What is an Instagram shadowban and does it affect your digital marketing strategy.
Do you think your Instagram posts are suddenly getting fewer likes and comments?
Many users have been baffled by the changes over the last few months. One explanation we can give you for these bizarre changes is that you might be shadowbanned.
What is a Shadowban?
For a variety of reasons, Instagram is now actively restricting certain people’s posts so they don’t show up in their followers’ feeds or for hashtags. If a post is shadowbanned, the only way to view it is to search for their name and then visit their profile.
Shadowbanning is basically a way for Instagram to filter accounts that aren’t in line with their terms. This practise can sometimes make sense. For example, Instagram may hide content from accounts who use questionable practises to grow their followers, such as buying followers and using hundreds of unrelated hashtags.
Shadowbanning can lead to a significant drop in reach and engagement. This is bad news for creators and businesses trying to engage new audiences and grow their networks. Check your Instagram Insights if you believe you have been shadowbanned. You may have been shadowbanned if you see a sudden and persistent drop in engagement.
What Causes a Shadowban?
A few actions can increase your chances of getting a shadowban:
- Paying for likes, comments, or followers by bots or any other automated growth tool is prohibited. Check your follower list and remove all bot accounts to maintain your credibility.
- Spammy behaviour includes using more than 30 hashtags in a single post, using banned and irrelevant hashtags, and going overboard and annoying users by sending DMs or leaving comments all the time. Never use more than 5-6 hashtags and keep all comments genuine.
- Instagram reports accounts that are often found to be inappropriate or in violation of their terms and conditions.
- Attempting to comment, like, or follow too many accounts at the same time
Using Banned Hashtags
Instagram is open about the fact that it does have banned hashtags. They are keywords that are linked to content that is not in line with Instagram’s guidelines. Instagram may remove hashtag search pages to limit discoverability and restrict content with these keywords.
There are many Instagram hashtags that are prohibited, and you should not use them in comments or posts.
You could be “shadowbanned” from Instagram if you don’t avoid using banned hashtags. Worse, Instagram may completely ban your account in accordance with the Instagram Community Guidelines.
The Complete List of Banned Instagram Hashtags as of May 2022:
What to Do Instead?
Before publishing, make sure you have checked the hashtags that you intend to use. A hashtag page should look like the one shown below for #ramen. Normal pages should display tabs for Top, Recent, Reels, and Content that include the hashtag. A blue Follow button should be visible that allows you to add hashtagged content to your feed.
A page like this one for #tag4like will appear if you search for banned hashtags. This page has no content and does not have a follow button. It is a sign that the hashtag has been banned. Remove hashtags from pages like the one shown below before publishing content.
Remember that Instagram updates its lists frequently, so you should check your hashtags often. You can also spot banned hashtags by looking at your Instagram Insights. You can check hashtags to see if a hashtag’s reach has decreased significantly from your baseline.
How Can You Get Rid of a Shadowban?
Stop spamming others with bots and other automated services. It may seem tempting to use automated services to quickly grow your following, but it is not worth it. It is better to have 100 loyal fans who interact with your content and buy your products than to have 10,000 followers who have never visited your site or interacted with it.
If you’re one of those users who has been guilty of overdoing hashtags, it might be a good idea for you to investigate banned hashtags. You will need to be more selective when using hashtags in the future. Make sure the ones you use are relevant to your content.
If you have been shadowbanned, consider taking a social media detox. Some Instagram users have reported that their accounts have been reset after taking a 48-hour break. Don’t post, like, comment, or even send DM’s. Your best bet is to not even log onto the app at all. As a Perth digital marketing agency, we’re sorry. We know how hard this will be… Good luck!
Once you are back from your short but necessary hiatus, make sure all engagement is natural and genuine. Avoid using automated apps and instead do it by hand.This will prove you are not a bot if you make an appeal while you are on shadowban.
If you don’t believe you’ve been shadowbanned despite following all the rules, you can also report it on Instagram.
Stay Out of the Shadows
Shadowbans on Instagram can cause havoc with your profile’s visibility and engagement. This can really limit your growth potential.
To avoid being subject to an Instagram shadowban, you should not use bots or third-party apps for managing your Instagram account. Use relevant hashtags sparingly.
You don’t have to worry if you follow Instagram’s terms and conditions. It is better to take precautions than face the consequences of an Instagram Shadowban.
Avoid Being Shadowbanned
Studio22 is a Perth-based digital marketing agency that works with businesses of all sizes to increase their reach on social media. We do this by creating targeted, tested, and clever content and ads to boost your digital marketing profile in Perth. We provide a Perth SEO service to help clients increase their social media engagement and convert them into loyal customers every day. Contact us today to elevate your social media strategy and to start your SEO service in Perth.