If your social media accounts lack engagement and impressions, you may be shadowbanned on social media. Shadowbanning takes place when a social media platform blocks a user’s account in such a way that the user has no idea it’s happening. Shadowbans usually result from posting too frequently or using blocked keywords but can also reduce the influence of users who post opinions that don’t align with those of the person running the platform.
How does a user become shadowbanned on social media?
Shadowbans can reduce reach, restrict who sees your content, and severely impact engagement. And with so many questions surrounding Instagram shadowbans, it might not be very comforting for producers and business owners attempting to expand their fan bases and attract new consumers. Shadowbanning occurs when a user is restricted in some way from posting content to an online community. Shadowbans can result from too much activity on your account, including logging in and out, posting often, or sharing deny listed keywords. Shadowbans are almost always computer-automated, with no human reviewers involved. Usually, this reduces the amount of work needed to monitor posts for abuse, but it also makes it more challenging to contest issues that arise. For example, suppose you are shadowbanned because you posted something that violates the terms of service. In that case, you may never know it’s happening since there is usually no notification sent besides not posting your content anyway. If you are shadowbanned, you can assume you did one of the following things:
- Your social media account gets reported for repeated violations
- You use broken or banned hashtags
- You use automated bots or services that violate Instagram terms & conditions
- You have large surges of activity like posting, comments, like, or DMs, which could indicate fraudulent activity
- You are abusing Instagram’s daily or hourly limits or engagement
- You are using Instagram pods for additional engagement
How to check if you’ve been shadowbanned on social media.
In many cases, it is almost impossible for people to know they have been shadowbanned on social media because most platforms use automated systems based on algorithms and not real people. People have different theories about what defines “shadowbanning,” so if you think your account might be affected, there is a straightforward way to check your profile—use another account.
One way to check if you have been shadowbanned on Instagram is to create a new post and use a few unpopular hashtags in the caption and the first comment. Then, ask a friend to use their account and unfollow you. Lastly, search for those hashtags and see if your post appears in the search results in Top Posts or Recent Posts. If your posts don’t show up in either search, you might be a target of the Instagram shadowban.
How to avoid being shadowbanned on social media.
No one is positive how social media platforms like Instagram determine how or when to shadowban a user. Still, there are some steps you can take to avoid getting shadowbanned altogether.
- Read, learn, and follow all of the Instagram community guidelines
- Use only approved Instagram partners or services that don’t use bots
- Don’t spam similar hashtags or use banned hashtags on all of your posts
- Don’t follow and unfollow many people in a short period, even though it may boost your follower numbers.
- Do not post unlawful or harmful material
- Don’t bother or spam other Instagram users
- Do not buy followers on any social media network
How long does a social media shadowban last?
At this time, no one is quite sure how long a social media shadowban lasts. Some insiders say it lasts two to three weeks; others think it could last over a month. If you are shadowbanned, there are some steps to take to help remedy the situation.
- Go through all posts and clean up the use of too many hashtags, repetitive hashtags, or banned hashtags
- Disconnect all third-party bot or automation apps that are connected to your account
- Take a week-long break from using Instagram. Yes, this includes things like posting, commenting, and liking
The big takeaways from all of this shadowban chatter? There is no way to game the system on social media, so just create excellent, shareable content. If you need help, the WhiskerCloud Content Plan may be the all-inclusive content marketing management package you’ve been looking for!