How To Beat The Instagram ‘Shadowban’

Off-The-Shoulder Top: Buffalo David Bitton

Denim Lace-Up Shorts: ASOS

Embroidered Sneakers: Zara on sale! (Another similar style)

Blue Shoulder Bag: Furla (darker blue version)


RAISE YOUR HAND IF YOUR INSTAGRAM ENGAGEMENT HAS PLUMMETED IN THE LAST TWO MONTHS…

…THANKS ‘SHADOWBAN’

Unfortunately the latest Instagram installment has wrecked multiple levels of posting engagement for many of us, myself included, that rely on hashtags to get our content ‘discovered.’ Now Instagram posting has become more of a strategic effort to maintain visibility, while still using enough hashtags to garner likes & ultimately new followers without getting ‘banned’ from being discoverable on Search feeds/pages.


For those of you not familiar or aware of what this so-called ‘Shadowban’ is all about:

This is a result of Instagram’s effort to make the platform less-spammy, encouraging a more focused and specific place to share content as it pertains to the image posted.

Therefore, you’re long list of 30 popular hashtags will most likely cause your post to be ‘un-discoverable” by potential new followers and lowering your engagement in the process.


I totally understand and appreciate Instagram for its efforts to make the platform a more curated space, organized in the nature of relevant content that appears per specific hashtag used. You are more likely to gain new followers that share the same interests as you, rather than random ones completely unrelated to your content (speaking from a blogger/brand standpoint.)

However, the system still has its faults – for starters, some of my posts including ‘very specific’ hashtags (i.e. #LTKStyleTip for LiketoKnow.it) are often banned when I pair it with only 2 more generic ones (i.e. #FashionBlogger #Fashion). Overtime, I’m sure this will be resolved (praying) but in the meantime posting has become something that requires a strategy and unfortunately for me, more research and planning in advance with my captions.


Until this issue becomes easier to deal with and engagement is somewhat restored back to normal, here’s how you can beat the Shadowban and ensure your posts to Instagram are ‘visible’ to current & future followers of your account:

HOW TO KNOW IF YOU’VE BEEN SHADOWBANNED

Frankly, if it’s not showing up in the gallery of images when you click on one of the hashtags you used – then you’ve probably been shadowbanned.

I like to check both my brand-specific hashtags AND the generic ones, just to see if it shows up for one and not the other. If at least one photo is visible, then you’re okay and probably just farther down in the shuffle of photos that are being posted at the same time as yours – those accounts just might have a higher engagement rate than you to begin with (not confirmed, just my speculation.)

QUICK TIP: You can check each of your posts to see if it has been banned by using the Instagram Shadowban Tester – enter your Instagram handle and the URL to your post and it will tell you whether or not your post has been banned or not.


GET SPECIFIC WITH YOUR HASHTAGS

That old tip to include all 30 hashtags in your post no longer applies, ugh sigh. That’s what a majority of us banked on when getting likes/followers. Now you have to get way more specific to your post when it comes to hashtagging – adding a # before anything that your image represents.

If we were to hashtag my outfit shown above, these are the hashtags I would use: #denimshorts #blue #offtheshoulder #blouse #fashionblogger #nyc #summeroutfit #embroidery #sneakers #streetstyle.

Keep in mind, I would still check to see if all of these combined are still viewable, as we never know these days but at least this is a good start to curating specific content worthy of Instagram’s approval.


Although these are all the suggestions I have to offer so far to combat the current ‘Shadowban’ issue, I promise to keep this post updated with any new tricks or discoveries I come across in my effort to BEAT it!

In the meantime, I hope this helps somewhat!


 

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12 Comments

  • Reply Katherine July 24, 2017 at 9:22 am

    Thanks for the tips and the testing website! I just tested my account and had no idea one of my posts had been banned! It’s beyond frustrating as someone who is trying to build and grow authentically. I guess I need to change up my hashtag game!

    Katherine | http://www.oneswainkycouple.com

    • Reply Tilden July 28, 2017 at 11:58 am

      Changing up hashtags is so important! Loved your new post on the new skincare you have been using!

  • Reply toby July 24, 2017 at 10:40 am

    this was such a helpful post! i actually checked my account and one photo was shadowbanned, however, none of the tags i went through had a ban so i am not sure whats happening! i love your blog come check out mine http://www.poshandspicy.com xx toby

    • Reply Tilden July 28, 2017 at 11:54 am

      Right? It is super confusing! Your blog is great, the post on the Nordstrom sale was such a help!

  • Reply Monica July 24, 2017 at 11:43 pm

    Love those shoes, such a fun pop of color!

    xo,
    Monica
    http://www.ginghamandcord.com

    • Reply Tilden July 28, 2017 at 11:54 am

      Thanks! Love your post on the chocolate chip cookies! I cannot wait to try them!

  • Reply Felly July 25, 2017 at 1:21 am

    First off, you look amazing! I love that off the shoulder top!

    The tips on the shadowbox were awesome. Building is even harder with the current Insta strategy, so hashtags are more important than ever.

    Felly Bee | http://www.fellybee.com

    • Reply Tilden July 28, 2017 at 11:51 am

      Thanks girl! I totally agree about the Instagram hashtags, they are so important!

  • Reply Kay July 26, 2017 at 11:39 pm

    Love this look on you. So casual yes dressed up. Great styling too. As to instagram, totally a bummer that they’re going down that route.

    • Reply Tilden July 28, 2017 at 11:51 am

      Thanks! I know right, it is so frustrating!

  • Reply Heather Dawn August 8, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    Oh my goodness this was so helpful. I had no idea that this even existed! Tested it and my last post had totally been banned! Changed up the hashtags and will definitely continue to do so! I’m so appreciate of your post!!!

  • Reply Kristen August 12, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    Oh my goodness, thank you for these tips! Your content is so wonderful and helpful!

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