Can’t Promote on Instagram? Here’s Why (Plus 5 Easy Fixes)

Can’t promote on Instagram? We’re sharing 5 simple fixes to get your paid promotion up and running.

In 30 seconds:

  • If you can’t promote Instagram posts, you need to understand why. We’ve got the top reasons.
  • We’re sharing 5 simple fixes to get your paid promotion up and running.
  • Is your paid promotion still not working? We have some additional tips to get it landing every time.

Instagram posts? You need these fixes. When you’re creating a paid Instagram campaign, you don’t want to face technical barriers. 

Instagram has over 2 billion monthly active users, and 35% of its users will make a purchase on the platform in 2023. This makes it the ideal place to set up a paid promotion. Instagram allows Image ads, Story ads (Instagram stories), Video ads, Carousel ads, Collection ads, Explore ads, Shopping ads and Reels ads. But as with any social media marketing, the digital intricacies can become tricky.

Imagine your brilliantly curated paid promotion is ready to go, and all you need is the go-ahead from Meta. Then, suddenly, you’re faced with hiccup after hiccup, and that all-important timing of the post is ticking away. It’s crunch time, and you need to get the paid promotion over the line and convert. So why isn’t it working? We’re laying down the reasons this might be, how to get around them and the best tips to ace your Instagram marketing strategy

How do I enable promotions on Instagram?

If you want to enable promotions on Instagram, you need to understand why they’re blocked in the first place. This could be for two main reasons.

Instagram made a mistake

If you can’t work out what is causing this barrier, and you’re sure you’ve appeared to their guidelines, it might be that Instagram has made an error. You can “Request review” (which is integrated in-app).

Something’s wrong with your account or content

Whether this is through choosing the wrong kind of account or posting content outside the guidelines, Instagram may restrict you for various reasons. You need to ensure your account, admin and content all line up to gain access to paid promotions. 

So how can you check if it’s you or Instagram? Try these easy fixes first.

5 easy fixes to get your Instagram promotion working

Why are promotions restricted on Instagram? There are many reasons you might be facing this problem. But don’t worry. If you follow these fixes, you’ll jump over these technical hurdles and get your paid campaign delivered. 

Fix 1: Check your account

Your account is the first point of call to check. So ask yourself the following questions about yours.

Am I using a business account?

If the answer is no, you need to change it. A personal account will not have access to the ads manager or campaign analytics. An Instagram business account is called a “professional account”, and only these have access to paid promotions. Switching is simple. 

  • Step 1 – Open the Instagram app and go to your profile.
  • Step 2 – Click the menu on the top right. 
  • Step 3 – Tap settings. 
  • Step 4 – Tap Switch to Professional Account, then tap Continue.
  • Step 5 – Select a category for your brand/business.
  • Step 6 – Tap Done.
  • Step 7 – Optionally add contact details. 
  • Step 8 – Optionally connect to your business, Facebook Page.

Once you’ve taken these steps, you should have a professional account set up on Instagram. 

Have I had my account for over 30 days?

If your Instagram profile is brand new (and less than 30 days old), you simply won’t be allowed to promote it yet. Instagram restricts these accounts for safety and to ensure you aren’t a bot or spam. 

Is my account restricted?

To find out if your account is restricted, try commenting on a friend’s (or someone you know) post to see if that comment shows up. Or, you can try posting and see if someone sees it in their Instagram feed. If either doesn’t work, it may mean Instagram has restricted your account. 

There are several reasons this might have happened:

  • The account violates the Community Standards, Advertising Standards, Commerce Policies
  • Instagram believes your account has been hacked
  • The account fails to meet Meta’s two-factor authentication requirements

How do you solve it? 

  • Step 1 – Visit the account’s Quality Page.
  • Step 2 – Click “Account Status Overview” on the left-hand menu.
  • Step 3 – Choose the restricted account.
  • Step 4 – Select the option “what you can do”.
  • Step 5 – Follow these steps to get your account active again. 

Fix 2: Check you are a page admin

If there is a Facebook Page linked to your Instagram ad account and you aren’t the admin for that page, you won’t be able to create a paid ad. 

To solve this problem, you need to request admin status from the owner of the Facebook Page. Once you’re down as an admin, you should be able to create paid promotions. 

Fix 3: Check your content

If your ad or ad set is not getting approved, you may need to look at its content. Instagram will not approve ads that breach copyright rules or contain anything that goes against Instagram’s Terms of Use. That includes profanity or spam. Double-check your wording in captions, hashtags and within videos and photos before you send for approval.  

How can you get your content approved? There are a few rules of thumb to think about:

Ensure your content is authentic

Reusing other Instagram users’ content is a no-no. But it’s not just copyright you need to be aware of. You must ensure your promotional material reflects your brand truthfully and create valuable, non-spammy content to secure approval. 

Stay consistent

Your captions need to match your video or image content. If there is a mismatch between these, you may encounter difficulties in approval, and even if it does go through, the algorithm may not prioritise it. So you won’t see any achievement with your brand awareness goals. 

Optimise post-click content

The links you use for your content need to work. They also shouldn’t link to spam or an unsafe landing page. This will affect your ad approval. So check that any link in your CTA (call to action) in each ad is secure and functioning. 

Fix 4: Check your spending limit

Is your Instagram ad approved but not running? It might be because you’ve reached your spending limit. Check your limit through the Ads manager:

  • Step 1 – Log in to Meta’s Ads Manager.
  • Step 2 – Go to Account Billing.
  • Step 3 – Click on Account Spending Limit.
  • Step 4 – Select the three dots.
  • Step 5 – Select change and enter new spending limit. 
  • Step 6 – Click Save and then Done.

Fix 5: Resolution, format and elements

Your ad needs to land creatively, but it also needs to work technically. That means you need to check ad placements, resolution, formatting and any interactive elements included within your content.


Instagram Reels must be 1080 pixels wide and 1920 pixels tall, plus adhere to the 9:16 aspect ratio. If you want to know how to make Instagram reels that will deliver results, check out our article: Instagram Video: How Brands Should Use Instagram Now (2023).


Instagram ads do not accept GIFs as a format. If you’re using one, your promotion will not get approved. Change your GIF to a MOV file or MP4 file. You can do this for free via Adobe here.

Tappable Elements

Your promotion shouldn’t include any tappable elements. If it does, it could cause issues. These include:

  • Location stickers
  • Hashtag stickers
  • @mention stickers
  • Tappable text

Delete these to make sure your content gets approved. 

Bonus Fix - Use the experts

Getting your promotion approved and working on Instagram can be complex. If it’s not functioning properly it can feel like you need to jump through multiple hoops. 

That’s why enlisting the experts can help. Our social media team know all the ins and outs of Instagram (and more) to take over the tricky parts, optimise your campaigns and maximise your ROI.

Plus our in-house social listening and data insights tool Bytesights gives us instant data on every ad campaign we run. So you’ll know if something isn’t working right away. 

Check out our core services

My promotion still isn’t working; what now?

You’ve got your Instagram promotion approved but not running in the way you want it to. How can you get around that? Answer – You need to create ads that are perfectly adapted to the channel. Here are some extra insider tips to get your ads performing.

Understand what Instagrammers want

People use different social media platforms for specific reasons. Linkedin is for professional connections, Twitter is for conversations, and TikTok is for entertainment. Our own research shows that young people especially go to Instagram to connect with friends, family and influencers. Collaborating with creators can boost your ROI and raise conversions on your Instagram ads. You can also use it to drum up user-generated content (UGC) and build that essential trust between you and your customer. Find out more about how to harness the power of influencer marketing in our article on Influencer Marketing ROI.

Create the right kind of content

Instagram is highly visual, so use this to your advantage. Meta has introduced plenty of new video-first features that, if used correctly, can grab your viewer’s attention from the get-go. Think about your target audience and what they want to see. Instagram paid promotions allow you to adapt your target audience. You can adjust via:

  • Location
  • Demographics
  • Interests
  • Behaviours
  • Custom audiences (customers who have previously interacted with your business based on an email address or phone number)
  • Lookalike audiences (new people who are similar to your existing customers)
  • Automated Targeting (where Instagram creates a target audience for you)

Once you know who you’re sending your promoted post to, think of the kind of ad formats that would be best suited to them. 91% of users watch videos on Instagram weekly, so this may be one of the top formats to be working with. To find out how to nail it every time (plus what’s happening to IGTV) check out our article: Instagram Video: How Brands Should Use Instagram Now (2023)

Analyse and adapt

Every Instagram ad campaign will require consistent adjustments. You need to ensure you’re checking your data in real time and changing your approach depending on how your progress is measuring up. 

Promoting for the future

How can you check your Instagram ads are functioning? Keeping an eye on your Facebook ads manager will help you stay in the know, but to really understand how your campaign is working, you need direct, round-the-clock data. That’s where our in-house campaign manager Bytesights comes into the picture. Read more about Bytesights here

Getting an ad strategy working can seem frustrating if you’re dealing with tech issues. That’s why it’s handy to have a dedicated digital marketing team to help. Get in touch to see how our social experts can keep your campaigns on the right track (no matter which social networks you’re tackling). 

Let's Talk

To find out how Fanbytes can help you connect with a Gen Z Audience fill in the form to get in touch!