Instagram Hashtags Not Working? Here Are 9 Reasons Why

Instagram Hashtags Not Working? Here Are 9 Reasons Why

Hashtags not working on Instagram?

We all know that hashtags are the things that keep the Instagram world going around.

They are the lifeblood of the Instagram marketing world, and if you’re not making the most of them, you could be missing out on some serious profits for your brand.

Hashtags either work or they don’t, and Instagram makes it pretty hard to keep up with what’s what a lot of the time. If you’re having trouble figuring out your hashtag game and you’re not quite sure what’s up, we’re here to tell you that it’s easier than you think.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons for your hashtags not working.

Instagram Hashtags Not Working? Here’s Why.

1. You’ve Been Shadowbanned


What’s shadowbanning, you ask? Shadowbanning is when Instagram thinks that the hashtags you’re using are explicit, banned, or inappropriate, and they restrict the reach of your content.

This means that your posts will only be visible to your existing audience, which is obviously going to make it pretty hard to find new people to follow you and take an interest.

You also need to watch out for those popular or trending hashtags, too. Anything that Instagram deems spammy or dodgy hashtag behavior, they will shadowban. If you think this is the case, try chilling out on the hashtags for a couple of days. You can also contact Instagram about the issue, too.

2. Your Hashtags Have no Relevance

If your content is mainly about food, and you’re using hashtags that are more to do with drinks, for example, it’s going to be pretty hard for your target audience to find you.

While there are some pretty trendy, popular hashtags out there that everyone wants on their content, if they’re not specifically connected to your posts, they’re not going to get you very far. You need to make sure that they are completely relevant to your content.

3. You’re Using Hashtags that have Been Banned

We mentioned this briefly when we talked about shadowbanning above. The reality is, Instagram stays on top of things like this, and if it thinks that a hashtag has become too popular or it’s inappropriate, it will be banned. This could be one of the biggest reasons why you’re not getting a lot of reach with your hashtags – because it’s hard to know which have been banned and which haven’t.

This is why it’s vital to do a bit of research on your hashtags before you jump right into using them – you never know the history behind them, and whether they’re going to end up hindering or helping your profile.

4. You’re Using the Same Hashtags on Every Post

hashtags not working

One hashtag strategy that a lot of Instagram users have picked up on is to type out all of their favorite hashtags in their notes on their phone, and then save it so that every time they upload content, they can simply copy and paste them into the caption or comments section.

While this is a great, efficient way to do things, it could be one of the reasons why you’re not getting enough reach on Instagram.

This is because it looks spammy to Instagram, and if they think that you’re being spammy with your engagement and growth in general, they might decide to shadowban you. We recommend up to 50 hashtags that are relevant to your profile and then dividing them into three or four groups that you can rotate.

5. Your Hashtags Are Too Broad

Broader hashtags have been helpful and preferred for many Instagram users since the popular social media website first started out because they help people reach a wider audience. However, the downside to using broad hashtags is that your content is at risk of getting lost in the fray.

The more posts that are attached to a hashtag, the harder it’s going to be for you to stand out. Again, as we suggested before, try to keep your hashtags are specific as you can. This way, while you may not be able to reach as many people with them, you will be able to reach the right ones that are genuinely going to be interested in your content.

6. Your Hashtags Are Too Competitive

Similar to using hashtags that are too broad, if the hashtags that you’re using are too competitive, then this is just going to hold you back. Remember, if a hashtag has a million posts already associated with it, it’s going to be pretty difficult to stand out with your content as a unique and interesting page for people to check out.

Try instead to find hashtags that aren’t as popular. While this may sound counter-intuitive, it’s actually going to increase your reach.

7. You’re Using the Wrong Number of Hashtags

You may have heard this question a lot online: how many hashtags should I use? The per post limit is currently 30, but we don’t recommend using this many. While back in the day it would have been helpful, these days it looks better if you use a lot less. In fact, we recommend that you use just 5-10 hashtags per post.

At the end of the day, it’s almost impossible to know the perfect figure of hashtags to use, but we definitely suggest that you keep it small, because less is more in the world of Instagram hashtags.

8. Technical Issues

If you don’t feel as if you’re experiencing any of the other situations above, then there could be a chance that you’re experiencing technical issues. If this is the case, then it’s a good idea to go back through your list of hashtags and make sure that there aren’t any formatting or grammar mistakes.

If you accidentally misspell your hashtags, then your target audience won’t be able to find you when they search the correct spelling. Sometimes, though, the reason for your hashtags not working may be out of your hands, as Instagram loves to change up its algorithm regularly.

9. You’re Not Using a Hashtag Tool

Another reason why your hashtags may not be working is that you’re not using a hashtag tool. It’s near impossible these days to figure out your hashtag strategy yourself, especially with all the competition out there.

However, it doesn’t have to be this way – there are excellent third party options that can help you find the perfect hashtag strategy for your niche and industry.

Task Ant is one of these companies – they offer a hashtag search engine that gives you exclusive insights into any hashtag that you search. This is a great way to work out whether your favorite hashtags are helping your growth or hindering it.

Final Thoughts

It’s tough out there in the world of Instagram and hashtags. Don’t get us wrong – we still think that it’s a great place to promote your brand and gain a loyal following.

However, it takes hard work and dedication and knowing everything there is to know about using hashtags. The more you are aware that there could be something wrong with your hashtag approach, the better you can adjust it for success.

Don’t forget to check out a third party like Task Ant to give yourself the best chance of finding your ideal hashtag strategy.

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