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BEWARE! Your Instagram Account Could Get Deactivated if You’re Doing This...

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

When a client asks me, "Hey Lisa, can you log into my Instagram account and interact with my followers or send direct messages like you were me?"

Yes, technically, I CAN do it. But I won't!

And before you say, "How rude of you?! You're my virtual assistant. You should do what I tell you to do!"

Well, yes, I may be your virtual assistant, and my team is part of your team, and you are the client, but I will not do this for you—and I'm actually NOT sorry.

In this video, I explain why logging directly to a client's account brings potential harm to the point that they couldn’t access it anymore. Here's why…

Once upon a time, there was a virtual assistant—let's call her Sally. Sally lives in the Philippines and she's a newbie virtual assistant. She was hardworking, eager to please, and super new in the business. She had a USA-based client who gave her admin tasks, data entry work, PowerPoint slide creation, and other tasks. One day, her client asked if she could take over the DMs in her Instagram account. Her client was too busy to reply to DMs and grow her subscribers by following relevant accounts on the platform. Since Instagram was the main marketing platform for her client, it had to be done, but the client didn't have time. Of course, Sally—so eager to impress her client, said, "Sure, I'll do it! I'll log into your Instagram and do it for you. I'll vibe with your leads in the DMs. Happy to help."

So, the client gave Sally the username and password to her Instagram account. Sally then happily logged into the Instagram account and started doing her job—pretending to be her client and interacting with followers too. The client was so happy; her account grew and grew because Sally was more consistently interacting with her Instagram community, commenting on posts, replying in the DMs, etc.

Then, one fateful morning, when the client logged into her Instagram, a notification popped up on her phone: "You are violating community guidelines." The next thing you know, she couldn't log into her Instagram account anymore. The account got suspended completely, and all her thousands and thousands of followers went down the drain.

Sally's client could have fired her, but she didn't. They both learned their lesson, so they started building a new Instagram account from the ground up.

Thankfully, Sally's client had an email list! She announced to her followers that her Instagram account was taken down, so she had to start a new one. Because she was already able to establish a community, it didn't take long for her new Instagram account to grow too.

But did the client give Sally (or other team members) access to her Instagram again? You guessed it. The answer is no.

Your Account Doesn’t Belong to You.

This is a very traumatic feeling when you have a social media account that you nurtured for years. Your account doesn't belong to you; it belongs to Instagram and other social media platforms. It would be just logical to follow their rules because you are using their platform.

At that time, Sally wasn't—doing due diligence. She could have easily done research and checked if logging into another person's Instagram doesn't violate the platform's rules. Lo and behold, it actually does. Under their policy on Privacy, Security, and Reporting, this practice counts as "impersonation."

And while we're on the subject, it turns out other social media platforms also agree that the practice of giving another person access to your account to reply and act as you is impersonation, and it violates their community guidelines.

Understanding Social Media Platforms’ Community Guidelines

Our team at 8point8 saw that many clients and potential clients aren't actually aware of this rule, so we created an entire page on our website to respond to common questions. You can check it out here.

Anyway, whether you're already doing this, like your current virtual assistant logging in as YOU and responding to comments or commenting as you on your social media, just know that there is ALWAYS a risk. And I don't know how Instagram knows, but they likely monitor the IP or location of the devices logging into your account. So, if you have a virtual assistant in the Philippines who logs into your account and you're an online coach based in Canada, if your VA doesn't use a VPN or doesn't mask the IP one way or another, then Instagram will conclude that you logged into your account 1 minute ago, so it would be impossible if you're also in the Philippines 1 hour later, right?

Instagram has robot police, and these robot policies are smart. They're smarter than my friend Sally actually, which was unfortunate.

But here's the question! What if you want to assign your virtual assistant the task of posting content for you? Or scheduling graphics or reels or videos for you on your social media? Don't they need your username and password for that task?

Admin and Editor Access: A Safer Option and Best Alternative

Here's the saving grace. You don't actually have to give them your username and password. You can delegate that task to your team members or VA by giving them admin or editor access. This applies to certain types of accounts for Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin, and other social media platforms. So it's best that you do your research on whether endorsing that social media task doesn't violate community guidelines.

Because as a virtual assistant myself, I would never ever dream of causing your account to get deactivated. Now that I'm a consultant for coaches and course creators too, I would advise the exact same thing to my clients. There is always a risk in doing anything. But there are tools out there or workarounds where you can still delegate social media tasks to other people or agencies WHILE still following community guidelines. We've laid all this out on our Community Guidelines page at 8point8, so you can refer to that after reading this blog.

But listen, I know you want to delegate the task of social media. Social media management can be exhausting and requires skill, experience, and most of all TIME for your social media account to be healthily nurtured and grown, right? It's no wonder social media managers are making a ton of revenue managing brand accounts. You're a busy business owner; do you have time? No, you don't! You're probably watching the video and reading this blog at 2 times the speed so that you can consume the content in half the time.

As you do endorse or delegate the responsibility of your social media account to a VA or social media manager, it's best to educate yourself on the rules, so you don't end up losing your account and your followers too.

If you like this blog, check out our other blogs too because it will help you work more easily and efficiently with your virtual assistant or team. See you there!

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