Social media is widely recognized as a powerful platform for businesses to engage with their target audience, attract new customers, build a community, and effectively communicate their brand message through influencer campaigns or their own pages. However, “shadowban” can significantly impact these objectives and even lead to adverse effects on both without any prior notice.
In this article, we will explore shadowban on different platforms and its effects on influencer marketing efforts.
What is shadowban?
A shadow ban, distinct from a complete ban, is a tactic employed by social media platforms to limit the visibility and reach of specific user accounts and their content without their knowledge.
While the users can continue using the platform as usual, the engagement on their posts significantly decreases, resulting in reduced exposure to their followers and potential new audiences.
The purpose of a shadow ban is often to discourage certain behaviours or enforce platform guidelines without explicitly notifying the affected users. By suppressing the visibility of their content, the platform aims to curb spam, inappropriate content, or activities that violate its terms of service.
The impact of a shadow ban can be severe for individuals, influencers, or businesses relying on social media platforms for promotion and engagement. It can hinder their ability to attract new followers, reduce organic reach, and impede community growth. Without being aware of the shadow ban, users may continue posting content without understanding why their engagement and visibility have declined.
Criteria for shadowban for different platforms
Different social media platforms employ shadowbanning for various reasons, often related to maintaining a positive user experience, combating spam, promoting community guidelines, and tackling inappropriate or harmful content. Here are platform-specific criteria for shadowbanning:
- Fake followers – Instagram aims to crack down on accounts that use fake or purchased followers to manipulate engagement and artificially inflate their popularity.
- Banned hashtags– Using hashtags that are banned or restricted by Instagram can trigger a shadowban. These hashtags are typically associated with spam, explicit content, or violation of community guidelines.
- Automated service– Engaging in excessive automation or using bots to perform actions like liking, commenting, or following/unfollowing can lead to a shadowban as it violates Instagram’s terms of service.
- Account reported often– If an account receives frequent reports from users for violating community guidelines or engaging in spammy behaviour, Instagram may impose a shadowban.
- Misinformation– Facebook aims to combat the spread of false information and may shadowban accounts that consistently share or promote misleading or deceptive content.
- Violating community standards– Engaging in behaviours that violate Meta’s community standards, such as hate speech, harassment, or promotion of violence, can result in a shadow ban on Facebook.
- Spam and deceptive practices– YouTube takes action against accounts that engage in spamming, clickbait, or deceptive practices to manipulate views or engagement metrics.
- Sensitive content – Content that violates YouTube’s policies regarding child safety, sexual content, self-injury, violence, dangerous activities, or the sale of regulated goods can lead to a shadowban.
- Misinformation -YouTube aims to combat the spread of false information and may take action against accounts that consistently share or promote misleading content.
Twitter has stated that it does not employ shadowbanning; however, it ranks certain users lower on its search feature based on the nature of their content. This ranking mechanism can affect the visibility and reach of specific accounts on the platform.
It’s important to note that the specific criteria for shadowbanning may evolve over time as platforms adapt to new challenges and user feedback. Users should familiarize themselves with the guidelines and policies of each platform to ensure compliance and avoid potential shadowbans.
How can shadowban affect your Influencer campaigns?
Shadowbans significantly affect influencer campaigns impacting various aspects of the campaign’s success. Here are some ways in which shadowbans can affect influencer campaigns:
- Reduced visibility and reach – When an influencer is shadowbanned, their content becomes less discoverable to their existing followers and potential new audiences. The posts may not show up in hashtag feeds, explore sections, or search results, significantly limiting the reach and visibility of the campaign’s content. As a result, the brand’s message and promotional efforts may not reach the intended target audience.
- Decreased engagement and interactions – With limited visibility, the engagement and interactions on an influencer’s content tend to decline. Fewer likes, comments, shares, and overall engagement can diminish the impact and effectiveness of the campaign.
- Decreased campaign effectiveness– Influencer marketing campaigns rely on the influencer’s ability to effectively communicate the brand’s message and engage their audience. However, a shadowbanned influencer will struggle to achieve the desired campaign goals due to limited visibility and reduced engagement. The campaign may fall short in generating brand awareness, driving conversions, or fostering a positive brand image.
- Wasted resources and monetary loss– Investing resources in collaborations with shadow-banned influencers leads to monetary loss. Brands allocate budget, time, and effort towards influencer campaigns with the expectation of positive returns. However, if the influencer’s content fails to reach the intended audience and generate the desired impact, the investment does not deliver the anticipated results.
- Missed opportunities– By working with a shadowbanned influencer, a brand may miss out on opportunities to partner with influencers who have a wider reach and stronger engagement. Choosing an influencer unaffected by a shadowban can maximize the potential impact of the influencer marketing campaign and increase the chances of achieving campaign goals.
How to know if an influencer is shadowbanned?
The easiest and most accurate way to find out if the influencer is shadowbanned is by using an influencer marketing platform like Qoruz.
Qoruz provides platform-wise comprehensive data and insight into every influencer’s handle in influencer analytics. You use the insight to determine whether the influencer is shadowbanned. This data also tells if the influencer has any fake followers, which can cause shadowban in the future.
The Qoruz score is an all-in-one influencer rating system that gives you an overall idea of influencer performance based on engagement, Post frequency, follower growth, and follower base % from India. This gives you a broad idea about an influencer so you can filter them quickly.
The post-engagement graph depicts the engagement of every post against the average engagement of the influencer. This graph displays if the engagement of any post from the influencer has dipped below their average engagement or not. If there is a massive dip, the creator is most likely shadowbanned. In this case, the particular influencer’s post is performing better than their average.
The follower growth graph is an easy solution to find influencers with fake or bot followers. Any sudden spike in the graph indicates that the influencer has used fake or bot followers.
In this case, the graph is linear, depicting the influencer has a genuine following.
To minimize the risks associated with shadowbans, brands should implement strategies such as monitoring engagement metrics, diversifying their influencer pool, maintaining transparent communication, and focusing on high-quality content and engagement. By staying vigilant, brands can navigate the challenges and optimize the effectiveness of their influencer campaigns. In addition, utilizing influencer marketing platforms like Qoruz can provide valuable data and insights, helping brands identify shadow-banned influencers and detect fake followers, as shown above.