It has been about six months since people are talking about the Instagram shadow ban. There's a lot to read about, a lot to figure out as well but what is it exactly? What do you need to do to avoid a ban? And why does Instagram even do this? bYooma found the answers to all your questions about it!

What is the shadow ban about? Many people have noticed that their followers amount has dropped little by little, that the engagement is lower as before and even if you use hashtags, the pictures are not showing up when clicking on it. These changes might be a sign of your account being shadow banned, but what does that means? 

Well, Instagram subtly blocks certain profiles from an online community and the user may not even know or realize it. Such a ban will hide your posts from those who don't follow you and if you use certain hashtags, only you and certain of your followers will find the picture back in the explore page. With this change it becomes more difficult for profiles to gain new followers through hashtags and the strategic growth ways are decreasing. 

So in one sentence: being shadow banned by Instagram means that you won't reach the people unless they're following you.

How does it gets activated? Once users are having a 'spam'-way of managing Instagram or having certain kind of behavior like inapproriate or abusive, it will active the shadow ban. But! Also using the same hashtags over and over again might be a trigger. Even though this hasn't anything to do with behavior or how you use others to make your business grow, hash tagging is a tool to engage and make your community grow. So if you use hashtags, make them relevant to your business and niche. This way you will avoid the ban and still have a strategic growth. Another reason why it gets activated is because a lot of brands are using Instagram as a marketing tool and especially the hashtags. By hindering these adds or commercial posts, brands will be more attracted to invest in paid advertising of Instagram itself instead of investing in the influencer marketing.

Can I avoid a shadow ban? Yes you can! Here are some tips to use:
- Don't use broken or banned hashtags 
- Don't use software that is against the Instagram terms like automatic bots or software
- Avoid being 'over active'. Instagram has a limit when it comes to liking or following others pictures and profiles.
- Invest in a good content because high quality pictures, good captions and posts within your niche increase your engagement, which avoids a ban.
- Post consistently, max twice a day or 7times a week. Every time on the same hour.
- Last but not least: be nice and avoid people reporting your profile, comment of pictures.

If I have a ban, how do I get rid of it? There's a possibility that your profile has been shadow banned if you noticed that your account is decreasing or stopped growing. To stop this you need to start investing in real engagement and if you use automatic bots, stop from today on. Get authentic, interact with your followers and get REAL. See it as dating someone new: you want to get to know the true colors of someone and even though you want to spend a lot of time with them, sometimes it's good to miss each other a little bit so you can build up something really nice. Got it ;)?

Want to know if you're banned? Do the test here! And for tips to increase your engagement you can read the post about bookmarks and the tips to grow followers. These articles will help you to increase the engagement again.
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