TikTok was already an important social media platform before COVID-19, but its popularity has shot way up during the pandemic. TikTok added another 12 million unique US-based visitors in March 2020 alone, and crossed the 2 billion download mark in April.
Americans who were stuck at home entertained themselves watching TikTok videos, attempting TikTok challenges, and creating their own popular content. In fact, if you treat “TikTok” and “Tik Tok” as a single search query, it’s the third most popular search term on YouTube across the whole of 2020.
With the platform expanding at such a rate, SMB marketers simply can’t afford to ignore it any more. “Brands that don’t take advantage of videos and livestream will be left behind by brands that embrace it,” says Rob Balasabas, Partnership Growth Manager at TubeBuddy, in Mention and Wishpond’s Trend Report for 2021. However, as TikTok has grown, it’s also become harder for business owners to stand out.
Gaining consumer attention requires more than just content. You need a strategy to help ensure your content surfaces in the newsfeed, and hashtags are a big part of that equation, especially on TikTok.
It’s not always easy to carry out hashtag research. You have 5,001 things to do at any given moment, and your team is swamped with work, so it often ends up at the bottom of your to-do list. We’ve cut the effort by doing the research for you, with five excellent hashtags that you can use to ramp up your brand’s TikTok reach.
Table of Contents:
- #foryou / #foryoupage / #FYP
- Industry hashtags
- The right hashtags can kickstart your TikTok popularity
With 6.5 billion views to date, #smallbusinesscheck is a hashtag worth using for any small business. SMB owners use it to showcase what they do and how they do it. It gives consumers a peek behind the scenes of the business, which helps build relationships with your target audience.
When using a mainstream, general hashtag like this, though, it’s often a good idea to combine it with more niche-specific hashtags. “The advantage of popular hashtags is that lots of people are searching for them, but the disadvantage is that there’s so much competition,” notes this guide from Boosted, a video creation app. “You’re more likely to get noticed within a narrower niche by using smaller, less competitive hashtags. Once you rise to popularity in a smaller hashtag, though, you’re more likely to climb up the feed in the larger hashtags.”
This post by Austin Scott is a perfect example of how to use #smallbusinesscheck to promote an independent business, offering a compelling demonstration of his skill, with a skip in his step. He also smartly adds #retail and #painting to the description, to narrow things down.
As you might expect, #digitalmarketing is the top hashtag for marketing tips and advice, with 478.3M views. It’s ideal for marketers, of course, but other professionals also use it to find and share helpful marketing tactics, no matter what the vertical or industry.
Ashley Sonlin, a music artist manager, uses the hashtag perfectly in this post that helps position her as a marketing expert. She doesn’t promote herself or her brand, she just explains what makes a specific artist — in this case, Jojo Siwa — so popular and her marketing so effective.
The post brings in traffic from Jojo fans as well as people who want to learn more about marketing, which helps increase the discoverability of her other videos as well.
With over 4.5B views to date, #seashanty is a perfect example of a viral TikTok trend. When these trends appear, you need to seize them and find a way to make them yours in a fun way, in order to bring your brand before more eyes.
The below version, by an aspiring singer and actor, gathered 645.7k likes, largely because he included a lot of previous singers in his video and then sang together with them, thereby harnessing the power of community.
The Shantytok trend began by accident, but that’s no reason not to build upon it. And it did land a record deal for Nathan Evans, the Scottish postman whose video unintentionally kicked the whole thing off. “If there is a trending hashtag that aligns with your brand, join in on the challenge! It’ll show your audience you’re in the know and that you’re down to get in on the fun…If you have the opportunity to attach your business or brand to a creative TikTok challenge, do so!” recommends Jessica Worb from Later.
The #seashanty trend might be over by now, but it’s just one example of many – there’ll surely be another viral TikTok challenge along soon for you to jump on, if you pay attention.
4. #foryou / #foryoupage / #FYP
TikTok’s “For You” page is where TikTok suggests new content, so getting a spot there is a definite marketing win. Although users’ newsfeeds do aggregate the latest posts from the user profiles they follow, it’s the For You experience that makes TikTok so sticky, with personalized recommendations sucking audience members in for hours on end.
It’s not at all clear whether the #foryoupage, #fyp, and #foryou hashtags help your video appear, but that needn’t stop you experimenting. Together, these three hashtags have over 21T views, far more than the next most popular hashtag.
TikTokers know that it’s a way to find a broad variety of videos, so it’s a useful tactic to surface any kind of content from any business, even if it doesn’t make it onto the For You page.
5. Industry hashtags
Finally, use hashtags that are relevant for your business in order to connect to your niche market. Simply using your industry hashtag, like #accounting or #law, can raise a lot more interest in your business. Gen Z TikTokkers use the platform to access advice about literally everything.
The below example from Attorney Tom demonstrates a great approach to using #law, offering practical advice in an engaging way to build trust, especially with young black men.
Marie Hillion, Head of Marketing at Livestorm, explains this approach well in the Trend Report. “Brands are being given the tools to connect with their audience on a more personal level; even professional social networks such as LinkedIn are following the B2C trends of Snapchat and Facebook,” she notes. “With these features, [marketing] professionals are encouraged …to create a meaningful connection with their audience that goes beyond an interest in their product.”
Indeed, on video platforms like TikTok, even marketers promoting physical products need to take things up a notch, emphasizing tutorials and audience empowerment over the products themselves. For example, #eyeliner has 2.4B views and offers a massive number of tutorials and comparisons from makeup artists and companies selling beauty products.
This post gained over 11M likes because it explains how to achieve a look that a lot of people want, with product details in the comments – where they are easy to find but don’t dominate the post.
The right hashtags can kickstart your TikTok popularity
TikTok is a vital plank in any social media marketing campaign, and hashtags are crucial within it. These five hashtags – or types of hashtags – can help you build communities, establish thought leadership, connect with potential customers, and raise visibility for your brand, driving awareness way beyond TikTok itself.