Essentially shadowbanning is defined as limiting the amount of impact and visibility a user has on their potential audience, without their knowledge.
The account isn’t suspended or blocked but the lights are effectively switched off, meaning only people who already follow them will be able to see their content.
It’s a tactic that is used to suppress spam accounts and those who violate the rules of the social media site. However, there are some users and account owners who say they’ve been wrongly dimmed and are angry that Instagram has failed to resolve the issue.
Photography website PetaPixel has indicated business and personal accounts have been affected by the practice, many of them professional photographers who are at a loss as to why their account would be deemed inappropriate.
The main issue apparently stems from the hashtagging system. When photographers hashtag their work they can see their photos in the most recent threads, but if they log in with a different account, their original images are nowhere to be seen.
Exploring hashtags is one of the biggest ways for users to find new images to like or pages to follow so a business or individual who is invisible will suffer significantly. Instagram has responded to the numerous complaints, but not as the majority had hoped.
While the social media channel has acknowledged there is a problem and a solution is being worked on, its main focus centres on giving businesses advice on how they should not be relying on hashtags for their engagement.
Given how popular Instagram is for hotel marketing, it’s something all hotel businesses should take note of.
What is Instagram’s advice for hotels looking to achieve social media engagement goals?
After the reports of shadowbanning, Instagram issued the following statement via its owner Facebook:
“When developing content, we recommend focusing on your business objective or goal rather than hashtags. Having a growth strategy that targets the right audience is essential to success on Instagram. Good content on Instagram is simply good creative.”
The company continued to say there are three creative principles that should be a part of any good business marketing plan:
- Have a distinct visual presence
This includes a strong logo, an iconic brand element such as colour or shape, and striking examples of your property or services you offer.
- Be a storyteller
Whether it’s to raise awareness or sell something specific at your hotel, your objective and content should always align with a compelling narrative. Ask your staff for ideas on what stories you can tell about your hotel.
- Put thought into your hotel’s social media creative
This means dedicating as much time and love into your social output as you do your actual business to ensure the strong message you drive is consistent. Try to replicate your guest service online across social media.
For hotels, Instagram is a perfect channel to make selling rooms easier because the visual medium allows properties and locations to make stunning appeal if captured correctly.
Reach and visibility is actually a lot easier to gain than on other channels like Facebook or Twitter and your content can quickly spread. It’s much easier to use for one, meaning older generations are more likely to engage with it.