How do you know if you're shadowbanned on Instagram?

How do you know if you're shadowbanned on Instagram?

Have you heard of the term 'shadowbanned'? Let us fill you in.

Since you’ve found yourself reading this article, it’s safe to assume you’re well acquainted with Instagram being one of the most popular social media platforms! With over a BILLION active users worldwide (yep you read correctly), it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. As the algorithm is ever-changing, it might feel like some of your posts aren’t getting the attention they deserve...

Whilst this can be put down to many causes and usually isn’t a cause for immediate panic, in some cases, there could be a more insidious reason behind a notable lack of engagement, and that’s a Shadowban.

Sounds scary, huh? Let us explain. A shadowban is an Instagram practice where an account’s visibility is reduced without the account owner knowing it - hence the notion of “shadowbanned” or “hidden”.

This means the account’s posts won’t appear in hashtags or on the explore page for new viewers, making it harder for a greater audience to discover the account and hindering overall visibility and growth.

So, if you suspect your account is shadowbanned, here are some key signs to look out for.

1. Your Posts Aren’t Appearing in Hashtags

One of the most obvious indications your account might be shadowbanned is when your posts aren’t showing up in hashtags. Usually, when you include a hashtag in your post, it will appear on the corresponding hashtag page under “recent” tags, making it easier for people to discover your content. If your posts aren’t appearing in the recent hashtags tab right after you post, Instagram has likely shadowbanned your account.

2. Your Engagement Has Decreased 

Another telltale sign that your account might be shadowbanned is an unexplained decrease in engagement. If your likes, comments, shares and organic reach have significantly decreased, it could be a sign that your account is no longer being made visible to your current followers or new accounts. This decrease in engagement can happen suddenly or gradually, so keep an eye on your metrics.

3. Your Account Has Received a Warning Message

If Instagram has identified any suspicious activity on your account, you might receive a warning message. This message could warn you about the use of bots or other automated services that violate Instagram’s terms of service. In some cases, Instagram might also inform you that your account has been shadowbanned.

4. Your Follower Growth Has Stopped

If your account has stopped gaining new followers or has significantly slowed down, it could be a sign that you’ve been shadowbanned. This is because your posts aren’t appearing on the explore page or in hashtags, making it harder for people to discover your account.

5. Your Posts Aren’t Visible to Your Followers

Lastly, if your posts are no longer appearing in your follower’s feeds, it could be a sign that your account has been shadowbanned. This often happens when Instagram detects suspicious activity on your account, or if you’ve appeared to violate Instagram’s terms of service.

We get it, a Shadowban can be extremely frustrating for any Instagram user, therefore it’s essential to know the signs to look out for. If you suspect that your account has been affected, it’s crucial to review your account activity and ensure that you’re following Instagram’s terms of service (Follow Instagram’s Terms and Guidelines here). If you’re still having trouble, we recommend reaching out to Instagram’s support team for assistance. Remember, creating engaging, unique content and following the best practices is the best way to avoid a shadowban and grow your Instagram following organically.

Want to know more about social media best practice, or work with our team? Get in touch today.

How do you know if you're shadowbanned on Instagram?
How do you know if you're shadowbanned on Instagram?

Another month, another Instagram update! Here is the latest Instagram news. What takeaways will you find for your social media campaign?

Instagram News, July 2022

Another month, another Instagram update! Here is the latest Instagram news.

Instagram Pin Feature

Instagram has a new feature allowing you to pin posts to the top of the feed. We see this being useful for highlighting the following:

  • Competitions: Keeping competitions at the top of your feed
  • New Launch/Product: Having a new product launch at the top of the feed
  • Top performing posts: If a reel went viral you could pin it to the top of the feed

This feature will be beneficial to many brands and we are eager to test it out on our client campaigns.

In other Instagram news, engagement rates are trending down on traditional feed posts

Based on a Later study of 81M Instagram posts, the average engagement rate for feed posts in 2019 was 5.16%. By the end of 2021, this number decreased to 2.88%.

The downward trend is consistent for all traditional feed posts (images, carousels, and videos).

Traditional video feed posts saw the greatest decline year-over-year on average, while carousel posts consistently performed the best in terms of engagement

Why have traditional Instagram Feed Posts seen a decline in performance?

In a nutshell: The introduction of Instagram Reels in August 2020.

It’s no secret that Reels are a priority for the app, and as such, other post types have taken a back seat.

In order to boost engagement on the app, it’s important to include Reels and also carousel posts in your social media posting schedule.

Do you need assistance in staying across the latest Instagram news and managing your social media channels? Get in touch with our team today.

Want to stay up to date? Visit us on Instagram.

Want to chat to our team about Instagram Reels content creation? Reach out to our specialist team via email, [email protected]

Another month, another Instagram update! Here is the latest Instagram news.
Another month, another Instagram update! Here is the latest Instagram news.

Whats the deal with Instagram Reels?

What’s the deal with Instagram Reels?

In typical Instagram fashion, mid-2020 Instagram launched a TikTok reboot on their platform. Almost a carbon-copy of the short-length video platform, Instagram Reels takes the best performing features from TikTok and reinvents them the Instagram way.

So, six months on, with a few strategic nip and tucks we’re able to take a better look at Instagram Reels, what it means for agencies, brands and personal profiles – and work out how to make the most of it!

Best posting practice

We all know that Facebook and Instagram can be cagey about algorithms and updates, which often leads to endless guessing games about best posting practice. Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri has been rumour busting every Friday on his Instagram stories (if you’re not following him – this is your sign to!). Most recently Mosseri discussed what users need to do to avoid red flags and restrictions on Reels.

  1. Avoid TikTok (or other platforms) watermarks. Mosseri stated outright that videos that are “visibly recycled from other apps (i.e, contains logos or watermarks)” won’t be recommended as often as other videos.
  2. Avoid low resolution or blurry videos. We recommend minimising the number of apps you use to create your Reels to avoid low-res videos. Using the Reel’s camera and editing tools is your best bet! They want you to be creating original content on their platform after all.
  3. Minimise the amount of text you’re using, and make sure it doesn’t cover majority of your video.

So you like making your videos on TikTok and you want to continue to use the platform to edit and publish…

No stress! There is any easy way to save your TikTok’s without a watermark on iOS!

  1. When viewing your TikTok, press the menu (three dots underneath the comment section on bottom right)
  2. Select Live Photo from the export menu
  3. Go to your Camera Roll to find the Live Photo. Select the share menu in the bottom left hand corner.
  4. Scroll through the options until you find Save As Video and select.
  5. Find your new video in your Camera Roll. Select Edit in the top right hand corner.
  6. Select the crop tool from the bottom tool menu.
  7. Select the tool that looks like three overlapping squares from the top tool bar.
  8. Select 9:16 from the bottom toolbar and crop the small TikTok watermark out of your video. Select done.

And you’re good to go! Just make sure that the video is still if a clear quality before you upload.

Stuck on content ideas for Instagram Reels?

We’re here to help! Here are a few different content ideas that work across most industries:

  • Behind the scenes content: No matter what type of business you run, there’s a 99% chance your audience will LOVE behind the scenes content. An easy way to capture this is to put your camera on time-lapse as you pack up orders, style a product photo or work through orders.
    A popular trend on TikTok and Reels is daily vlogs. If you feel confident enough to film yourself throughout your day and add a voice over, then we’d recommend trialling this too!
  • Before and after: Everyone loves a B&A! Think of different ways you could capture the change or effect you have as you work or on your clients / customers.
  • Instructional: Whatever you do, there will always be someone who looks up to you and wants to learn from you! Can you break down simple daily tasks in easily digestible ways for your Reels?

Reels is heavily trend and music driven, both of which change week to week! So we recommend making sure you spend some quality time on Reels to keep track of current trends.

Remember that Instagram rewards users who utilise all of it’s features like Reels, IGTV or Live – so if you haven’t already taken a dip into the Reel’s pond, it could be worth the investment!

Stay tuned to Adam Mosseri’s Instagram stories and the Instagram Creators page for updates to features and trends.

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Want to work with our team to create amazing content for your business? Get in touch today.

How to get the most out of Instagram

How to get the most out of Instagram

Tackling the Instagram algorithm, stories and IGTV

There's not a lot of solid evidence out there as to how Instagram’s algorithm actually works. But we do know a few ways to help improve your impact on Instagram!

1. Utilise all of Instagram’s platforms. Post to IGTV, use interactive stickers on your stories and post video and photo content in galleries

2. Change your password! The amount of people / third party apps that are logged into your account can have an impact on which algorithm stream you’re put into

3. Give a little to get a little. Behind the scenes content performs great on Instagram. Whether it’s a peek into your production line or industry tricks, this content is clickable, likeable, shareable and saveable!

Nowadays, Instagram is so much more than just a newsfeed. We have the introduction of IGTV, the explore page, and of course stories which means you have so many avenues to display your content and the opportunity to expand your audience.

And it is no secret that Instagram stories now need to play a significant part in your social media content strategy

Here are some of the major benefits to utilising Instagram stories:

  • Increases visibility

When you post a story, it appears at the top of everyone’s screens. People are more likely to check stories before they start scrolling. This means stories are your best bet in being seen.

  • Different type of content

Stories are a great way to capture real-time content. Behind the scenes, event coverage and everything else in between. This makes your brand seem real and relatable, which people love to see. They are more likely to engage when they think you’re approachable, instead of only seeing the retouched, flawless content that we post on our feed. 

  • You can get creative

With the array of colours, GIFs and stickers, you can really express your brand in an abundance of different ways. You can also interact with your audience through the use of the Polls, Questions, Location, and Quiz stickers. These tools are also an easy way to get engagement, which is also a win in digital marketing! When you use these stickers, people are not only more likely to interact with your story, but also your story is more likely to be seen. Stories are now visible on the Explore page, and when you use Instagram’s features, they will reward you by sharing your content with more and more people – how good is that?

Start posting more stories to your business accounts and see if you see any changes to your stats, you could be surprised!

IGTV – what is it, and why should businesses be using it?

IGTV is the latest Instagram trend that has taken the social media platform by storm. Although IGTV has been around since June 2018, it is only now gaining some momentum - this could be because Instagram finally allowed previews on your feed. When this happened back in 2019, views skyrocketed, and IGTV became an integral part of every social media campaign. 

IGTV was originally introduced as an app where you could watch long-form, vertical videos from Instagram creators – basically a new competitor of YouTube! Before IGTV, you were only able to post videos that were 60 seconds long to Instagram. This was great for teaser content and short explainer videos, but now, you are able to post videos that are between 1 minute and an hour long! This opens up opportunities for really engaging content for your business, which means more traffic and a greater chance of expanding your audience. 

Still wondering why you should use IGTV? There are some major benefits, here are just a few!

  1. When you use IGTV on stories, you can get access to the “Swipe Up” feature

This feature was only available to verified accounts and accounts with over 10,000 followers. Now, when you share your IGTV to your story, you’re not only opening yourself up to more views, you’re also giving yourself the ability to send your audience to your desired link. 

  • Able to post longer videos

As discussed, IGTV videos can be from one minute, to an hour. This means the possibilities are endless when it comes to posting videos on this platform. No more editing out great visuals and information to get your videos down to 1 minute! Create your first IGTV, and post EVERYTHING you want – not just what you can fit in to 60 seconds!

  • Get ahead of the algorithm!

As we mentioned above, the best way to get in Instagram’s good graces, and make sure your getting the most out of the app, is to use all of its services. Be sure to post stories, use location tags, hashtags and start creating content for IGTV. 

IGTV is very quickly becoming a must-use feature on the app, and it’s important you jump on board now!

What to learn the in's and out's of social media management from the comfort of your couch? Visit to enrol in our famous social media masterclass!

How to get the most out of Instagram

If you run a business or work in marketing you've no doubt heard the news - Instagram has removed visible 'likes' in Australia, in a new trial to combat mental health issues.

Quality Instagram Content Over Vanity Metrics

If you run a business or work in marketing you've no doubt heard the news - Instagram has removed visible 'likes' in Australia, in a new trial to combat mental health issues, making the sharing of high quality Instagram content more important than ever.

What does this Instagram change mean for business?

Don't worry, it's not the game changer you may think it is. Take a step back and remember why you're marketing your business on social media. Is it so that others can see how many likes you have? No, of course it's not! It's to promote your brand, and achieve your business objectives, such as driving traffic to your website, sharing your company's culture, and selling your product and/or service.

Instagram content is still king.

When it comes to digital strategy, we always encourage our clients to focus on high quality, engaging content, over chasing vanity metrics such as cheap likes or follows.

When it comes to digital strategy, we always encourage our clients to focus on high quality, engaging content, over chasing vanity metrics such as cheap likes or follows.

Yes, your stats may look like they've gone down a little this month. We have seen a bit of a drop-off in engagement across the board following this platform change. But that being said, we're still seeing strong conversions across our portfolio of clients. The things that really matter, such as taps through to website, purchases on shoppable products, story views and more are as strong as they've always been.

Is removing visible ‘likes’ actually a positive for business? 

It may be too early to tell, but the general consensus at Melbourne Social Co HQ is that there are some serious positives we can take from this move, particularly for small business. By removing the ability for people to see how many likes a post has achieved, smaller accounts will be able to better compete with established accounts that have built up large followings already. The focus will now shift back towards the quality of your Instagram content, and the real conversations you create with your community. Your business will now no longer have to compete with businesses who buy ‘fake’ likes for appearances sake, and you'll be able to request more transparency with the influencers you engage with, by potentially having access to their back-end analytics.

Want to chat to our team about the latest social media trends and what they mean for your business? Get in touch with our team today.

Want to learn how to master social media marketing from the comfort of your couch? Check out our social media masterclass here.

How to strategically use graphic quotes on Instagram

How to strategically use graphic quotes on Instagram

It’s time to debunk the stereotype that graphic quotes on Instagram are only used as a last resort, as filler content when you’ve run out of original content ideas.

We think brands need to embrace the quote, the info-graphic, the text template, and we are here to tell you why!

They help generate engagement

Text images or graphic quote are very to the point, they are a great tool to utilise when you want to draw attention to something specific, for example a sale, or a big campaign. Breaking up your feed with quotes and text means that the message will be more obvious and not hidden in a caption underneath a pretty picture. Additionally, posting inspirational, humorous or thought provoking quotes is engaging to your followers because it’s something new and different in terms of branded content.


Promoting the amazing comments, reviews and testimonials your brand receives through graphic quotes is an amazing way to promote your business. Consumers love to hear what people are saying about products their considering buying – so what better way to grab their attention than through snappy, succinct quote posts on your socials?

Conversation Starters

Posting thought provoking quotes or question graphics is a great way to engage and start a conversation with your audience. A branded graphic asking followers “what’s your favourite product of ours” and prompting them to respond in the comments is a great way to create relationships with your followers and keep them engaged.

Building Brand Awareness

One of the best things about implementing the use of quotes or text images into your feed is the ability to make them branded. You have the ability to choose the colour scheme, the appropriate text and also the opportunity to put your logo on these templates. In doing all this, you’re generating more awareness for your brand and keeping it at the forefront of your followers mind - all while maintaining that gorgeous Instagram grid!

Want a little help creating gorgeous graphic quotes for your brand? Contact our team today to find out what we can do for you.

Or, perhaps you'd like to browse our range of graphic templates we've created via The Social Files.

How to strategically use graphic quotes on Instagram
How to strategically use graphic quotes on Instagram

Should you make your Instagram feed shoppable?

Should you make your Instagram feed shoppable?

Consumers have shorter attention spans than ever, so discovering a way to streamline the shopping experience from inspiration through to purchase was crucial. Without further ado, it’s time to introduce the shoppable Instagram feed!

Have you seen those posts on Instagram with a little shopping bag logo in the corner? Those posts are what we call ‘shoppable’ posts, meaning if someone taps the image, a product name and price will pop up, allowing the user to purchase the product.

Originally, shopping on Instagram was only available to businesses in the United States, but it has since expanded internationally with businesses in over 44 countries now being able to utilise the feature.

Many big-name brands have made their Instagram feeds shoppable, in order to connect with customers in a fresh, more immersive way. The shopping on Instagram feature encourages customers to follow through with their intended purchase. Many shoppers will abandon the shopping pursuit if it’s too difficult. For example, a customer sees a pair of pants on an Instagram feed and heads to the link in bio to shop it. They’re taken to the main website and have to sort through hundreds of pairs of pants. Unless they’ve fallen head over heels for the pants, they’ll most likely abandon the shop and look elsewhere. Sad face.

So, a shoppable Instagram essentials tries to prevent this from happening by making the shopping experience seamless. By tagging products in posts, you’re allowing consumers to complete the entire buyer journey from discovery to checkout, without ever leaving the Instagram app!Talk about a one stop shop!

If you have quite a large inventory with an extensive range of products, we’d strongly recommend creating a shoppable feed. This way, consumers can simply shop the look they love straight from Instagram rather than having to look through a website.

If you have a smaller stock offering, it’s completely up to you whether you want to adopt a shoppable feed or not. We definitely wouldn’t discourage the idea but go with whatever you feel comfortable with!

Still not sure whether a shoppable feed is a good fit for you and your business? Why not pencil in a chat with our team to discuss your Instagram strategy.

Want help creating the visuals for your Instagram feed? Read more here.

All about shoppable Instagram

The ultimate guide to Instagram stories

The ultimate guide to Instagram stories

Instagram continues to climb the ranks of popularity when it comes to social media platforms and it’s not hard to see why! Interestingly, more and more users are shifting their attention to Instagram stories, which means brands should be utilising the feature to help build brand awareness and increase engagement rates. We’ve put together a guide on all things Instagram stories to help you conquer this fun feature of Instagram!

Location, Mentions & Hashtags – Including hashtags, mentions or a location in your story is a great way to increase discoverability and get it seen by more people – even users that don’t follow you will be able to see it!

GIFs– These are huge right now. Everyone is having a lot of fun adding quirky GIFs to their stories whether it’s wine glasses clinking or a piece of pizza dancing. They’re something a bit different to your plain ol’ text and will make people smile so why not use them!

Polls– Who doesn’t love a good poll? Pasta or pizza? The Notebook or The Holiday? Polls are a fun way to encourage users to engage with your brand through stories. There’s a new poll feature too called the ‘emoji slider’. It allows users to decide how much they like or dislike something with the help of an animated emoji on a sliding scale.

Sharing posts to your story– An exciting new feature of Instagram Stories is that you can use it to cross-promote your content. From your profile, you can choose to share your latest post/s to your story. By doing so you can drive more engagement by encouraging your story viewers to view your post and ultimately get more eyes on your content.

Highlights – Back in the beginning, Instagram stories were ephemeral in nature as they only lasted for 24 hours. This is still the case, but Instagram created an option to extend their life and it’s called ‘highlights’. You can now save your stories and they will live permanently on your Instagram profile until you delete them. Your highlights section isa creative way to express your brand, show off products, drive traffic, or market your business!

It’s obvious that Instagram stories can benefit your business, and with Instagram introducing IGTV, we imagine a lot more people are going to migrate to Instagram and stay there. Instagram are trying to be a one stop shop for all things social, so now is the time to embrace all its affordances for your business!

If you think your business could benefit from a greater Instagram presence, and would like a little help doing so, shoot us an email – we’d love to chat with you about your digital strategy!

We’ve put together a guide on all things Instagram stories to help you conquer this fun feature of Instagram!

Breaking: IGTV & What It Means For Content Creators

IGTV & What It Means For Content Creators

For content creators, the biggest news of the day is the announcement of Instagram’s latest development: the launch of IGTV, a video content stream within the app. IGTV is specifically tailored to be more mobile friendly than YouTube, providing content directly from major creators currently on Instagram.

The news was delivered via Instagram’s business page, with the company saying IGTV will bring audiences “closer to the creatives they love”. IGTV has been created around the insights that audiences are increasingly straying from traditional forms of video consumption, towards consumption of online video content via mobile devices.  A direct quote from the business page says:

“We're evolving with the times; these days, people are watching less TV and more digital video. By 2021, mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic. And we've learned that younger audiences are spending more time with amateur content creators and less time with professionals.”

One of the most distinctive features of IGTV is the dimensions of the content (9:16), meaning videos will be made to fit phone screens rather than traditional desktop dimensions (used by YouTube). Snapchat Discover (the closest comparison for IGTV) currently provides videos in a mobile friendly format, however the service hasn’t received the popularity originally anticipated, with several shows being cancelled due to lack of viewer interest.

IGTV will allow content up to 60 minutes long, a major development from the current 60 second video limit on the Instagram app. The app also starts playing content from the moment you open the app, and boasts it’s simplicity with regards to browsing and finding content.

There is currently no ad service within the IGTV app yet, although the brand has indicated that this will be a likely development as the app gains momentum. In the meantime, brands can have a presence on the app simply through content creation. As users become more resistant to traditional advertising, they are increasingly expecting engaging, relevant content from the brands they follow; IGTV being the newest platform for brands to experiment with long form content.

If you’d like to learn more about content creation or how we can connect your brand to your target market, contact us at [email protected].



The Latest Instagram Algorithm Changes

The Latest Instagram Algorithm Changes

Want to know how Instagram's latest algorithm will decide what photos and videos show up in your feed? We’ve got all the answers!

Done in an effort to refresh the app and improve chronology, Instagram is opening up about what’s new and why.

A personalised feed

The new algorithm places a focus on ensuring everyone’s feed is unique and relevant to the user. This personalisation is done through monitoring who you interact with and past behaviors. Basically, a users level of engagement with certain accounts will determine how much or how little they will see of that content.

A big part of this new and improved personalised feed is to prioritise posts from your ‘friends and family’. The updated algorithm claims that users will now see 90% of the posts from their ‘friends and family’ (as determined by Instagram), as opposed to 50%, which was the percentage prior to the algorithm change.

Breaking it down - interest, timeliness and relationship

To help us further understand the new algorithm, Instagram has broken it down into three important determining classifications: interest, timeliness and relationship.

Interest = how interested they think you’ll be in the post

If Instagram thinks you’ll be interested in a post, they will prioritise it and it will appear higher in your feed. How do they determine what they think you will like? Well, they base this on your past behavior and engagement with similar content.

Timeliness = relating to how recently a photo was posted

This new aspect of the algorithm intends to limit how often users are seeing ‘old’ posts from weeks ago and helps keep users feeds more recent and up to date.

Relationship = determining the ‘friends and family’ category

Instagram is taking more notice of users relationships with other users. For example, if you frequently comment or are tagged in a person’s photos instagram takes that to mean you have some sort of a relationship with them and they will be categorised as your ‘friends and family’.

So what can your business do to make sure your posts are being seen and heard in the Instagram feed? Why not pencil in a chat with our team to discuss your Instagram strategy.

Want to know how Instagram's latest algorithm will decide what photos and videos show up in your feed? We’ve got all the answers! Done in an effort to refresh the app and improve chronology, Instagram is opening up about what’s new and why.