Why Are Your Instagram Hashtags Not Working?

Why Are Your Instagram Hashtags Not Working?

Published on: March 13, 2024
Last Updated: March 13, 2024

Why Are Your Instagram Hashtags Not Working?

Published on: March 13, 2024
Last Updated: March 13, 2024


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Why are your Instagram hashtags not working?

You know the hashtag because it’s one of those things that you’ll be able to find on most websites, and certainly every social media platform out there.

It has become an integrated part of our communication online, which means that if you’re a brand that is trying to expand your niche, having the right ones, and using them is pretty important. It first got its start on Twitter, and since then, it can be found everywhere.

The best part of using hashtags with your Instagram posts is that your content gets included with similar content out there so that you can find the right people to check it out.

This means that people who don’t know about you but might want to because they could be into your content can find you a bit easier.

They’re the bridge that can close the gap between you and your content and your community.

It’s one of the most effective ways to get the engagement that you need on your posts so that you can not only get more followers but get more of the right ones.

Despite this, though, there are a lot of people out there who complain that their Instagram hashtags are not working and aren’t having the effect that they were hoping for.

There are actually quite a number of reasons why your hashtags are not working the way you’d like.

There is a possibility that you’re choosing the wrong ones for your niche, using the wrong number of hashtags, and even putting them in places that aren’t so great.

It’s also possible that you have misused them to the point that Instagram has put a limit on your content reach – this is called shadowbanning.

8 Reasons Why Your Instagram Hashtags Are Not Working

Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons why your Instagram hashtags are not working, and what you can do to use hashtags more effectively so that you can connect with the right people for your content.

You Have Been Flagged as Spam or Shadowbanned

Instagram Shadowbanned - Hashtags Not Working

This is perhaps one of the most common reasons why you could have hashtags that are not working on Instagram. This is because there are plenty of people on Instagram who love to misuse hashtags and come across as spammy.

As a result, Instagram has put measures in place to make sure that people use their hashtags properly. They are always on the lookout for this, and their new guidelines limit spam to creating a better experience in general for each and every user.

Of course, one big downside to this is that it can negatively impact those profiles that aren’t meaning to spam – they’re doing it by accident.

This is because it’s actually pretty easy to be spammy with your hashtags. Let’s talk about a few ways that you can be spammy with your hashtags, without even knowing it.

  • Using hashtags that don’t have anything to do with your post
  • Using the same hashtags on every single post
  • Using limited or banned hashtags

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If you think that your Instagram account has been shadowbanned, the first thing you need to do is get rid of any hashtags that you think are spammy and not helping your cause.

Then, you’ll want to pause the hashtags for a couple of days. Then, you can get in touch with Instagram itself and talk about the issue.

If none of the above seems to be working, then you might want to think about creating a totally new Instagram account.

While it might be painful to start from scratch, it’s better than trying to grow an account that’s not being seen at all.

Your Hashtags Have Nothing to Do with Your Posts

Hashtags post

One of the most common reasons why your hashtags might not be having the right effect is that they have nothing to do with your account.

One of the most common practices among using hashtags on Instagram before they started to crack down on it was using the most popular and trending options with content.

This was, of course, going to put that content in front of millions of people, and it was going to increase the chances of that content coming up on the Explore Page.

However, since Instagram has started to get strict about how you use hashtags, this practice isn’t effective anymore. If you were someone who made the most of this strategy and still does, then you might have been limited by Instagram.

This is why it’s important to avoid using hashtags that have nothing to do with your account. Don’t just use hashtags because they’re popular – use them because they help people find your content.

These people are going to be interested in what they find, and they’ll be more likely to stick around and follow you for a long time. Try to find smaller hashtags that have more relevance to your account.

Pro Tip: Use a premium service such as Task Ant to find niche relevant hashtags to boost your engagement.

You’re Using Banned Hashtags

Banned Hashtags

As more and more hashtags have been used on Instagram for content, the popular social media site has had no choice but to put a cap on which hashtags can be used and which can’t.

The biggest reason why a hashtag can get banned is when inappropriate content is associated with it. This means that if you’re using hashtags on your content that have been banned, you could get in trouble with Insta.

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This is why it’s so important to look up your hashtags before you decide to use them, to make sure that they’re not red-flagged.

Instagram will show a message that talks about the hashtag being hidden if it’s been previously banned, so it’s pretty easy to work out if it has been or not.

You will find this in the search bar when you look up a hashtag. Make sure that before you put a hashtag on your content, you take a look at whether it’s gotten into trouble with Insta before or not.

You’re Using the Same Hashtags Every Time

We know that it’s easy just to copy and paste your favorite hashtags so that you don’t have to go through the process of finding new ones every time you create content. However, this could be the reason why your hashtags are not working.

When you use the same hashtags on each post, then Instagram is going to start looking at your profile, and not in a good way.

It indicates to Instagram that you’re just using hashtags in order to get bigger on the gram and get more people checking out your content.

You don’t have honest reasons for being there, which isn’t something that Insta is going to get on board with very easily. They want you to use their platform to provide valuable content for people so that you can stand out and create a solid community of loyal followers. 

If Instagram thinks that you are just using the same hashtags every time, they will limit your content from being seen by new people and shadowban it.

This is why it’s a good idea to rotate your hashtags for every post so that you’re not always using the same ones. There’s nothing wrong with having hashtags that you often use, just make sure that you’re mixing it up enough. 

Your Hashtags Are Too Broad


Think about it – if you share a post with hashtags on it that are shared by millions of people, how is your content going to stand out?

It’s not.

It’s going to get swept up in the sea of content out there, and very quickly, it’s going to sink. There’s no way that you’re going to be able to connect with your audience and find the right people to like it if you use hashtags that are too broad.

While using more popular hashtags can help you find a bigger audience, you’ve got less chance of them actually seeing the content.

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You’ve got to sacrifice this for smaller hashtags that won’t yield the same numbers, but will increase the likelihood of people actually seeing your stuff.

Another reason to use smaller hashtags that might not be that popular is that they’ll be more searchable. This is because people that are looking for your specific niche are going to be searching for your hashtags, and so they’ll come across your content a lot easier if your posts are attached to those hashtags.

This strategy is going to improve your engagement rate overall, so that you can find the best community for your content that’s actually going to follow you, stay following you, and interact with your content every time they see a new post.

This isn’t the kind of community that you’ll foster with big hashtags.

Your Hashtags Are Too Competitive

Just like if you are to use hashtags that are too broad, if you use hashtags that are too competitive, you can also slow your growth on Instagram.

Again, there are a lot of people out there that think it’s a good idea to use popular hashtags to grow their content.

However, if you only use hashtags that have millions of posts attached to them already, how on earth is your content going to stand out?

It’s not. This means that your content is only going to pop up in people’s feeds for just a few short seconds. This means that it will quickly sink to the bottom, and people won’t be able to see it, let alone interact with it.

This is why you’ve got to get really targeted and niche with your hashtags, and choose ones that are small fry.

They might not garner the engagement that you were hoping to get, but they will increase the chances of getting any engagement at all.

We recommend finding a nice balance between the two. Come up with some popular trending hashtags that a lot of people are using, and then find some that are a little less popular.

This way, you will be able to get your content out there and in front of the right people for it.

You’re Not Using the Right Number of Hashtags

Do you know how many hashtags you’re allowed on your content? If not, then you might want to learn this so that you can optimize your hashtag strategy.

There are some people out there that think it’s wise to stick to just five to ten hashtags, while there are others that think you should use as many as 30, which is the maximum number allowed.

At the end of the day, you can’t land on an exact number that everyone should be using. However, it’s important to test things out in terms of your hashtag strategy to see what works for you and what doesn’t.

If you find that not using that many hashtags are not working, try for more, and vice versa. You’ll have to play around with them for a bit to find the perfect balance, but you’ll get there eventually.

Technical Issues or User Error

Technical Error

One of the last reasons why you could be having issues with your hashtags is that there might be a user error.

This is why it’s a good idea to check your hashtags to make sure that you have spelled them correctly so that when people look for them in the search bar, they don’t miss out.

You also want to make sure that you’re not using broken links, either – this can happen if you use punctuation in your hashtags.

Lastly, it’s possible that your Instagram hashtags not working is from no fault of your own, but because of Instagram itself.

If this is the case, you’ll need to get in touch with them to see what the problem is, so that they can help you solve it.

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Instagram Hashtags Not Working: Final Thoughts

So, there you have it – 8 possible reasons why your Instagram hashtags not working occurred.

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons, so it’s worth going through them all and ticking them off the list to determine what’s really going on.

Make sure to find the perfect hashtags for your niche, and give your profile the best chance of success.

Good luck!

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Written by Jason Wise

Hello! I’m the editor at EarthWeb, with a particular interest in business and technology topics, including social media, privacy, and cryptocurrency. As an experienced editor and researcher, I have a passion for exploring the latest trends and innovations in these fields and sharing my insights with our readers. I also enjoy testing and reviewing products, and you’ll often find my reviews and recommendations on EarthWeb. With a focus on providing informative and engaging content, I am committed to ensuring that EarthWeb remains a leading source of news and analysis in the tech industry.