There was a time when nailing the latest viral dance was the best way to go viral and become TikTok-famous. And while dance videos are still popular, they are no longer the only type of content dominating the short-form video platform. These days, many TikTokers would pick a niche and focus on creating content that’s hyper-specific to that niche. To grow your views and reach on TikTok, using the right hashtags should be one key part of your strategy.
Here’s your guide to TikTok hashtags, how they work, and how to make the most of them to boost your engagement.
What are TikTok hashtags?
A TikTok hashtag is a hashtag symbol (#) followed by a keyword, which can be a single word or multiple words stuck together. By including hashtags in your TikToks, you’re informing the platform of what your content is about. That means TikTok users searching for your content — or the relevant topic — will have an easier time finding it, and you videos will more likely appear on their For You page (FYP).
There’s a hashtag for almost any topic and niche, from #dogwalking to #workfromhome to #financetips. No matter what kind of content you’re creating, you can use hashtags to get your videos in front of more people.
Let’s get into how you can do that with nine tips for researching and using TikTok hashtags, as well as reviewing how your content performs.
How to search for TikTok hashtags
Before you even touch the # key on your keyboard, you need to do a bit of research. Not all hashtags are created equal, and you need to make sure you’re loading up your content with the right ones. Here’s how you can find and choose hashtags that’ll work for you:
See what hashtags other TikTok creators are using
Whatever your area of focus, chances are there are other creators making similar content as yours. What kind of hashtags are they adding to their TikTok content now? What hashtags did they use in the past? Their current content will tell you which hashtags you should be using, whereas their older content can show you what worked in the past — and maybe even what you should avoid.
Use the TikTok Creative Center for insights on trending hashtags
The TikTok Creative Center is a platform built for brands advertising on TikTok, but that doesn’t mean creators can’t use it for research purposes, too. The Trend Discovery tool can be useful for content creators who need to find the right TikTok hashtags. You can see how many views these hashtags are getting, and how many posts feature them. And if you click on a hashtag, you can see how interest in it has grown over time, the age groups that are most interested in it, related interests, and more. It’s a great tool to find trends you need to jump on right now.
Pay attention to the TikTok hashtags brands are using
Depending on your niche, you can find numerous brands that are creating content on TikTok. These brands often have full-time employees who spend hours each week researching hashtags that’ll keep their content trending. Keep an eye on these accounts, and you’ll find hashtags you should be using as well.
How to use TikTok hashtags in your content
Now that you’ve done your research, you’d think you can just slap a bunch of hashtags in your TikTok content and call it a day, right? Not exactly. Here are some things to remember when it’s time to create your content.
Avoid generic hashtags
There are a number of hashtags that you’ll see in just about any TikTok. Hashtags like #fyp, #foryou, or #satisfying. The problem with these hashtags is they’re so generic that they don’t really tell the platform what the content is about. Refrain from using these generic keywords, and use hashtags that are as specific to your content as possible.
Use both short-tail and long-tail keywords
Here’s one way you can make sure there’s some variety in your keywords. A “short-tail” keyword, while still being in your niche, is less specific than a “long-tail” keyword.
Let’s say you create content about walking dogs. A hashtag like #dogs is a short-tail keyword, while #professionaldogwalker is a long-tail keyword. The former can bring in views from more general viewers, while the latter will usually bring in people specifically interested in your niche.
Use a mix of bigger and smaller hashtags
No, we’re not talking about the number of letters in the hashtags. After doing your research, you’ll probably find TikTok hashtags that get tons of views, and some that have less views. So should you just be using the hashtags that have the most views? Not really. Just because a keyword has a ton of views now, it doesn’t mean that’s always going to be the case. Not only that, but keywords with more views are usually less specific to your content. Try to mix it up.
Want to increase your reach on TikTok? Download our free TikTok SEO Cheat Sheet for tips to get more views using hashtags and other effective tactics.
Level up your TikTok hashtag strategy
Your TikTok hashtag game doesn’t stop when your content is published. If you want to get your TikToks in front of as many eyes as possible, you’ll need to constantly evaluate your strategy. Here are some of the best practices:
Evaluate content performance regularly
Set aside some time every week — about an hour or two — to review the TikTok content you’ve created recently. Look at how many views and comments you’ve been getting. Are you seeing a pattern? Are some hashtags working better than others? Use these takeaways to determine what content you should be creating next — and which hashtags you should use.
Look for content gaps
In SEO (search engine optimization) terms, a “content gap” refers to keywords or topics in your niche that you haven’t targeted yet. They might have slipped by unnoticed while you were doing your research, or they might have emerged from recent trends. You can highlight these content gaps by looking at other creators in your niche and comparing their content to yours. Pay close attention to hashtags showing up in their content that you haven’t used yet.
Adjust your approach
A big part of this constant reviewing process is making adjustments to your TikTok hashtag strategy over time. Are you using the right mix of long-tail and short-tail keywords? Maybe your next piece of content needs to put a bit more emphasis on one category or the other. The more content you create on a regular basis, the better chances you have to tinker with your strategy over time.
Hashtags are one of the best ways to signal what your TikTok content is about, but you don’t want to just sprinkle in whatever hashtags that have many views. Take the time to do your research, find a good mix of short-tail and long-tail keywords, and adjust your strategy as you create. With the right hashtags in your content, you’ll get a lot more traction on TikTok. It’s just a matter of time.