TikTok is one of the most popular social media platforms, especially with Gen Z and millennials, making it an important place to market your company.
With most social media platforms, companies rely on creating easily searchable content with hashtags to succeed. Hashtags are concise and easy-to-remember words used to tag posts about specific topics. For example, a post about hockey might have the hashtag #hockey.
Understanding how to best leverage hashtags, how many to use in a post, and which hashtags to choose when posting is essential.
How Many Hashtags Should You Use on TikTok?
One common question people branching into social media ask is how many hashtags they should use on TikTok. It can be tempting to fill posts with lots of hashtags to ensure that your content appears in as many searches and trends as possible. However, there is a glaring issue with this strategy.
Using too many hashtags can unintentionally make it harder to reach your target audience. TikTok uses various algorithms to serve its users content based on their interests. The more noise you add to your posts, the harder it can be for TikTok to place your content in front of the right people who would enjoy your video and engage with it.
A more focused strategy is generally the best, with many experts recommending using between three and five relevant hashtags on each post.
Which Hashtags to Use on TikTok
Choosing which hashtags to use on TikTok is just as important as choosing how many to include in your posts.
One of the first things you should do when deciding which hashtags to use is to scope out your competition. Your target audience overlaps with other companies in your industry, so let them do most of the work. Look at your competition’s posts to see which hashtags they use, then use those same ones in your own posts.
You can even examine which posts performed the best by looking at engagement on your competitors’ videos and choosing hashtags from their highest-performing posts.
The app’s For You page and Discover page will show you a list of trending TikTok hashtags and popular videos. Examine this list of hashtags for relevance to your company and find ways to incorporate them into your posts. You can also watch trending videos to get ideas for content, sounds you can implement, or hashtag inspiration.
Best Practices for Hashtags on TikTok
To get the most out of hashtags on TikTok, try some of the following best practices.
Use a mix of niche and general hashtags.
When you first think about which hashtags to post, it might seem obvious that you would want to use the most popular, general hashtags—after all, they’ll put your content in front of the most people, right? That may not always be the case.
For instance, if you only use a generic hashtag, like #sports, you compete with millions of others posting content with the same incredibly generic hashtag. Even more specific categories, like #soccer, will still have millions of posts. With generic hashtags, your content will get views, but they’ll also get drowned out by the noise.
Using a hashtag related to a specific game or team means you compete with fewer other posts. If you’re trying to drive engagement with a particular audience, like fans of a specific team, a more focused hashtag means you’re more likely to reach your target audience.
Use location-based hashtags.
If you’re focusing on a particular geographic area, you can use location-specific hashtags to reach the people there.
Imagine you’re trying to promote a new bakery. You don’t want to spend time, money, and effort showing your posts to people hundreds of miles away. Using a hashtag specific to your state, region, city, or neighborhood can help boost views from people who might actually come to your new business.
Join the trends.
TikTok has all sorts of trends, with creators hopping on sounds, music tracks, memes, and ideas to use in their videos. Hashtags are a great way to keep abreast of the most popular trends on the platform, but engaging in those trends and using the relevant hashtags can help your content go viral.
A basic example of this is avoiding the hashtag #4thofJuly in January. Very few people will be looking at Independence Day-related content in January, so your posts won’t get many views or engagement. However, using #4thofJuly in late June or early July can boost its engagement because many people will be more interested in that content at that time.
Use hashtag challenges and branded hashtags.
On TikTok, companies can use branded hashtags to help drive engagement. Great branded hashtag campaigns combine popular trends, like dances or sounds, with relevant content.
Many companies have hashtags they use to promote their brands, such as REI’s #OptOutside. Usually, companies include their hashtag in their profile and tell customers to use it when featuring products in their videos.
You can also sponsor hashtag challenges to increase your brand's engagement. These challenges are simple calls to action to get people to use your branded hashtag and products in videos.
For example, a beauty company might sponsor a hashtag challenge encouraging people to post videos of their daily makeup routine with a branded hashtag. A cookware company might challenge people to make a specific dish with their product and post about it.
Take a look at hashtag analytics.
TikTok’s Creative Center shows users data about the most popular TikTok hashtags. For example, you can see if a hashtag has become more or less prevalent in the past few days or weeks. Creative Center also lists some of the top creators producing content relevant to a hashtag.
The analytics page shows TikTok’s best estimate of how long a hashtag is likely to persist on the site, helping you avoid investing in short-lived trends.
A good way to use the data available is to look at the demographics of people who engage with different hashtags, including age range and regional popularity. That makes it easier to target the people you want your content to encounter. For example, if you’re looking to put your brand in front of college-aged women, you don’t want to focus on hashtags primarily viewed by teenage boys.
Collaborate with influencers.
TikTok is full of influencers with massive reach. If you work with the right influencer, you can reach millions of TikTok users with your new #TikTokChallenge. That’s why influencers are a major part of every great TikTok marketing strategy.
Look for TikTok influencers who already have a presence in your niche. A sportswear company might want to work with a fashion or sports influencer. A beauty company could partner with an influencer who makes videos about makeup.
You’ll have to pay for these partnerships, but they can bring huge dividends. The TikTok algorithm is more likely to show users videos from popular creators. Working with those creators to create TikTok content gets your brand out there and can drive more people to your own profile, boosting your reach further.
Make sure your TikTok marketing partners use your branded hashtag and encourage viewers to engage with your company.
Consider using a hashtag generator.
With hashtags being such an essential part of social media marketing, it’s no surprise that there are tools out there that can help you choose the right hashtags for your content. Look for hashtag generators that will take some of the load off.
With these tools, you can enter a topic or information about your brand. The generator will then automatically create the most popular hashtags that are relevant to you. It can also find hashtags related to other hashtags if you already know at least one that you plan to use.
While these tools can’t replace more in-depth research, they can be a great place to start.
The Final Word
TikTok is a massive platform essential to any social media marketing strategy. Leveraging hashtags effectively can help you reach your target audience and get the most value from the platform.