6 mistakes Instagram marketers make that can lead to shadow ban and how you can avoid them

If you would like to grow your Instagram business page, increase your followers, build your post engagements and make more money form high sales conversions through your audience engagements without being shadow banned, then this is a thread you should read. It is very detailed and I explain a lot about Instagram and its algorithm.

Instagram shadow ban

Firstly, let's talk about Instagram, how does Instagram make money? It’s quite straightforward, Instagram makes money through its millions or billion active users. They get paid by selling your data to marketers who look for active audiences in their target market to send out offers to.

Your data is gathered based on your activities on their platform, what you share, your bio description, what you search for, who you follow e.t.c. Some people say they listen to you. But hey, who knows?

So this means that Instagram needs you to be continuously active so that they can

1. Gather more of your data

2. So that your activities can give marketers more Impressions on their adverts.

So anything that will cause you that is ‘their users’ to lose interest in their platform, or to decrease your active use of their platform is a threat to their business and money making structure. Therefore they have to protect their user experience. And now here is where it affects you and I as marketers.

How does Instagram protect its audience or users?

Simple, by creating spam filters. What do I mean by spam? Basically, as it relates to Instagram, it is content that does not interest or feels irritating to a user and of course, this ‘Spams’ are created by other users of the platform ( human or bots )

And spam filters? Algorithms that MARK certain profiles or users as potential disturbances to user experience.

Are you still with me? I just need you to get a critical understanding of what I mean. Let’s continue

So how does this affect you as a marketer? Once you are marked by a spam filter, whether you are actually spam or not. You will be shadow banned!

What does it mean to be shadow banned? This means that Instagram will firstly stop delivering your content to their explore or discovery pages. And will also drastically reduce your content reach to your own audience. At best, only 7% of your audience will be allowed to see your content.

This is very sad. That's why you will see pages with 10K followers having just 30 Likes on ‘great’ content. Alright, I hope you get me and you are following me.

Read also : 4 Reasons why your hashtags are not working on Instagram.

Now let's get into business.

what are the actions we ( marketers take ) that cause them to fall into spam and lead to a shadow ban. It is important to note that a shadow ban does not mean your account will be suspended or disabled. Instagram will simply not deliver your content to audiences. In fact, if you are not a great marketer. You will never know.

So what are the actions? What are the costly mistakes causing us to lose engaging, leading to lower sales conversions?


Before we get into it, let me briefly state outright here, Making repeated changes to any settings or features of your Instagram page will cause a spam filter trigger and will lead to your age being shadow banned.

This include:

1. Unfollowing
2. Excessive Following
3. Use of bots 

4. Editing usernames frequently
5. Unnecessary commenting
6. Use of chat bots for comments
7. Excessive log ins, especially though third part apps. 
and so on...

MISTAKE 1: ð—¢ð˜ƒð—²ð—¿ 𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗛𝗔𝗦𝗛𝗧𝗔𝗚 𝗳𝗲𝗮𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲.

Instagram allows you to create up to 30 Hashtags on each post you send out. This is true and yes allowed. But here is what I have noticed recently, whenever you use more than 10 Hashtags on your post, and you do this consistently for one or two more posts. 

Your engagements will immediately drop, you will fall into a shadow ban ASAP. I guess Instagram has figured that content being created with that much Hashtags is or are likely to be content users are uninterested in. If you think about it critically, if you are trying to reach your actual audience, why do you need more than 10 Hashtags?

Unless you are simply trying to get into trouble then you shouldn't use more than 10 powerfully researched hashtags. The Hashtags you use directly affect the Instagram algorithm, so every time use a tag, you send a message directly to the algorithm.

So sending 30 messages at once is a bit much in it? You are sending to many requests at once to Instagram and this is a major trigger for the spam filter algorithm.

So my advice, research up to 50 powerful instagram hashtags and use it in series of 10 or less. Please note here, using Hashtags will still force the algorithm to deliver your content to those tags, but organic engagement from your own.

Read also : 31 Tips on how to correctly run a successful Instagram advert.

MISTAKE 2: ð—£ð—¼ð˜€ð˜ð—¶ð—»ð—´ 𝗛𝗮𝘀𝗵𝘁𝗮𝗴𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀.

Some of us like to do TOO much, one of the triggers for shadow ban that i have also noticed is posting Hashtags on your comments after you post. Immediate shadow ban, no question asked. LOL 😄, but sometimes the ban may be restricted to only that post and not the entire account.

That’s why you will find that some posts will have a lot more engagements than the other.

MISTAKE 3: 𝗘𝗱𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝗹𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗱𝘆 𝗽𝗼𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗻𝘁. 

Whenever you edit a post on Instagram, you are sending a trigger, if you do it multiple times,your post will trigger the spam filter and will cause that post to remain in the shadows. Engagement level for the post will drop. If you do it more than one, on different posts, sooner or later. Your entire account will fall into the shadow ban.

My advice, don’t post your captions directly on Instagram, create your captions on  note pads and then post it up.This will allow you to read and re-read your content to make sure it’s all good.

For everyone like me that likes some form of theme chemistry on their pages. Here is some solid advice: Create a dummy page, where you can launch and relaunch your content there. 

MISTAKE 4: 𝗖𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗮𝘂𝗱𝗶𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗱𝗼𝗲𝘀 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝘄𝗮𝗻𝘁.

Instagram majorly changed its content delivery settings to display content that you as a user are interested in first. As a marketer, if you create content that users are uninterested in, that is create content that your followers are not interested in. Then those users will likely not interact with that post, the more of that you get is the more post engagement will drop. If the algorithm eventually notices a very low interest level of your general content as it relates to your audience. You will fall into a shadow ban.

How do you avoid this?

By targeting the right audience and not just anybody, and creating content that your audience wants. It’s not about the number of followers. it's about their quality and interest level.

MISTAKE 5:𝗙𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗼𝘄𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗼 𝘂𝗻𝗳𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗼𝘄 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗲𝘅𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗹𝘆 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴.

Like I said earlier, over using any feature of the platform excessively will cause you to be shadow banned. So if you are someone who follows to unfollow or drops comments everywhere.

Just stop.

You are doing more harm than good to yourself, because the audience you think you are building are inactive.Your post will hardly reach them. It worked in those days, but now the algorithm is smarter.

Read also : 12 High-Income Skills You Can Learn During The Lockdown And Free Courses/ Materials to Help you Get started.

MISTAKE 6: 𝗨𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗿𝗱 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁𝘆 𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗹𝗶𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀.

This has recently become a hardly forgivable action by Instagram. Once the algorithm sees you use third party apps frequently, you will be logged out of your account and will be asked to verify your identity as well as your account will enjoy a temporary shadow ban. I generally advise against the use of third party apps, I know it's stressful without them. But with the current algorithm rules, they are doing more harm than good. 

How to make Instagram's Algorithm your best friend

To make the Algorithm your friend, you have to spend time with her and know how to woo her just like you will woo a woman. Instagram wants people to spend more time on the app. The more time you spend, the more instagram rewards you. The Algorithm thrives on relationship, interest and post recency. Instagram shows you posts from brands or businesses that you frequently interact with.

When you send DMs, like posts, leave comment, reshare posts, view videos or Insta stories, tag accounts on your posts, instagram sees such actions as interactions. In the eyes of the Algorithm, you have a relationship with those accounts. The Algorithm shows you the same type of posts you interact with.

If you love funny videos or spend your time going through meme accounts, the algorithm shows you those kind of posts in your feed or explore page (if you are not following those accounts). Instagram wants you to see what you are interested in so that you can spend more time on the app.

Another key to making the Algorithm your friend is to share post(s) when your audience are online. To know when they are online, check your page insight. 

How to use Instagram insight to grow Instagram business page

Posting when your audience are online helps them see your post and engage on it. The more engagement it gets in the 1st few hours, the more accounts the Algorithm shows your post. If your post receives little or no engagement in the 1st few hours, the Algorithm shows less people your post because it thinks your audience are uninterested.

To get the best out of the Algorithm, do the following;

Post consistently

Use hashtags : How to research Instagram hashtags and types of hashtags

Post when your audience are online

Recreate top performing post or use similar post 

Read also : 10 Crazy Tricks that will help you with SEO for Instagram marketing and business.

Share User Generated Content

Collaborate with accounts with similar target audience as yours

Build relationships

Be social, it's social media! 

That’s all for now. Take note and take care of those 6 mistakes.The awesome part is that advertisers are usually forgiven of these crimes, since they are directly spending on Instagram.Hope this was or is useful.

Thank you for your time. 

Michael Addit