If your following hasn't been increasing, chances are you've been affected by Instagram's "Shadow-Ban" After much research and being a victim of it, I've finally figured out what to avoid and now my following has started to increase again. My following stayed around 1600 for months. No matter what I posted I couldn't get it to increase. It would go up a little and go back down. Shadowban is the act of blocking a user from an online community in such a way that they don’t realize that they’ve been banned. It's like a little time-out.
Here's how to find out if you've been a "Shadow Ban" target on Instagram and ways to avoid it.
If you've been using a lot of hashtags on instagram and you find sometimes some hashtags don't work or your posts aren't showing up under them. You may have been put on restriction.
Perhaps you've gotten a little spammy with hashtags and you've been using some that really don't go along with your posts. I admit, I had been using the same hashtags under all of my posts and realized just a few weeks a ago, I was blocked from some of them. How did I know? Because my photos were't showing up when I clicked the hashtag to search for them. To stay under Instagram's good graces, I recommend you only use hashtags that are relevant to that post. To help you keep up with hashtags that pertain to different categories, I recommend you put them in the notes app of your phone. I use the Plann App to help me categorize my hashtags. Its also great at helping you organize your feed and save your captions until its time to post. In summary, be intentional about what hashtags you use.
Don't pay for likes and followers or use auto responders.
These apps violate Instagram's terms of service and most of them are being shut down. If you find that your entire feed is clean and wiped out, this could be why. You'll need to contact instagram to see if you can get your feed back. I've seen where some people have had to start completely over after getting shut down. So, if you haven't been caught doing it so far, now is the time to stop!
Don't do too much activity on Instagram.
This means, don't post a ton of pics at once and don't go through feeds liking, commenting and following a ton of people in one hour so they can come to your page in return. This makes you look crazy! Not only does instagram and its algorithm dislike it but people do as well and they can report you..
Here's a tool you can use to test if your feed is currently "Shadow-Banned"
I'm not sure how great it is, but other people have used it in the past to check. Here's the link https://shadowban.azurewebsites.net/