Social Media Marketing for Adult Toys: How Do I Avoid Being Shadowbanned? - Adult PR
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Social Media Marketing for Adult Toys: How Do I Avoid Being Shadowbanned?

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Social Media Marketing for Adult Toys: How Do I Avoid Being Shadowbanned?

Shadowbanning is a word we hear a lot when discussing social media marketing for adult toys. If you work in the adult industry, it’s something that you definitely have an increased risk of. Fear not, for we have compiled a few of our best hints, tips and tricks to help you navigate the tricky world of being an adult toy brand on social media. 


If you’re not sure, let us explain. Shadowbanning, put simply, is when an app or platform prevents discovery of your posts (banning) but –  helpfully  – don’t let you know (shadow). It seems like something that  isn’t particularly above board, but social media sites justify it by saying that there are some areas of content that are automatically undiscoverable in searches and that they can’t do anything to change it. This, of course, poses problems for reaching your target audiences. 


Instagram makes it quite hard to tell if you’re banned. This is especially difficult if you are a new account and have no baseline to track your metrics with. Generally, if your engagement drops, you have no new followers  and are struggling you may be banned. On Instagram, try your best to do your engagements natively. That is, when you’re following and liking, it’s best to do them on your phone from the app. Bots or auto-apps area big no-no when it comes to Instagram’s terms of service. They’re really trying to cut out the middle men and increase app usage.

Speaking of app usage, try your best not to spam. This might sound easy – I’m not a spambot! – I hear you say, it’s harder than you think. We appreciate with social media marketing for adult toys you want to ensure you can get the biggest reach possible. But you must be careful. Posting, liking, commenting and following should all be done naturally. That is, don’t go crazy all in your first day. There are specific limits per hour that Instagram sticks to, but we think it’s best to just use the account as you would your personal one. 

Our final piece of advice is this. Just as you would your personal account, maybe you’d use #humpday or #socksoffsunday? Well, if you want to avoid being cast into the shadow realm, you may want to be more careful with your hashtag choices. As far as we’re aware, there is no definitive list of banned hashtags, but you can get a good idea by searching. If very little or nothing at all shows up, don’t use it. Here’s some quick tips:

  • Don’t use banned hashtags, and delete any that appear on old posts. 
  • Use Instagram natively, as much as possible. 
  • Switch your account from business to personal, and back again. 


Reels are a great way to boost your exposure on Instagram. Instagram themselves really like to push any IGTV content that is original. So instead of uploading your TikTok videos, make some original content! Use this as an excuse to try out some new ideas! If you make things on TikTok related to your work or SW relatable memes, then on IGTV you could try out sex education or lifestyle content.

Perhaps look into some kinky educational videos you  could make, or review some of your products. This way you are adding value to your content without duplicating it. Deciding which content goes where also makes your audience more likely to know where to come for each piece. If they’re looking for how to’s, they’ll come to your Instagram. Fun relatable videos? They’ll go to TikTok. 


I’m sure you’re aware that social media marketing for adult toys is easiest on Twitter. It’s the most adult/SW friendly site you can use, apart from perhaps Reddit. Twitter is generally quite honest and proactive in alerting users when they’re restricting your features such as re-tweeting or liking. However, they also have a very open approach to content restrictions. The best way to ensure you’re following all the rules is being above board, labelling your content as NSFW, and working on your account organically.

With the changes to the Twitter algorithm, most users see their content based on engagement and trends, and if you’re not careful you can drop off. This will lead to lower engagement and not meeting your goals. Generally, you’ll be able to tell if you’re shadowbanned, but this can be fixed by following the guidelines and not pushing it too far. This means working natively and using your account like you would a personal one. No RT, like  or follow/unfollow sprees.


Yes, if you’re an adult toy company, you may not have considered spending a whole lot of time on TikTok, as you have probably heard horror stories of companies getting banned left, right and centre. You can get social media marketing for adult toys right on there, though. On TikTok, shadowbanning will generally manifest itself as a huge decrease in engagement. It sounds vague, but you’ll notice it. We’re talking going from 30,000 views to 30 overnight. Essentially what will happen is that your video won’t get shown on any For You Pages across the app. If it doesn, it’ll be incredibly niche ones, that likely won’t engage. If you’re experiencing being banished to the shadow realm, there are a couple things you can do.

Although there is no foolproof way to fix it, this is what we suggest. 

  • Remove the recent videos with the lowest engagement or guideline violations.
  • Some suggest clearing your cache and updating your app, need be.
  • You may even like to try uninstalling and reinstalling the app. 
  • Wait a few days before posting again.

Yes, navigating social media as an adult brand can be difficult. We understand. If you’re looking for an agency to work with on your social media for adult toys, don’t hesitate to contact us for expert advice by sending an email over to [email protected].