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Here’s the Best TikTok Hashtag Strategy

March 1, 2023

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The topic of TikTok hashtags always results in so many questions. Which hashtags should I use? How many hashtags do I use? Can I use #fyp?

Well, look no further, friends! Here is everything you need to know about TikTok hashtags and how you can create the best TikTok hashtag strategy to grow your account, go viral, and attract your ideal audience

And at the end, I’ll share the most common TikTok hashtag mistakes I see creators make frequently.

Why Are Hashtags Important?

Hashtags are a tool you can use to categorize your content for TikTok’s algorithm. Why do you want to categorize your content?

This is one of the ways TikTok is able to better connect users to what they’re looking for. TikTok uses hashtags to index content, feed SEO, and determine who to show your content to.

Let’s take a look at what TikTok themselves have said about hashtags. In their blog post, “How TikTok recommends videos #ForYou”, they explain their recommendation system (aka algorithm) behind the For You feed.

In this article, they go on to explain that each user’s individual preferences and expressions will create a For You page that is unique to them. No “For You” page is the same.

What feeds the algorithm information about what should go on someone’s For You page?

  • User interactions: videos you like, share, comment on; accounts you follow; etc.
  • Video information: captions, sounds, and hashtags
  • Device and account settings 

So, while how you engage is important, that’s not the only way to shape your FPY.

TikTok goes on to say, “When you decide to follow new accounts, for example, that action will help refine your recommendations too, as will exploring hashtags, sounds, effects, and trending topics on the Discover tab. All of these are ways to tailor your experience and invite new categories of content into your feed.”

Hashtags Are Just a Piece of the Puzzle

Okay, so then what does this information mean? How does this affect your TikTok hashtag strategy?

  1. It validates that TikTok does use hashtags to help push content to the right set of eyes.
  2. It emphasizes my point that hashtags are just a small piece of the puzzle.

There are a lot of things that go into having a successful post: creating good content that people want to see, having an attention-grabbing hook, posting at the best time, using SEO and keywords, etc.

The list goes on.

While I created this video to specifically help you with your hashtag strategy, don’t get caught up or ‘stuck’ in the hashtag hamster wheel.

For example, let’s say you have this post, you use hashtags and the post underperforms. Maybe it gets poor engagement or no views. So you’re like, “lemme try again.”

You do another post with different hashtags, and this time, the post does do well. You see higher engagement or the views are double or triple the amount you normally get.

Most people’s immediate thoughts are, “Omg my post performed well, I must’ve used the right hashtags!”

While that may absolutely be a factor, in reality, it’s a combination of a bunch of different things. It’s likely that because your content was performing well on its own, Tiktok then suggested it to more places like hashtag search or just showed up on more For You pages.

Basically, what I’m saying is that if your goal is to rank higher in the FYP or in search results, your goal should be to create quality content that your audience actually wants to see. And then use hashtags and keywords as a tool to help push that video to the right people.

3 Types of Hashtags You Can Use

When setting up your TikTok hashtag strategy, there are 3 types of hashtags you can use:

  • Broad
  • Niche-Specific
  • Trending

Using Broad Hashtags

Broad hashtags are more general. They have way more uses, like #fyp, #viral, #lifestyle, #coffee and so on.

When using broad hashtags, be cognizant of how often that hashtag is used in general. Some of them, like #fyp or #viral, are already over-used.

That doesn’t mean staying away from them completely, it just means you should use these over-used hashtags sparingly and when appropriate.

There are plenty more Broad hashtags you can use that can be more relevant to your post other than just spamming #fyp and #viral every time.

In short, pick relevant hashtags.

Using Niche-Specific Hashtags

Niche-Specific hashtags are exactly what they sound like.

These are hashtags are unique and specific to you, your niche, your video, etc.

To get some niche-specific hashtags, you’re going to open up your TikTok app, go to search and type in your niche. Then swipe on over to the “Hashtags” tab.

A list of hashtags under TikTok's hashtag tab under search. Purpose of this graphic are explained and drawn out in the text of this post.

In the example above, you’ll see I used “Travel” as an example for a niche. When you’re in the hashtag tab, you’ll see an entire list of commonly used and searched-for hashtags specific to that niche.

Most of the time, Niche-Specific hashtags have fewer uses than Broad hashtags. Back to the Travel example, you can see that #Travel has over 100 BILLION uses, whereas #TravelHacks has just over 2 billion uses and #TravelGirl has 400 million uses.

Yes, that’s still a lot, but there are plenty of different hashtags you can use to niche down. Still, keep in mind that the Niche-Specific hashtags must be relevant to your video.

Using Trending Hashtags

Finally, Trending hashtags are hashtags that are, well, trending… did I need to add these definitions? Probably not. Anywho…

There are two ways to discover Trending hashtags. One way, which is probably the most common way I’ve seen people do it, is similar to finding Niche-Specific ones.

You go to search, type in your niche, go to Hashtags and the ones at the top are the hashtags that are trending.

This is what everyone says and teaches, so I’m presenting that to you as merely an option.

However, while this is a great way to see some of the top-used hashtags in your niche, it doesn’t really tell you which hashtags are CURRENTLY poppin’ off!

If you think of hashtags as a river (shoutout to Hashtag Slayer for this analogy), there are two rivers that you can go down. Next to each river is a sign. One river says 1 million boats have gone down the river, the other says 250k boats have gone down the river.

What the signs don’t tell you is how many people are CURRENTLY ON that river. 

What if the 1 million were that many boats over the past 5 years, but the 250k is a new river and it got 250k boats in 2 months? I want to find those rivers that people are CURRENTLY on… hence, “trending”.

So, what I like to do to find trending hashtags is use this website right here.

Go here and TikTok will literally tell you the current hashtags that are being used and trending. And, you can filter it by industry. So, that’s pretty cool.

The Best TikTok Hashtag Strategy

Now that you know how hashtags are used on TikTok and you know the different types of hashtags you can add to your video, let’s set up your TikTok hashtag strategy.

Hashtag Strategy #1: Stick to 3-6 Niche-Specific Hashtags

When picking your Niche-Specific hashtags, you’re going to use a handful of hashtags that describe these 3 things:

  1. Who you are and what your page is about
  2. What the video is about
  3. What’s visually shown in the video

For example, let’s look at this GRWM TikTok I posted. What hashtags am I going to use?

First and foremost, who am I and what’s my page about? I’m a Social Media Coach and Content Creator. So I’m going to use hashtags like #ContentCreator, #Influencer, and #YouTuber.

Next, what is the video about? Well, it’s a Get Ready With Me (GRWM) video. I can use hashtags like #GRWM, #GetReadyWithMe, and #GRWMForWork. Also, in the video, I talk about brand collaboration tips, so I can use #BrandCollabTips or #HowToGetBrandDeals.

Lastly, what’s visually in the video? In this TikTok, I’m doing my makeup, so I’ll use hashtags like #GRWMMakeup, #MakeupWithMe, or #DailyMakeup.

That’s 11 relevant, Niche-Specific hashtags ready to use right there. From there, I’d pick the best 3-6.

Hashtag Strategy #2: Use 1-2 of Each Hashtag Type

What I mean by that is you can use 1 Niche-Specific, 1 Broad, and 1 Trending hashtag on one video (1:1:1), or you can use 2 Niche-Specific, 2 Broad, and 2 Trending hashtags on one video (2:2:2).

As an example, you like making aesthetic coffee videos (because who doesn’t love coffee?) and you want to use the 1:1:1 Hashtag strategy. For the 1 Broad hashtag, you can use #coffee. Boom. It’s being used, it’s categorizing your content and it’s still relevant.

Let’s say for this example, your video features your new espresso machine. For your 1 Niche-Specific hashtag, you can use #EspressoMachines, #EspressoRecipes, or the brand you’re using.

Then, of course, we have your 1 Trending hashtag. To find this one, go to TikTok’s Trend Discovery page and look for what’s trending under the Food & Beverage industry filter.

As of today, the top trending hashtags in the industry are #Healthy, #Brunch, and #MealPrep. So if your coffee video is a healthy recipe or a great coffee brunch recipe, then you can use either of those.

If there isn’t a trending hashtag you can use, then you go to search, type in your niche (#coffee) and find one of the top-used hashtags.

Hashtag Strategy #3: TEST. TEST. TEST.

Those first two strategies are what worked well for me when I was testing videos and doing my 30 TikTok Challenge.

I didn’t discover those two strategies immediately. It took time and it took testing.

Understand that every niche and account is different. Take these tips, apply them and keep crafting until you find what works best for you.

Frequently Asked Questions About TikTok Hashtags

Chances are you still have some questions about using these hashtags. So let’s answer them.

How Many Hashtags Should You Use Per Post?

I like to use anywhere between 3-6. That’s what I noticed works well for me and is a pattern on videos I observed when studying top videos.

I feel like going over 6 feels a little overboard for my personal taste, but again TEST everything for yourself. Just because your favorite guru said something works one way, doesn’t mean it’s best for every person out there.

Where Do Hashtags Go?

Always put your hashtags at the end of your description. Not the beginning. Not in the comments.

Put your hashtags at the end of your caption/description.

What Hashtag Generators Do You Recommend?

I prefer to come up with hashtags the DIY way (the ways I just showed you).

If you want to test a Hashtag Generator Tool, you can try All Hashtag. It was the only one that worked for my niche.

When I typed “social media” on other ones, it spit out hashtags like #love… not kidding. So, I don’t find any TikTok Hashtags Generators very helpful

(I will say the ONLY hashtag generator I like is HashTag Slayer. They are for Instagram Hashtags only, but they are so spot on every time and the way they rank hashtags for you with data is superb!)

Common TikTok Hashtag Mistakes

These are mistakes I see creators make over and over and over that just need to stop.

Why would I give you a TikTok hashtag strategy without also giving you guard rails and warnings of what not to do?

Stop Using Small Hashtags

What do I mean by “Small Hashtags”? Hashtags without a lot of uses.

If a hashtag only has 5 uses, it’s not a hashtag people are searching and TikTok probably won’t even know how to read that hashtag.

You want to use hashtags that have a solid amount of uses and traction. The point of a good TikTok SEO strategy is to make your content easily discoverable. If no one is searching for that hashtag, you won’t be as easily discovered.

Don’t Use the Same Hashtags on Every Video

Let’s say you post 3 times a day for 30 days straight and on every video, you post the same 5 hashtags. (You don’t have to post this often, but if you need help coming up with a Content Calendar for TikTok, check out my free resource here.)

This puts you at a huge disadvantage. Sure, the first few times you use that hashtag you might get extra engagement, likes or followers. But after that, you’re just spamming and using up that audience.

Plus, why would you want to use the same hashtag? There are so many hashtags out there even for the same phrase or niche.

By using different hashtags, you’re expanding your reach and visibility and finding the right audience for your content. This brings me to the next mistake.

Don’t Use Irrelevant Hashtags Just Because

Stop using hashtags that aren’t relevant to the video.

Why would I put #love or #coffee on my GRWM video? I don’t talk about love and I don’t drink coffee.

If someone discovers me through an unrelated hashtag, I’ll draw them away more than anything. And that’s not what we want.

Two More Mistakes

I don’t really have a lot to say about these last two mistakes, so I’ll just say it right here.

Stop not using hashtags and stop putting your hashtags in the comments.

If you want to grow on TikTok this year, hashtags are a piece of that puzzle. Don’t let one piece go missing or you’re not painting the full picture for TikTok. And don’t lose that piece by putting it in the wrong place (the comments) or else TikTok won’t see it correctly or as easily.

Help out the algorithm by avoiding these mistakes and implementing this TikTok hashtag strategy.

Follow your joy!

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