You’re baffled about your posts' lack of visibility. You’re not getting the typical engagement on social media. You check your account, and you see that it's not blocked or restricted.
You’re worried this self-diagnosis may get worse, but you don’t know how to fix it because you don't understand what's happening.
You, my friend, might be experiencing a case of shadow banning on social media.
What does a social media shadow ban mean?
Shadow banning simply means your content is blocked on social media without your knowledge. When you're banned on Instagram, your posts won't appear on users’ feeds. The only exception is when they already follow you.
How to know if you’re shadow banned?
The simplest way to know is to seek a friend's help. Check on your friend’s account if your content appears in the explore mode when you search using your hashtags.
To do this, post new content using your hashtags and then ask your friend to unfollow your account. You’re safe when your content appears in the top post using the hashtag, but if you can’t see your content, you might just be shadow banned.
How do I avoid being shadow banned?
Don’t use banned or broken hashtags
With millions of users all over the world, it's difficult for Instagram to control people’s content and what hashtags they use. The increase in bots has tainted many hashtags, which creates a long list of banned or broken hashtags.
Pairing your good hashtags with banned ones leads to your content being undiscoverable.
So, look through the hashtags you regularly use and make sure to stop using banned hashtags.
Avoid using automated software
Using a scheduler to post your content sounds like a great way to save time, but it can also get your account shadow banned. This automation includes liking and commenting on posts and following other profiles.
Even if you stopped using these automated apps, they could still be linked to your profile. Here’s how to double-check. Using a desktop, log in to your Instagram. Click your user icon on the top right corner and click “edit profile.” Then, select “Authorized Applications.” From here, you can see unwanted applications.
Diversify your hashtags
We know you have your go-to hashtags, but repeating those same ones could get you banned too. In Instagram's eyes, it could look very spammy.
Rotate your hashtags to keep them sounding fresh and add new ones here and there. Some professionals suggest having between 10-20 hashtag combinations.
Engage often but not too much
Keep in mind when engaging on Instagram, limit your engagement. This includes liking and commenting on other profiles and also following and unfollowing profiles.
There is no defined amount, but the rule of thumb is doesn't exceed 200 likes, 60 follows or unfollows, and 60 comments per hour.
What to do to remove your shadow ban?
Instagram fasting helps
Taking a short breather can help with your situation. When we say take a quick break, we mean no posting or commenting. Logging off Instagram helps too. Try it for 3 days.
After your Instagram cleanse, you can start engaging with your community again. Just make sure you do it like Big Brother is watching you because you don't want to get barred again.
Stop growth hacks and engagement groups
Avoid using around 60 hashtags on your caption and comment section. Dissociate your brand from engagement groups that promise to double-tap your new content. Your numbers may look good with this strategy, but this same tactic will also be the cause your account gets shadow banned.
Switch from business to personal account
Be advised that by doing this, you may lose some essential functions you have as a business account. But it’s been a known strategy that switching to a personal account helps you get a ban lifted.
The logic behind this is that since Facebook bought Instagram, they have been trying to monetize the platform. Since a business account's reach and engagement are limited, they are forced to buy Instagram ads.
Cancel your APIs
Are you using a follower tracker app? Unsubscribe from it because it could be what’s causing your shadow ban. Avoid third-party apps when using Instagram, which includes apps that post pictures.
It’s recommended to be authentic and post organically for Instagram.
Looking for assistance to grow your brand without being shadow banned on social media, Instagram particularly? We’re the digital marketing agency that can guarantee organic social media engagement and success. Check out our website to learn more about us. Or send us a message and let’s talk about your brand’s new winning social media strategy.