How to use hashtags on Instagram and avoid being shadowbanned

5 min read
18 November 2021

How do hashtags work?

It is easy to understand: hashtags work on Instagram. They also work on YouTube and are called tags. There are also hashtags on TikTok. On VKontakte and Facebook, hashtags are totally unnecessary — they do not work on these platforms.

How do you explain this? Instagram has the Recommended page, and people use it to watch different content and find something new. So, hashtags help get into the Recommended. They help the Instagram analytics system understand: what kind of content it is, what it shows, and what topic it is. It is hashtags that partly help to organize this information, and thanks to them, users will see your content, even if they are not following you.

On VKontakte and Facebook, there is no Recommended section. There is just a feed that you can keep watching. Both platforms have content from accounts that you follow. But there is one exception: when you create your unique hashtags for a specific category or just your general brand hashtag, you can use it. It is convenient to make sections on VKontakte or Facebook. You click on the hashtag — and only your content will be visible, only your posts.

Hashtags for business

It is rather hard to use hashtags systematically for the constant, daily promotion of a project because the efficiency of hashtags is always random.

You never know, even using the same hashtags, whether a post will gain lots of views or not. It is mostly impossible to predict the work of Instagram algorithms. And from this point of view, it is possible to use hashtags to promote a business, but you cannot rely only on them. Yes, some content will go to the top, some posts will get lots of views. But you cannot predict this rate — it is always a random result.

Therefore, you can use hashtags can only for greater reach to draw attention to your content.

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How to use hashtags

  1. No spam hashtags, mutual followings, likes, followers, and so on. Do not use spam hashtags because Instagram knows them very clearly and treats them negatively.
  2. Don’t use the same hashtags all the time. It doesn’t work either because Instagram doesn’t like it when you do the same thing. The platform considers it spam.
  3. Always select hashtags that match a specific post topic. You shouldn’t have two identical posts with the same hashtags. You need to create a unique set of hashtags that will fit your text, what you have written, and you should be able to avoid using the same hashtags all the time.

How many hashtags do you need?

Come up with five to fifteen hashtags, preferably about ten to twelve. Of course, they should all be different. Among them, one may be the unique hashtag that you use all the time, with your nickname, name, or your brand name. And you select all the other hashtags thematically and place them not in the text of the main post but the first comment because you also should save more space for the main text.

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Types of hashtags

There are high-frequency, mid-frequency, and low-frequency hashtags.

A common mistake is when people use only million-plus hashtags, which have one-two-five-ten million publications. The chance that the system will rate your content among millions of other posts is much lower if you take hashtags that have an extremely high reach. Therefore, you should follow a simple rule: you can take a couple of high-frequency hashtags — the rest should be medium and low-frequency.

Now let’s try to find some hashtags together.

Hashtag selection

Using the Intex app (Android app only)

  1. Go to the Intex app.
  2. In the generator, write a keyword, for example, “watercolor.”
  3. Click on the Generate button, and the system will give you similar hashtags to the one you have typed in.
  4. Your task is to select the most relevant hashtags for your post from this list.

Please note that you should not choose all hashtags but precisely find those that fit. Here you can also see how many users view a particular hashtag.

Using a Telegram bot

  1. You need Telegram and Self SMM Bot.
  2. Go to the messenger and send one hashtag to the bot.
  3. In a second, it will give you a list of similar hashtags.
  4. The bot divides hashtags into high-frequency and low-frequency ones.

Hashtags on YouTube

On YouTube, both the video title and the text description work, and also there is a separate block with tags. There should be particular keywords in all fields. YouTube has an analytics system that can show the reach of a specific tag. According to this information, you can decide whether to use one or not. The plug-in you need is called vidIQ. It is an extension for the browser. You can install it on Chrome or Firefox, and you can also use it for finding hashtags.