This is a follow-up piece to my original article on Instagram shadowbans. If you’re looking for information on what a shadowban is, how to figure out if you’ve been banned and/or how to get rid of a shadowban, you’ll want to start by reading my OG article, I Got Shadowbanned From Instagram: Here’s Why and How I Fixed It.
Would you believe I’ve been shadowbanned on Instagram, AGAIN?
Yup, it’s true. I’m currently riding out my second ban, and it got me thinking: There’s a reason I’m being punished. Yes, it’s a little unfair to have hashtags rendered useless since I’m not technically breaking any rules. However, the reason I keep getting banned is because I’m using IG in ways it wasn’t designed to be used. I’m engaging in bad behavior to grow my following faster, so yeah, I kind of deserve this punishment.
Thanks to this revelation, I’m using this second cooling off period to make some positive changes in my Instagram behavior. Since I can’t use hashtags, I’ve been using more “organic” methods to connect with fellow users, increase engagement and grow my following, and I’ve got to say: It feels good!
If you’re currently waiting out a shadowban, you can still gain followers and likes, too. Here are some ways you can improve your IG behavior and get back to the site’s intended purpose.
Why Using 30 Hashtags Is ‘Bad Behavior’
There’s debate about whether using the same 30 hashtags on every post will actually get you shadowbanned or if it has to be combined with other bad behavior. Regardless, saturating every Instagram post with hashtags is pretty much an attempt to “get rich quick.”
Think about it: By using all those hashtags, you’re basically trying to get your post in front of as many people as possible to grow your following as fast as possible. And that’s not wrong, per say. Maybe you want a larger following to promote your business or maybe you want to become an influencer. Maybe you just like the attention. We’ve all been there. It’s normal.
However, the point of social media is to create connections with people you wouldn’t otherwise meet, and if you’re simply trying to rake in as many followers as possible, you’re not really using the site for its intended purpose. Because Instagram influencers are now a thing, it’s basically become a site where quantity is valued more than quality.
Instagram has evolved into a site where quantity is valued more than quality.
This is underscored by the fact that even if you have thousands of followers, your engagement will plummet—often 50% or more—when you’re shadowbanned. If you were engaged with your existing followers, the effects probably wouldn’t be so drastic. After all, your followers still see your content when you’re shadowbanned. However, they’re not engaging with it because you haven’t built relationships with them. You’re basically neglecting your current “customers” because you’re avidly pursuing new ones. Does that make sense?
Good Instagram Behaviors to Practice While Shadowbanned
I know you’re probably not here to listen to me lecture about the purpose of Instagram. You want to know how you can gain new followers and rake in more likes while shadowbanned.
So without further ado, here are four ways to increase your engagement while you’re shadowbanned:
- Find New Friends
Even if you can’t post, you’re probably going to spend some time on Instagram anyway, so make the most of it. Venture outside your main page and find new accounts to follow. I’ve found that the exploration page is a great place to discover users, both “popular” and normal, who share your tastes and aesthetic.
- Dole Out Love
When you’re exploring all that Instagram has to offer, don’t be shy to post comments. Obviously, you don’t want to go on a mad liking or commenting spree, but if you see a picture you like, leave a comment! Don’t just write 😍😍😍, either. Take a minute to compose a thoughtful response—you’ll be amazed at how far it gets you.
- Get to Know Your Followers
I bet you have hundreds of followers whose pages you’ve never even looked at. While you’re sitting around idly, go check out some of their work. You don’t necessarily have to follow them, but engage with them to show you’re real and paying attention.
- Connect With Old Friends
You probably have real friends and acquaintances who you’re not connected with on Instagram, so why not go find them? You can search for friends by connecting IG to Facebook or your contact list, and there’s also a section of “People You May Know.” These are probably the most reliable follow-backs, if we’re being honest.
Sure, these strategies might not get you dozens of new followers, but I’m willing to bet you’ll make some new internet friends. Plus, these are all good Instagram behaviors that will help you have more integrity on the site, which is never a bad thing!
The bottom line is that shadowbans suck, but you’re stuck with it for at least a week, so you should make the most of that time and increase engagement however you can. This way, you can jump right back into things when your ban is lifted.