Last week my Instagram account was playing up and not posting the text along with the picture.

I couldn’t figure out why and so I started doing a bit of research and discovered a new phenomenon everyone is talking about on the internet.

Shadow-banning.

It’s when your hashtags stop showing up and your engagement drops off.

You can check this yourself by getting a friend to unfollow you and then look if you are showing up with your hashtag.

Alternatively, you can check for yourself here using this tool Have I been shadow banned?

So, what could get you banned?

And how can we avoid it?

Well no-one knows for sure but here’s some easy ones that you can fix quite quickly.

1: If you are using the same hashtags every time — make sure you mix them up.

2: Using bots to do the work for you — Make sure you are posting yourself and not using automated services — go into settings and revoke access to any bot-like services.

3: Going on a LIKE spree — Try to space out your follows and likes so you don’t get an unusual surge in activity or even slow down or take a short break, maybe over the weekend.

4: Broken hashtags — sometimes a hashtag can get banned and if you use it by accident it stops showing all your other hashtags too. Sometimes it can be quite innocent if a hashtag is mis-used and people send out spam — we all get tarred with the same brush.

Ultimately, if you play by the rules you can’t go far wrong.

Instagram is owned by Facebook now and we all know Facebook is a stickler for playing fair. If you are trying to hurry things along you will probably come unstuck at some point down the line.

Delivering great content and doing the work is the ONLY way to win on social media.

Come and follow me on Instagram and I’ll follow you right back.

Yvonne “love, love, love Instagram” Radley xx