Instagram is an incredibly important social media platform for anyone with a brand—including bloggers and businesses.
When used correctly, it can help generate interest and help you connect with your audience or customers.
One of the best ways to connect with like-minded folks on Instagram? Hashtags. (Which are #thesethings.) As a mom blogger, I have a list of hashtags geared towards moms that I use to connect with my ideal audience, reach new potential readers, and make new Insta mama friends.
When you’re using hashtags on Instagram, you need to check and make sure that the hashtags aren’t banned. Yep. We now live in a world with banned Instagram hashtags.
According to Instagram, a hashtag is banned when users are using it for inappropriate content. (Check out the results from the popular Wednesday hashtag, #humpday, for an example.)
If you use a hashtag that is banned, it can put your account at greater risk for being shadow banned, which means Instagram users will be less-likely to see your content, and you will see a decrease in engagement (likes and comments) on your posts. You want to avoid having this happen at all costs, as potential collaborators will always be interested in what engagement is like on your account.
So how do you spot a banned Instagram hashtag? Let’s walk through it together.
1. Click on the hashtag you want to check to be taken to the page of images associated with that hashtag.
2. Take a good look at the page.
If the hashtag is NOT banned, the page will look like this:
Notice how there is an image at the top for InstaStories featuring that hashtag, a section for related hashtag suggestions, and both a Top Posts and Recent Posts section.
If you see a page like this, you’re good to go. The hashtag isn’t currently banned.
If the hashtag IS banned, the page will look like this:
No InstaStory image, no related hashtag suggestions, and only a Top Posts section.
When you scroll down a little further, you’ll also see this:
It’s hidden from initial glance, but Instagram does let users know that the hashtags are banned. If you see this text, you’ll want to avoid using the associated hashtag.
Keep in mind that hashtags can be banned at any time. As a best practice, give all of your hashtags a quick check before or just after you post to make sure that you aren’t including any banned hashtags.
You’ll also want to make sure that hashtags on older posts are not currently banned, as this could also negatively impact engagement on all of your content. If you find a banned hashtag anywhere on your account, remove it ASAP.
Happy non-banned Hashtagging!