May 2, 2017:
Earlier this month, a number of Instagram Business Account users reported being ‘shadow banned’ on the app and seeing a 50% decrease in engagement. Want to avoid being affected and keep your engagement up? Here are our top tips…
Play By The Rules
If the shadow ban is related to what Instagram deems inappropriate usage, it is probably time to stop using software that violates its Terms of Service. That might include apps that post images for you (Schedugram, Onlypult) or bots that increase your following, like Instagress, Followliker and Mass Planner. Similarly, you might want to be aware of the app’s daily and hourly limits – from the amount of photos you like to the number of comments you post and even how many people you follow or unfollow. Unfortunately, this depends on the age of your account, so limits vary on a case-by-case basis, but we imagine it’s about ensuring you’re not conducting any bot-like behavior.
Keep Your Hashtags Healthy
Sometimes Instagram puts limit on certain hashtags – even ones as harmless as #photography and #beautyblogger have been known to be banned under its rules against ‘violent, nude, partially nude, discriminatory, unlawful, infringing, hateful, pornographic or sexually suggestion’ posts or, according to cofounder Mike Kreiger, because the tag is ‘too generic and didn’t provide enough end-user value.’ If you use one of these banned, broken or abused hashtags, it can have negative effects on your photo’s ranking for any of the other hashtags used. Check the tags you’ve posted: If they’ve been limited you will either see nothing at all or one page of images followed by a notice that states the hashtag posts ‘are currently hidden because the community has reported some content that may not meet Instagram’s community guidelines.’
Switch your Business Account back to a Personal Account. Some sites are claiming that Instagram’s owners Facebook are shadow banning as a way to encourage business users to purchase ads in order to increase engagement. While it’s true, the majority of affected users have Business Accounts on Instagram, and many have also suggested they circumvented the limitations by changing their settings, we have yet to hear more from Instagram on the matter.
Create Cool Content
There are many hacks to increasing engagement, like posting at peak times or employing trending and popular hashtags. At the end of the day, you are trying to get a response from your audience and the best way to do that is to think creatively. Reward your followers, run a contest or takeover, end with a call to action – the possibilities are endless. Good luck!
What tips and tools do you use to fight shadow banning? Share in the comments!
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