Though the era of using #hashtags for #every other #word has decreased significantly, hashtags are coming back in a big way on TikTok.
TikTok hashtags are an excellent way for users to discover your videos but perhaps even more importantly, they help categorize and boost your content within TikTok’s algorithm.
How TikTok hashtags work
TikTok hashtags are no different than hashtags on other social media platforms. They help categorize your content and push it out to a relevant audience, allowing creators to join in on trending topics and reach niche segments.
On TikTok, hashtags are essentially like keywords that you would use to increase your website’s search engine optimization (SEO). The same way you would select specific keywords for your website, you select hashtags that are relevant to your brand and/or video content. Instead of ranking higher on Google searches, your video will be pushed out into relevant users’ TikTok feeds.
TikTok’s rise in popularity has a lot to do with its sophisticated algorithm which creates a user’s ‘For You Page’ (FYP). The FYP is a feed of videos that is specific to each user based on behavioural signals like comments or likes on videos.
Using specific and targeted hashtags helps the algorithm categorize your videos and serve them to relevant users. Read more about how the TikTok algorithm works here.
Leveraging hashtags for TikTok search
Where TikTok hashtags stand out from hashtags on other social media platforms is the way users interact with them. There has been a massive upswing in the use of TikTok as a search engine, especially among the younger generations. Where people would turn to Google for product or service discovery, Gen Z is now turning to TikTok (read more about how TikTok is becoming a search engine here).
TikTok took notice of the rise of keyword searches and rolled out a new feature that links keywords directly in captions and comments. By using hashtags that are relevant to your content or brand, you are more likely to appear in the results of a TikTok search.
Hashtags aren’t the only way to categorize your videos – the text in your video’s caption, your video’s on-screen captions or text, your audio choice and your location tagging also play a role in how the algorithm sorts and pushes out your content.
The dos and don’ts of using TikTok hashtags
- Check which hashtags your competitors use to capture their audience.
- Make a note of hashtags you see used frequently while scrolling through your feed.
- Search your hashtags to see the amount they’re used and if the videos under them are relevant to what you’re posting.
- Use a mix of broad and niche hashtags to cover all your bases.
- Use the auto-tagging feature which adds trending or sponsored hashtags.
- Jump onto trends or challenges that use specific hashtags (learn how).
- Use location and local hashtags.
- Use a key hashtag in your video’s on-screen text.
- Use too many hashtags. This can confuse the algorithm (a maximum of four hashtags seems to be the sweet spot).
- Use general and overused hashtags like #fyp, #tiktok, #viral, or #trending.
- Use completely different hashtags for each video. Using a wide range of hashtag topics will make it difficult for the TikTok algorithm to place your content on the right FYPs.
TikTok isn’t going away anytime soon. If you haven’t started an account for your brand yet, it’s time to get going!
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