Starting and getting your Instagram game together is a lot to think about! We covered some basics, but now we’re talking the biggest mistake you can make in Instagram-land: the shadowban.
What is a “Shadowban”?
The term “shadowban” is scary on its own, but it basically means Instagram is keeping people from easily seeing your posts. Shadowbanning is one way Instagram tries to protect people from fake accounts, also known as “bots”. But sometimes real accounts can get shadowbanned, too.
Instagram, just like a salon, is focused on the user’s experience. If it deems any behavior as toxic or “bot-like”, then it might put the account on lockdown for a while.
Am I shadowbanned?
Unfortunately, Instagram won’t notify you about a shadowban. Your posts simply won’t show up in the feed. If your posts suddenly aren’t getting much action, it might indicate a problem.
There are a couple ways to check if you’ve been shadowbanned. First, share a post with a specific hashtag. Use a friend or coworker’s Instagram and search for recent posts with that hashtag. If your post isn’t showing up, there’s a good chance you’ve been shadowbanned. You can also have someone else search for your Instagram handle. If it doesn’t show up at the top when you’ve typed an exact match, it’s another indication you have a problem.
There are two common ways to get shadowbanned:
Don’t Do Too Much Too Fast
You’re all stoked and ready to start your Instagram; I get it. But Instagram doesn’t like too much activity right off the bat. Activity means following/unfollowing, liking or commenting on posts, or posting a bunch of photos. Instagram flags too many activities as a bot-like behavior and can result in a shadowban. Later.com, an Instagram marketing platform says “Try not to exceed 150-200 likes, 60 comments, and 60 follows/unfollows per hour!”
Hashtags are important to categorizing your posts and getting noticed. But like everything else, use in moderation and change them up! Using the same hashtags over and over again can result in being shadowbanned.
Instead, specify your hashtags to your what your photo is showcasing: #balayage, #vividhaircolor, #curlycut, etc. Also, consider using location-based hashtags to attract clients local to you. A lot of salons will create their own hashtags for this reason.
You can use up to 30 hashtags in a post, but more doesn’t necessarily mean better. Using a ton of hashtags is another thing bot accounts tend to do. Just pick 3-5 meaningful hashtags so you don’t overdo it.
How Get Rid of a Shadowban
There are steps you can take to get an Instagram shadowban lifted. We recommend doing a combination of all steps.
- Don’t post for a while. Give it at least 2-3 days before posting again.
- Limit other activity: liking, commenting, following
- Change up your hashtags and limit how many you use
- Contact Instagram via the Help menu on the mobile app