Hey guys, welcome back to my blog!
This is unfortunately, an upsetting blog post for me to write. I was shadow banned on Instagram for WHO knows why... I've only had my beauty page for 4 or 5 months, always followed Instagram rules, never used any bot apps or whatever those are, and I've only supported everyone in my beauty community and my engagement group pages.
If you are unfamiliar with what shadow banning is, I filmed a video all about it, the definition and a few tips on what to do now that you can see below, but in this post I'm going to answer 3 specific things for you guys.
1. Why Shadow Banning May Be Happening
2. How to Prevent a Shadow Ban
3. How to Proceed if you have Been Banned
I hope you are not going through this, but if you are, DO NOT WORRY OR PANIC, we are in this together <3
Why Shadow Banning May Be Happening
If you watched my video you know that we have no idea why this could be happening, but we can speculate on why to give us a better feel of the situation.
1. Your behavior on Instagram looks like spam
The whole reason a shadow ban exists is to protect users from spam accounts. A shadow ban would be put in place to allow the user to still access the account, but not be searched, which means this is protecting you from falling victim to fake accounts either trying to sell you something or get you to do something for them when in reality it is a scam.
Behavior that can be associated with spam:
-Liking an excessive amount of pictures in a short period of time
-Multiple posts a day with multiple hashtags in the bio or comments
-Use of the same hashtags in the same order in each post frequently
-Tagging multiple people in posts frequently
-Commenting excessively on other peoples posts
-Commenting excessively on other peoples posts using hashtags and tags in the comments
-Use of forbidden hashtags (yes, there are some in which posts are hidden. For example, #beautyblogger and #beautybloggers have been temporarily shut down on Instagram)
-Going on following sprees
-Going on unfollowing sprees
-Frequently attempting to use more than the allowed 30 hashtags in a post
2. You serviced the use of following apps, picture liking apps or any of the sort
If you have either used an app to get more followers or likes/views on a picture, this may be seen as spam to bump the image of your page to look more attractive. If you have used one of these apps or paid for likes, views, comments, followers etc. this may be seen as spam. If you have implemented the service of an app just to check your unfollowers, follower ratio or any thing related, this is common but has still popped up as a reason you may have been shadow banned.
2. How to Prevent a Shadow Ban
Again, this is all speculation right now as there has been zero information from Instagram about this type of ban. But here are a few tips you might want to implement to keep your page safe in the mean time.
1. Only use the allotted 30 hashtags
Instagram does not let you have more than 30 hashtags in a post, PERIOD! If you tend to use 30 in the bio and go back and comment more, this can be considered abuse of hashtags. If you are in an engagement pod or group on Instagram, DO NOT ask them to post using a specific hashtag. This can also look like spam in your comments. Stick to the 30 max in your bio, and that is it.
2. Switch up your use of hashtags
I know a lot of us (including me) have a certain set of hashtags we like to copy and paste to use in our posts, which is ok! Just make sure to switch up the arrangements on them, and throw in some new tags here and there. After all, each post can benefit from different hashtags.
3. Quit hashtagging and tagging other people's pictures
Again, someone in your engagement group may ask you to put in a certain hashtag or tag when commenting on their picture, which is ok! Just keep it limited. Some people may be greedy and ask you to tag a billion things, which will hurt them and you. Instead of using a hashtag, tag a company, but only one! This will keep you and them safer.
4. No more following and unfollowing sprees
Because yes, it looks spammy. This is also not a way to bring quality users to your page. Instead of following a bunch of people, get to know your audience. Engage with the followers you already have by liking and commenting on some of their pictures you truly enjoy. When finding a new user, make sure to do the same. You want to create relationships with your audience, not attract mindless followers. This will also help increase the quality of engagements on your page and keep users coming back.
5. Stick to one or two quality posts a day
It is said to be the more content you post, the faster your page will grow, and that is true. BUT, if you are posting 4, 5 or even 6 posts a day, it can not only annoy your followers, but if you are using all these hashtags and tags as WELL in your post, it can hurt you more than help. Stick to one or two quality posts, at peak times of the day to post, and you'll see twice as much engagement than if you are using Instagram like Facebook!
***if you are that eager to post your content, try using Instagram albums.
3. How to Proceed if you have Been Banned
1. DO NOT DELETE YOUR ACCOUNT
For the love of all things good... do NOT delete your account. I've heard so many girls being like "I think I'm going to delete it and start over", which is the WORST thing you can do. Who says your new account won't get banned when you make a new one? ESPECIALLY if you delete it and make a new account under the same email you were using, that looks even MORE like spam! You've worked hard on your beauty account to get where you are at, don't give it up.
2. Follow everything in section 2 on how to prevent a ban
Because these are things you can do to prevent a ban, it might also shape up your page if you are banned. Limit hashtags, engage with comments only with no tags or hashtags, etc.
3. Just wait
This is a huge problem that Instagram knows of and needs to solve, so we literally can't do anything but wait for them to fix it. If enough people keep talking and reporting and complaining to them, they'll have to do something about it eventually, we just have to hope it's sooner rather than later :/
4. Keep making bomb-ass content
YES honey... Yes. You keep doing what you are doing because people WILL notice and we will find other ways to get noticed on Instagram in the mean time. You can take a few days break but in the end, if you're out for a week or so, it'll hurt your page more than help because people can forget pretty quickly and if you are using Instagram to promote your other content like blogs or Youtube videos, it'll drive less views. Keep doing you, keep working hard and it WILL pay off at the end I can promise you.
All in all, DO NOT PANIC, and do not let this become the center of your world. If you love making content and doing what you are doing, this will not stop or slow you down. This is a problem MUCH bigger than us and we need to continue to do what we love most.
When it doubt, talk it out because we need to keep throwing this in Instagram's face so they can fix it. So keep talking, keep doing great work and keep moving forward with new plans of action, because or work speaks for itself and will grow with our passion :)