“Hehe, I’ve been hacked.”
I mean honestly. How do you even find a good pic to use to talk about this fiasco?! For those who may have missed my stories the past week and a half, my main Instagram account was completely shut down last week with no warning or explanation of why. I’ve been scrambling to find a solution to this problem since I use Instagram for business and to stay in touch with everyone. 🙁 But it’s time for me to share the latest on the situation and pivot. Here’s what’s next!
// SO WHAT HAD HAPPENED WAS… //
Last Sunday is when this all went down. As I woke up for the day, I picked up my phone to read my texts, check emails, and scroll through Instagram. My jaw dropped as I opened Instagram and got the notification “Your account has been disabled. Please click here to learn more.”
After attempting to log in multiple ways and walking through the process of verifying my account with a code, Instagram still wouldn’t let me in. I immediately submitted a ticket to get help on this issue… and ever since I’ve heard nothing.
The support email from Facebook said:
Yes, this is probably the most embarrassing selfie I’ve taken. && I honestly felt like their request was a scam. But here I am – proof of being in Instagram jail.
I’ve reached out 4 times now with no response. While waiting, I’ve asked other content creators and marketers what their experience has been when this happens. Many people said that it took about a week or so to get their accounts back. The short of it was that I needed to follow the prompts on Instagram and remain persistent. I’ve done that so far with no such luck. But I won’t stop trying!
// HOW IT HAPPENED //
I own a social media agency, and one of our clients requested a feature where every new follower on their Instagram would automatically receive a “welcome to our page” message in their DMs. While Instagram does not currently offer this feature, I assumed there was an app or software on the market that could do this on their behalf.
I went to the good old Google and found two different companies that claimed to offer an automated new follower DM feature. I would NEVER experiment with a client account, so I decided (with much regret later on) to test it on my @maryerobb Instagram account. After logging in on my account through these different sites, Instagram noticed logins from other cities and then completely glitched out.
I’m not 100% sure if this is what caused my account to be taken down, but it seems to be the only thing that could have been the issue.
// WHAT’S NEXT //
For now, I will wait and continue to email Facebook to try and get them to unlock my account. But in the meantime, I’ve decided to turn my old personal Instagram @maryelizabethrobb into the main channel I’ll be posting through for the time being. If you enjoyed following me on Instagram, it’d really help me out if you subscribed to my blog and followed me on my other page:
TBH I’ve known that as a content creator, I should post all content on my website first and foremost because I own this page – and no one can take it down. However, between running a social agency and trying to keep a consistent personal brand, this website taken a back seat. -_-
But…lesson learned… and from here on out, all content will be found on this site! I’ve decided to get more consistent in posting new content on all channels – including this blog. You can find me on other social channels as well:
If you’re a marketer, content creator, or entrepreneur who uses social media for marketing, I highly recommend focusing on building up your email subscriber list through your website or blog. And then using social media to simply promote your main content or website.
All of the content I shared on Instagram could potentially be gone forever, which is extremely disheartening for me. And now I want to share my experience with others in hopes to prevent this from happening to anyone else!
Also, I would never suggest trying new tools or third-party software on your own social media. Looking back, I really wish I would’ve considered the risk in doing so. Moving forward, I will test things out on a dummy account I’ve created for the business.
Needless to say, there were a lot of lessons learned in this situation. But I’m not going to let it stop me from doing what I’ve love doing. Which is sharing all the things, getting creative, and connecting with my amazing friends and followers!! I love social media and what it can do for businesses and relationships, and I don’t want to turn away from it just because of this crazy situation.
From here on out, you can stay in touch with me here and on my other socials linked above. I really appreciate the people who have reached out, the brands who have been patient as I work this out, and the friends who sent positive words my way. I feel really lucky to be surrounded by love and support! It means the world!!
If you or anyone you know has been locked out of Instagram and was able to recover their account, I would be beyond grateful to learn how you did it. The most frustrating part is there’s no real email or number to call. And so far Facebook/Instagram has been nonresponsive.