Why Your Instagram Hashtags Don’t Work (& How To Fix it)

Did you notice your latest posts get a much lower reach than what they used to? You check your post insights just to see something like this:

  • 18% of people weren’t following you
  • Impression from hashtags 33 (out of 245)

Now you must think something really bad is going on. Is Instagram trying to purposely decrease your posts reach? Hmmm… maybe you’ve been “shadow-banned!”

If you can’t figure out why your hashtags aren’t working anymore, you’re in the right place! In this post, I will share my thoughts and personal experience with why sometimes hashtags aren’t working on Instagram and give you some tips on how to get back on the trending page.

But first, let’s answer the most burning question on Instagram:

Are you shadow-banned?

Most likely you are not shadow-banned. Because shadow-banning on Instagram doesn’t even exist! Instagram has repeatedly come out to refute these claims and insists their algorithm doesn’t purposefully decrease the reach of anyone’s posts. So, time to relax.

Shadow-banning is nothing more than a fancy word made up by some Instagram gurus to scare you off and convince you to buy their services. 

Unless you’ve used automation services (such as buying fake followers, auto-likes or comments) – you have nothing to worry about being #shadowbanned!

Instead, here are some more plausible reasons why your content doesn’t rank well on hashtags.

Common Reasons Why Your Hashtags Don’t Work

Ready? Let’s explore some hashtags mistakes and easy fixes!

Reason #1: Your Hashtags Don’t Work Because You Haven’t Been Posting Consistently

Did you take a break from Instagram? Or perhaps you’re having an irregular posting schedule. You’re sharing 2 posts today and then you stop until next week when you share 5 posts in a row. Inconsistency is typically the no. 1 reason why hashtags can stop working. When you are not consistent, you’re breaking a pattern and the algorithm won’t show your random content to a wider audience.

Ask yourself: what is a posting frequency you can commit to? 3 x per week? 5 x per week? Because being consistent means that your followers know when to expect seeing your new content and they’re more likely to be there and engage.

Reason #2: Your Hashtags Don’t Work Because You Are Choosing The Wrong Hashtags

Instagram has a separate explore page for each hashtag. There, you can typically find similar posts that have some visual elements in common. For example, let’s look at #businesschicks hashtag page. At first glance, you can see that the top posts text quotes and images with text overlay. So, if you were to post a photo of your office space and use this hashtag, it most likely won’t perform well. But if you share a black & white inspiring quote, you have a higher chance to rank.

How to fix it: Before you post, do a quick search on the Instagram hashtags page to see the type of content that ranks in the top 9 for each hashtag. Then, ask yourself: Can you create content that has similar characteristics with the top posts?

Reason #3: Your Hashtags Don’t Work Because Your Audience Lost Interest In Your Content

Sometimes why your hashtags don’t work is because your audience is not interested in what you’re sharing. And if they don’t engage within the first hours, Instagram will deem your post as not valuable and won’t show it to more people.

Ask yourself: Are you even attracting the right audience?

If your answer is “yes”, then you need to do a better job in creating content that they really want to see and are willing to engage with! A good place to start is asking them directly: “What type of content would you like to see from me?” Then, research and come up with better posts. You shouldn’t repost average content – take your time and create valuable posts! Because quality always beats quantity & with hashtags, you want to have better posts that what already exists on the explore page.

What if you notice you are attracting a lot of followers – but the reason why they’re not engaging with your posts is simply because they aren’t ideal? There are two possible solutions:

  • A. You change your target audience and adapt to the likes of this new audience’s preferences you’ve attracted to your profile. If these people are following you, you might as well take advantage of their presence.
  • B. You revamp your Instagram strategy and focus on sharing content that attracts better your ideal audience. This one will take more time, but eventually, you’ll create a more loyal following that will appreciate your content more.

Want to learn more about hashtags?

Watch this video training to learn how to do a proper hashtag research and find the best hashtags to use for your Instagram posts:


Shadow-banning on Instagram doesn’t exist! It’s just a fancy word made up to scare you off, create panic and sell you growth services. It’s also an excuse for continuing to share disengaged content, using irelevant hashtags and having a bad overall strategy.


Take a moment to reflect and think of which other plausible reasons can be affecting your hashtags performance. I hope you’ve learned some of these reasons in this post, and you can apply it in the future to optimise your hashtags growth.

Let me know: are you ready to try these tips and fix your hashtags???

Comment below.

Follow me on Insta for more marketing tips https://instagram.com/alleceambur


My articles on best hashtags:

Best Hashtags For Motorcycles & Bikes https://sharemyinsights.com/learn/instagram-motorcycle-hashtags

Best Hashtags for Art and Artists https://sharemyinsights.com/learn/best-instagram-hashtags-for-artists

Best Hashtags for Meme Pages https://sharemyinsights.com/learn/best-meme-hashtags

Published by Alle Ceambur

Digital marketing expert and copywriter. I have over 6 years of experience in business consulting. Passionate to help startups grow online.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: