A Guide to TikTok Hashtags: Best Practices

A Guide to TikTok Hashtags: Best Practices

#Hashtags are an integral part of getting noticed on TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and almost every mobile-first platform. More than a way to play tic tac toe, hashtags tell platforms how to bucket and organize your content, and, in essence, how to put your posts in front of the most likely people to enjoy them.

In this article, we'll cover everything you need to know about hashtags on TikTok. How many is too many? What makes a good hashtag? What are the most popular? Will I annoy everyone #if #I #include #them #everywhere?

Yes. Yes you will.  

What hashtags do

As the name implies, a hashtag is a way to tag or index your post. Both for users and, more importantly, for the platform's algorithms.

Hashtags are chiefly important for discoverability. Tagging your post with #travel will make it more likely to appear on someone's feed who is currently watching a clip with that tag. Tagging with #gamer will likewise categorize your post as gaming content and increase the likelihood of someone watching who is interested in seeing gameplay footage.

How to use them

Using spaces will only index the first word, so while you may #Live Laugh and Love, as far as TikTok is concerned, you don't ever laugh, you only live. How basic.

For hashtags to be indexed correctly, your account must also be public. Using hashtags on a private account is like singing in the shower. Your voice could break glass, mend hearts, or scare children, but the world will never know. Hashtags are only effective on public accounts.

Another thing to be aware of is that the broader the hashtag you use, the less unique your post becomes. That's not to say you shouldn't use #tiktok, but be aware that if you're using the most popular hashtags, so is everyone else. Similarly, the more unique your hashtag is, the more likely it is someone with that interest will see your clip, but the fewer people there who fit into that category.

When in doubt, use the hashtag that is right for your post. Use #gamer if you're playing a game, use #travel if you're posting about your trip. And, if you have the choice, be specific. Use #fortnite instead or in addition to #gamer, use #mykonos instead or in addition to #travel. But don't use #freeforalltriplekill because it's too specific. There's a line. Find it.

You might also be wondering, how many hashtags should I put in a TikTok post? While there isn't any one answer, remember that more is not always better. More is better if they're all specific and accurate to your content, but that tends not to happen. More often, people throw as many hashtags as they can into a post, which has the opposite effect as intended. Your clip will be pulled in different directions, and instead of finding the key group of users who will engage, you'll find others for whom your post is unsatisfactory. Before long it'll be banished to the depths of videos on the internet along with Shoes, anything about Game of Thrones Season 8, and the reel I made for Survivor tracking squirrels in the backyard.

This post will be kept updated, but bear in mind that hashtags on TikTok are fluid. That's the beauty of the platform. I never cease to be amazed by the ingenuity of creators on TikTok, and it's because of their creativity that the platform is successful.

Most popular across TikTok:

  1. #foryou
  2. #foryoupage
  3. #fyp
  4. #duet
  5. #tiktok

Most popular gaming hashtags on TikTok:

  1. #gamer
  2. #ps
  3. #videogames
  4. #xbox
  5. #games

For context, #foryou, #foryoupage, and #fyp all reference TikTok's recommendation engine. The theory goes that if you include one (or all) of those hashtags you'll be more likely to appear as someone's recommendation. There's no evidence to suggests that's true, but as you can tell from its popularity, that hasn't slowed down its usage.


As a general rule, start broad, then get specific. If it pleases you, a hypothetical:

Say I used Crossclip to easily convert a twitch clip of mine into a beautiful portrait video. I've shared to TikTok using the Crossclip companion app, and I'm ready to go. The clip is of my latest win in Warzone quads, of which, if I may, I have many.

For my video, I first start broad and include #gamer. This segments my clip as gaming footage on the platform, but that's still a large pool of clips. Next, I include #warzone. Getting smaller, and more poignant. I might also include ones like #twitch, #streamer, or #win, and maybe another one or two about what you'll find like #snipe or #fail.

We end with #gamer #warzone #twitch #streamer #snipe #win #crossclip, and just from the hashtags I have a decent idea of what that clips look like. If it's easy for you to predict what that clip is about, it will be easy for TikTok. And if it's easy for TikTok, the likelihood of your clip getting seen by the right kind of viewer who might find you on Twitch goes up.

For more background on how to grow your social media as a streamer, check out this article. For background on how Crossclip works, head here.

Remember, the most important thing with hashtags is that they're accurate to your post. #callofduty is accurate, #call #of #duty is not. All those words, taken independently, mean something different and won't set you up for #success.

Happy clipping!