Hashtags Have Power: Gaining Popularity on TikTok

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Content is important. What’s being posted to social media is indeed important, but there’s another, very underutilized tool that plays a big role too—hashtags.

TikTok is perhaps the youngest social media platform with the largest community but, like all other platforms, using hashtags is one of the few ways someone can go viral quickly. In fact, going viral on TikTok can happen overnight.

For people hoping to go viral, check out these tips on how to use hashtags to their fullest potential!

  1. Hashtags spread awareness.

No matter what the content is, hashtags are helpful to spread awareness for the content that’s being produced as well as the creator themselves. Awareness equals the potential for viral success.

  • Relevant hashtags are vital.

Users will often search for videos based on certain hashtags. Similar to tip #1, using hashtags can get videos to the people most interested in the content. Part of that is making sure relevant hashtags are included. If any hashtags aren’t relevant to the user or the content, it will seem unnecessary and may turn away potential followers.

  • Use the Big 3.

Every TikTok user should know of the big 3 hashtags: #ForYou, #FYP, and #ForYouPage. These hashtags help videos reach the For You pages of users and often contain videos that TikTok thinks those users want to see. This also happens to be the feature users spend the most time on so landing here can boost a creator’s chance for viral success.

  • Go the less popular and more niche-specialized route.

While popular hashtags have a possibility of getting a video to go viral, the most used ones tend to become oversaturated with similar videos. Instead of becoming lost in that sea of content, creators should opt for hashtags that are specialized toward their niche. This allows the videos to reach users who are looking for certain content and, if they like the videos, it will increase the engagement rate. A higher engagement rate means a higher chance of success as well.

  • Keep track of trending hashtags.

A little contradictory to tip #4, using hashtags that are trending can lead to a rise in engagement. This is because a large group of people are attracted to those hashtags and want to see content using them.

  • Don’t spam hashtags.

Hashtag spamming, or including as many hashtags as possible in a single piece of content, will have the opposite effect. Even if those hashtags are relevant, the algorithms for social media platforms assume the content itself is spam. Those videos won’t be shown to users as a result.

  • Cycle hashtags.

Using the same hashtags repeatedly will have a similar effect to hashtag spamming. This is more likely to happen if creators post multiple times a day or on consecutive days with those specific hashtags. Instead, creators should cycle their hashtags, alternating between different sets of relevant ones.

  • Save them for the end.

On TikTok, there is a character limit for the caption of every video. It’s generally no more than about 100 characters. Creators should include any descriptions they want in the caption, saving hashtags for the end. However, with such a small limit, those descriptions should be short, relevant, and interesting—just like the hashtags.