There are a number of reasons why may have found yourself with the dreaded shadow ban on Instagram. We’ve all been there, but with some help and guidance you can work through it. You will need to suck it up for a little while, however, and some bloggers have even suggested that abstaining from Instagram entirely for a few weeks can rectify the situation. Next time that I suspect one of my accounts is under an Instagram shadow ban, I’ll be sure to monitor the situation and let you know.
Anyway, what will get you shadow banned on Instagram? Quite a few things apparently. It seems that Instagram is really cracking down hard on a lot of stuff, and unless you know the “new rules”, chances are your Instagram account is going to become very disappointing, very quickly.
What Will Get You Shadow Banned on Instagram?
1 – Posting too frequently.
If you’re posting too often, Instagram will shadow ban you. They’ll think you’re spamming, and unless you’re on holiday and updating everyone with hotdog legs, there’s a good chance you are.
Oh, and if you’re one of *those* people who feels the need to hotdog-leg every five minutes, please stop. You’re making me hella jealous!
How often is too often? Nobody really knows, but you probably shouldn’t post 5 or 6 times per day for 30 days in a row. Use your common sense a little bit, and look around at what other accounts are doing too. One post a day is a good place to start, but after a while you might find this isn’t enough and you need to up your game. Just don’t get too carried away that you’re posting every hour, on the hour, and end up getting yourself banned.
Recommendation: I would personally recommend 1 Instagram post per day, with 2 or 3 posts on the *occasional* day. I found myself hit with the Instagram shadow ban when I posted between 3 and 6 times per day, every day, on the social page for my website, CherryCherryBeauty.com. You can find that here > CherryCherryBeauty
2 – Following lots of accounts too quickly.
It looks like you’re being really spammy if you try to follow a whole bunch of accounts at once. Again, no one seems to know the “real” number — How many is too many? — but if you’ve gone too far you’ll soon find out about it. Your Insta-likes will go from hundreds per picture, to just a couple. And it’ll be oh-so-disappointing when it does, especially if you’ve been working really hard on gaining followers recently.
Just don’t go on heavy liking sprees; that’s what I would advise. Try to sporadically space your likes out. Write them down or make yourself a reminder in your phone calendar if you need to. You can save images now, and that’s what I like to do if I’ve been on a particularly heavy liking spree. Later on during the week I’ll go back to those snaps I saved and like them. If you like 30-50 pictures per day, Instagram will pick up on that. You’ll likely get yourself Instagram shadow banned.
3 – Using the same hashtags repeatedly.
You can’t just copy and paste the same hashtags now, ladies and gentlemen. In fact, Instagram are making it really difficult to automate anything, another point I will make in just a moment. If you use the same hashtags over and over and over again, Instagram will pick up on it and you will be penalised. They will shadow ban your account.
If you need a hand with hashtags — finding new ones or making them work better for you — you might find some of these posts useful:
Don’t use the same hashtags over and over again. Spread them out. Use Tailwind to find new ones, and look around to see what everyone else is using. But definitely check out Tailwind too – I’ve found it remarkably helpful!
4 – Report, report, report.
If you’re continually naughty on your Instagram account and people keep reporting you for it, you’re going to be penalised by Instagram. As well as shutting down your account entirely for a while, they can also shadow ban you, or maybe even both, one after the other.
Make sure you know what the terms and conditions are for using Instagram. No nipples or other rude bits, you know the drill. It’s a family friendly site, so try to be as family friendly as you can be on it. If you don’t follow the rules there will always be someone just desperately waiting to report you for it. It’s not worth taking the chance. It’s definitely not worth taking the chance if you’re trying to build your Instagram following. A shadow ban would NOT be good for you.
5 – Using auto-like applications.
You may have seen these in the Apple store – applications designed to auto-like other accounts, and also get people to auto-like yours. I’ve had a peek at these before. Most of them really aren’t worth it. Most of them aren’t even real, stuffed with fake accounts that are likely to get deactivated soon anyway. I go into this a little more in > Buying Followers … Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Do It. I highly recommend you take a read! (I would say that, right? Seriously, read it though.)
Auto-anything is bad for Instagram. They’re cracking down on that kind of thing a lot, it would seem.
6 – Using auto-post services.
There is a website called OnlyPult that promises to post to Instagram for you, something that no other social media scheduling tool can do. For the record, using OnlyPult goes against the terms and conditions of using Instagram and will not only see you getting shadow banned, but could also see your entire account shut down for violations of the Terms of Service. It messed with the API, and that’s definitely NOT Insta-allowed.
I use Tailwind, Later and Hootsuite to manage the various Instagram (and other social media accounts) that I’m in charge of. I’ve used OnlyPult in the past, but I soon learned my lesson. I was shadow banned by Instagram, and it was only then that I learned I’d gone against the Terms of Service myself.
We live and learn, right?
7 – Using banned Instagram hashtags.
As well as NOT featuring at all when people click on those banned Instagram hashtags, you are also likely to get your account shadow banned too. The two together can make for quite a catastrophic outcome. I remember watching my Instagram likes going from 100+ per post, to just 1. That’s it — the one lonely like. Let me tell you something, that day was depressing.
I have written a list of the banned Instagram hashtags I’ve come across, and I’m trying to keep it regularly updated, so if you’ve spotted a banned tag I haven’t listed yet, feel free to let me know in the comments below the post. You’ll find it here > Are You Using Banned Instagram Hashtags?
You’d be amazed by some of the ridiculous hashtags on the list.
#Single is one of them.
#ValentinesDay is another.
Honestly, I snort-laughed so much as I tapped it out!
I will update this list as I learn what will get you shadow banned on Instagram. Once again, if you know something I don’t, feel free to share the information in the comments below. Let’s share the social media love.
If you’ve found the information I provided useful today, feel free to give my social media pages a cheeky ‘like’. I would be ever so grateful, and I might even come and give you a cheeky like back!
Thanks for reading! I hope I’ve helped you today.