Is Instagram Shadowban Killing Your Engagement?

Instagram Shadowban

Have you been obsessively building your following on Instagram? Are you creating amazing posts, receiving tons of engagement and THEN, you notice a gradual to steep decline in the activity on your feed? What's happening? I'm going to explain some of what could be occurring and how you might fix it!

The questions I asked you are exactly what I dealt with this past month. I was growing a great Instagram following, receiving a lot of comments, and likes; and then everything shifted drastically downward. So, was I shadowbanned? I think so! I'll tell you how I found out and what steps I took to resolve it.

There are several factors that will cause a decrease in activity on your Instagram feed: Shadowbanning and new Instagram Algorithms.

What is an Instagram Shadowban?

A Shadowban is when your #hashtags become hidden from searches. Now, here is the secret Instagram doesn't talk about: Under an Instagram Shadowban, hashtags are undiscoverable to the people who are not following you. So, you will not readily notice you are being shadowbanned, nor will your followers. You want new eyeballs on your content to grow, so you need to be seen by people who are not following you currently!

How do you find out if this is affecting you? If you suspect that you have been shadowbanned, ask several people that are not following you or friends to first unfollow you to check your hashtags. If they're not visible, then you are being shadowbanned.

Why are You Being Shadowbanned and How Can you Lift It?

If you have recently switched to a business account, as I had, there's a good chance this is your issue. Change back to a personal account and give it a week of new posts to see if engagement picks up.Instagram wants businesses to advertise, so they are restricting visibility for business accounts. When I switched back, my hashtags became visible and the engagement improved. When I run a promoted post, I'll turn on the business setting and then switch it back after the promotion is over. If this is not your issue, then I would take a look next at your hashtags.

Do you use the same hashtags for every post? There is a lot of speculation about whether this impacts engagement. If you are experiencing the shadowban as a personal account I would try limiting repetitive hashtags. Try to use specific relevant hashtags. There are also banned hashtags that can become an issue.

Here are a few more things that can potentially cause an Instagram Shadowban:

  1. Surge of activity- If you're following or liking too fast.

  2. Using bots and automated services. Because you and the application you're using have 2 different ip addresses, this can be a red flag to Instagram.

  3. Buying followers. There is NEVER a good time for any reason to buy followers. Instagram frowns on this.

Finally, the reason your activity has decreased may have nothing to do with being shadowbanned. Instagram is continuously changing their algorithms to both monetize and improve their members experience.

The best way to grow engagement and a steady following is to use content that is visual and appealing to your followers. What interests your followers? Mix up your feed with video, images and quotes. And lastly and most importantly, make sure to engage and ENGAGE BACK!! This will increase the likelihood that your posts will gain traction. The Instagram algorithm boost posts that gain more likes and comments. Note- Early engagement on a posts is important as it signals to Instagram that your post is popular.

Would love to hear if you have experienced and Instagram Shadowban and if you were able to resolve it. If you feel this post has been helpful. please feel free to share!