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When Instagram Shadow Bans or Soft Blocks You

Posted June 09, 2017

Has your Instagram follower growth fallen off a cliff? Has the new algorithm rendered you invisible to your current followers? Are your hashtags no longer bringing you new views? And have you blamed yourself, thinking that maybe your art is stale, your photos boring, your Stories irrelevant?   And have you tried many new improvements with little or no results, until self doubt starts to eat at your creativity like slugs in a garden? Me. Too.

I'm a chronic researcher. Another way to say that is I'm curious- maybe even a teeny bit nosy. I found plenty of helpful tips on Instagram Shadow Banning. I did the suggested fixes. It helped a bit. I began getting more likes per post, but my Follower growth was still sludgy. In my Notifications I could see an average of 25-30 new Followers a day. My growth should have gone up by 100 every 3-4 days. Yet I would not advance to the next 100 for weeks at a time. I reported the problem several times.

I discovered this website that tracks your daily followers. Alarm bells went off! On the same days that I was seeing new follower growth of 25-30 people, I was losing followers overall! My count was going down! A Google search for that problem led me to the lesser known issue of Instagram's Soft Block. Take note of #7 on that list! I found the best answers for why my follower count was stuck here. I still have not found out why my numbers were going down. But I did find out how to fix it- which is just as good! I asked my followers for help in this post.

And blessings flowed! I can never thank you all enough. You've saved me. My follower account has risen by even more per day than before my problem started. So here are all the things that I found helped:

1) I took a 3 day break from Instagram- no posts and no peeking.

2) I asked for help, and found out this is happening to many people. It didn't feel so personal then! I also shared insights and learned some new tips. 

3) I put hashtags in my title, not the comments. I am now experimenting with no hashtags. That might be my preference. I think no hashtags or just 1-2 are getting better results.

4) I am only checking IG 4X a day max. Checking too often now makes you look like a bot. So does replying to comments too quickly.

5) I found out that comments help posts show up. That's probably why giveaways work so well. I am now commenting on accounts who have helped me more rigorously. We can help each other!

Hope this helps you out. If you have other suggestions please leave them in the comments. I will try to reply to all questions, too. One thing I love about Instagram is that we can learn from and grow with each other. You are my creative support! Let me be yours once in awhile. Let's use Instagram to find more beauty and enchantment.




Comments (4 Comments)

Lee, thank you for taking the time to research and pass on your findings. I agree that as fellow creative entrepreneurs, (who rely heavily on social media) we must stick together, share knowledge and encourage one another to grow. I’m grayeful for you and your beautiful, inspiring work!

Posted by Aly Brown on January 22, 2018

Clearly we are “diggers” as I’ve noticed this too! In finding and following you on IG just in the last week, I naturally came out of IG to review your website and read your blogs. LOVE your work. I love getting to “know you” and hearing about your creative drive and process. REALLY appreciate that you posted this as I also saw some unaccountable cumulative drops when I anticipated the opposite on my IG followers. Many thanks for the assist in getting to the bottom of this!

Posted by LaurynSydneyRoss on November 08, 2017

New to the game, trying to jump double dutch. Thanks for the info!

Posted by Hilary EE Scott on June 10, 2017

Awwwww, man! I hate Instagram’s new algorithm. It used to be that I could open the app and just keep scrolling down until I got to the last photo I looked at, and feel caught up with everyone. Now that it only shows me what it thinks I want to see, I’m missing out on people I really WANT to see, like you, and for some reason am getting a lot of jewelry and dog posts. ( shakes head ) I’ve resorted to going through the list of people I follow, and clicking on their individual accounts, to find out what I’ve missed, rather than scroll through the regular Instagram feed. I thought maybe you were taking a vacation or something…! I see some of your husband’s nature pictures, but hadn’t seen anything from you for a while. I’m going to go “like” about the last ten of your photos, in hopes Instagram gets it, that I want to see your stuff!

Also, thank you for all your time researching all of that!

Posted by Lorena on June 10, 2017

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