What Does it Mean To be Shadowbanned on Social Media?

Jun 2021

What Does it Mean to be ShadowbannedHas your company suddenly lacked impressions, engagement, and new followers on social media and you can’t figure out why it’s happening? You might be shadowbanned! What does it mean to be shadowbanned on Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok? Keep reading to learn what it means, how it happens, and how to avoid this from happening in the future.


What Does it Mean to be Shadowbanned?

Shadowbanning occurs when your account is flagged for violating a social media app’s guidelines, and consequently is shown to a significantly fewer number of people. It essentially hides your posts from other users who would otherwise be able to find them on their feed. Many times, posts will only be found if they visit your profile. In some extreme shadowbanning cases, the app will block others from being able to find your profile. This is all done without you being notified by the app. 


How Can You Tell if You’ve Been Shadowbanned? 

If you’ve had success on a social media channel, but you’re seeing a series of posts with low impressions, engagement, and a lack of follower growth, that’s an indication that you’ve been shadowbanned. From here it’s a good idea to ask some coworkers or friends if they have missed your posts in their feed and if they are having trouble finding your profile page. If the answer is yes, then there is a good chance that you have been shadowbanned. 


How Does an Account Get Shadowbanned?

Typically accounts are shadowbanned for breaking terms and conditions or community guidelines. This could be anything from cyberbullying to posting inappropriate content. When a brand is shadowbanned this is usually due to a company using shady practices like buying followers, posting spammy comments, following and unfollowing, or liking too many photos in a short period of time. If you have been shadowbanned, make sure to stop all violations immediately, remedy the situation if possible, and give your feed some time to be recognized as a compliant member of the social media community again.


How Do You Avoid Being Shadowbanned?

Because brands can get shadowbanned just like normal users, your company must take measures to ensure that your social media strategy is not using or emulating unethical social media practices. Of course, you should always also be up to date with social media terms and conditions and community guidelines. This extends to your influencer marketing strategy as well. Make sure to choose influencers who don’t get shadowbanned to avoid cutting your social media reach short. If you run your social media accounts in an ethical way, in compliance with those apps’ guidelines, you won’t have to worry about being shadowbanned.



The average branded engagement rate on Instagram hovers around 1.22%.


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