If you have heard the advice that you should delete the hashtags off of your old Instagram posts, it's bad advice! Please don't do it!! There are so many reasons why deleting Instagram hashtags is a bad idea and very little reasoning why it would be a good idea.
It was recently brought to my attention that some people are advocating for this method, in order to avoid being shadow banned.... first of all, don't get me started on shadow banning - I've been there, done that more times than I can count. You can read all about it or watch it here (warning, the video is "colorful" in language). But essentially, these other experts are saying that if you leave your "old", and now irrelevant, hashtags on your posts, they run the risk of your new content not showing up in hashtag searches.
Ok, this is just ridiculous. Instagram wants you to use hashtags, so they're not going to punish you for leaving them on there. And if your content appeared in those old ones, they're technically still there, so they are helping you, not hurting you. Oh, and you can use the same hashtags as many times as you want without penalty, so there's no good reason to delete the old ones.
Furthermore, if you go in and delete hashtags on a bunch of old posts, this is considered bulk activity which will flag you on Instagram and most likely get you put in temporary jail so that your new content gets much lower reach and you most likely will not show up in new hashtag searches for the new content. Which means you totally just got the exact result you were trying to avoid.
And, if I can continue with my snarky thoughts on this, if you have time to go through and delete all the hashtags out of your old posts, why not use that time to create better content strategies that will actually benefit your account? I mean, seriously though.
So, hopefully this explains the ridiculous concept behind deleting your hashtags. But let's go a step further...
If you are actually using hashtags strategically and effectively, then they will serve you for weeks and maybe even months after you post. If you go in and delete hashtags after 5-7 days, you're doing your account a huge disservice by losing all of the searches and views you could have potentially received on those posts. I don't know about you, but with social media reach as low as it is, I'm not looking to make it worse.
So, Jenn, you may ask, how should you be using hashtags? Well, my friend, I've got you covered! You can read this older post with my basic strategy. Or you can watch this recent YouTube video, on this exact blog post topic, which includes a slightly updated version of my dedicated, super-secret-that-I-tell-everyone hashtag recipe. Warning, this video below is a rant - you may want to listen with earphones in 😉
If you think this is weird or irrelevant, the reason I'm posting this is because I know people who followed the proposed advice to delete their hashtags and they DID end up in Instagram jail. Their content stopped showing up in hashtag searches. And their reach dropped off.
Doing this actually hurt them.
And that is NOT what I want to see happen to you. So, please, stop deleting Instagram hashtags and just let them do the work they were supposed to do.