Beware of the Dreaded Banned Hashtags!

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Just when you thought you’d had enough to worry about, there’s another danger lurking online—the dreaded “banned hashtags”. WHAT, you say? Banned hashtags. Tell me it isn’t true.

But it is true.  We all post during a time of increased fake social media accounts, spammers and bots, which threaten our businesses with mischief and mayhem. So, in order to protect us, Instagram has put bot detection software in place that flag accounts as spam if they use certain hashtags. Every day, Instagram updates its list of banned hashtags —last count, over 40,000 of them.

Some are banned temporarily, some permanently, but use them at your peril. They cause your account to get shadowbanned! (Oh, the horror of it all).  Shadowbanned marks your posts as spam, which means they no longer show up for any hashtags. Attract too many flags and your account could be removed.  

But it’s easy to figure out a banned hashtag, right?

Wrong. Some banned hashtags are obvious, ahem, like “#nasty”. But others are quite innocuous,  such as #desk, #happythanksgiving, or #kansas (Kansas? Really?)

These are the steps you can take to avoid this social media inconvenience:

  1. Check out various searchable lists online of the latest banned hashtags before you post.

  2. There’s an app for that. Download bannedhashtags.com

  3. When posting, check yourself. In the search bar, type your hashtag:

  4. Select hashtags connected to communities you know rather than randomly clicking on anything that sounds remotely relevant.

  5. Avoid using the same 30 hashtags over and over again.

Banned hashtag “recovery”

The sneaky part of banned hashtags is that you may not even know it’s happening. One day, you notice a drop in engagement in your posts, and when you ask a friend to check, you can’t be found in a hashtag search.  

The best advice: talk with your social media provider who can get you up and running again. Most bans aren’t permanent but act right away. Your reputation is a stake. Hashtags are a great way to gain new followers for your business, but no one wants to be identified as a banned hashtag user!

The incorrect use of hashtags can detract from your brand. If you need any help with your Social Media Strategy or a specific social campaign, let us help. Contact Maguire Marketing Group to get your social media presence off the ground and on the web.