Shadow Ban – Why it happens and how to fix it.

Getting shadow banned on Instagram is a growing problem for users trying to promote themselves who run into Instagram’s ever increasing restrictions. Post too much? Shadow ban! Engage too much? Shadow ban. We’ve even heard of getting shadow banned for simply replying to too many of their followers comments on their own post!

In this short, straight to the point blog we will explain what a shadow ban is, how you know if you’ve been shadow banned and what to do to fix it. 

What Is A Shadowban?

Shadowbans on Instagram occur when the pesky IG algorithm thinks you’re up to something against their terms of service, but on most occasions it is because you have performed too many actions in a short period, abusing automation (bad idea), using the same set of hashtags repeatedly or posting too much (I know, crazy.) It can ruin your engagement and on some occasions accounts never recover from it.

How do I know If I’ve been shadow banned?

If you experience a sudden huge drop in engagement, this could be the reason. Don’t get it confused with a small drop in engagement – this fluctuates and can be caused by many reasons, even the time of year!

Shadowbans usually last exactly 2 weeks and people experiencing this will see next to no engagement on any content within this two week timeframe.

An easy way to test if you are truly shadow banned is by logging onto a different account, or get a friend to do it for you. TIP: Make sure the second account is not following the account you suspect you have been shadow banned on. Go to your most recent post, click on one of the hashtags used in your post and check if you can see your post in the hashtag. If not, then you’re probably shadow banned!

Not to fear, there are a couple of ways to get around this, but it’s not a 100% guarantee. Sometimes the best thing is to wait it out and apologise profusely to the IG Gods.

What to do if I’ve been shadow banned?

Try to identify the cause

There are many reasons that you may be shadow banned, with some being outlined above. Your starting point should be to try and identify what caused you to be banned in the first place. Was it abuse of automation, using blacklisted hashtags, spamming too many actions or something else? By finding out what caused it will help you to approach the situation better – and be honest!

Log out and delete any automation you may be using

Automation is never a good idea, especially in 2020. The algorithm is far too clever and knows what you’ve been up to, even if you think it doesn’t. This will always come back to bite you, whether now or in the future. If this is the cause then remove all automation apps, and log out of any services immediately!

Delete ALL of the hashtags on your most recent Instagram posts

Sometimes shadowbans can be the cause of improper use of hashtags. Delete all hashtags from your most recent posts (we recommend 4-7) 

Contact Instagram

Tell them that your posts aren’t showing up in hashtag searches, but do not tell them you’ve been shadowbanned

You can contact Instagram directly on the app itself by 

Take a break

A recommended time to not post for is between 3-7 days. This shows Instagram that you’re not a bot as most automation would run through the ban without change. The key is to let Instagram know you are a real person behind the account!

Start back slow

Don’t go back to your old ways, if you’ve figured out why you got shadow banned in the first place, do everything possible to not do that mistake again. If it was too many actions, make sure you start off with the very minimum per day and increase over time.

Good practices going forward

Use good hashtags and make sure none are blacklisted

You’d be surprised how easy it is to use a blacklisted hashtag. By following our hashtag strategy you eliminate the possibility of using bad hashtags and also grow by using relevant hashtag sets. 

Want to know how to get the best hashtags specific to your account? Check out our hashtag guide here!

Take caution when interacting

Remember how many actions you’ve done and don’t spam. The aim of the game is to stay in Instagram’s good books. If you continue the trend that got you banned in the first place then Instagram will definitely frown upon that and decrease your reach even more. When starting back, we recommend no more than 200 actions a day (an action is a like/follow/comment/share etc)

Avoid getting reported

For reasons similar to the above, you want to climb the ladder to get back into favour and being reported will definitely not help that!

Be less active

Cut down on the number of posts you make and actions you perform each day. You can crank it back up slowly after a while but so you don’t get banned again, start off posting a couple of times a week and ramp that up if needed.

We hope you enjoyed this blog and it helped some of you by either solving your questions or helping you not to get banned in the future. Let us know what other content you’d like to see from us by leaving a comment below!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join our community, access perks, submit your work & more - ALL FOR FREE!