You are probably one of the many people who have seen the sudden decline of engagement on Instagram. Don’t worry, you’re not alone – most Instagram users experience shadowban effects – and myself. As a business owner trying to market my business on Instagram, I know for a fact that it can be very frustrating. That’s why I want to help you understand what’s going on, and what you need to do to fix it.
What is really happening?
You can be a victim of what they call “shadowban”. There is some history behind this name, but in short, it refers to when your account is blocked or blocked by moderators. And here’s the kick: it’s done in a way you don’t even know it’s possible!
On Instagram, this has been going on since February, but seems to be affecting many Instagramers even more recently. Instagram has never been completely true, and because of this we still know a lot, but here’s what we know…
We know that Instagram attacks “bots” and services that automatically send, like, and comment on you. This, of course, is a good thing because it removes spam. But the downside is that Instagram has been penalizing accounts that do not violate any rules.
How they punish accounts for deleting their content from hashtags. If you rely too much on hashtags to reach your audience, then this may be what is holding you back from getting involved.
This is exactly what happened to me. On my Instagram account @oneninepro I was the first to get over 100 likes per post. Suddenly, it fired into the air at 30 or 40 more.
How do I know this is happening to me?
When blocked, you may also not see that your posts are blocked in hashtags because – once you are logged into your account – your posts will still appear under the category as usual. It will appear as normal to your fans again.
View the same hashtag using a non-tracking account. You can ask a friend to follow your account and check it out for you, or if you have a second Instagram account, don’t follow your first account to check it out. If your post is missing, then you are blocked.
Below you will see an example of one of my posts. Note in the first example, when I logged into my account, you see the post-split under the hashtag #motivationmonday. BUT when you signed in to my other account @onenineprodesign, the same post does not exist.
If you have taken this test and confirmed that you are indeed banned, first of all, I apologize. For those of us who are trying to really do things on Instagram and not cheat on the program, it looks like this affects us as well.
Here’s the good news: it doesn’t last forever… as long as you follow the steps below.
Why am I deprived of dignity, and how do I overcome it?
Also, Instagram hasn’t really told us why certain accounts are blocked, so it’s impossible to know why that happened to you. But here are a few possible reasons:
1. You use Bots
Just stop using the default services and disconnect your account from that software.
2. Using blocked hashtags
Some hashtags have accumulated spam and inappropriate content to the point that Instagram has completely blocked or restricted you. If you use one of these hashtags, you are likely to be punished for it.
You need to check your individual hashtags before using them. If you search for a hashtag and do not register any results, it may be blocked. Similarly, if you are searching for a hashtag and it does not have a “Top Post” section and it shows a limited number of posts, it is restricted (see #kansas for an example of this).
Stop using these hashtags for your future posts, and you may want to go back and remove restrictions on old posts.
3. Mass Follow, Like, or Comment
My @oneninepro account has been blocked twice, and I’m almost sure this is the first reason. A few weeks ago, I went after 100 young people at once, and that’s when I started to see a decline in engagement in my post. It appears that any significant increase in activity on your account – including likes, comments, and followers – may result in your being banned.
Remember, Instagram is trying to get rid of bots, so anything you do like a bot spam job is likely to block you.
My second account @onenineprodesign may be blocked from day one. I was using this account to test various growth methods so I was following and not following 100 people every day. This has really grown my followers, but I only got 6 likes per post (which may have come from existing fans only) because the hashtags could not be categorized.
I understand that following in bulk and liking is a way to increase the following. I’m not saying you have to stop completely, but you may need to push it back to get a note. Although there is no standard set I have found for following, likes, and comments, most sources say that about 100 likes, 60 comments, and 60 followers per hour are safe (and this information seems to confirm that).
4. Using repeated hashtags
Believe it or not, my account has been blocked for the second time. If you are like many other Instagram marketers, simply copy and paste the same group of hashtags into each post.
Obviously repeating hashtags like this can get you banned. For me, this one bothers me the most because it makes a little sense. I use the hashtag #reflectsuccess directly on my product, but the threat of dignity basically prevents me from using it as often as I would like. And I know many other users are affected in the same way.