Everything You Need to Know About Banned Hashtags
When it comes to social media marketing on Instagram for any business, hashtags play a very important role. Hashtags are arguably Instagram’s best way to sort and filter content. Thus, for a business, using hashtags strategically can make your content easier to find, allow you to reach bigger audiences, and encourage engagement. Actually according to Simply Measured Instagram posts that use hashtags gain a 12.6% increase in engagement as compared to those that do not. They also clue you in on the trends and hot topics in your industry or niche which you can then use to your advantage. However, times have changed hence using hashtags can make or break you. If used properly they can provide you with an array of benefits but if used wrong they can annoy potential customers or get you penalized by the Instagram algorithm by having your hashtag banned or worse shadowbanning your account.
What Exactly are Banned Hashtags
Am sure most of you have heard about banned hashtags and wondered if they are real. Well, I assure you they are! Banned hashtags are hashtags that an Instagram user have reported because the posts using them are going against Instagram guidelines. While hashtags are an easy and fast way to boost visibility and engagements if they are used the wrong way they hurt your interactions. The fact is Instagram is always on the lookout for spammy accounts and fake accounts, and one of the ways they use is to stop their reach is banned hashtags. Thus if a hashtag is used by posts that are overrun by spam or associated with inappropriate behavior it is likely to be banned and the posts using the banned hashtag are hidden. Furthermore, banned hashtags are always changing based on user’s reports and Instagram’s algorithm.
What Happens When You Use Instagram Banned Hashtags
Instagram has about 60,000 banned hashtags permanent and temporary and the list is always changing. When a post uses a banned hashtag, all the posts using that hashtag are hidden. This means that only users that follow you will be able to view this content. This can greatly decrease your visibility and reduce the range of customers you can reach. Worse if you repeatedly use banned hashtags, you run the risk of your account being shadowbanned (where Instagram bans their account without them knowing). This can be a huge blow to your marketing strategy because how are you supposed to market content that cannot be seen.
How Do You Know If a Hashtag has Been Banned?
To avoid being dealt with the blows that come with using banned hashtags, you need to be aware of them. Unfortunately, Instagram does not publish constantly updated a banned hashtags list. Furthermore, some hashtags that are banned are not necessarily what you would expect. Take for example #happy thanksgiving, which seems innocent enough but is banned. Mostly because it was overrun by spam and a lot of people using it were not using it on related content.
Thus if you are going to use hashtags you need to do enough research so as not to use hashtags that have been banned and hurt your visibility. If you can’t do this there are so a couple of apps available that will easily check your post for banned hashtags.