The Ultimate Guide to TikTok Hashtags: How to Use Them Effectively

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No matter how much effort content creators put into making thoughtful, funny, and engaging TikTok videos, half the battle is just figuring out how to get them in front of the right audience. There’s no surefire way to make a video go viral or get a certain number of views, but if you want to increase your odds of finding favor with the almighty algorithm, don’t sleep on learning how to strategically deploy TikTok hashtags to help you capitalize on trends and connect with the right audience for what you create.

What are TikTok hashtags?

TikTok hashtags are essentially standalone keywords or key phrases that help identify your content for your potential audience. They can refer to anything from a category of video (#teacherlife), a special event (#TStheErasTour), or so much more—products, challenges, celebrities, holidays, locations—you get the idea. Users can click on or search for hashtags representative of videos they would like to watch and easily find content linked by whatever common theme they have chosen.

How do I use TikTok hashtags?

If you’ve used other social media sites, you may already be familiar with how hashtags work. For those learning about them for the first time, the most important basics to keep in mind is that they always start with a “#” and they should have no spaces, even if there are multiple words.

Generally, it’s best to put hashtags at the end of your TikTok caption when uploading your video rather than at the front. And don’t forget to double-check your spelling—TikTok captions and hashtags can’t be edited after they’ve been shared!

How do hashtags help TikTok creators?

Hashtags help TikTok creators in several key ways, largely revolving around increasing individual video views. Here are some of the ways upping your hashtag game can help you gain more views, and hopefully followers:

1. They help the right audience find you.

If someone is seeking out fellow Lady Gaga fans, or wants to watch videos featuring the latest challenge going around, finding the appropriate hashtag could lead them straight to your video.

2. They encourage engagement and help build community.

People who come across your content because it matches something they’re looking for are likely going to be way more excited to comment or share it with friends.

3. They feed into the algorithm.

Using hashtags that match a user’s interests and previous interactions is a great way to increase your chances of ending up on their ‘For You’ page.

4. You can use them to come up with video ideas.

Sometimes browsing hundreds of TikTok videos for hashtag ideas is more than a little daunting. Fortunately, you can also benefit from hashtags in a reverse sense—figure out what hashtags are popular right now and consider making a rapid-turn-around video that suits one or two of them.

How do I find TikTok hashtags for my videos?

We mentioned it’s important to get the hashtag error-free on the first try, but that means you have to take the time to learn hashtags and figure out the best way to keep the pulse on what’s trending.

1. Browse the tags

Research is the best way to learn your hashtags. You can scroll right to the search tab, type in the hashtag or partial hashtag you’re thinking of using, and see how popular it is and whether there are other similar hashtags that are better suited for your work.

2. Check out similar creators

You should also pay attention to creators who are making similar content to yours. If they’re good at what they do, they’ve probably been curating hashtags themselves—and now you get to bask in the knowledge/free ideas as well.

3. Research trends

And TikTok actually has a hub for creators that tracks rising hashtag trends in various industries, among other things. This can be a particularly valuable tool, although you will have to go to the website on your desktop rather than through the phone app in order to access it.

How do I choose the right TikTok hashtags?

Now you know where to look up existing hashtags—but how do you go about picking the ones that will best serve your content and your audience, while still drawing in new viewers?

Consider your content and audience.

The nature of your content will likely lend itself to certain hashtags right away. For instance, if you’re posting a makeup review of a specific brand or popular product, you already know you want to use at least one of those hashtags. Or if you’re participating in a challenge, you’ll definitely want to use the challenge hashtag.

Use a mixture of trending tags and niche tags.

Trending hashtags are ones that are gaining traction in real-time. These can provide an easy and fun opportunity to reach new viewers with timely content, but it’s also a gamble for creators with smaller audiences since the tag is likely to be inundated with videos.

Niche tags, on the other hand, allow you to target a smaller community that is more likely to be interested in your content regardless of what’s currently trending.

The best advice is to use both types of tags and strike a balance between the two. Finding the sweet spot for your particular content and audience can take some experimentation, but including both trending and niche tags in your post (when applicable) can sidestep the drawbacks of just choosing one over the other.

Incorporate location-based and event hashtags.

TikTok has become the go-to place online for anyone who has FOMO over something cool they can’t attend—just look at how many people were streaming video from every U.S. stop of Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour (hint: it was a lot of people). If your video takes place at or is related to something in the moment like that, don’t skip out on the relevant tag!

Don’t overuse or misuse tags.

Nobody likes browsing a tag on TikTok and discovering people have added videos that have nothing to do with the topic just because it’s trending. That’s a surefire way not to gain new followers. Make sure your tags are genuinely relevant to your content before choosing them; if you find yourself on the fence as to whether a tag truly suits your video or not, try looking at it from the viewer’s perspective. If you were looking for this tag and your video popped up, would it fall under the umbrella of what you hoped to find? If not, pick a different tag.

It’s also important not to use too many tags. Stick to around 3-5 tags for each video, even if there are another 10 that are relevant. More than that and it starts to look spammy, in addition to eating up valuable real estate for your caption.

Pay attention to how different videos and tags perform.

Monitoring your analytics is imperative for growing your page, especially if you’re trying out different posting strategies. Taking note of which specific hashtags or types of hashtags do well for your videos—in terms of views, follows, and other engagement—can help you strategize and pivot if your stats aren’t growing as planned.

Can I create my own hashtag?

Yes! You don’t have to use pre-existing hashtags—anything alphanumerical following that # will work. The benefit of using an existing hashtag is to slide into something people are already looking for, but if you have enough engagement and a good hook, like a challenge or a meme or some sort of controversy that appeals to the masses, creating a hashtag and trying to get it to go viral can occasionally be the right move. But don’t forget to pair it with existing ones, if you do.

What hashtags get you on the FYP?

You may see a lot of videos tagged with #FYP, #ForYou, or #ForYouPage. Some TikTokers believe these tags influence the algorithm and help push their videos to other users’ For You Pages, but it is generally accepted that that is not the case.

If you want to be seen on people’s FYPs, and try to get your video to go viral, your best shot is to make great content accompanied by relevant tags to help the right people see what you’ve created. And hopefully, now you have the tools you need to craft your strategy and be on your way to making that happen.

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