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10 Reasons You Cannot Boost on Instagram (Plus Easy Fixes)

Having trouble boosting Instagram posts and Reels? These are the top 10 reasons why you might not be able to use the boost feature.

Troy Nielsen December 12, 2022
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You’ve put time and thought into creating your post or Reel. You have the budget set aside to help it go viral. But, for some reason, you cannot boost on Instagram, a.k.a. turn an organic piece of content into a promoted post.

Don’t worry — there’s only a handful of reasons why you can’t boost a post or Reel on Instagram, and they all have easy fixes. Keep reading to find out how to make that Boost button work and get the most out of your Instagram content.

Bonus: Get the Instagram advertising cheat sheet for 2022. The free resource includes key audience insights, recommended ad types, and tips for success.

Why can’t I boost my Instagram post? (10 reasons)

Here are the 10 most common reasons why your Instagram post or Reel can’t be boosted, along with simple solutions.

Let the troubleshooting begin!

1. You’re not using a professional account.

Solution: Covert your personal account to a Creator or Business account.

Reels can only be boosted from professional accounts. The good news is that switching to one is easy and free. Simply follow the steps below.

Step 1: Select your Profile and tap the menu icon in the top right corner.

Step 2: Tap the Settings gear icon.

Step 3: Tap Account.

Step 4: Tap Switch to Professional Account, then tap Continue.

Account settings to switch to professional account

Step 5: Select a category for your account/business, then tap Done to confirm.

Step 6: Tap Business, then tap Next.

Step 7: (Optional) Add Contact details.

Step 8: (Optional) Connect your new professional account to a Facebook Page.

And that’s it! Now you can boost your posts and Reels, and you get access to extra features only available to professional accounts.

To learn more about professional accounts on Instagram, check out our article on How To Set Up an Instagram Business Profile + 4 Benefits.

2. You’re not a Page Admin

Solution: Get Admin access to the Facebook page associated with your Instagram account

This problem only occurs when there is a Facebook Business Page linked to your professional Instagram account and you do not have admin privileges.

To correct this, either request admin status from the owner of the Facebook Page, or sign in to Facebook and give your account Admin permissions.

3. Your ad has been rejected

Solution: Check your email for a notification from Meta and follow the provided instructions

If your ad or promoted post is rejected, Meta will almost immediately notify you which of Instagram’s Advertising Standards your content is not complying with.

Once you know the problem, simply edit your post or Reel to correct the issue. Then, republish it.

Keep in mind that your content will go through the approval process again before being published.

Alternatively, you can also request an additional manual review of your post if you think it has been rejected in error. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Visit Meta’s Account Quality center and select your account. Here you’ll see a dashboard overview of your account and any rejected, under-review, reversed and/or unchanged ads.

Step 2: Select your rejected ad, ad sets, or ad campaigns.

Step 3: Click Request review,then click Submit.

Keep in mind that these manual reviews can take some time, but you can check on the progress of your review in the Account Quality center.

4. Your account hasn’t existed for 30 days

Solution: Wait until the 30-day minimum has been reached

There’s no way around this one. Instagram, like most social media platforms, places restrictions on brand-new accounts to discourage account spamming and other malicious activities.

5. Your account has been restricted

Solution: Visit Meta’s Account Quality page and resolve the restriction in the “What You Can Do” section.

Meta will restrict an account in any of the following situations:

To see exactly why an account was suspended and how to resolve the issue, follow these steps:

Step 1: Visit the Account Quality page.

Step 2: Click on Account status overview.

Step 3: Select the restricted account.

Step 4: Select the What you can do option.

Step 5: Follow the recommended steps to un-restrict your account.

There are 4 possible recommendations:

  • Confirming your identity
  • Completing your account verification
  • Securing your account
  • Requesting a manual review

6. Copyright issues

Solution: Remove the copyrighted material from your promoted post

If Instagram has detected copyrighted material in your content, you won’t be allowed to boost it.

Usually, music is the culprit, but any copyrighted material will need to be removed to resolve this issue.

7. You need to adjust your spending limits

Solution: Adjust spending limits in the Ads Manager

If you’ve already reached the spending limit set for your account but want to keep boosting your posts or Reels, here’s how to adjust your spending settings:

Step 1: Log in to Meta’s Ad Manager.

Step 2: Go to the Account Billing section.

Step 3: Click on Account Spending Limit, then click the 3-dots icon.

Step 4: Select Change.

Step 5: Enter your new spending limit and click Save.

Step 6: Click Done to apply your changes.

8. Your video resolution is wrong

Solution: Correct your video resolution to fit Instagram Reels specifications

All Instagram Reels must be 1080 pixels wide and 1920 pixels tall, adhering to the 9:16 aspect ratio.

To learn more about the technical details for Reels, dive into our 2022 Instagram Reel Sizes Cheat Sheet: Specs, Ratios, and more.

9. GIFs are not supported

Solution: Convert your GIF into a supported video format (MP4 or MOV)

Most video editing software can convert GIFs into MP4 or MOV files, however if you’re looking for an free tool that can do that job, we recommend VLC Meida Player.

No editing required, simply follow these steps:

Step 1: Download and install VLC media player.

Step 2: Launch VLC and click on the Media menu in the top left corner of the screen.

Step 3: Click Convert / Save, then click the + Add button.

Step 4: Select your GIF and click Open.

Step 5: Click the Convert / Save button.

Step 6: Select the video format you want to convert to from the dropdown options in the Profile section. Select any MP4 or MOV option.

Step 7: Click the Start button.

Voila! Your GIF will be converted to a usable video file that you can upload to Instagram. Just make sure the video still adheres to the resolution requirements we covered above.

10: Your post or Reel contains tappable elements

Solution: Remove all location stickers, hashtag stickers, @mention stickers and tappable text

The only tappable elements Instagram allows on boosted Instagram Reels are the polling sticker and swipe-up CTA. Remove all other interactive/tappable elements and boost away!

That’s it! Now you know how to make sure your posts and Reels are set up for boosting success. Need a reminder on how to boost posts in the first place? This video thoroughly explains the process in just 6 minutes:

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By Troy Nielsen

Troy Nielsen is an Inbound Marketing Specialist and associate editor of the Hootsuite blog the industry's largest social media blog with more than 4 million monthly visitors.

Troy completed his B.A. in Mass Communication and Media Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2017. He began his content marketing career as a freelance writer and expanded into copywriting, content strategy, SEO, PPC, and social media advertising.

Before joining Hootsuite in 2022, Troy worked with digital marketing agencies, SaaS startups, higher education institutions, and has covered professional sports ( NHL and NFL ) as well as esports. Find more of his credentials on LinkedIn.

Based in Surrey, BC, when Troy isn’t at his desk he’s usually out in the mountains, either camping where there’s no reception, touring a winery, or enjoying the slopes of one of the many local ski hills.

Read more by Troy Nielsen

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