As a knife maker on Instagram, hashtags should definitely be part of your toolbox. One thing to look out for is “banned” hashtags because they can seriously screw with your marketing efforts on IG. So let’s talk about why they are dangerous and how to recognize them.
What does it mean that a hashtag is banned?
How can a hashtag be banned? It’s just a word with a “#” in front, right?
Yeah, you can still type banned hashtags and publish posts with them. However, if you do then Instagram may show this post to much fewer people than it otherwise would—it is limiting the reach of your post. And it can get worse.
Using banned hashtags can contribute to your account being “shadow banned”. That means all of a sudden for a few days your posts will not be visible to non-followers, and even your followers may not see your posts in their feed. (Yeah, that is bad.)
Why does Instagram ban hashtags?
Instagram wants to limit spam and content that violates their community guidelines. (It also doesn’t love its competition, so try to avoid #SnapChat, no kidding.)
Banning a hashtag limits the spread of stuff they don’t like and it also punishes the account doing it.
Banned hashtag = limit spread + punishment
Which knife-related hashtags are banned?
Here is the list of hashtags that are banned at the time of writing (June 2021).
#cut #cuts #cutter #cutting #knifeaddict #knifeaddiction #knifecollector #knifestagram #knivesofinstagram
Generally: avoid anything related to cutting.
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What if you research other hashtags and want to make sure none are banned? You can check yourself!
How do you know if a hashtag is banned?
It’s very simple to find out. Just type the hashtag in the search, or tap on it when you see it. On the hashtag feed, IG tells you that posts are being hidden.
Recent posts for [hashtag] are hidden because some posts may not follow Instagram’s Community Guidelines.
See this screenshot for an example how this looks like:
Do you have to check every hashtag manually? (No, there are tools & lists!)
So, if you researched your 30 hashtags, do you have to check each manually?
No, you don’t!
Have a look at hashtag research tools—some tools already check for banned hashtags.
And there are lists of banned hashtags out there.
For example, MetaHashtags maintains a list of currently 8,000+ banned hashtags—and you can paste your hashtag list and it will tell you which are banned!
Hashtags are a great way to extend the reach of your followers beyond your follower bubble—just make sure you avoid the banned hashtags trap! Happy marketing!