Shadowbanning and Instagram

Instagram has been one of my great success stories.

By being consistent and sticking mostly to the training, you’ll see later in this post just how this little deviation caused so much of my current issues, I was still able to increase my following to over 23K.

However last year I took a few months of to recharge and consider my options.

I have a history of changing direction when I should remain on course and until we give up the chase and embrace the grind neither you or I will truly achieve our full potential.

And so with no better plan, I returned to Instagram and picked up my daily routine where I had left it, but quickly I realized there was something wrong with my account.

The whole point of a social network is to be social and I couldn’t.2018-05-13_1928

Sure I could still post content but that was all I was could do. No commenting or liking allowed, all I was given as a clue, was a bland error message stating this action could not be completed due to an unknown error. And of course Facebook support were no help.

The best course of action if you cannot determine the cause of an issue is to work around it and so that is what I did.

shadowbanned instagramAs you can see from these images, as I couldn’t like or comment on any of my followers fantastic content. And I couldn’t even reply to their comments and engagements with my content, I used the image richness of Instagram to explain the situation.

I did manage to weave them into my content plan so my posting theme for the most part remained consistent. However of course as I could not engage I could not encourage people to take a look at my bio or discover if there was anything I could help them with.

Basically, my Instagram account as a business property was dead in the water

However with no better plan and the fact I actually enjoy making the content for Instagram, I carried on posting to my regular routine until a few weeks ago and my holiday to Egypt.

Upon my return, I stumbled across an article about Instagram and Shadowbanning, could this be behind my limited account?

Now as I mentioned earlier, I stuck mostly to the training.

Checking your hashtags regularly is essential and was recommended in the training.

However with over 150 to check, I never did it.

The shadowbanning article suggested checking to see if any of your hashtags were banned. Now with over 150 to check this was no quick task but thankfully, I found a banned hashtag in the first 10 and this was the only one I found in my collection.

As you can see #nevergiveuponyou had rather than being the inspirational word, I wanted it to be had become attached to self harm communities.


So was it just the posts containing this hashtag that were blocked?

Absolutely not, as I was aligning myself with a community that Instagram quite rightly did not want promoted, my entire account activity was severely limited as I described earlier. They were not going to allow me to spread this negative message across their network.

Remember you are a guest on their platform and you are most often the sum of the people you hang out with.

So that hashtag got deleted and I took the opportunity to check all of my hashtags for popularity and relevance. Was #grit really that relevant to the content I was posting or what my account was about? Not really and there are as it turned out far better ones.

Another suggestion the article made was to not overuse the same hashtags.

So what I have done now is to create 5 unique sets of 5 hashtags for each of my content themes, Inspiration, Motivation and Action.

The idea being I will effectively use each hashtag only once every 5 days. Time will tell if this is a good idea.

Finally, I would recommend you review your hashtags but I wouldn’t do it more often than once per month due to the balance between exposure and overuse.