Wild Insta Part Bonus #2 – Bans & Similar Stuff
What are up guys? So I get a lot of questions in regards to this course about shadowbanning, and I talked about it briefly, but I’ll go into more detail here about shadowbanning, what it is, how to work with it, how to remove a shadowban, and what the difference is between a shadowban and throttling.
Okay, so a shadowban is – essentially it was started on, I believe it was started on Reddit, and what Reddit wanted to do was it had a bunch of really spammy users that were just being very malicious and attacking other users, but if they just banned those accounts, they found that the people would just basically create a new account.
And do the same thing. So it didn’t really solve the problem because they would just keep coming back. So what they would do was they would ban them, but those users would still be able to see their likes and comments and still think that they’re engaging, but nobody would be engaging back. Okay. So they were the only person seeing them and seeing their own, posting, their own comments, seeing their own likes, but no one else would.
Um, so. Basically, they were banned, but they were in the dark about it. So that’s why it’s called a shadowban. And since then, shadowbanning has been adopted by many other platforms, including Instagram. And shadowbanning, because I talked to a few of my friends. I work at Facebook and Instagram and basically, shadowbanning is what they say is they only really do it on really strong offenses such as there are people who are promoting really hateful subjects, like really, really strongly and passionately. They don’t really try and shadowban, um, anything that isn’t, um, past that. So really, if you’re fully shadowbanned, you really wouldn’t receive any engagement whatsoever. It’d be, it’d be basically zero.
Um, but there are also different forms of shadowbanning. So there is a hashtag shadowban which means, um, your hashtags don’t pop up. So if you basically use hashtags on your photos and you were to look at those hashtags from an account that does not follow you. So maybe you can log into your computer or something and go through the hashtags.
As long as you’re not logged into your own account, you’re not logged in to any account, or you’re not logged in to anything that already follows you and you look through the hashtag and see if you can find your, ha your, you know, photo pop up. So if you go through on your own account and you see, it appears to be here on the list of recent hashtags, and then you go into the other account that doesn’t follow you and you scroll through and you can’t find it.
Well then you know that you’ve been shadowbanned from the hashtags, and then if you’re shadowbanned from the hashtags like I talked about in the course, the fix is you have to go back into every post you’ve ever created and delete every hashtag you’ve ever used. It’s a really time-consuming process, but it does work. And this is actually a fix I discovered on my own because my hashtags weren’t, my photos weren’t popping up in the hashtags, and I really needed a good way to fix that. So, basically what I did is I sat there and I tried to figure out, okay, well, it’s probably not a person that’s switching on the shadowban.
Okay. It’s probably some sort of automated process that’s being kicked in based on something that I’m doing. What could I be doing? And my best guess was that I was using the same hashtags a certain number of times, and it was flogging against those because you gotta remember that Instagram is a user-centric experience.
They’re trying to focus on the users being able to effectively use the application for what they want to use it for. So when they type in the hashtag San Francisco, they want to see it, they want to make sure those users can find things about San Francisco and not just a bunch of random photos of people trying to gain followers.
Okay. So hashtags shadowbanning happens usually when we’re using a bunch of hashtags that are unrelated to what we’re posting about, um, which you have to keep in mind. Instagram is analyzing your photos very deeply there. Like I talk about throughout the course, they can basically break down everything that’s going on in your photo.
And if you’re using hashtags that are irrelevant to the contents of the photos, you’re probably not going to get a ton of engagement on it. Um, so trying to keep your hashtags as relevant as possible is also helpful. But the fix, the ultimate fix, is just to go back, delete all your hashtags, and then when you start again, your hashtags will work again.
Just be sure that every time you post, when you’re about to post, go back into the previous photo and delete the hashtags off of it. So, although hashtag shadowbanning is definitely a real thing. I personally have experienced it. I’ve personally been able to fix it using that fix. But there are a couple other things.
So most people, the big issue is that most people think that they’re shadowbanned when actually they’re not. However, even though they’re not shadowbanned, they could have their account throttled. Throttling is when you are, your account is lessened, essentially. It’s almost restricted a little bit, so it’s not banned.
You can still pop up, and people can still find you. You might solve a chance to pop up on the explore page and stuff, but you’re not banned, or you’re not completely invisible. So, throttling can definitely happen. And there’s no real good way to figure out if you’re being throttled or not. Um, but there are a couple of things that, um, can be factored into the throttling, um, such as being too spammy.
If you are, you know, just commenting on everybody’s photos, asking for follows and things like that. Well, that’s being spammy. If you’re following and unfollowing people, that’s spammy. Uh, Instagram’s really good at picking up on that kind of stuff. So you want to be sure that you’re trying to, whatever you’re doing on your account, you’re creating it as authentic as possible.
Another thing that will throttle your posts is if you edit your post within 24 hours of posting it; the reason they throttle that is because there used to be a hashtag trick. Um, where basically people could use 60 hashtags. I used to use this trick all the time, and you used to gain so much, so much exposure off of it because it basically broke all hashtag processes, and uh, it wouldn’t throttle.
There’s no throttling at all. And that you could post 60 hashtags by, um, posting your hashtags in the comments after you post and then go back, re-edit your photo, and post, uh, another set of 30 hashtags in the caption. And you could save it, and then you could post 60 hashtags. But if you try and re-edit the photo out within 24 hours, your post will get throttled, and you’ll have a lot less engagement because of it.
So you can’t. If you post, and within like five to 10 minutes, you realize you made a mistake, it’s better to just delete the photo and then repost it up and try again rather than edit it because you’re going to get a lot less reach. Um, now another thing, um, where people think that they’re being shadowbanned is obviously they’re reaching their engagement, they’re getting low engagement, and that’s why they think – oh, unless we must be shadowbanned, while if you, so here’s an issue with accounts that have been around longer. So, some people have like 100,000 followers or a million followers, and they get only, like, they don’t get as many likes as everybody else. And everybody thinks – oh, they must have bought their followers while they might have.
But they might not have as well. And the reason they might not have is that what happens is when you have an account for a really long time, you’re going to start to, you’re going to accumulate a ton of users that are, people have created accounts to be like a business or created a new account, private account for themselves or something like that.
And then basically, they create the account. They follow you for some reason. Maybe it’s a business. They want new business, they want to work with you, or it’s a private account or something like that, and they follow you, and then they never use the account again like a couple months later. And so you start to accumulate all of these followers that basically are worthless, that are ghost followers.
They don’t do anything. They’re not. They’re not helpful. They’re not engaging. Um, so people who have pretty big followings, uh, basically. Usually, we’ll have a huge accumulation of these ghost followers if they’ve been around for a really long time. Um, so that’s always an issue with people seeing, um, high followings with low engagement.
And then also a lot of people have the illusion of growth, and they think that their engagement is super, super low, but they’ve been under an illusion of grind because what they’re doing is they’re using either give away, or they’re using follow-unfollow techniques. They’re not doing in authentic ways of growing.
Like they’re using hashtags that are not relevant to the photos that they’re posting, uh, to try and gain followers out of it. Because most people think I just want followers. They don’t think to themselves. I want followers who actually care about what I’m doing. They don’t think the next step ahead. So you start to accumulate all these followers that do show on a limb because they find you, but they aren’t really very engaging people, and they are not actually interested in what you’re doing.
You just have done enough stuff like you’re trying to use reciprocity with follow on following, and people follow you back cause it, you know, they want to give back to you, but they, at the end of the day, they really don’t care. So you’re not really growing authentically. And so you have this illusion that you’re growing because you’re using all of these different hashtags and you’re using all these different tricks and then, but at the end of the day, when you finally accumulated 10,000, but you’re still only getting a hundred likes, while you might only be getting a hundred likes because you think that you’re really growing, but you’re really getting, you’re growing all of your, basically.
Capturing people that don’t really want to be there cause you took anybody you could get. Um, so that’s another problem is people accumulate all the wrong kinds of people, um, and then wonder why they’re not engaging. Um, another big issue with people who have followings and they’re getting really low engagement, and they think that their shadowbanned.
It’s not because they’re shadowbanned again, but it’s because a lot of their users that are followers just haven’t engaged them in a long time. I’m currently working on a really effective fix for this, and I don’t have the best answer as of yet, but here’s a couple of things that have, um, that you can do that will help.
So the biggest problem is if they haven’t engaged you in a long time. So the solution is to go into everybody that follows you and just engage them like a couple of their photos. Maybe send a message of encouragement, do something again, do something to get their attention again. And if you somehow could reach all of them, your posts would get insane amounts of engagement.
Again. But the issue is you, even if you have a thousand followers, that’s a lot of people to connect with. Um, so. I don’t know exactly the best way of connecting to all of them. My only current idea that you could do is you, so you don’t want to have other people logging into your account all that much.
Um, if they’re from like a different country, if they’re in the same country as you, then it’s not that big of a deal. But, um, usually, if you’re doing it in like India or China or something like that, you can get in trouble with your account for having these different people. And, and in certain, might think that your account is, you know, spammy or something and then delete your account.
So what you can do is, um, hiring people, what’s called a VA, a virtual assistant out in like the Philippines or India or something like that, is really, really, really affordable. Um, and if you find a VA in India or in the Philippines, and what you can do is you can hire a couple of these people to create fan accounts for you or your business and to go in and, um, like create these fake fan accounts and then go and like and engage the people that follow you as many of them as possible.
I mean, you might have to pay a good amount to, if you have a lot of followers, to get them to do it for all of them, but at least if they, those accounts get shut down, it’s not your main account. It’s not a problem. And those people will see that these fan accounts are engaging you, and they might think to look at your account again.
So that’s the only kind of fix that I’ve kind of come up with for re-engaging all of your, um, all of your followers, uh, or you can maybe find a bot that still works, some sort of automation tool that will do that, but I don’t have exactly a clear way to do it from your own account as of yet. But that’s really, that’s really the big fix is reconnecting with all those people.
And again, remember a lot of those people might not even be active users anymore. Uh, if I wish there was a good way of scraping all those users and making them unfollow you. But there really isn’t a great way, aside from personally going in and saying, if they’ve posted anything in the past, cause even if they haven’t posted anything in the past year, it doesn’t mean they’re not still liking and engaging your content.
So it was really hard to determine who’s going to be a real follower and who isn’t. Um, so essentially, the bottom line is shadowbanning with hashtags is your biggest problem when it comes to shadowbanning. But more so than not, it’s not a problem I’ve shadowbanned. It’s more so throttling where your account’s getting limited because you’re doing things that are spammy or they’re too much, or you are, you have the users that aren’t engaging or users that don’t really exist anymore or something like that.
Um, the last thing about posting and shadowbanning and throttling are – here’s a good way to kind of understand what’s going on is in your posts, look at your reach versus your engagement. So a good, good engagement rate is anywhere between five to 10%. Usually, you want to shoot for a 10% engagement.
So. For me, you know, like if, let’s just say I only get 500 likes on a photo, well, that would be insanely, insanely low. That would be absurd. And I might think to myself, what the hell is wrong? But if I look into the insights of the post, cause you can go into any of your posts and, uh, if you can, as long as you have a business or a creator account when you go to your posts, you can view the insights, and you can see the reach.
While if I only have 500 likes, I’m like freak out about it. But if I then look and I see I have a reach of only a thousand. Well, then that makes sense. And that actually means my post is performing super well. It’s just not reaching enough people. So then it becomes a problem of reach. And I know my content is good.
I just know that for some reason, it’s not reaching enough people, and that becomes a different problem altogether. And that’s where you want to be connecting with more people, maybe promoting your posts and things like that so you can reach more people. Cause you know, it’s a good post. Um, but you just know that for some reason, your reach is getting throttled, and your reach might being throttled just because of the contents of your photo, which we, we’ve talked about.
We talk about that a lot where, you know, Instagram is analyzing what’s in your photo, how your photo is, you know, compiled what’s in it, the colors that are in it. And it’s going to show it to people that they think will like it and enjoy it. And if you’re posting something that’s violent or uh, too sexual or something like that, there’s a high likelihood that they might throttle those kinds of posts because, you know, they, they don’t want to reach, you know, little kids or other wrong demographic because they want to keep people on the platform for as long as possible.
So anything that might upset somebody and throw them off the platform. Or get somebody to exit out of Instagram for the day. If they see people leaving the platform after looking at your post, well, then they’re going to throttle your reach. They don’t want that photo to reach more people. Um, so you know, making sure that whatever it is you’re posting is, you know, is good enough that makes people want to, um, engage and stay on the platform and, and build more interest in what you’re doing. So look at your reach versus your engagement. And that will tell you a lot about the quality of your content and if it’s a content problem or if it’s actually just a reach problem. Um, and then, you know, working accordingly to fix that based on some of the other things that we’ve talked about.
Uh, and if it’s not a reach problem and it’s a content problem, although then you know that you need to try something different with your content, you need to spend some time creating maybe better content, or maybe it’s too complicated and too good and too perfect, and it needs to be more realistic and connect more with people.
Um, so it can be either of those things. Uh. Anyways, guys, I hope that this has been enlightening and helpful in the realm of shadowbanning and what a shadowban is and what it’s not and throttling and how to recognize what the problem could be. In terms of your reach and your engagement and realizing it’s not all shadowbanning.
It’s sometimes just other issues that come along with having an account for a long time or having, you know, growing in the wrong ways that you’re just sometimes cumulating just the wrong kinds of followers. Um, so anyways, guys, I hope this has been super informative. I hope it’s super helpful. Again, I look forward to your success.