My hashtags don’t work on Instagram (How to fix it)

6 minutes

Hashtags not working on Instagram like they used to?

It’s a very common problem to have.

In this post, I will show you how to fix your Instagram hashtags when they don’t work.

You can watch this video or keep reading till the end.

Did you notice your latest Instagram posts get a much lower reach than what they used to?

You check your post insights just to see something like this:

  • 10% of people reached weren’t following you
  • Impression from hashtags are very low

Now you must think something really bad is going on.

Why else would people not be interested in your content?

Is Instagram trying to purposely decrease your posts reach?

Hmmm… maybe you’ve been “shadow-banned!” after all.

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 some quick fixes based on my personal experience with hashtags that aren’t working on Instagram.

Ready to get trending on the Explore page?

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

Am I shadow-banned on Instagram?

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 on Instagram

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’re Not Checking Your Hashtag Insights

Some analytics tools like Popsters can provide detailed statistics to help you improve the efficiency of hashtags.

To do that is quite simple:

Step 1: Select your your Instagram page for analysis, or choose a page of your competitors.

Step 2: You get two statistics charts that show which hashtags were most used and an average engagement of posts with it.

Step 3: Use that data to understand which topics of content (if the content is split into different subjects) are more popular, and which ones are weaker. This will help you filter your hashtags and choose only the best in your next posts.

Recommended tools:

Reason #3: 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 #4: 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 why your hashtags don’t work on Instagram?

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.

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Here are some of my articles on best hashtags that I wrote for the Sharemyinsights blog:

Best Hashtags For Motorcycles & Bikes

Best Hashtags for Art and Artists

Best Hashtags for Meme Pages