Instagram has taken down a big number of spam and bot accounts in the last year or so. They have searched thoroughly and found almost 150 million fake accounts. But how safe is your account? You might be wrong about it.
We already posted about how to avoid getting blocked on Instagram when things first started to change. You might want to check that post also. You can find it here.
In this search for authenticity, Instagram is checking each business account, recognizing automated activities very fast. It may sound creepy, but they watch everything you do, from likes and comments to your DMs. Based on what you do there, they specify your “trust score” which is known only to them.
If your activities seem suspicious to Instagram’s algorithms, this score will be reduced. Over and over again. In the end, your account will be temporary blocked a few times (which is usually between 24 and 48 hours), and after that permanently banned. In the meantime it might also be shadowbanned, which means your reach will decrease, your content will not appear in users’ feeds, and some actions will be limited to you (you will not be able to like posts e.g.).
Is your Instagram Account Safe?
If you don’t use automation or bots, you might think that your account is safe. You might also be wrong. Sadly, we have seen people who lost their accounts even they were genuine. That’s not comforting, right?
Repetitive actions like using the same hashtags, emojis, and multiple comments can be dangerous. To stay safe, you need to know which activities can get you in trouble, and which can help you improve your trust score.
So, what can hurt your trust score?
1. Fake Followers
You might have your account from earlier times when it was possible to easier gain followers using bots or even buy some. (You can still purchase them, but with a much higher risk than a few years ago.) If you did that, or you are considering doing it, not just the (mostly fake) accounts of those who follow you are endangered, but yours also.
It is not a secret (anymore) that many influencers and celebrities used this tactic. But they also encountered problems with Instagram throughout this year.
But how can Instagram know that? They watch how your followers engage with your content. If the majority of your followers never engage in any of your posts, Instagram will believe they are fake. Not fair, right? But that’s how it works.
2. Suspicious Activities
Non-human activities have been a problem for Instagram forever. Even this is an easy way for many users, it can decrease your trust rate, even lead you to get banned.
These activities are continuous liking and commenting, too many follows and unfollows in a short period, tagging random people, repeating the same hashtags, and sending too many DMs. It is even worse if you keep doing this to non-followers.
3. Exchanging Comments
If you have an arrangement with other users to mutually comment on each other’s content, that may seem like nothing wrong. And technically it isn’t. But boosting engagement in such a way can also be spammy. These are, again, repetitive actions. Especially if you post the same comments, to the same people. This will not harm your account like other actions, but it can affect your trust score.
How to Improve your Trust Score?
It may seem that anything you do on Instagram can get you in trouble. I swear, on some days I am afraid to even click on something! But, things are not a total disaster. There are a few actions you can do to improve or keep your trust score fine.
1. Manage your Posting
You should avoid posting too much on Instagram, just as much as you should leaving your account without content. Although we support a lot of posting usually, Instagram works differently. Limit your posts to a maximum of two per day. If you post more, Instagram will assume that you use automated posting. Which is, apparently, also not allowed. If you want to schedule your content, it is best to use a Business Manager or some of their trusted partner’s tools. We posted about how to use Business Suite HERE.
2. Limit your Daily Actions
Depending on your followers’ number, ages of your account, and engagement rates, Instagram will determine your hourly and daily action limits. Which you can not know how much they are. If you follow and unfollow too many users in a short period of time, you will get flagged. You can read about how to determine approximate daily limits HERE.
You need to keep your limits in mind when performing certain actions if you want to keep your account safe. If it’s a fresh account, you might want to follow, like, and comment more, to gain some audience. But carefully. Fresh accounts are always under the microscope.
3. Grow your Community Organically
Everyone wants to have a large community. That is the reason why some users reach for bots or paid followers in the first place. Even those followers are not “real”, big numbers attract more people.
But, building a large community is a very difficult task. The competition is harsh, and followers are hard to get. Sometimes even posting quality content, using relevant hashtags, and being consistent is not enough. It will take a lot of time to succeed. Maybe some of our posts can help you with that:
- How to get more comments on Instagram?
- Easy secrets for increasing your Instagram traffic
- How to find highly targeted leads on Instagram
- How to get your Instagram followers more engaged
- Top Methods to Grow Your Instagram Account
4. Be Creative with Your Comments
Do not repeat the same comments over and over again. Also, watch out for repeating emojis. You should be creative when leaving a comment, it will get you better results and you will not get to Instagram’s blacklist.
5. Be Careful with Tags and Hashtags
We already mentioned a few times that tagging random people in your posts is a big NO. If you see people doing it, it doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. Tag only people or brands which are on the photo, or somehow connected with the post. Instagram does not approve of tagging a bunch of people just to highlight your post, and it will punish you for that.
Also, don’t use the same hashtags in every post you publish. It is great if you’ve found what works, but try to variate them. You can use Hashtag Generator to help you with that.
6. Don’t Send Unnecessary DMs
Sending multiple DMs to the same user, the same text to multiple users, or sending automated DMs right after follow can get you into trouble as well. And, as I mentioned before – things are getting worse if you send it to non-followers. Instagram is not happy with you sending promotional DMs this way, and considers it spammy.
Contact users through DM only if you have a legitimate reason. You will not just avoid penalties, but also that is a professional thing to do, and a good social media behavior.
7. Remove Fake Followers
If you already used some of the methods we mentioned to grow your audience fast, the best thing to do is to remove any users who don’t engage with your content. You might feel bad to just remove them, so try to engage with them through comments or likes, to see if they will do the same. If not, the best thing is to say goodbye.
Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms. It is a network where you want to be, and from which you want to take advantage. So, keep your trust score healthy and stay in a good relationship with Instagram’s algorithms.