Have you found yourself constantly refreshing the #LostFollowes hashtag on Instagram, purely in the hope to find a solution for why your account suddenly losing Instagram followers? Well if so then let me give you the bad news; there’s nothing wrong with the Instagram servers. In this post, we will tell you why you might be experiencing a sudden drop or loss in your daily follower count, and how to rectify the situation and move forward.
Why you’re losing Instagram followers all of a sudden, especially when you’re normally gaining new followers every week, is because you may have been ‘shadow banned’ by Instagram. A shadowban will effectively prevent your content from being shown on the explore page under the respective hashtags that have been used in the post’s captions (or the comments section). To make things worse, there is no official warning when you have been shadowbanned, although the big drop in followers should be a red flag for you to notice.
The best way to see whether you have been shadow banned or not is to search through a couple of the hashtags that have been used in your reacent posts, and see whether your Instagram posts show up in the feed for that hashtag at all. This may be easier to do if you’ve used an odd hashtag, as there will be fewer posts to sift through. Needless to say though, this should be checked by a second account or third just to be certain.
Avoid the headache by checking out this post we wrote on how to always beat the Instagram algorithm, where we are teaching you how to grow your account organicly– as well as teaching you how the Instagram algorithm works!
WHAT CAN CAUSE A SHADOW BAN?
Instagram has dispelled the notion that there is an official shadow ban, however, we all know that there definitely is one. From my experience of growing various Instagram accounts over the past several years, I can confirm that I have had my own experience with the said account restrictions, and it can be quite demoralizing as there’s no explanation from Instagram as to why it may have happened.
That being said though, my experience has taught me that there are few reasons why you can be shadowbanned on Instagram. Some are more obvious than others, and they can all be avoided with ease. Without further ado, here are some of the reasons why your account might be restricted:
Instagram has really been clamping down recently on users who are abusing the platform, especially when they’re using bots to automate not only their content but their engagement too. If you’ve been using the platform for long enough, you will be aware of the now frowned-upon growth method called ‘Follow/Unfollow’. Many users were using bots to automate this method, where they would follow an account in an attempt to have them follow them back, before unfollowing them after a few days regardless. This process would be automated 24/7, and after a few years of success – Instagram had enough.
Not only has the social media platform penalized offenders with shadow bans, but they have also gone as far as banning certain users from the platform indefinitely. The Follow/Unfollow method is just one of the ways that a bot can automate your Instagram tasks, however, all of them have come under huge scrutiny in the past year or so. If you’re thinking about using bots to further your Instagram account growth, then I would highly recommend that you avoid doing so. As an alternative, if you’re looking to schedule your Instagram posts in advance and let them do the job for you. Then you can use Instagram-approved services such as Buffer.
This point might be a strange one, but you can have your account restricted by Instagram if you tend to use the same hashtags over and over again. The reason being is that the repetitive use of hashtags can be seen as a spam tactic, which could easily be done with the use of a bot, whereby you would schedule 100’s of posts in advance – all with the exact same hashtags – and then just sit back and let the followers swarm in. Obviously, Instagram wants to keep the platform as socially engaging as possible, so they’ll penalize any accounts that appear to be doing anything that a bot might do.
To avoid getting yourself shadowbanned for the repetitive use of hashtags, it goes without saying that you should mix up your hashtags regularly. The best way to do this is to use hashtags that are relevant to the content that you’re posting, especially as Instagram is getting smarter by the day. Don’t be surprised that Instagram’s algorithm can detect the content within an image or video, and scan your captions and hashtags for relevancy at the same time. So you probably shouldn’t be spamming the hashtag #SausageLover unless you’re tucking into a German Bratwurst.
HOW TO REMOVE THE SHADOW BAN
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed yet, but I haven’t yet mentioned that the shadowban was permanent – and that’s because it isn’t. Luckily for you, the shadowban can be reversed, provided that you avoid making the previously mentioned mistakes, as well as first taking a break from Instagram altogether. When I encountered my shadowban, I decided to take a break from the platform for a week or two just to get myself back into Instagram’s good books. When I returned, I continued posting great content however this time with a closer eye on what I can’t post. If I ever questioned whether I should post a certain image or video; then it was an automatic ‘No’ for me.
As you can see from the above example, our brief break away from Instagram, coupled with the high-quality of content when we returned, meant that our account was now being shown on the respective hashtags again. After a few days we are starting to see an average of 200 new (net) followers per week, which is still below the 400-1200 average that we was getting before, but it is certainly better than losing 100 followers on Instagram per day!
If your Instagram is suddenly losing followers, then it’s probably because you’ve been hit by the infamous ‘shadowban’. This can be because you’ve been using unauthorized software, spamming (irrelevant) hashtags, or posting controversial content. To rectify the ban, it’s best to take a break before the platform and then avoid making the aforementioned mistakes going forward.
Do you have any questions or feedback on this post? If so, let me know in the comment section below or send me an email!