5 Things to Do During the Instagram Shadow Ban Frenzy

By now you’ve probably heard of the shadow ban happening on Instagram. If you haven’t heard of it, you’re probably one of the lucky ones. Over the last couple of months, Instagram users have been battling with a considerable decrease in their engagement. And we all know consistent engagement is one of the keys to having a successful account.

Being shadow banned on Instagram means that your posts have been harder to find. Using carefully selected hashtags is usually what helps increase your visibility, but being shadow banned means that your posts are no longer showing up on Instagram’s hashtag pages. For example, if you’re using #WinnipegPhotographer in your posts, people who aren’t already following your accounts won’t see those posts when they search that hashtag. This makes it hard for new people to find, engage with, and follow your account. Not impossible…but certainly difficult.

Often when an account is banned on Instagram it’s because some is posting inappropriate content, or they’re using spammy tactics like automating their comments. While that may be the case for some users, what seems to be the main cause of this mass shadow ban is the fact that Instagram and implementing algorithm changes and new features. Lately when Instagram rolls out something new, it seems to make user accounts a little glitch.

Instagram has acknowledged this problem and says they are working on correcting it. However, a recent statement they made suggests that users not rely solely on hashtags to increase their engagement and grow their audiences. That strikes me as odd considering that’s what hashtags are for, but hey, I’m not the boss of Instagram.

Different sources suggest taking a few days to a week off from posting will make your account go back to normal. A few of my past clients and social media biz besties have tried this approach, but it only seems to fix the problem temporarily. Another suggestion I came across was to switch your business account back to a personal one, as it seems this shadow ban was only affecting business accounts. This also doesn’t seem to be a permanent solution.

As someone whose account has also been affected by this ban, and whose business heavily relies on Instagram, you can be sure I don’t plan on taking a hiatus anytime soon. Especially if this tactic doesn’t actually work.

While Instagram figures out what the heck is going on and how to fix it, here’s a list of 5 things you can do to bring up your engagement and grow your account during the ban!

1. Engage with your current followers.

Don’t forget about the followers you already have. Continue putting in the effort to respond to the comments you’re sill getting on your posts. Kick it up a notch by responding with open-ended questions to keep the conversation flowing.

2. Seek out your ideal clients and engage with their posts.

Just because your posts might be hard to discover, doesn’t mean you can’t discover someone else’s posts. Search for your ideal client and show them tons of love on their feed. Like their photos and leave quality comments on their posts. That whole open-ended question thing applies here too. The more you engage, the more likely they are to go back to your feed, give you a follow, and do the same thing.

3. Utilize your Instagram stories.

Instagram stories is a great place to put behind the scenes content, expert advice, and everything in between. Let your audience know what you’re up to and give them a chance to interact with your stories.

4. Join or start an Instagram pod.

An Instagram pod is a group of people who’ve decided to help each other increase their engagement. Once your pod is formed, everyone involved will turn on post notifications for each member. Every time someone in the pod has a new post, all other members go to that post, give it a like, and leave a quality comment.

*Speaking of Instagram pods, did you know that all Hustle & Charm Winnipeg members have access to a pod upon signing up for the community? Click HERE for details!

5. Stop using spammy growth tactics.

If you’re automating your Instagram comments, it’s time to stop. Stop that right now! Even without the shadow ban, you shouldn’t be automating your comments. They’re spammy, unoriginal, and just plain lame. You should also stop buying followers if that’s something you’re into. If you are doing these things, chances are you’ll end up legitimately banned from Instagram soon enough anyway. And I mean “account deleted” banned!

Instagram is my jam but I understand it can be a tough nut to crack, even without this pesky shadow ban. If you’re having trouble developing an Instagram strategy specifically tailored to the needs of you and your business, I think it’s time you and I have a one-on-one session. Click HERE for details!