Damn! I was SHADOW-BANNED from Instagram...
WHAT IS IT ?
If you have no clue what it means to be shadow-banned from Instagram keep reading as you may be banned as well as you read this and you don't even know... You can read it all here https://plannthat.com/what-is-instagram-shadowban/ from where I copied their definition:
What is the Instagram Shadowban?
Firstly, if you haven’t heard of it yet, an Instagram Shadowban is when your hashtags become ‘un-discoverable’. You can use your hashtags, however you’ll only show up in hashtag feeds of your current followers.
This means that your images won’t show up in hashtag feeds of anyone who DOESN’T follow you, obviously reducing the reach of your account and making it much harder to reach a new audience.
WHAT HAPPENED TO ME:
Long story short, the levels of engagement on my posts were super low no matter what I did in terms of posting more, posting on peak times, quotes, etc, it just felt that I was only getting likes and comments mainly from followers only. Then I read a few articles including the one above and did the test and confirmed.
ACCOUNTS USED ON MY TEST:
First account below is my main account @CelsoDinizPhoto, second account is my secondary account @WallArtByCD that follows @CelsoDinizPhoto, and the third account is the brand new account @CelsoDinizUSA I've just created to run this test and it does not follow @CelsoDinizPhoto.
Test #1: While Shadow Banned. My most recent post(s) with tag #CelsoDinizPhoto would appear under my main account @CelsoDinizPhoto and the account @WallArtByCD that follows the first one. But they did not show under the new account @CelsoDinizUSA that does not follow the first one. Meaning they have been un-discoverable for accounts that did not follow me:
APPARENTLY WHAT HAS RESOLVED MY SITUATION:
I read somewhere that switching a Business Profile back to Personal Profile could solve the problem and apparently it did.
Test #2: After switching my Business Profile back to Personal Profile I did this and that posts both with tag #CelsoDinizPhoto and ran to the respective three accounts to see if it was showing up, and they were now showing not only on the original account and the one that follows it, but also on the third one that does not follow the first, meaning the posts are now discoverable for people who don't follow me:
I thought I should try searching for another hashtag from those posts other than my own #CelsoDinizPhoto so I ran the third test with hashtag #500px.
Test #3: I searched hashtag #500px and yes my last post was showing on all three accounts. Back in business!!
WHY DID IT HAPPEN TO ME ?
In my case I believe it was the fact that I had been copying and pasting the same bunch of hashtags on all my new posts like forever... and apparently that is one of the causes for the ban accordingly to https://plannthat.com/what-is-instagram-shadowban/
I also read somewhere that using banned hashtags can get you banned as well, and I am pretty sure I used some, specially because not all banned hashtags are horrendous things that you would never use anyway. Some of them include #attractive, #lingerie, #models, #undies, #women, and others you wouldn't imagine are banned as per this list here http://www.bet.com/lifestyle/2017/04/17/here-s-the-full-list-of-hashtags-banned-from-instagram.html
If you are serious about Instagram then Hashtags are something not to be taken lightly...