You’ve written funny copy, topped it off with some hashtags, hit the ‘Post’ button, even coupled it with an interactive IG story and… Nothing. Radio silence. Even though you’ve done everything right. Could it be the mysterious shadowban?

(Let’s stick to Instagram right now. But know that there is speculation of shadowbanning on pretty much every social platform out there)

What does ‘being shadowbanned’ mean?

Being shadowbanned means that Instagram limits your content without any notification or explanation. Suddenly, your posts are hidden and your account is deprioritized, which makes your content undiscoverable. In some cases, it even gets removed. Your visibility, reach and engagement rate quickly plummet, which can quickly influence your actual sales or services.

So no matter how hard you’re trying to improve your online activity, it can all stop in an instant.

Why does Instagram do this?

Basically, they want to avoid inauthenticity. Think: bots, spams, fake profiles, useless hashtags… It’s all part of a big clean-up, in order to make Instagram more authentic and real.

On the bright side: it pushes you as a brand to build a community of true fans, consumers and possible customers, instead of focusing on void numbers. 

Of course, you also need to know exactly what not to do.

What can you do to avoid a shadowban?

There are a couple of things.

The main key to staying on track – or getting back on it – is to keep providing your followers with consistent quality content. Let’s elaborate.

1. Follow community guidelines

First things first: read them. Understand them. Apply them. Play by Instagram’s rules and you won’t get shadowbanned.

2. Hashtag responsibly

There is a plethora of overused hashtags that are spammed with inappropriate content. Instagram now seeks those out and ‘bans’ them. Avoid using these broken hashtags and also delete them from your older posts – you don’t want your content linked to them. Stick to those that are relevant for your (potential) audience.

3. Make it about educational/useful content

Instagram favors educational accounts. Instead of using the platform to plainly promote your brand’s product/services, try to inform your followers. Give them a more all-round perspective. Make video tutorials, include user-generated reviews, collab with a couple of quality influencers… Strive for an interesting feed that makes people want to interact, not just one filled with plain advertising. 

4. Don’t be spammy

It sounds counter-intuitive, but Instagram doesn’t like too much activity at once. Don’t go on commenting, liking and following as if your life depends on it. You’ll get mistaken for a bot and Instagram is really doubling down on those. Limit the chances by only interacting with users and content that’s relevant for your community.

As stated above, it’s all about creating and engaging with authentic, valuable content. If you do just that, not only will you avoid a shadowban, you’ll also get rewarded for your efforts. 

Want to improve your Insta game even more? Head on over to our hub.