Are you busy throwing random hashtags onto your TikTok videos and hoping that they land? Chances are — they won’t. What first started as a cringy collection of hashtags at the bottom of all our over-filtered Instagram posts has now become a cultural phenomenon that has revolutionized how businesses market themselves online. So how do you take advantage of hashtags to further your business on TikTok?
Enter your TikTok hashtag strategy — the key to your hashtag success! If you’re wondering, “What is it? How does it work? Why do I need it? And where do I put it?” Don’t worry — after lots of experience, hashtag success, and hashtag fails, I’ve become quite the expert. And I’m about to spill all my secrets.
Why you need to optimize your hashtag strategy on TikTok
Before we get into your hashtag strategy, let’s first take a look at how hashtags work. Like most other social media platforms, TikTok’s hashtag feature allows users to follow and search certain hashtags. For example, you can search #TikToktips, and you’ll get loads of relevant posts. Or, if you have a lowkey obsession with cats with hats, you can add the hashtag #catswithhats (it’s a real thing, trust me) to favorites, and all the content attached to that hashtag will be fed straight to you. Hashtags also help TikTok get a sense of what your content is about so that it can also feed your content to people who are interested in similar topics.
Hashtags with more followers and views are more likely to gain exposure to a wider audience. But, you’re not just looking for any old audience — you’re looking for your target audience. If you use your tags correctly, specific to your niche, you’ll be handing your content directly to your target audience on a silver platter.
This is where your hashtag strategy comes into play. You don’t want to waste your hashtags on ones that either aren’t popular enough to get you significant exposure or aren’t targeting your target audience. So it’s essential that you not only have a TikTok hashtag strategy but you know how to optimize it to your specific niche and business. Because when it comes to hashtags, they’re nothing if not personal.
Now that you know what a hashtag strategy is and why you need one, here are my top 6 hashtag secrets that you don’t want to forget. So take out your notes and keep reading!
6 TikTok hashtag tips from a hashtag pro
1. Don’t spam the caption with tags:
The more hashtags you have, the less specific they become, therefore the less effective. You only want to have 3-5 hashtags per post. This will make sure that each hashtag packs a punch, and it will force you to choose your hashtags wisely.
2. Use tags specific to your content
If your content doesn’t match your tag, people interested in that tag will be mightily confused when they’re presented with dogs dancing to Christmas music when they were looking for trending music on TikTok (pleased, but definitely still confused). So do yourself and TikTok users a favor and keep your tags relevant to your content. This is a mistake you don’t want to make — trust me.
3. Choose tags < 1 million views
Hashtags with over 1 million views tend to be more generic, plus saturated with content. While they reach more people because they’re so general, your content is also too quickly swallowed by the tidal wave of content. So much so that your content is easily missed and forgotten. When it comes to hashtag views, sometimes less is more. And remember the more specific, the better.
4. Don’t use trending tags unless you’re doing that trend
I see way too many TikTokers making the mistake of clutching at trending tags just for the sake of jumping on the popularity of the tag, even if their content is entirely irrelevant. The honest truth: This doesn’t work. Not only do these tags quickly go out of fashion, but you’ll also seriously damage your watch time on TikTok — people scrolling through the trending tag will scroll past your irrelevant post faster than you can say “hashta…”
5. Use tags that describe who you are and who you want to attract
Remember — as much as you want your hashtags to reflect your audience, you also want your hashtags to reflect you and your brand. Hashtags are ultimately used to find the right people — people who will connect to your brand, but also people who you can connect with. You don’t want to surround yourself with people that will only hold you back. So use your hashtags as a siren call to find your niche audience!
6. Capitalize on branded hashtags
Branded hashtags are tags entirely unique to your brand. For example, some of mine include #WaveWyld and #makewaves on IG and #queenoftrendalerts on TikTok. Branded hashtags are a great way to build community and have followers feel a part of a movement. Create one that signifies your community name and encourage followers to use it! Also, anyone who sees that content from your branded hashtags immediately becomes aware of your brand. Therefore, you can create awareness and buzz for your brand, you don’t even have to do the work!
This one is a real pet peeve of mine. There’s a lot wrong with using the hashtag #fyp. Any ideas what they are? Well, firstly, TikTok declared that FYP (For You Page) is out and FYF (For You Feed) is in. Secondly, this generic hashtag is used by too many people clutching at straws, trying to get more views on their content — a desperate and hopeless game you don’t want to play. Lastly, this hashtag does you no favors in helping you find your niche and reach your target audience.
One last note, remember hashtags are just a strategy. They are one small way to help you get more eyeballs on your content. However your content is king. No one ever goes viral for using a certain hashtag. Don’t sweat or stress over hashtags, your primary focus is always the message you are communicating through short form video.
Want to know other ways to build a community on TikTok? Click here to read my blog post on how to do just that.
And if you want to take your business on TikTok to the next level, I have even more secrets on how to Beat the TikTok Algorithm which I lay bare in my ultimate TikTok masterclass.