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Avoiding Shadowban The Best Hashtags to Use on Instagram

Avoiding Shadowban. The Best Hashtags to use on Instagram

Nobody likes to be ignored. But it can be even more painful when trying to increase visibility for your business. That’s why so many brands turn to hashtags to save the day, and for the most part, they get the job done.

Whether it’s Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram, hashtags are the best way to get the eyes of a particular audience on your content. Using the right hashtags can boost engagement, following and organic reach. Using them incorrectly, however, can have the complete opposite effect.

That’s why you need to know the best hashtags to use on Instagram. At best, using the wrong hashtags can get you minimal results. At worst the wrong hashtags can get you shadowbanned on Instagram. What’s an Instagram shadowban? Let me run it down real quick. 

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The Dreaded Shadowban 

No one is sure who coined the term, but Shadowban is the act of having your content quietly blocked from your audience. This means it won’t show up on their feeds, or the hashtag pages of those being used. It is pretty evident how this can be, not only an annoyance but extremely discouraging after tirelessly curating content for your audience. Then they never get to see it. 

There are ways to ensure your content is seen even after being shadowbanned but it is by no means foolproof. Instagram has a notification system, this allows followers to sign up to be notified when you post. Much like YouTube, and now LinkedIn, you can encourage your audience to click the bell icon in the top right corner of your profile. 

The other less proactive solution is to wait until the shadowban is lifted, but how can you be sure this will never happen again? 

Instagram bans hashtags. It doesn’t let you know in advance which hashtags are undesirable, that’s why keeping ahead is so important. But why do they get banned in the first place? Many bots, spammers and undesirable users constantly use certain hashtags, filling their page with spam that drowns out any real content being posted. 

If you make the rookie mistake and use one of these banned hashtags without realising, you could be mistaken as a bot and unceremoniously shadowbanned by Instagram’s algorithm. What are some currently banned Instagram hashtags, you ask? Here are some that might be relevant to you or any business orientated content.

Some Banned Instagram Hashtags

  • #Desk
  • #Brain
  • #Direct
  • #DM
  • #HardWorkPaysOff
  • #HotWeather
  • #HumpDay
  • #Hustler
  • #KillingIt
  • #MustFollow
  • #NewYearsDay
  • #OverNight
  • #SoPretty
  • #Shower
  • #Stranger
  • #Snap
  • #Thought
  • #ValentinesDay
  • #WorkFlow

These are just a few of the banned hashtags on Instagram. But more are added frequently, so it is important not to get complacent. 

How many hashtags should I use on Instagram? 

Once you know which hashtags aren’t banned and are most relevant to your audience, you might think that’s it. 

Go to town and tag hundreds of popular hashtags on your posts.

Well, you might live to regret that too. 

Instagram has a limit to the number of hashtags you can use on a single post. Exceeding this amount can result in your caption being deleted altogether and your post not being indexed with any hashtags whatsoever. No, you don’t want that. 

You can include up to 30 hashtags on a regular post, and up to 10 hashtags on a Story. That said, just because you can use that many hashtags for Instagram, doesn’t mean that you should.

Using this many hashtags can alienate your audience, making them feel like the content is only trying to get views and engagement rather than offering true value. 

Are There Restrictions To Your Instagram Account?

Of course there is a way to check if there are restictions on your Instragram account. If you head over to your settings and click on Account – Account status you’ll be able to see if there are any resrictions on your account. Instagram will also tell you the steps you will need to take in order to “make up” for the offence. Such as stop spamming people with mentions, or using too many hashtags!

The Best Hashtags to use on Instagram- Hashtag Research

So what are the best hashtags to use on Instagram? Well, that is very dependent on what you’re trying to achieve and what industry you are operating within. Are you trying to make sales? Are you trying to target a niche audience? These things matter. 

To get the most out of Instagram hashtags, you need to focus on variety. 

Instagram suggests using a combination of popular and niche hashtags to reach different audiences, from broad to specific. Using too many popular hashtags can result in your posts getting lost amongst a sea of others. You need to find a happy medium.

That’s why hashtag research is so important. Using the wrong hashtags could be a huge detriment to your account but now you know the basics you can go research what hashtags are working for others in your sector. 

If you have any questions, be sure to send us a message.


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