November 13, 2017

Are Instagram Shadowbans Even Real?

If you’ve spent enough time on Instagram, you’ve probably come across a few posts that go something like, “Help! I’ve been shadow banned! Please follow, like and comment on my posts!” You probably see a lot of these posts if you’ve done any follow trains to boost your Influenster score. I know I do.

Generally, I roll my eyes and keep on scrolling.

Regardless of differing opinions on whether or not Instagram is actively shadowbanning accounts (the official statement from Instagram is that no, they are not shadow banning; users say otherwise, and I would have to agree), the reason I roll my eyes is that these posts are obvious like grabs.

And shame on the original poster for tricking people into thinking that will actually help you.

It won’t.

All the experts recommend two major ways to get over a potential shadowban:

  • One, shut up and take a break from the platform. I know, it sounds harsh, but trust me it will help you the most.
  • Two, rethink your strategy. You have most likely been engaged in some spammy practices, like using irrelevant hashtags, being overly promotional from a personal account, or editing posts after getting a lot of likes.

When most of us think of spam on Instagram, we’re reminded of those annoying comments, “FOLLOW FOR ALL THE FOLLOWERS!!!1!!!1!!!!!”, but there a lot of sneaky ways in which a post can become spammy. Knowing what it looks like, will help you, not only identify bad new followers, it will also help you avoid making these mistakes unintentionally and avoid becoming shadowbanned. Here are some Instagram Spam red flags:

  • Claiming to have been shadowbanned.
  • Tagging your post with every possibly trending hashtag, even though it has nothing to do with your post.
  • The point above is especially true if you’re promoting a product. Just stick to the hashtags that make sense.
  • Using too many hashtags. Stick to under 11, if you can help it. I know it’s hard to not want to go all the way with the hashtags. Resist the temptation.
  • Editing your post caption, especially after you’ve received a number of likes. Edit for grammar and spelling before you post or let your mistakes live on forever. Trust me on this. I made this mistake and my engagement severely dropped. Don’t be like me.
  • Adding hashtags to a comment. You think it’s clever at first, and then you realize it fucked you right over. Stay away from your comments unless it’s to reply to your adoring fans (and in my case, “fans” means mom).

And that’s all you really need to worry about when it comes to shadowbanning on Instagram (and also not being a gross, spammy asshole who will get unfollowed). If you add great content without hashtag hi-jacking, you’ll see your likes and new followers grow.

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