The Instagram Shadow Ban
Do you think your account has been shadow banned? Read my post to find out how one of my accounts was shadow banned and how I overcame the issue.
Firstly, to find out if an account has been shadow banned:
Post your image
Add your hashtags, in the caption or comments
Once posted, click on one of the hashtags you have used and under the top 9 your post should be there in the feed
If it isn’t, well you’ve been shadow banned
The term shadow ban has been going round for a while now, Instagram have apparently commented saying it isn’t true and that it’s just a ‘glitch’. Whatever you call it, it’s still an issue for some accounts. This can be really disheartening for some people when you put so much time into creating content, researching hashtags and engaging, only to find that your own posts don’t appear in the hashtag feeds for some reason. Your post appearing in the hashtag feed is vital to growing your account and reaching out to new potential customers.
Well, I was stuck with this issue! To be honest, I didn’t really believe this ‘glitch’ was a real ’thing' until it happened personally to me. I started a new Instagram account for my boyfriend’s surf business, which I had also just made a website for. I was excited to start posting great content, grow the account and use it as a marketing tool. However, this was totally put to a halt cause of this ‘glitch’. So frustrating!
I thought the people who I had seen post about this issue MUST have been doing something wrong. I didn’t think I had done anything wrong though, so why had this happened? I was using the same strategies I had used on other accounts I manage, one for a client and one for my VA business and they had been perfectly ok. So, why did I have a problem with this other account? Who really knows, but what I can tell you is the steps I took to get me out of this ‘glitch’.
I continued posting twice a day, I was determined that if I keep regularly posting and engaging my account will be un-shadow banned.
I researched my hashtags to ensure that none of the them were ‘broken’. Also, I used hashtags that predominantly had under 500k posts and mixed these up in 3 sets of 30 hashtags.
One day I tried switching my hashtags from being in the comments to the caption. Although I knew this wasn’t the issue, as I’ve always put the hashtags in the comments on my personal account and it’s ok.
I was doing lots of engagement, at least 30 minutes everyday around the same time I posted. This was the only thing that was bringing any new attention to the profile, so was important.
I reported the account a few times to tell Instagram I was having issues.
After 4 days of really trying to be patient and doing everything correctly, I was getting annoyed that the account was still shadow banned. So I left it for one day. The next day I posted an image and used completely different hashtags (still properly researched and 100% not broken hashtags). But, no the image still didn’t appear under the hashtag feeds.
That’s when I was feeling totally ‘beaten’ by Instagram and decided to leave it for a few days. I changed it back to a personal account and logged out.
I left it for 4 days before logging back in.
I posted an image, used my hashtags, but still NO! Still shadow banned! I thought I was going to lose my mind.
Undeterred, the next day I posted, used my hashtags and oh my goodness it was finally working. Also, all my previous posts which weren’t originally showing under my ‘branded hashtag’, were now in the hashtag feed.
It’s so ridiculous, but I was so happy!
So, that’s my journey on how I survived a Instagram shadow ban.
I still will never really know what exactly caused the issue, nor what exactly solved the issue. But, what I can say, is be patient and be ‘real’.
Research your hashtags
Engage with your audience
Post great content
Hopefully this has given you a guide to how you can get out of your shadow ban.
Email me if you think you have been shadow banned and have any questions about how to get out of it - firstname.lastname@example.org