Creating great TikTok content is one thing; getting people to actually look at it is another. But if you harness the power of TikTok hashtags, you’ll be set to conquer the TikTokosphere (a cool new phrase that is not taking off at the rate I want it to).
Here’s how to master the fine art of the TikTok hashtag to ensure your TikTok marketing strategy will make a splash in the thrashing white-water rapids of today’s hottest social network.
Bonus: Get a free TikTok Growth Checklist from famous TikTok creator Tiffy Chen that shows you how to gain 1.6 million followers with only 3 studio lights and iMovie.
Best TikTok hashtags in 2023
Consider this list a good starting point, but TikTok hashtag trends tend to rise quickly and change often, so keep your eye on the Discover page regularly to see what’s trending before you publish.
Pro tip: the most popular TikTok hashtags will get the most attention but will also be the most competitive. (How do you stand out among all the circa-2000s-beauty-PTSD moments that the #backintheday trend hath wrought?)
So, yes, it can be helpful to wedge yourself into a trending conversation. But a good rule of thumb is to balance out high-use hashtags (e.g., #FYP) with more niche ones (#tiktokwitches) so you’re hitting a nice blend of broad and specific audiences.
How to find the best hashtags for your TikTok videos
Of course, you can just go with your gut and use the most descriptive tags that come to mind to label your masterpiece (#howtomakeapeanutbutterandbananasandwich). But a solid TikTok hashtag strategy involves a little less guessing and a little more studying.
Take a cue from the competition
We don’t want to play copycat here, but it’s important to keep an eye on the competition. Seeing which hashtags they’re using can offer insight into what others in your industry might be doing and inspire you to try reaching audiences or using search phrases you might not have considered.
Staub, for instance, might want to know that Le Creuset is getting some reasonable traction with the tags #kitchenstyle and #foodtok
Or, there’s the opposite benefit. Checking in on your rivals can offer a roadmap for what not to do or what hashtags to avoid, so you’re not in a head-to-head competition for eyeballs.
Study your audience’s hashtag habits
What hashtags does your audience use already?
Scoop some inspiration from their videos to wedge yourself into the same conversation. Chances are, other people just like them are using or searching for the same words or phrases.
Members of the foodie community on TikTok (a.k.a FoodTok) regularly tag their food reviews and recipes with hashtags like #foodtiktok and #foodtok. But you might also find specific tags related to particular cuisines or themes, like #mukbang or #indianfood
Tapping into these pre-existing TikTok communities is an opportunity to expand your reach, so spend some time combing through your top followers’ videos to collect hashtag inspiration.
Got some time to dive deeper?
Look into who else those followers are following and what hashtags those accounts use. You might learn something about your own fan culture or industry along the way.
Create a branded hashtag
While it’s crucial to use pre-existing hashtags, you also have the opportunity on TikTok to create your own branded hashtag.
Linen brand Flax Home uses #myflaxhome in posts about its sheets and duvets. Click through, and you’ll find all the account’s bedding-related TikTok videos in one place. Plus, content from fans who also want to, uh, snuggle up with the conversation.
A branded hashtag is just a hashtag that you invent to promote a campaign, product, or your whole brand. This is something you can start adding to your TikTok videos.
The dream is that fans and followers start organically using your hashtag and that you collect user-generated content in the process. But you can always try running a full-on contest to help popularize its use.
Use Hootsuite’s hashtag generator
All this research to come up with the right hashtags for every single TikTok post is a lot of work.
Enter: Hootsuite’s hashtag generator.
Whenever you’re creating a post in Composer, Hootsuite’s AI technology will recommend a custom set of hashtags based on your draft — the tool analyzes both your caption and the images you’ve uploaded to suggest the most relevant tags.
To use Hootsuite’s hashtag generator, follow these steps:
Head to Composer and start drafting your post. Add your caption and (optionally) upload your video.
Click the hashtag symbol below the text editor.
The AI will generate a set of hashtags based on your input. Check the boxes next to the hashtags you want to use and click the Add hashtags button.
The hashtags you selected will be added to your post. You can go ahead and publish it or schedule it for later.
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Use TikTok’s search tool to discover hashtag ideas
No need to reinvent the wheel here: search for your keywords using TikTok’s search function and see what hashtags are trending in that category. These are tried, tested and true hashtags.
Yes, you may be competing with 9.8 billion other videos tagged #halloweenmakeup. Still, there’s a reason this simple ‘tag is so popular. It’s a phrase that clearly describes the content and that other TikTok users are frequently searching for.
Tips for using hashtags on TikTok
Make the most of your new hashtag wisdom by studying these pro-level TikTok tagging skills and insights.
Use a mix of hashtags to reach the most people on TikTok
The secret sauce to maximizing your reach with hashtags is to mix popular hashtags with niche ones. As mentioned above, this spicy brew will help you reach both broad and narrow audiences.
Publisher Penguin Books is trying to maximize its videos’ reach with the wide-reaching #booktok hashtag and one that zooms in on the specific sound clip used in this video: #awholenewworld.
On the one hand, with top TikTok hashtags, you’ll get more people searching for the term. But you’ll also be just one post among many.
Niche hashtags might have fewer people searching for them, but the people looking for #sonicthehedgehogfanart will be thrilled to discover your content.
Create your own hashtag challenges on TikTok
Encourage people to use your custom hashtag by promoting it with a challenge. In other words: give your followers a specific task to accomplish or ask them to show off something particular. That could be a dance move, a makeover sequence, a dare (someone, please bring back coning), a product demo, whatever!
Get creative, and you could have the next #firsttouchchallenge on your hands.
Add extra hashtags to your TikTok video in the comments
If you run out of characters in the caption, here’s a little trick: add even more hashtags in the comments.
The TikTok algorithm doesn’t prioritize these hashtags to the same level as those in the caption. But it is still a way to boost discovery in search.
Use hashtags to describe your audience
Hashtags don’t just have to be descriptors of what’s in the video or who is in the video. They can also be used to ID who the content is for.
For instance, if you own your own bookstore, tagging your videos #bookworm #booklover or #booktok is going to get you in front of a whole different audience than if you used the hashtag #smallbusinessowner.
Graphic designer Brittany Paige shows behind-the-scenes content from her shop but tags it with relevant hashtags (#tedlassotok, #tedlasso) so that people outside of the #smallbiztok community — namely, the fine people of TedLassoTok — will also have a chance to discover her work.
Find yourself using the same hashtags over and over again? Save time by saving your faves in the notes app on your phone. You can simply copy and paste them into your caption for your next video.
If you’re sharing different types of content that each have their own set of use-specific hashtags, make a few lists that cover all your bases: one for your how-to videos, one for your behind-the-scenes content, and so on.
Pop keywords into your caption, too
With Youtube and Instagram shifting from a hashtag-based search strategy to a general SEO one, some social media experts are speculating that TikTok is quietly following suit. Their algorithm, after all, is spooky-good: why wouldn’t their cool robots be able to glean keywords from your description? So, in addition to your hashtags, don’t forget to put some time and care into crafting captions that hit on your keywords and key phrases.
TikTok’s limit for captions is a beefy 2,200 characters, and you can squeeze as many hashtags in there as you’d like. There doesn’t seem to be any disadvantage to maxing out your hashtag count, so have at ‘er and squish as many as you can in there.
This expanded length of video descriptions allows creators to include more details and keywords. This improves their content’s discoverability in search: suffice it to say TikTok’s powerful search feature is about to get a lot more precise.
How to create a hashtag on TikTok
Want to make your own hashtag on TikTok? Just type your perfect combo of letters and numbers into your caption, post your video, and like magic, you’ve birthed a hashtag out into the world.
For the best chances of other people hopping on board your cool new tag, try to create something with simple spelling that’s easy to remember and self-explanatory. Something that incorporates the name of your brand or product is typically a good idea, like #nespressocoffeecurious
First, some frustrating news. TikTok has replaced the Discover tab in the app with one for your Friends (don’t those fools know I don’t have any TikTok friends?!).
This means that finding a master list of trending TikTok hashtags is a little trickier than it used to be, but certainly not impossible.
Here’s our workaround.
In a browser on your computer or phone, go to tiktok.com, and you’ll see a “Discover” section on the left-hand side. Here, you’ll see trending hashtags and sounds. You can also just go straight to tiktok.com/discover
If you’re looking for trending hashtags around a specific topic, however, the app can help with that:
Tap on the magnifying glass (search) icon in the top right corner of the For You Page
Type in your search term (for this demo: “Frankenstein”)
Then select the Hashtags tab to view the most popular hashtags related to your search word, like #frankensteingirls (which I am absolutely afraid to click on)
Now that you’re brimming with#hashtagconfidence, go forth and tag fast, tag furious. Show that TikTok just what you’re made of! You’ll be lighting up the For You page and racking up TikTok followers in no time.
Grow your TikTok presence alongside your other social channels using Hootsuite. Schedule and publish posts for the best times, engage your audience, get hashtag recommendations, and measure performance — all from one easy-to-use dashboard. Try it free today.