What we learnt from a TikTok Shadow Ban

We just completed a 2-week shadow ban on TikTok – here’s what we learnt…

As the social media landscape continues to evolve, it’s important for businesses and creators to stay aware of the unique features and potential pitfalls of each platform. Recently, we at Secret Tel Aviv had a firsthand experience with the “shadow ban” on TikTok.

Just over a month ago, we opened a TikTok account to share fun content about restaurants in Tel Aviv. We were thrilled to see our videos receiving 40,000 views, but suddenly our views dropped to just 100-200 per video. After some research and troubleshooting, we discovered that we had been hit with a shadow ban.

Here’s what we learned during our experience:

1. After a week or two of setting up our account, we started getting pop ups asking if we wanted to switch to a business account – which we did with the hopes of increasing our exposure. However, we quickly realized that this move resulted in fewer views per video – dropping to an average of 1,000 views per video. We discovered that TikTok prompts business account holders to pay for exposure, which is something we were not prepared to do at the time. We subsequently switched back to a personal account, but we believe that this back and forth may have raised flags for TikTok.

2. Be mindful of linking to external content on TikTok. Unlike Instagram, TikTok does not allow links in personal accounts, only to your Instagram account. One of our videos included a slide with a URL to our website, which we believe triggered the shadow ban.

3. Shadow bans can be difficult to detect. We were not notified that our account had been banned and the only way we knew was through the drastic decline in views. Bans can last anywhere from 24 hours to a month, but in our case, it was a 2-week ban.

Overall, this experience was a valuable lesson in the importance of understanding the intricacies of each social media platform. We hope that by sharing our story, we can help others avoid the same mistakes and make the most out of their TikTok presence.

You can check our TikTok account here.