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Instagram Hashtags Not Working? We Can Tell You Why


Plixi Team

Apr 09, 2024 10 min read

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Hashtags used to be so much more fun than this. We used to just type random things after a pound sign just for fun. Our friends would laugh at the inside jokes or at just how random they appeared to be. It was all in fun, and there was no harm. However, since then, social media has evolved. What were invisible playgrounds became virtual offices. Hashtags are now a tool for creators to master to achieve growth. It is frustrating to see Instagram hashtags not working how they should be.

Let us guess. After learning all the tricks and tactics, you don’t see the results you think you should be seeing. You know the broad hashtags that creators use. So, you might pop a popular hashtag in a caption to see what it does. Sure, it might be a competitive hashtag, but it will work, right? We wouldn’t bank on it just like that. There are reasons for the results you see, and your Plixi experts plan to outline them for you! 

Instagram Hashtags Not Working? We Can Tell You Why

Is Your Instagram Hashtag Search Not Working? This Could Be Why 

You’re trying to be a good Instagram creator by doing your hashtag research. Perhaps you’ve searched a hashtag that you just used to see if the post associated with it comes up. Unfortunately, your beautifully crafted post is nowhere in the results. That’s disappointing. Why is the Instagram hashtag search not working? We think we know why.

You’re Looking up a Hashtag That Instagram Banned

Sometimes, Instagram bans the use of certain hashtags. It could be because nefarious people abused the tool. They could be using the hashtag for illegal activity. Or, it could just be an activity that goes against the Instagram Community guidelines. Searching for that hashtag will not give you the results that you want to see.

Instagram May Have Shadowbanned You

On the other hand, maybe the hashtag is working quite fine. It could be your account that is the problem. Instagram may have shadowbanned you. The scary thing about a shadowban is not knowing you’re a victim until it’s too late! You could be putting out reels consistently, waiting for your big break. All the while, Instagram is stifling your reach and limiting your growth potential. Sometimes, it takes looking up a hashtag that you used to find this out. 

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Why Are My Hashtags Not Working on Instagram? The Explanation You Need

Are you asking, “Why are my hashtags not working on Instagram?” You are probably very frustrated. You’re trying to use this growth tool, but it’s just costing you time at this point. Many creators try their best to do this to just find hashtags on Instagram not working. Let’s get into some reasons why this could be happening to you.

Don’t Use So Many Hashtags

You can have too much of a good thing. That applies to coffee, mimosas, and Instagram hashtags, too. Do not overload your caption with hashtags. Instagram allows you 30, but do you need to use all 30 spots? It’s better to use a few effective ones than a host of random ones. Be selective with your hashtags. Not all of them need to make the cut!

You Are Using Hashtags That IG Banned

You’re using banned hashtags. Before you say, “Me? I would never!” know that you could be doing it inadvertently. The last thing you’d think when you post “#besties” is that Instagram would punish you. After all, it’s just a photo of you and your childhood friend. Well, the algorithm that runs Instagram doesn’t know that. Tons of hashtags are getting the cold shoulder that you wouldn’t even guess. Check out this list:

  • #adulting
  • #alone
  • #asiangirl
  • #besties
  • #bikinibody
  • #boho
  • #costumes
  • #curvygirls
  • #gloves
  • #loseweight
  • #nasty
  • #newyearsday
  • #prettygirl
  • #pushups
  • #rate
  • #ravens
  • #sopretty
  • #stranger
  • #streetphoto
  • #sunbathing
  • #tagsforlikes
  • #tanlines
  • #todayimwearing
  • #undies
  • #workflow
  • #youngmodel

You’re probably horrified and thinking about all your posts where you used some of these. There is a way to make sure you never do this again. Find a banned Instagram hashtags checker online. Before you drop a single hashtag, do a quick check. The results may stop you in your tracks. Going forward, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Your Hashtags Are Irrelevant

You may think it’s quirky to convert full sentences to hashtags. You’d think that adding a hashtag to an obscure song lyric is doing something for you. We hate to break it to you, but it’s not.

Using hashtags that mean nothing is a luxury belonging to people with an established following. All it does for you is take up precious real estate in your Instagram caption. 

Bigger accounts may use it, and you think it’s effective. If you click on the hashtag, you will like to see little or no other posts. This means it’s likely a post that no one will search for. Don’t waste your time with irrelevant hashtags. Choose ones that will likely give you some return. 

Sure, it’s fun to play around with random ones. Just remember if you use too many hashtags overall, IG may ignore your caption. Don’t let that happen to you after all the work you put in.

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Instagram Hashtags Not Working? Solve the Problem With These Tips

Do you think the algorithm is out to get you? This unseen force has this weird supernatural status. In reality, the reach of your hashtags can increase with a few tactics. If you find Instagram hashtags not working, here are a few potential explanations:

You’re Not Maximizing Instagram Hashtags

You’ve heard about using hashtags in your Instagram post captions. This is the way everyone is familiar with. They drop their best ones in the caption and then wait for them to draw in numbers. Sometimes, people put them in the comments on these posts, too.

You could be doing more. Do you know you can put hashtags in Instagram stories as well? Yes, the algorithm recognizes these stories as well. The fun part is that you can hide them in the stories somewhere in a small font. That’s if you want to be discrete. The next time you share a reel to promote your story, use some hashtags there, too.

Speaking of reels, you don’t get any points for putting the hashtags in the reel itself. You’d have to stick to the captions or comments as you would a post.

You’re Using Too Many Popular Hashtags

Using hashtags that everyone else is using doesn’t guarantee the same results. Those posts may have other factors working in their favor. Maybe they used a trending audio, or a big brand reposted them. Using a popular hashtag is not a sure way to success. In fact, using a popular hashtag can thwart your progress. If other people are using this hashtag, yours might get lost. Competing in a sea of the same hashtag will be difficult. Our next tip is a solution to this.

You Need More Niche Hashtags

Instead of the generic hashtags, play up the things that make your post unique. Then, make hashtags from those things. Your target audience will be searching for those tags. Instagram will be showing this content to them. This is a much smarter way to reach your ideal target audience. Capitalize on that uniqueness!

You Spelled a Word Wrong

You swear you can spell until you’re writing a caption late one night while half asleep. This one may seem silly until you see how many hashtags are typos. Some of them are common enough that other users use them without thinking. Still, for the user that searches for the correct hashtag, you won’t exist. Ensure you aren’t making simple mistakes like these. Pretend you’re back in elementary school. Always double-check!

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Shortcuts To Finding the Best Hashtags

Getting hashtags just right can make all the difference on IG. It can bring you new followers or push some away. It can make something otherwise fun feel very nerve-wracking. At this point, you deserve a doctorate in hashtag research, don’t you? While creating hashtags can feel like an Olympic sport, it doesn’t have to be that hard. You can get the results you need without stressing out too much. If you take these pointers, you may not have to worry about hashtags not working on Instagram. In a way, these hashtags have already passed the test.

Use a Hashtag Generator

Robots are still largely useful to the average Instagram influencer. This is one way that they can help your account flourish. A good hashtag generator can create the best hashtags for you. This tool can come up with relevant hashtags for a post with very little prompt.

Instagram hashtag generators have already done the work for you. They know what hashtags work best with each post. They have an idea of just how popular a potential hashtag is on Instagram. With this information, they estimate the reach of the post if you use that hashtag. Whether you want these hashtags to be niche or general is up to you. Cut down your research time significantly with this type of tool. Path Social boasts one such free tool. It could be worth a try!

See What the Other Influencers Are Doing

The influence of social media has been around for a pretty long time. This means that many other creators have gone before you. Some of them have tools to do the heavy lifting for you. They’ve done market research to find out the hashtags that are likely to be most effective. You could use these hashtags as inspiration.

The best part is that you don’t have to look too far to find these hashtags. They will be right there in the post’s caption or comment section. It’s not some meta phrase that’s hidden on the site. You’ll see the specific hashtags they may have used to attract the following you want.

Now, you shouldn’t copy and paste these hashtags slavishly. Experiment with the order and in some variations. Also, supplement with some customized hashtags from your brand. A customized hashtag is a great way for customers to share content using your brand. User-generated content like this helps to promote your brand to more potential followers and customers. It’s also likely that no one else will be using it outside of you and your customers.

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Get a Growth Partner That Works for You

If you’re being honest, hashtags not working on Instagram aren’t the reason your page isn’t growing. Sure, fixing this one problem could dramatically change the trajectory of your growth. Still, there are other areas you can work on. Only an experienced growth expert can tell you what your page truly needs to reach the next level. Luckily for you, you have that in Plixi. Curate a growth plan that is uniquely yours.

After solving the problem of Instagram hashtags not working, what comes next? How will you catapult your growth? Your followers are out there waiting for you to find them. How will you do it? If you’re drawing blanks, Plixi can help to fill them in. We have a platform of Instagram influencers ready to apply their knowledge and experience. But that’s not all. We have a propriety AI targeting algorithm that we’ve been working on for a decade. Nothing can stand in the way of you and exponential growth. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s start growing and gaining Instagram followers for you today.

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