It can be a real sucker punch- your Instagram account is crushing it. growing at a rate of knots each and every day. Suddenly it just stops- you find your follower number plummets. What’s worse is your engagement starts falling too. You’re just not getting the likes and comments you used to. The not knowing is the killer- and it could be you’ve been slapped with the deadly Instagram shadow ban.
This article will explain the ins and outs of the shadow. How it can effect you and how you can beat it.
What is the Instagram shadow ban?
There are a number of penalties that Instagram can levy on your account for what they see as indiscretions.
From getting a permanent ban, temporary stops, limits on the ability to like and comment, IG has several sticks with which to beat those ‘rogue accounts’ with.
Mercifully these punishments are usually accompanied with a notification from Instagram. This way you’re not kept in the dark.
The shadow ban is a different animal. There is no notification from IG so you may not even know you’ve got one. We’ll show you a couple of ways to find out later.
The Instagram shadow ban is a limit placed on your account.
The most powerful way to grow an Instagram account organically is to post images using relevant hashtags.
Placing hashtags means my post is not only shown to my current followers but also to other users who IG feel might be interested in my content.
The post will also show up in the search results pages for those hashtags.
In short, there will be more eyeballs in my content and if the images are good- I’ll get more followers.
The shadow ban completely shuts down this process. If a post is under a ban then any hashtags on it become void and that post will not show up in the search page.
The upshot is that only your existing followers will see your post. This means no new eyeballs on your content and very small chance of growing your following.
In other words, the Instagram shadow ban is very bad news indeed.
How do I know I’ve got a shadow ban?
Unlike twitter, Instagram likes to keep its rules and punishments close to its chest.
As mentioned before the shadow ban is the shadiest of penalties so how do you know if you’ve been got?
If you get a rapid slowing in growth and engagement it come be one of many things.
Your content has got tired, you’re posting at the wrong time. Perhaps the number of Instagram users interested in your niche is just small. All these can be pretty simply tested and experimented on.
When you’re tests and tweaks draw blanks on the above reasons then it could be that you have an Instagram shadow ban.
There are two ways to confirm this.
The first is the manual method. Post an Image on IG and ask your friends (who don’t follow you) to search the hashtags you put on the post. Your image should appear on the search page. If it doesn’t then you have a ban.
Another method is to use this site
This is a site dedicated to helping people find out if they’re under the Instagram shadow ban.
There is no way to 100% guarantee it is reliable but results seem pretty good.
- Hit the share button
2. Grab the copy share URL
3. Drop the URL in the site.
4. You get the all clear or NOT
I have the Instagram Shadow Ban- what should I do?
So your research throws up the answer you suspected but didn’t want. You have a Shadow ban.
How do you get yourself clear?
- Delete the post that was banned.
- Don’t use IG for a few days (or even a week).
Instagram does not disclose the exact nature of their bans but not touching your account for an extended period is one way that seems to fix bans.
How Do I Stop Myself Getting Banned?
This is actually an easy one, but also tricky.
Instagram is really just trying to protect it’s users experience. So avoid spammy behaviour – if you have a lot of people blocking you, you’ll soon find yourself in trouble.
Another not so obvious one is not using the same hashtags again and again. Instagram does not want accounts unnaturally dominating specific hashtags so vary your tag usage.
If you’re in comment groups and you constantly reciprocate comments with exactly the same accounts- then you might fall foul of the ban.
Before you start ranting about Instagram’s “crazy bans”. Remember they’re are actually just trying to encourage white hat, creative, innovative marketing and use of their platform.
So in a way, the Instagram Shadow Ban is helping your business. Stick within their rules and you are marketing right.
What is your experience of the Shadow ban? How did you fix it?