• Claire Shelley

How to manage a disabled Instagram account

Updated: Jan 20

My Instagram account got disabled last week, it's the second time it's happened in six months.

When you spend months or even years on a platform building relationships and growing an audience, particularly when it’s a business account, the thought of losing everything is heartbreaking.⁠

On both occasions there was no warning or sign that there was a problem, I was simply locked out of my account.

So in case you find yourself in this very frustrating situation, here’s what I did.

On the first occasion that my account was disabled, Instagram said that I was impersonating someone else (I’m not sure who!). I was able to complete an appeal form via the app and within a few days I received an email from Instagram saying that my account had been disabled in error and it was restored.

The latest shut down was for a different reason, Instagram said that I had violated their policies and unlike last time, I wasn’t able to complete an appeal form. Instead I headed to the help section where I was able to log a query.

I got a couple of emails asking me to confirm my identity, I replied to both of the emails, but didn’t get any response. Brilliant.

By this point I was feeling pretty frustrated. I use my account for marketing my business and was in the middle of a promotion, it wasn't great timing.

I spent more time scouring the internet and searching Instagram's help section and eventually I came across this form. I'm happy to say that once I'd completed it, my account was quite quickly reactivated.

I received another email saying “It looks like your account was disabled by mistake. Your account has been reactivated, and you should now be able to log in. We're sorry for any inconvenience.

I still don’t know what caused my account to be disabled, but I imagine bots do a lot of the initial policing before it’s reviewed by a human.

Unfortunately it's not uncommon to hear about accounts that have been disabled or even deleted, so I feel grateful to have been able to recover my account and thankfully it all looks good for now.

[NB: I had already enabled two-factor authentication and have Facebook Business Manager set up, it didn’t prevent my account from being disabled, but it’s worth having both for an extra level of security.]

Here are some steps that you can take to keep your account and marketing assets safe:⁠

  • never rely on just one social media platform for your business⁠

  • have an email list, your list belongs to you whereas social media is borrowed ground⁠

  • back up/download important contact details

  • use two-factor authentication on all of your platforms⁠

  • set up a Facebook business manager account

  • if you’re running ads, set up a second account with different payment details⁠

I hope this helps and good luck!

⁠If you're reading this because you've also lost your account, share your experience in the comments below, it could be useful for someone. 👇

#instagramforbusiness #disabledaccount #onlinesecurity #marketingtips