These BANNED Instagram Hashtags Could Kill Your Profile (Surprising!)

You're going about your business, posting daily to your Instagram account, growing your audience, when SUDDENLY, you notice a sharp decline in engagement. 

Has your audience suddenly decided to abandon you? Has your account been shadow banned? What in the world is going on?!

If you've noticed a sharp decline in engagement on Instagram (likes, comments), you might be using one of the 252,000 BANNED hashtags. But don't worry, there's a way out of this Instagram Graveyard. Here's everything you need to know...​

Everything you need to know about the Instagram Banned Hashtags

It's not secret that Instagram is cracking down on spam. After Facebook acquired the platform in 2012, they started quietly making changes, targeting the spam accounts that seemed to be coming out of every nook and cranny.

Then, in 2017, they began to hit the spam problem with full force. I mean like SEAL Team 6, throwing in flashbang grenades and pistol whipping terrorists, FULL FORCE. 

Seemingly overnight, several major Instagram bot companies (including the popular platform Instagress) ​were shut down. Some marketers have even reported that manually commenting/liking too many posts have resulted in their accounts being banned or shadow banned (still allowed on the platform, but not seen by anyone else).

Now, it seems, Facebook is going after spammers by targeting hashtags they frequently use. Unfortunately, many legitimate businesses are getting caught in the crossfire.

There are 3 ways you can reach people on Instagram: 

  • Your existing followers, who are most likely to see your posts.
  • Being featured in the 'Recent Posts' section for a hashtag (unlikely to have much reach).
  • Being featured in the 'Top Posts' section, which can allow you to show up on the discovery page. THIS is where you want to be.

Here's an example of what you should see. The 'Top Posts' section, then 'Recent Posts' underneath.

But when you search a term that has been abused by spammers... you'll  get this message.

They're even targeting seemingly innocent terms like #DOGSOFINSTAGRAM. Why, oh why?!

Just one banned hashtag could be KILLING your post's organic reach. Less and less people are going to see your posts. Some experts even say that using one banned hashtag ONCE (even on old posts) could put you at risk for a shadow ban, or straight up account ban (though there have been no confirmed cases of that happening--YET).

For a full list of the banned Instagram hashtags, just check Google...The number is currently at 252,000--but we expect that to grow as Instagram continues to flag new hashtags. The image below shows just how many have been banned so far!

Here's How to Deal with the Ban

  1. Don't Panic.
  2. Use less hashtags in each post. Check Google using this search query for your hashtags (just replace the word HASHTAG at the end with the hashtag you plan to use).
  3. Stay tuned for more news! We'll update you on this post, as more information becomes available.

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Dan Sevigny

Dan Sevigny is an entrepreneur, digital marketing expert, and the CEO of Spooky Digital. Dan's work has been featured in: Entrepreneur, Inc, Forbes, Business Insider, Huffington Post, FOX 5, PIX 11, News 12, among others! Dan is most interested in using entrepreneurship as a way to promote health, happiness and positivity in the world.

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