t disappear into oblivion, and Instagram actually saw a rise in post viewership since it changed its algorithm. 

Post notification still exists on the platform, so it begs the question if it’s still a good idea to ask your users to turn on these notifications from Instagram.

The Advantages of Post Notifications

There are some advantages to your users getting notified about your posts: 

  • Your posts don’t run the risk of not making it to someone’s feed.
  • Users are quick to see — and hopefully interact with — your content.
  • People stay up to date on your news. 
  • Post notifications are useful for timely posts, including contests and giveaways. 

Why You Shouldn’t Ask Users to Turn On Post Notifications on Instagram

While there are positive aspects to asking your users to turn on post notifications, the disadvantages will cost you more in the long run.

Notifications Cause Too Much Noise 

Instagram post notifications might have the opposite effect of what you want. If a user gets a notification every time you post, they might ignore it after a while. It becomes another “I’ll get to it later” task that stacks up and then gets avoided.

Plus, if a user gets Instagram notifications when someone posts from every account they follow, then yours could easily get lost in the shuffle.

Notifications Take the Joy Out of Instagram

It’s fun to keep up with your favorite Instagram accounts. It’s a delight to scroll and stumble upon an engaging post. With post notifications, the surprise gets taken out of the process. 

You Won’t Stand Out on Instagram

If you post a unique photo, it gives your account value. You stand out on someone’s feed, and beat the competition for a user’s attention. 

When your account notifies someone, you lose the opportunity to be the reason someone stops the endless scrolling. 

Notifications Can Annoy Your Followers

With user notifications on and new posts every day, your account becomes the pushy salesperson that won’t leave them alone. 

Users might even resent your account and turn off Instagram notifications for your posts. They might even ignore your posts in their feed in the future. 

Asking Followers to Turn On Notifications Is Wasted Effort

The time and effort you focus on getting your followers to turn on Instagram post notifications is time you could spend to improve your account. 

Notifications Don’t Give You an Advantage 

If you post subpar content, then a notification isn’t going to make a user want to engage with it. They might know when you share a post, but if they’re not interested, there’s no point in the notification. 

What to Do on Instagram Instead of Asking for Users to Turn On Post Notifications

According to Instagram, the algorithm now works based on six factors:

  • Interest
  • Following
  • Recency
  • Usage
  • Relationship
  • Frequency

Those are the pillars to use when you build a foundational Instagram strategy for your company. Here are some more tips to help you out. 

Think About Your Instagram Audience

Put extra time into researching your audience. Define your target audience and what posts they want to see. Consider factors like their age, occupation, and interests, to help tailor your content to suit their needs. 

Use analytics to track which posts do well and which posts your audience engage with the most. 

Post Consistently 

Stick to a consistent posting schedule, so users expect to see frequent content from you. Sporadic posting can cause your followers to forget about you and favor other accounts that are more active on Instagram. 

Engage With Users

Increase your engagement levels with your audience to boost your Instagram presence. Consider putting a call-to-action in every post. You can also post polls and interactive stickers in your Stories and Reels. 

Post Content People Want to See

It seems like a simple concept, but put effort into posting valuable content to get your profile noticed. Be creative and use Instagram as a tool to help your company.   

Final Thoughts: Don’t Ask Followers to Turn On Instagram Post Notifications

Asking your followers to turn on Instagram post notifications might seem like an excellent request. But the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. You could hurt your relationship with your followers instead of helping it. 

Instead, focus your energy on posting content your users want to see. Post consistently and engage with your audience. That way, you’ll have an active relationship with your customers, and they’ll be excited about your posts without the need for notifications. 

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