#BloggerLifeChat: What to do when you’ve been SHADOW-BANNED!

Today’s #BloggerLifeChat is all about the mystery of the Instagram shadowban! Have you posted an amazing photo that’s getting no feedback? You’ve checked the hashtag and you don’t see your amazing post? You tell friends to check, and they can’t find you either? Well, my friend, you’ve been Shadow Banned! Below we’ll talk about why it happens and what you can do to fix it from happening again.

What is a shadowban?

“An Instagram Shadow-ban is a ban that renders your hashtags undiscoverable by the vibrant users. Only your followers will be able to see your feed and not the entire Instagram community.” – source

I’ve been shadowbanned plenty of times. It’s frustratingly annoying and even worse when I’m working with a brand. Sometimes Instagram will hide your post, sometimes they’ll hide your entire profile – EEK! You won’t get an alert and you won’t know when it’s lifted. And most times, you’ll only notice if you are keeping track of your likes/follows/engagement.

Why did you get shadowbanned?

Good question! There are some true-life reasons that Instagram will ban your post or profile:

  • Using banned hashtags
  • Nudity
  • Using BOT services to like/leave comments
  • Dangerous content (self-harm, violence, etc)
  • Gaining followers, comments, likes too quickly (eye-roll)
  • SPAM BEHAVIOR- Leaving too many comments, liking too many profiles/posts in a short amount of time.

Yes, one or all of those actions can get your post/profile banned for an inordinate amount of time. Now some of these are common sense because Instagram tries to build a safe and FAIR community. So nudity, dangerous content, and using PAID services are a No-No. But the other reasons are SO VAGUE you may not know you’re in violation.

It’s true, digital strategists tell you to engage humanly, but sometimes the MACHINE that is Instagram doesn’t recognize our actions as normal. It’s ok, happens to us all.

How to lift a shadowban

So, you aren’t posting dangerous content, you aren’t using bots or paid services to engage with followers, and you aren’t nude on the platform? Well, now you gotta have patience and planning.

Apparently, the platform thinks you aren’t playing fair. Your too DOPE and your gaining traction too fast. This happens commonly when your content is amazing! People like you and the algorithm thinks you’re not real.

  1. STEP AWAY FOR A DAY (or two)- no comments, no likes, just chill. Instagram isn’t the only place to post content. Focus on another platform for a spell.
  2. Use different hashtags – don’t use the SAME block of hashtags for every post. Mix it up. Research tags making sure not to use banned or OVERUSED tags.
  3. Post on your instastories – tell your followers to give you a ‘like’. Then just talk like a human – lol! Engage on Instastories in order to teach the machine that you are a real person
  4. Inform followers and brands – if you are working with a brand, let them know what’s happening. Same with followers.

Being banned isn’t the end of the world

Being shadow-banned isn’t the end of the world. But it is a wake-up call to engage on other platforms to share your content. Being an influencer takes hard work. Just like any other job, there will be obstacles. Remember, people were INFLUENCERS before Instagram existed! Yup!

Take your time to research your hashtags, create authentic content, engage with intention, and utilize other platforms (your blog, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and LinkedIn). While you’re adding layers to your empire, you’re following will continue to grow. Don’t depend on Instagram to do all the work!


Have you ever been SHADOW-BANNED?

Let’s discuss this in the comment section!

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