9 Factors Why Your Instagram Hashtags Are Not Working 2024? 🤔

Are your Instagram hashtags giving you a headache instead of likes and engagement? 😩 Don’t worry, I’ve got your back!

A hashtag is just a keyword phrase with a pound symbol (#) in front of it, spelled out without spaces. #photooftheday and #fashionlovers, for example, are both hashtags.

Although Hashtags were first popularized by Twitter, Instagram has greatly enhanced its usage and prominence.

Hashtags on Instagram are crucial for gaining exposure and followers. However, they may not always work as expected, leaving users wondering why their posts are not reaching the intended audience.

Effective use of hashtags is vital for a successful Instagram strategy, whether you’re a content creator or a business.

This guide, 9 Factors Why Your Instagram Hashtags Are Not Working 2024? Offers solutions to help you surmount this issue.

What Is The Point Of Using Instagram Hashtags?

Using Instagram hashtags is one of the most basic strategies to increase interaction and attract new followers to your photos.

In fact, social media marketers have shown that even utilizing one hashtag may boost engagement by more than 20%.

While we all desire more Instagram followers, having followers who aren’t interested in your specialty is worthless.

Using the right hashtags, you may target those who identify with your content. And if they like your pieces, they’re likely to subscribe to your feed in the hopes of seeing more on the same subject.

Even if people don’t go so far as to follow you, they could like the stuff you provide while looking for a specific hashtag.

Instagram’s popularity has skyrocketed in recent years. This implies there’s no possibility you’ll mistakenly give the proper stuff to the wrong folks.

Instagram Hashtags Not Working

Source: Pixabay

When you use hashtags, you’re essentially assisting Instagram in sorting and organizing your posts, allowing them to reach individuals who would appreciate them.

Hashtags should be specific to your website, content, and market. You will undoubtedly miss out on hashtags’ various advantages if you do not have an effective hashtag strategy.

Hashtags are helpful for categorizing material. These may either be generic hashtags that everyone uses – in which case you’re grouping your posts and photographs with others who share similar material – or they can be specific hashtags only you use.

7 Key Factors Why Your Instagram Hashtags Are Not Working:

Why aren’t my hashtags on Instagram working? Some of the causes are as follows:

Reason #1. Using Hashtags that are Prohibited 

The fact that Instagram has restricted some hashtags for everyone might be why Instagram hashtags are not functioning. As a result, no one’s post will appear in the forbidden hashtag stream.

Contrary to common belief, prohibited hashtags are not confined to abusive, indecent, or explicit material; there are even innocent or innocuous hashtags (e.g., #desk and #lean) that are banned for reasons such as a large amount of spam.

Hashtags are either temporarily or permanently prohibited. Using forbidden hashtags may result in you being shadowbanned, or it may prevent other hashtags from functioning on your post.

There are presently over 115,000 blocked hashtags on Instagram.

So, how can you avoid having your Instagram hashtags banned? You should check for prohibitions on each hashtag before using it.

Using hashtags that are prohibited

Source: Pixabay

Hit the search button on the explore page and enter the hashtag you want to use. It is prohibited if it does not appear.

Because a hashtag may display on the list yet still be prohibited, double-check it by pressing it and scrolling down.

Here’s a list of forbidden hashtags to stay away from.

On Instagram, here’s a list of hashtags that have been misused and are now forbidden. Try to stay away from them. Otherwise, your comment will be flagged as offensive.

#adulting #alone #americangirl #armparty #asiandick #attractive #babyrp #bacak #badbitcztwerk #baddie #balenciaga #curvygirls #customers #dating #Direct #DM #elevator #PornFood #Ravens #StreetPhotos #WTF

Reason #2. Your Account Has Been Shadowbanned 

Another reason Instagram hashtags aren’t functioning is if a user’s account has been shadowbanned. You may have been shadowbanned if you observe a dramatic decline in your Instagram interaction or reach.

Regarding hashtags, the true reason for the shadowban is when hashtags are hijacked and overused. This occurs regularly.

Instagram has said that it does not engage in any kind of shadow banning. They argue that such measures against accounts are not taken.

After all, if they want someone prohibited, they’ll simply ban them.


Source: Pixabay

There’s no need to conceal them by using deception. Shadowbans actually exist in reality. Instagram has put in place strict hashtag use limits throughout the years.

Understandably, you can unwittingly commit spammy hashtag crimes, which might result in a shadow ban on your account.

Shadowban has the effect of only allowing your followers to see your material. This limits your ability to reach new audiences. Among the most prevalent infractions are:

  • Using a hashtag that has been misused or is broken
  • Using hashtags that aren’t related to your post
  • Using the same hashtags over and again in your posts
  • Remove prohibited or misused hashtags from your posts if you’ve been shadowbanned. For a few days, don’t use hashtags in your postings.

If this doesn’t work, you should contact Instagram and report the problem.

Reason #3. Using Broad Hashtags Rather than Particular Hashtags

Hashtags should be relevant and appropriate to your business or specialty. It’s critical to choose hashtags carefully and ensure that they’re relevant to your target audience.

You should consider what keywords your ideal clientele would use to find you.

Using wide hashtags rather than particular hashtags

Source: Pixabay

Similarly, avoid trending hashtags like #followforfollow, #weekends, #summer, and so on since they will work against your hashtag strategy.

Reason #4. Hashtags Aren’t Diverse Enough

A good hashtag strategy for a company can include a mix of popular hashtags that appeal to a broader audience and more niche-targeted, less popular hashtags that will more likely position your content toward the top of that hashtag.

Doing so allows you to cast a broad net over popular and smaller, more focused hashtags.

Reason #5. Using Hashtags that are Too Competitive 

Every hashtag on Instagram, as you may know, has two tabs: Top and Recent. The top tab displays the items that garnered many likes and comments during the first few hours of their publication.

They may remain at the top of the page for many hours, gaining much exposure and organic likes and comments.

Instead, the recent tab lists every picture or video with those hashtags in order of when they were published. That is all there is to it.

Imagine sharing a picture with the hashtag #photography, which has 535 million postings as of this writing.

Instagram Hashtags

Source: Pixabay

Your picture will appear in the first 9 photographs on the recent tab for less than a second, and it will never appear on the top tab since that hashtag is just too competitive.

This means you’ll need to identify 30 hashtags with little competition to get noticed by individuals who aren’t already following you and gain more organic likes, comments, and follows.

Reason #6. Using the Same Hashtags Again and Again

Repeated use of the same hashtags on Instagram is not recommended because this may result in lower visibility and engagement.

When you use the same hashtags over and over again, you limit your reach, as you are not casting a wide enough net.


This can also cause the Instagram algorithm to penalize your posts, resulting in the problem of hashtags not working. I certainly don’t want that!

Reason #7. Instagram Algorithmic Changes:

Instagram’s algorithm is designed to prioritize diverse and fresh content. Using the same hashtags consistently might signal to the algorithm that your content is repetitive, potentially leading to reduced visibility.

For each article you publish, I recommend employing a 10/10/10 hashtag strategy:

  • 10 Hashtags That Aren’t Too Competitive (5,000 to 50,000 total posts)
  • 10 Hashtags That Aren’t Too Competitive (50,000 to 200,000 total posts)
  • 10 Hashtags with a High Level of Competition (200,000 – 2,000,000 total posts)

Finding the proper hashtags takes more than a minute. It requires patience and, sometimes, lateral thinking. Starting with wider hashtags, you may search for long-tail hashtags on Instagram.

If you start putting a hashtag like “#outdoorshots” in the caption of your Instagram picture, you’ll get a number more suggestions:

  • 5000 posts in #outdoorshots
  • 76,500 posts in #myproshot
  • 231,000 posts on #discoverlandscape

You now have a low, medium, and high competitive hashtag just by doing this.

Reason #8. Low-Quality Content:

If your content is of low quality or lacks engagement, even the best hashtags won’t help it perform well. Focus on creating valuable and engaging posts.

Create Quality Content

Low-quality content can hinder your hashtag effectiveness on Instagram because it may not align with the intended audience, receive fewer engagements, disrupt the user experience, trigger spam filters, garner negative feedback, and fall out of favor with Instagram’s algorithms.

It’s crucial to focus on creating high-quality, relevant content to maximize your hashtag’s impact.

Reason #9. Switch Your Private Account Settings to Public:

Switching your private Instagram account to the public can have a significant impact on your posts’ visibility. When your account is set to private, only your approved followers can see your posts, limiting your reach.

kicksta instagram followers

By going public, your content becomes accessible to a broader audience, increasing exposure and engagement. Public accounts also allow your posts to appear in hashtag feeds, making them discoverable to users interested in specific topics.

Additionally, public accounts have a better chance of being featured on the Explore page, expanding your reach even further.

This change can also facilitate networking and engagement with a wider Instagram community. So, if you’re looking to reach more people and grow your presence on the platform, switching to a public account can be a beneficial step.

How to Choose the Right Hashtags for Maximizing Likes & Engagement?

Here are six practical tips to help you choose the right Instagram hashtags for maximizing likes and engagement:

1. Understand Your Audience:

Know your target audience and their interests. Consider what kind of content resonates with them and the hashtags they might use or follow.

Aligning with your audience’s preferences is key to engagement.

2. Research Popular Hashtags:

Explore popular and trending hashtags within your niche. Use Instagram’s search feature to find relevant hashtags that have a substantial following.

Balancing popular and niche-specific hashtags can broaden your reach.

3. Utilize Niche-Specific Hashtags:

Incorporate hashtags that are specific to your content and niche. These niche hashtags may have a smaller audience, but they often comprise more engaged users who are genuinely interested in your content.

4. Create a Branded Hashtag:

Develop a unique branded hashtag for your content or campaigns. Branded hashtags can foster a sense of community, encourage user-generated content, and make your brand more discoverable.

5. Mix Hashtag Lengths:

Include a mix of short and long hashtags. Short hashtags are widely used and can increase visibility, while longer, more specific hashtags can help you connect with a targeted audience.

6. Regularly Update and Rotate Hashtags:

Keep your hashtag strategy dynamic by regularly updating and rotating your chosen hashtags. Instagram’s algorithm favors freshness, and repeatedly using the same set of hashtags might result in decreased visibility.

Create different hashtag groups to use across various posts.

Top Most Used Hashtags on Instagram for Greater Engagement:

Hashtag Popularity on Instagram
#love Very High
#instagood Very High
#photooftheday Very High
#beautiful High
#cute High
#happy High
#tbt High
#fashion High
#followme High
#follow High
#me High
#selfie High
#summer High
#instadaily High
#picoftheday High
#friends High
#girl High
#fun High
#like High
#smile High
#igers High
#food High
#instalike High
#family High
#travel High
#nature High
#fitness High
#ootd High
#instafood High
#beauty High

Benefits Of Using Hashtags On Instagram:

Here are some important reasons why hashtags might not work as intended on Instagram

1. More Visibility: Hashtags help more people discover your posts, even if they don’t follow you.

2. Connect with Interests: Using specific hashtags connects you with users interested in the same topics.

3. Organize Content: Hashtags categorize your posts, making it easier for users to find the content they want.

4. Campaign Promotion: Create hashtags for campaigns or contests to encourage participation.

5. Build Community: Hashtags connect people with common interests, fostering engagement.

6. Cross-Platform Reach: Hashtags can extend your content’s reach beyond Instagram to other social media platforms.

7. Ride on Trends: Using trending hashtags puts your content in larger conversations.

8. Boost Brand Identity: Branded hashtags contribute to brand recognition and identity.

9. Analytics Insights: Instagram provides insights on hashtag performance for a better strategy.

10. Explore Page Exposure: Well-performing posts with popular hashtags can land on the Explore page, reaching a wider audience.

How to Understand Instagram’s Hashtag Algorithm?

1. Aligning with Instagram’s Official Guidelines

To ensure your hashtags are effective, it’s crucial to align with Instagram’s official guidelines. Instagram’s algorithm favors content that adheres to its community standards.

Avoid using banned or inappropriate hashtags, as they can lead to reduced visibility or even shadowbanning of your account.

Regularly check Instagram’s updates and announcements for any changes in hashtag policies.

2. Leveraging Instagram Insights for Hashtag Strategy

Utilize Instagram Insights to analyze the performance of your hashtags.

This tool provides valuable data on how your audience interacts with your posts, helping you identify which hashtags are driving engagement and which aren’t.

Adjust your strategy based on these insights to improve the effectiveness of your hashtags.

3. Regular Content Refreshment

Instagram’s algorithm favors fresh and original content. Regularly update your content strategy to keep your audience engaged and ensure your posts are favored by the algorithm.

This approach will also allow you to experiment with different hashtags relevant to your evolving content.

Tips for Effective Hashtag Use on Instagram

1. Diverse Hashtag Sets: Avoid using the same set of hashtags for every post. Mix and match different hashtags to reach various segments of your audience and prevent being flagged by the algorithm for repetitive content.

2. Niche-Specific Hashtags: Alongside popular hashtags, use niche-specific ones to target a more engaged audience. These hashtags, while having a smaller reach, often lead to higher engagement rates.

3. Avoid Overly Competitive Hashtags: Highly popular hashtags might bury your content under a flood of posts. Opt for less competitive hashtags where your content has a better chance of standing out.

4. Number of Hashtags: While Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post, using too many can appear spammy. Experiment with different numbers to find the sweet spot for your content.

5. Placement of Hashtags: Consider placing hashtags at the end of your caption or in the first comment to keep your captions clean while still leveraging the benefits of hashtags.

Instagram Hashtags Not Working On Reddit

Why are my hashtags not working?
byu/Elehtric inInstagram


🤔 Why are my Instagram hashtags not working?

There could be various reasons, including using banned hashtags, shadowban, or overuse of the same hashtags. It's essential to review your hashtag strategy.

❓ What are banned hashtags?

Banned hashtags are tags that Instagram restricts due to content violations. Using them may lead to your post being hidden from search results or even account penalties.

❌ What is shadowban, and how can I avoid it?

Shadowban is when Instagram limits the visibility of your posts. To avoid it, refrain from using banned hashtags, switch up your hashtag sets, and engage with your audience authentically.

🔄 Can I reuse the same hashtags in every post?

It's best to switch up your hashtag combinations. Using the same ones repeatedly may lead to decreased engagement.

🌟 Should I use popular or niche-specific hashtags?

A mix of both is recommended. Popular tags can increase visibility, while niche-specific ones target a more relevant audience.

🚀 Can I recover from Instagram hashtag issues?

Yes, by following best practices and being patient, you can recover from hashtag-related problems over time.

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Conclusion: Instagram Hashtags Not Working 2024

The importance of having a solid hashtag strategy cannot be overstated. Hashtags may help you attract your target clientele, interact with other creatives, and brand your company.

By understanding Instagram’s algorithm, utilizing insights, and continuously refining your approach, you can overcome the challenges of hashtags not working and enhance your Instagram presence effectively.

Ensure you’re not using banned hashtags, avoid overusing the same tags, and aim for a mix of popular and niche-specific hashtags.

Keep your hashtag strategy fresh and be patient – success may take time, but your posts can regain their visibility and engagement. 📷

Kashish Babber
This author is verified on BloggersIdeas.com

Kashish is a B.Com graduate, who is currently follower her passion to learn and write about SEO and blogging. With every new Google algorithm update she dives in the details. She's always eager to learn and loves to explore every twist and turn of Google's algorithm updates, getting into the nitty-gritty to understand how they work. Her enthusiasm for these topics' can be seen through in her writing, making her insights both informative and engaging for anyone interested in the ever-evolving landscape of search engine optimization and the art of blogging.

Affiliate disclosure: In full transparency – some of the links on our website are affiliate links, if you use them to make a purchase we will earn a commission at no additional cost for you (none whatsoever!).

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