No, shadow bans are not permanent. A shadow ban typically lasts from two to three weeks. However, if you continue to engage in the behaviors that led to your shadowban, it may persist.
For those who are not aware of what a shadow ban is, they are temporary bans that are used by social media networks. These social media sites don’t send you a notification saying that you have been banned. You’ll slowly start to notice that your content is not getting the impressions it used to get. For instance, in an “Instagram shadowban”, the platform makes it impossible for your posts to be seen by other users. To make matters worse, it also prevents your own followers from viewing the content.
I was shadowbanned on Instagram while performing the follow/unfollow strategy for a client after watching a random video on YouTube. I had no idea what shadow banning was back then. Nonetheless, I was able to get out of it by implementing a few tips shared by Instagram pros on a Facebook group. Allow me to share it with you.
Why does shadow banning happen?
The main reasons for a shadow ban are:
- Integration of suspicious third-party tools: Try to avoid platforms that go against the community guidelines of the platform. A few years ago, I used a tool that automatically posts comments. I wanted to get engagement going for my client’s Instagram account without spending much time on Instagram. I ended up getting a shadowban.
- Hashtag spamming: Hashtag spamming will lead to reduced engagement on your posts.
- Follow-unfollow strategy: This is a common practice on Instagram and Tik Tok which should be avoided at any cost. I’ll be talking more about it in the next section.
- Paying for fake engagement: Paying for fake engagement on social media is a bad practice. It leads to over-engagement, which in turn leads to the creation of a false reality. If you are doing this, then you are not paying attention to the quality of your content.
- Avoid using banned hashtags: Don’t use any hashtags that are racist or sexist in nature because they can lead people who follow you on social media platforms to believe that you have those same beliefs and values.
- Spam-like activity: Spam-like activities such as advertising their products and services on random accounts’ posts, promoting their content on their followers’ posts, and following accounts indefinitely will result in a shadow ban.
How do I get rid of shadowban?
The first step would be to figure out what caused the shadow ban in the first place and then try to avoid it in the future. It usually happens when a user is posting too many links or images in their posts, using too many hashtags, or using bots to like their posts. If you don’t know what caused it, you can try asking someone who might have more knowledge about this problem.
In my case, I clearly knew why I got shadowbanned. I used the follow-unfollow strategy I learned by watching some random Youtube videos. Biggest mistake ever!
The next thing you can do is to get in touch with the social media platform and ask them for help in getting out of the shadow ban. The social media platform might be able to provide you with some guidelines on how to get back into their system without having to wait for an extended amount of time. However, it’s highly likely you won’t get a reply from them. They probably get a million messages a day.
The last and only option would be to take a break from social media for at least a few weeks and see if you’re able to get your account unbanned. Well, this worked for me.
How not to get shadow banned in the future
1. Choose your third-party tools wisely
To begin, follow the rules of the platform you’re using to share content. Some social media platforms do not allow the integration of third-party tools. This is a practice that is gaining popularity among companies as they seek to automate social media posting, listening and monitoring. Facebook, for example, prefers to keep its systems as closed and centralized as possible. They are concerned that these third-party tools could be used maliciously and negatively impact system performance. Though this can be a problem for marketers who rely on these tools to stay ahead of their competition, it forces them to work manually to reach out to their community.
For social media management, I personally use Buffer and Hootsuite. I’ve had no problems with them. Furthermore, the majority of marketers use Buffer and Hootsuite for their marketing efforts.
2. Avoid Hashtag spamming
Another thing I have noticed is users do a lot of hashtag spamming. You might think that’ll get your post more impressions, but it will lead to a shadowban.
Hashtag spamming is where people make their posts look more popular by using hashtags in them. They do this on purpose to get attention and increase the reach of their posts. Hashtag spamming can be tricky for both users and marketers as it can make it difficult for people to find relevant content on social media platforms.
This phenomenon has been around for a while now, but it still continues to happen. It’s not just limited to social media platforms either; it’s also prevalent in online communities like Reddit and Tumblr.
Try using relevant hashtags in your post to get more impressions and engagement. Hashtag research is a key part of social media marketing and it’s not always easy to figure out what hashtags to use for your brand. The following are some of the best hashtag research tools that will help you find the best hashtags for your content.
3. Sprout Social
3. Avoid Follow and Unfollow strategy
Follow unfollow strategy is an approach to social media marketing that involves following a lot of people, but unfollowing most of them. This strategy is often used by brands on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok to grow followers. The goal is to get more engagement with the content that the brand creates by reaching out to as many people as possible.
Avoiding this strategy is important for both personal and business use. Social media should be used to share your content and build a community around it. It should not be used to just “get followers.”
I use social media ads to increase followers on my clients’ accounts. The reason to do this is because of the low organic reach on Facebook and other platforms. It is hard to get that initial engagement if you don’t have a huge following. Content will only resonate with some brand presence. Follower ads are the best way to build followers.