With over one billion monthly active users (and counting), TikTok is growing to be one of the leading social media platforms. Attracting mostly younger audiences, the platform sees a ton of usage and engagement. In fact, micro-influencers are close to hitting the 18% mark in engagement rates. So it makes sense that businesses are flocking to TikTok to expand their reach.

And the best way to boost your visibility on the platform? TikTok hashtags.

This post will explore in-depth what TikTok hashtags are, why you should use them and how you can leverage them. Let’s find out.

What are TikTok hashtags?

TikTok hashtags help to categorize video content uploaded to the platform so users can find it easily. Someone searching for the hashtag #Gaming on TikTok, for example, can discover video content related to gaming. Or if someone searches for the hashtag #PTD, they’ll find content related to the BTS song, Permission to Dance.

TikTok hashtag search results page for #ptd with 6 thumbnails of videos

Hashtags on TikTok work just like they do on platforms like Instagram and Twitter. Adding a certain hashtag to a video will make the content discoverable when someone searches for the hashtag. This allows users to join in on trending or relevant conversations using the right hashtags.

Being an entertainment-focused platform, TikTok naturally sees the most hashtag views for entertainment content with 535 billion views. The second most popular category is dance, with 181 billion hashtag views. Pranks, fitness and sports, home renovations/DIY and beauty/skincare are other popular categories by number of hashtag views.

Benefits of using hashtags in your TikTok strategy

Even if you aren’t running a full-fledged hashtag campaign, hashtags should be an important part of your TikTok strategy. From improving your content discoverability to building a community–there’s a lot they can help you with. Here are the top reasons why your business should use hashtags in its TikTok strategy:

Increase visibility

Adding hashtags to your video captions can help you get your content in front of TikTok users who aren’t already following your brand. When you use a hashtag relevant to the content of the video, you could attract people who are already interested in the topic. For example, adding the hashtag #DIYProject could help your video show up in the search results of people who are searching for the hashtag.

TikTok search result for the hashtag #diyproject with 3 video thumbnails

Boost engagement

Better visibility could also translate to higher engagement rates. When more people see your content, there’s a chance many of them would want to engage with it by liking or commenting on it.

Build community

Branded TikTok hashtags are a great way to create a community around your business. You could encourage your audience to create videos using a brand-specific hashtag. This will help you build a strong community of followers who enjoy sharing content related or relevant to your business.

For example, BUXOM Cosmetics has managed to build a community around the #BuxomBabe hashtag. They have beauty enthusiasts and influencers alike creating TikTok videos using the hashtag.

TikTok hashtag search results for #buxombabe with 6 video thumbnails

Identify competitors

Popular industry-specific hashtags can also help you uncover other businesses that are using the hashtag. This is a great way to identify competitors that you may not already be aware of. And you can check out their profiles and content to benchmark your TikTok performance against theirs.

Get great TikTok content ideas

Searches for category-specific hashtags will bring up results for top-performing content relevant to the hashtag. This is a great way to see what resonates with your target audience and get content inspiration.

Find relevant influencers

You can also use hashtag searches to discover influential accounts that are creating content relevant to the hashtag. If you plan on running an influencer marketing campaign, this is a great way to discover TikTok influencers you can partner with.

Jump in on trends

TikTok trends come and go, but capitalizing on the right ones at the right time can help boost visibility and engagement. When you create content based on trending hashtags, you’re showing your followers that your brand is fun and relevant. Plus, there’s a higher chance your video will show up on the right Discovery pages. This further increases your content visibility and could help you gain more TikTok followers.

How to research TikTok hashtags

When researching hashtags to use for your brand’s TikTok, you should prioritize ones with high view counts. Researching trending hashtags on TikTok in a relevant niche or industry is also a good idea. When a hashtag is trending or has a high view count, it tells you that people are interested in it. This increases the likelihood that the right people will discover and engage with your content when you use the hashtag.

There are several ways to find and research hashtags on TikTok:

  • The TikTok Discover tab highlights some of the top hashtags that are currently trending.
TikTok web app Discover tab
  • Check out listicles that compile the top TikTok hashtags across different categories.
  • Use a tool like TikTok Hashtags to discover the most popular hashtags related to a certain topic. This tool will also provide you with useful stats like the number of posts, views and post views.
list of hashtags related to #skincare with stats relating to views, posts, and post views

How to create TikTok hashtags

When creating TikTok hashtags for your brand, follow these best practices to improve your chances of success:

  • Make sure your hashtag aligns with your campaign, content or challenge.
  • Don’t create too many hashtags as it can confuse viewers. Focus on crafting one or two great hashtags that are instantly recognizable and easy to share.
  • Keep your hashtag simple, memorable and easy to spell.
  • Check out the hashtags you have created on other social platforms. See what works and use them as inspiration.

Tips on what hashtags to use on TikTok

Now that we’ve covered our bases, let’s discover some tips on how you can make the most of TikTok hashtags:

Combine niche hashtags with popular/trending ones

While popular and trending hashtags are great for reaching a massive audience, they’re also highly competitive. This makes it a bit challenging to get noticed unless your account already has a large following. Niche hashtags can help you attract people who are already interested in your content. Plus, they’re less competitive, which makes it easier for your content to get discovered.

To get the best of both worlds, combine both types of hashtags. The idea is to gain popularity using the niche hashtag so you can improve your visibility in the trending or popular hashtag.

Notice how the following TikTok uses niche hashtags like #EcoHack and #FoodWasteTip along with the trending #TiktokHolidays hashtag.

Always research for the trendy hashtags for that moment

Trends on TikTok are often short-lived, which means that a hashtag that’s trending today could easily lose its status the next. So make sure you’re researching hashtags that are trending in the moment. You can use a tool like Hashtag Expert to find the latest trending hashtags to use for your brand.

Consider your caption character count

TikTok allows up to 300 characters in your caption and your hashtags will count toward that. So keep your captions short to leave space for your hashtags.

Mind the maximum number of hashtags

TikTok doesn’t set a strict limit on the number of hashtags you can use. But since there’s a caption character limit, make sure to consider it when choosing how many hashtags to add. We recommend using 3-5 hashtags so you still have space to write a descriptive or fun caption.

Start a TikTok challenge or competition to boost your branded hashtags

One of the best ways to boost visibility on the platform is by starting a challenge or competition. Get creative and come up with a branded hashtag that people can use to participate. The more people create content around the hashtag, the better chances you have of attracting other TikTok users. To further amplify your branded hashtag, consider partnering with influencers who can promote it for you.

For instance, Chase Bank started the #ShowMeYourWalk challenge, asking new graduates to showcase their graduation walk. The challenge saw a lot of participation even from celebrities like Kevin Hart.

Use #ForYou, #ForYouPage or #FYP with caution

You may have come across these three hashtags in many TikTok videos. These highly popular hashtags have trillions of views combined. So it’s no surprise that people are using them in hopes of boosting their content visibility. Many users believe that these hashtags will help their videos appear on more For You pages.

But there’s no clear proof whether this is the case. And with these hashtags being highly competitive, it might not be the best idea to rely on them too much. Instead, give priority to niche and trending hashtags that offer a better chance of visibility. Then try experimenting with #ForYou, #ForYouPage or #FYP to see if they make a difference.

Make TikTok marketing work for you

With more businesses leveraging TikTok in their marketing strategies, it’s high time you ramp up your efforts as well. Use the tips above to make the most of TikTok hashtags and gain a competitive edge on the platform. And don’t forget to use TikTok analytics to look for opportunities to keep improving.