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Why Am I Getting no Likes From Hashtags on Instagram?

Are you getting no likes from hashtags on Instagram?

You might have spent a long time researching hashtags. Then, you meticulously pick out the ones that are related to your niche.

Finally, you compiled it all together and pasted it in the caption/comments of your post.

But when you actually post the photo, it gets zero likes from hashtags.

In other words, you’re only getting likes from the people that are already following you.

Why is this the case?

In this article, you’ll learn why you’re getting little to no likes from hashtags on Instagram.

In addition, you’ll learn what to do next to get your hashtags to start getting likes from hashtags again.

Let’s get right into it.

Table of Contents

  1. Why Am I Getting no Likes From Hashtags on Instagram?
  2. How do I get my hashtags to work again?
  3. FAQ
  4. Conclusion

Why Am I Getting no Likes From Hashtags on Instagram?

If you are getting no likes from hashtags on Instagram, it’s because you might be shadowbanned, you’re using ineffective hashtags.

In addition, there are fewer bots and automation on the platform in the present than in the past.

There are a couple of reasons why you’re getting little to no likes from hashtags on Instagram—you’re either using ineffective hashtags or you might be shadowbanned.

Many Instagram users utilize hashtags on their posts but get little or no likes from them.

This is typical because not many people know the right hashtags to use.

It’s frustrating because you might have spent a long time researching hashtags.

But when you actually post a photo with the researched hashtags, you get zero likes from non-followers.

The notion that hashtags are important is true, but a lot of people are unaware of how to use them correctly.

This will result in undesirable results (low engagement rate).

At the end of the day, utilizing hashtags will give a boost to your engagement rate.

In relation to the Instagram algorithm, having a lot of likes in a short amount of time will rank your post higher in your followers’ feeds.

Hence, receiving likes from hashtags will increase your engagement rate.

Let’s dive deeper into the top three reasons why you’re getting no likes from hashtags on Instagram.

1. You’re using the wrong hashtags

Instagram hashtags

Firstly, you might be getting no likes from hashtags on Instagram because you’re using the wrong hashtags.

So what’s the definition of “wrong hashtags”?

Wrong hashtags are hashtags that won’t drive many likes to your post(s).

Wrong hashtags are hashtags that will not drive much engagement.

For example, if you’ve just found a bunch of hashtags online, copied and pasted it on the caption/comments of your post, you may get little to no engagement from them.

The thing with hashtags in the present is that you can’t just use any combination of hashtags and expect to get hundreds of likes from them.

There are certain hashtags that do better than the other. Typically, the hashtags that do poorly are the popular ones.

You should never use multiple popular hashtags on your post(s) (e.g. #love, #happy, #tbt), as they are too saturated.

If you happen to use them, your post will be buried by other posts in a matter of seconds.

This means that no one will be able to find your post in the “recent” section of the hashtag results unless they scroll all the way down.

As such, your post will get little to no likes from hashtags.

2. Your account is shadowbanned

Next, your account might be shadowbanned. So what is a shadowban?

A shadowban is a temporary ban that hides your posts from showing to new people.

If your account is shadowbanned, your posts will be hidden from your non-followers.

More specifically, the shadowban hides your posts from the explore page, and hashtag search results.

This means that your hashtags will not work if you are shadowbanned. If you happen to be shadowbanned, your engagement will drop sharply.

However, you shouldn’t jump to the conclusion that your account is shadowbanned if the hashtags that you’re using don’t get you as many likes.

Many Instagram users tend to assume a drop in engagement as a shadowban.

In most cases, this is not true, as it might be due to other factors.

These other factors include the quality of the content, the time of posting, and more.

A drop in engagement could mean that you’ve posted something that your followers don’t resonate with.

In addition, you might have posted at the wrong time. That being said, you need to be 100% sure that you are shadowbanned first.

In order to check that you are shadowbanned, you need to use an alternate account.

Firstly, you can try posting something on your main account and add an uncommon hashtag (e.g. #testing123) to the caption/comments of your post.

Then, use an alternate account (if you have one) and search for the hashtag of that post.

If you see the post on the “recent” section of the hashtag search results, then your main account is not shadowbanned.

On the other hand, if the post isn’t on the “recent” section, then your main account is shadowbanned.

The shadowban can last for up to two weeks.

If you’re shadowbanned, don’t panic. The shadowban is not permanent—it lasts for a few days, up to two weeks.

In the meantime, you should continue using Instagram as normal, but you’ll have to keep in mind that hashtags will not work for the duration of the shadowban.

Your best bet is to wait it out, and eventually, the shadowban will be lifted.

This is why having a second account is important because if anything happens to your main, you can use your second account instead.

All in all, if you’re getting no likes from hashtags on Instagram, it might be because you’re shadowbanned.

3. There are fewer bots

The final reason why you’re getting no likes from hashtags on Instagram is that there are fewer bots.

This reason is pretty hard to grasp if you are new to Instagram.

If you’ve used Instagram for many years, you’ve probably noticed that hashtags don’t work as well as it used to.

In the past, you can get lots of likes from hashtags alone. However, hashtags don’t work as well in the present.

This is because the likes that you’re getting from hashtags are usually from bots and automation.

The thing is, no one actually has the time to go through the hashtag search results, and like the recent posts there.

Ask yourself this—have you ever deliberately searched for a hashtag, and like its recent posts?

In most cases, your answer would be a resounding no.

Even if you have liked recent posts from the hashtag search results before, you probably only did it a handful of times.

That being said, bots and automation are mainly responsible for the likes that you’re getting from hashtags.

The idea is this—the more posts you engage with, the higher the chance that the person engages back, or follows you.

This is why a number of people rely on automation to grow their Instagram followers.

But ever since Instagram’s announcement on removing inauthentic activity in their platform, their AI has improved tremendously.

Instagram is getting better and better at detecting spam and imposes an action block to whoever who abuses their actions (e.g. liking, commenting) on the platform.

Automation has been diminishing throughout the years, and soon, it might be non-existent.

Consequently, this explains the sharp drop in the number of likes that you’re getting from hashtags.

How do I get my hashtags to work again?

Instagram hashtags for likes

In order to get your hashtags to work again, you have to use the right hashtags, and avoid getting shadowbanned in the future.

If you’re using the wrong hashtags, you’re going to get little to no likes from it.

One the other hand, if your account is shadowbanned, hashtags will not work.

I’ve been researching hashtags for a really long time, and I found out that Portuguese and Indian hashtags tend to garner the most number of likes.

Hashtags like #shuva, #sdv, #keralagram, #keralatourism, can drive a lot of likes to your post.

Portuguese and Indian hashtags like #shuva, #sdv, #keralagram, #keralatourism, drives the most number of likes to your post.

These hashtags are widely dominated by bots, which means that you can get 10-30 likes in a minute after you’ve posted.

Although these hashtags might not be related to your niche, it still gets the job done—getting the most number of likes.

Alternatively, you can find bot-dominated hashtags by trial and error.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to find high-performing hashtags:

  1. Search for a hashtag on Instagram (e.g. #likeforlikes) on a desktop.
  2. Go to the “Recent” section of the hashtag search results.
  3. Find the post with the highest number of likes that posted very recently.
  4. Copy their hashtags and use them for your future posts.

This process is quite demanding as you have to check hashtags individually; so I wouldn’t recommend it.

That being said, if you do have the time, you should try it.

To get your hashtags to work again, you have to make sure that you’re not shadowbanned in the first place.

Then, make sure to take these steps to prevent your account from getting shadowbanned in the future:

  1. Don’t post anything that violates Instagram’s guidelines.
  2. Avoid using more than 30 hashtags.
  3. Stop using third-party apps.

These are the most common ways you can get shadowbanned by Instagram.

Ultimately, you should avoid doing these things to prevent getting shadowbanned in the future.

FAQ

Do you get more likes on Instagram if you hashtag?

Yes, you will get more likes on Instagram if you use hashtags.

However, you need to use the right hashtags if you want to get more likes.

If you use bad hashtags, your post will get little to no likes from it.

Hashtags increase the reach of your post as your post will be displayed in the hashtag search results.

As such, it allows your post to get discovered by other people.

So if you’re considering whether you should use hashtags on the caption or comment section of your post, you should.

However, do note that hashtags will only work if your account is set to public.

If your account is a private one, your post(s) will not be shown to people that are not following you.

How do you get more likes on Instagram without hashtags?

Add post to story Instagram

To get more likes on Instagram without hashtags, you need to prioritize growing your followers and increasing your engagement rate.

This is because the more followers you have, your post will be shown in more feeds.

Similarly, having a high engagement rate means that you’ll get more likes.

Hashtags aren’t a one-size-fits-all approach to getting more likes on Instagram.

In fact, they can negatively affect your account if you don’t use them correctly.

Ultimately, you shouldn’t rely solely on hashtags for likes.

If hashtags drive the lion’s share of your likes, you need to change your approach as soon as possible.

For a start, you need to focus on growing your followers.

In a nutshell, you can join follow for follow groups to grow your first thousand Instagram followers.

As for growing your engagement rate, make sure to follow people in your niche.

Additionally, a great tip is to add your post to your story immediately after posting it.

This will give a slight bump to your likes.

What are the best hashtags to get likes on Instagram?

The best hashtags to get likes on Instagram are Portuguese and Indian hashtags.

Here are some examples of these hashtags you can use: #shuva, #sdv, #keralagram, #keralatourism.

I tested these hashtags out in my own posts and the highest number of likes I got in a minute is 30.

30 likes in a minute from hashtags alone are crazy!

The thing with Portuguese and Indian hashtags is that they dominated with bot activity.

So, whenever you post something with these hashtags, you can get 10 to 30 likes in a minute.

Instagram’s algorithm favors posts that get a lot of engagement in a short amount of time.

Hence, using hashtags that can get you a lot of likes may help rank your post higher in your followers’ feeds.

What do you do when hashtags don’t work on Instagram?

There are three reasons why your hashtags don’t work on Instagram.

It could be either because you’re shadowbanned, the hashtags that you’re using are ineffective, or your account is set to private.

When hashtags don’t work on Instagram, you can try using other unconventional hashtags to get more likes.

Secondly, if you’re shadowbanned, you have to wait until the ban is lifted.

The shadowban can last up to two weeks, so you have to try not to post anything by then.

Once the ban is lifted, your hashtags will start working normally again.

Lastly, if your account is a private one, hashtags will not work.

This is because your posts will be hidden from people that are not following you.

Consequently, they won’t be shown on the explore page or on the hashtag search results.

To get hashtags to work again, you need to change your account to the public.

You can do that by going to your profile > menu > settings > privacy > flip the private account switch.

How do I know if a hashtag is working?

Instagram banned hashtags

To know if a hashtag is working, you need to post a photo with the hashtag and check whether there are non-followers liking it.

If there are non-followers liking your post, it means the hashtags are working (driving likes to your post).

Your hashtags are working if you’re getting likes from people that are not following you.

However, if only your followers are liking your post, then the hashtags that you’re using are ineffective.

But before you utilize a hashtag, make sure to check if it’s banned on Instagram first.

If the hashtag is banned, you’ll see a message along the lines of, “Recent posts from #hashtag are hidden” on the hashtag result page.

Whenever you see that message, it means that the hashtag is banned.

Never use a banned hashtag on Instagram as you’ll have a high risk of getting shadowbanned.

If you happen to be shadowbanned, hashtags will be rendered ineffective.

This is because your posts will not be shown on the explore page or hashtag search result pages.

That being said, if your posts cannot be found on the hashtag search result pages, you are shadowbanned.

To conclude, if your hashtags are working, you will get likes from people that are not following you.

Conclusion

In this article, you’ve learned why you’re getting no likes from hashtags on Instagram.

In summary, hashtags aren’t as effective in the present than in the past.

This is due to the decline in the number of bots and automation on the platform.

So, don’t be surprised if you’re getting lesser likes from hashtags in the present.

That being said, there are still hashtags that can get you a lot of likes—you just need to know how to find them.

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Author: Lim How Wei is the founder of Followchain. Feel free to follow him on Instagram.

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About the author

Lim How Wei

Lim How Wei is the founder of followchain.org, with 8+ years of experience in Social Media Marketing and 4+ years of experience as an active investor in stocks and cryptocurrencies. He has researched, tested, and written hundreds of articles ranging from social media platforms to messaging apps.

Lim has been quoted and referenced by major publications and media companies like WikiHow, Fast Company, HuffPost, Vice, New York Post, The Conversation, and many others. One of his articles about the gig economy was quoted by Joe Rogan who hosts The Joe Rogan Experience (arguably the most popular podcast in the world), in the This Past Weekend podcast by Theo Von.

In his free time, Lim plays multiple games like Tower of Fantasy, League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Hearthstone, RuneScape, and many others. He creates guides, walkthroughs, solutions, and more on games that he plays to help other players with their progression.