July 12, 2020
If you are a digital marketer “what’s trending?”, don’t be surprised if he/she says “social media”. Because, for digital marketing, social media is not only trending, but it is the key to success as well. Without a social presence, it is just impossible for a business to look forward to its growth.
When we talk about social media, then Instagram is surely in a few of the topmost platforms that businesses never fail to use. Focused on visuals like images, GIFs, infographics, and videos, Instagram gives the opportunity to brands to build their authority and grab the attention of the target audience by creating interesting visuals related to their business’s niche.
But, in the race to win clients on this very popular digital platform, some businesses tend to use unethical practices, and, in the end, they get banned. Thus, it is important for any business to avoid such practices that lead to their social media account ban, as if it happens, all your efforts will be in vain.
On Instagram, there is a thing known as ‘shadowban’ and if you don’t know, it is not a normal ban on your Insta account. This post will give you insights into the Instagram shadowban and what you can do to avoid it. As, if you are not aware of it or don’t know how to recover, you will keep making efforts for nothing in return.
It won’t be wrong to say that Instagram shadowban is a kind of mysterious thing that could happen to you, especially when you don’t know what it is. Shadowban is a ban posed by Instagram on a user’s account in such a way that anything posted by the user will only appear to followers and hence, businesses won’t be able to reach a wider audience.
The most interesting fact about the shadowban is that the account user doesn’t know that it is happening to him/her. This is unlike a normal account ban where Instagram sends you the notification that your account has been blocked due to so and so reasons. In this scenario, it just happens without any notifications or hint and you just keep using it normally. Let us see how you can detect whether your account has been shadowbanned or not.
Now you know that posts by an account that is shadowbanned will only appear to a limited number of people, and those are the followers. So, in this case, the visibility of posts will drop down and so does the likes & comments by viewers. Limited visibility means limited engagement from users and this will show up in significantly less numbers of likes and comments on your posts than before.
If this continues steadily even when you are not doing anything different than before or anything wrong, then this could be a sign of shadowbanning. Thus, you need to check for other signals that are mentioned below.
Now, with this point, the theory is simple, when your account cannot be seen how will you get new followers? Thus, if you see no increase in the number of your Instagram followers for a while and you find it unusual, then the reason could be that your account has been shadowbanned.
We can say that the above two factors can also happen normally with Instagram accounts due to posting of irrelevant content or some other reasons. It is not sure that reduced engagement and having no new followers can assure that your Instagram account is shadowbanned.
But along with the above two signs, if you are not able to see your post having an unpopular hashtag on the news feed of any other person, then you can confirm that it is because of shadowbanned by Instagram.
For this, you have to post an image on your account with a hashtag which is not so popular. Now, use someone else’s account and search for that unpopular hashtag you have used in your post. If you are not able to see your post after properly searching for that, then you are shadowbanned.
Facing a ban in anything is the result of infringement or violation of policies set by a particular authority. Similar is the case in shadowbanning on Instagram as well. If a user adopts false tactics to get the required attention and increase reach, then he/she is liable to face shadowban. Here is a list of reasons for a shadowbanned on Instagram:
Remember, the success you get with the quality of your products or services and genuine efforts made by you will stay for long, and the same is admired by social media platforms as well. While on the other hand, if you are not getting the desired success with your efforts and plan to use automatic tools to increase engagement & reach, then you are doing it wrong.
Use of bots or any other Instagram growth tools is considered as a spammy practice and when noticed, you might face shadowban.
There are certain hashtags banned by Instagram due to some reasons and if knowingly or unknowingly, you are using those hashtags in your posts, your account will be banned.
Sometimes, when a popular hashtag is being overused to get the attention especially with irrelevant posts, Instagram limits its use or even removes it. Now, if you use such a hashtag in your posts, this could also lead your account to shadowban.
Before using any hashtag, it is important for you to do enough research to see whether it is banned or not.
Another reason for the shadowban of your Insta account could be that it is being reported by people every now and then. If an account is reported frequently by users, it gives a sign to Instagram that the particular account posts irrelevant or misleading content, and the chances are very high for that account to be banned.
If Insta sees that followers on your account are increasing at lightning speed, say, 60-70 in an hour, then this will indicate that it is done using a tool and your account will soon be shadowbanned. Similar is the case with posting content, if you are too quick with your posts or commenting on to other’s posts, shadowbanning is on the cards.
Reading this post till now might have given you an idea of avoiding what could help you prevent shadowbanned on Instagram. We will talk about that in detail.
This is the first point that we did talk about that could be the reason for your Insta account’s shadowban. So, if you don’t want it to happen, the first and foremost thing you need to do is to avoid the use of automated tools or software designed for Instagram growth. The use of any such tactics is considered as spam, and you know how harmful spamming could be.
Have you ever thought, what would you do with the followers who don’t even see your posts or are not interested in what you are doing? If not, then you should because bots will only increase the numbers, not the quality. Thus, it is better to have a small number of followers who actually admire the products or services you offer rather than having large numbers without any engagement.
This is as simple as avoid using bots. Banned hashtags mean that no one can use them for any reason whether they are popular or not. Thus, if you want to avoid being shadowbanned, you must stop using hashtags that are banned, removed, or even categorized as for limit use.
Plus, it is also important for you to remove all the broken hashtags from your posts. And, to use hashtags in future posts, you need to be very selective. It is advised to research all the hashtags that are banned by Instagram to get a clear idea of what you are using.
Most of the Instagram users place hashtags in comments to make their posts appear clean. But you might be surprised to know that doing this could shadowban your Insta account. Thus, it is advised to use hashtags relevantly only in captions, and if you don’t want it to look messy, separate them from the other matter using bullets or space.
This is the best thing everyone should do to avoid being shadowbanned on Instagram. Every social media platform has certain rules & regulations and it assumes that every user will follow them strictly. Similarly, Instagram also has certain rules and it is the duty of every user to follow them for using their account without any problems.
The same is the case to stay away from shadowban, and we know that this is not a tough ask to do. Just be fair, keep making efforts, and see your success.
Taking a few days’ leaves from all your Instagram activity could be helpful in the lifting of shadowban from your Insta account. Slowing things down might clear the system and help you start your journey again.
Taking time off means that you should not post anything on your account and neither you should like or comment on anyone else’s post.
If you are shadowbanned, it is advised for you to switch to the personal account rather than staying on the business one. The reason could be that if you give a signal to the Instagram that it is your business account then you might have to pay more for the engagement and other services it offers or even has to purchase a service that you don’t want. Plus, the tools Instagram provides for businesses are also not free, hence, in case of shadowban, you must switch your account to personal till the time things become normal.
Reporting your account’s shadowban should be the first thing that you need to do after knowing that it has happened. Doing this could help you better in lifting it up sooner. You can report this issue a couple of times if it is taking more time than you expected.
This is something most important that every business account holder on Instagram must focus on whether it is banned or not. But when it comes to shadowban, considering this should be the priority. One of the best ways by which you can avoid being reported is by posting only relevant and informative content that does not mislead your audience.
Besides, it is also important to consider that none of your posts violates any terms of service of Instagram. Doing so might also get you reported by people. If you are well aware of best practices of using Instagram, then there are no chances that anyone will report you for a genuine reason.
When we talk about digital marketing, Instagram plays a crucial role in attracting the target audience and building a strong client base. This means you cannot keep aside this social media platform from your digital marketing strategy.
But, being such an important platform never means that you use unethical practices as well to get the required success. Because such practices will be harmful not only for your reputation but also for all your efforts. In this entire post, we did talk about that ban which is known as shadowban. The reason why it is different from the normal ban and why it is named so is because it does not let the user know that his/her account has been banned. And if remained unnoticed, your growth will freeze and you will end up searching for why it has happened.
Thus, it is very important to be authentic & ethical in whatever you do with your digital marketing campaign and on social media accounts. As we focused only on Instagram, so we can hope that this post would have told you well about what you should do to avoid shadowban on Instagram and what needs to be done if you already are facing it. Plus, it also covered the tips by which you can identify that you are shadowbanned by Instagram.
Thus, follow all terms of service on Instagram and stay away from shadowban, and somehow you end up facing it, you know what to do.