Guide to TikTok Hashtags 2021

Ultimate Guide to TikTok Hashtags 2021

December 23, 2020

Find out how to use TikTok hashtags to build a following, increase engagement, and meet your marketing objectives.

Build your brand faster on TikTok with hashtags that help your content go viral.

In this guide, we show you how to use TikTok hashtags like a pro, even if you’re new to the platform.

You’ll discover tips, guidelines, best practices, and a cheat sheet to help you use hashtags that boost your following and engagement.

Plus, we’ve included a ton of examples to help spark ideas and discussion for your next TikTok campaign.

Keep reading to learn discover tips, guidelines, best practices, and a cheat sheet to help you use hashtags that boost your following and engagement.

Why TikTok?

Joyful smiles are always a precious commodity, however, during 2020, cheerful moments weren’t always so easy to come by.

Except on TikTok.

TikTok’s mission to “inspire creativity and bring joy” brought it tenfold in 2020, at a time when we needed it most.

As people faced unimaginable challenges throughout the year, TikTok users found creative ways to sing, dance, prank, laugh, and how-to their way through tough times.

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Social media users responded by making TikTok the #1 most-downloaded non-gaming app in the world.

During the first quarter of 2020, TikTok made history when it generated the most downloads for any app ever in a quarter.

Fueled by homebound social media users, the app regained it’s #1 spot as the top-grossing (non-gaming) app in the world by the end of Q2 and into Q3 2020, while consumer spending in the app rose 800% year-over-year.

TikTok has now been downloaded more than two billion times on the App Store and Google Play.

TikTok’s success is good news for brands that want to build a niche community on a platform that’s not yet overrun by competitors.

Despite its popularity (850 million monthly users), the social media app still provides a way for creative marketers to quickly launch viral campaigns and develop massive followings.

TikTok’s raw, organic sense of humor and creativity sets the stage for building the type of human connections that build brand reach and loyalty.

Why Do Hashtags Matter On TikTok?

On TikTok, hashtags matter more than on other social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook.

For starters, TikTok’s algorithm constantly presents users with content from new creators and brands based on what it thinks may be a good match for them.

Publish Tiktok Content Consistently for greater engagement

Its personalized approach means the algorithm determines what content might be of interest to a user, and pushes it to their feed. 

The hashtags your brand uses are one of the ways TikTok matches your content to potential new followers in its main newsfeed (“For You”).

Another useful function of hashtags is that they can be used like keywords to help users find the type of content they’re looking for. TikTok users commonly search for hashtags to discover new challenges, contests, and content ideas.

For example, dog lovers might search #dogsoftiktok when they want a pick-me-up.

Brands typically use several hashtags to help their videos reach new people.

For example, dog food brand Chefs and Dogs compliments the above hashtag with several others, such as #dogtreats, #freshfood, and #doglover, to help its content connect with the right audience.

Another common way brands use hashtags on TikTok is to promote their own contests or challenges.

For example, Chipotle’s website encourages users to create TikTok videos showing why their go-to order is the best. 

Chipotle customers who post videos with Chipotle’s contest hashtag, #chipotleroyalty, and #contest get a chance to win a place on its digital menu and $10,000 in prizes.

chipotle contest

Source: Chipotle

Requiring a branded hashtag for anyone wanting to enter the contest is an excellent way for the company to encourage user-generated content.

TikTok’s unique hashtag challenges can cause viral levels of engagement that sometimes help brands quickly build a massive following.

For example, Colgate’s #makemomsmile Mother’s Day challenge asked users to publish videos of themselves making their moms smile.

Hashtags play a critical role in connecting users with brands on TikTok.

Using strategic hashtags can provide your brand an opportunity to build connections with new people who are always on the lookout for brands that understand and entertain them.

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How Do TikTok Hashtags Work?

Using hashtags on TikTok is similar to other platforms, but with a few variations that marketers should understand.

How To Add Hashtags To TikTok Content

Like on most social media platforms, you can add hashtags to videos by including them in the post caption.

toofaced hashtag example on tiktok 2

Source: TikTok

Be warned that once you publish a video, you can’t edit the caption without downloading, deleting, and republishing the video all over again. 

This means you can’t add, remove, or edit hashtags once you hit “publish.”

How Many Hashtags Can You Use On TikTok?

Unlike Instagram, which allows up to 30 hashtags per post, or Twitter, which allows up to 280 characters per tweet, TikTok’s captions provide limited space to include both message and hashtags.

TikTok only allows 150 characters per caption — including hashtags.

The character restriction means your brand needs to develop a hashtag strategy to make the most of its caption “real estate.”

How To Make The Most Of TikTok Hashtags

Hashtags play a more critical role on TikTok than on many other social media platforms, yet you’re limited to 150-character captions, including hashtags..

Since TikTok’s main feed, the “For You” section, recommends content based partially on hashtags and post captions, it’s essential to approach hashtags with a strategy that helps expand your brand reach and engage viewers.

Rather than posting any hashtag that resonates with your topic, take the time to research and choose hashtags based on the niche audience you want to reach.

What hashtags are your industry influencers using? Sharelov’s Influencer Monitoring Tool can show you

Additionally, you’ll want to plan how to use keywords cohesively across all your TikTok content. 

You might also consider ways to align your hashtags with the keywords on your website and other social media platforms.

Branded hashtags can also help build community, and branded hashtag challenges or contests can encourage user-generated content for your brand.

TikTok Hashtag Examples For Marketers

Before you post content or hashtags on TikTok, spend an afternoon browsing the platform to get a feel for how communities come together.

Branded Hashtags

Marketers can benefit from using branded hashtags to reach fans of their brand.

For example, Wendy’s restaurant includes the hashtag #Wendys in every post. In the example below, it also includes a keyword hashtag, #Nuggets.

Wendys branded hashtags

Source: TikTok


Branded Challenge Hashtags

Branded hashtag challenges are when brands ask TikTok users to post a specific type of video and add the challenge hashtag to its caption.

Creating your own branded hashtag challenge can massively expand your reach, spike your engagement rates, and inspire user-generated in which fans promote your products for you.

Sharelov makes it easy to Monitor your favorite hashtags.

For example, Lowes hardware store uses #Lowesgoals to encourage DIY’ers to share their creative home projects.

Crocs uses #crocsgames2020 to challenge fans to post creative videos showing their crocs in action.

Chef Gordon Ramsay encourages fans to post videos of themselves cooking dishes with the hashtag #RamsayReacts to get rated (or roasted) by the hot-tempered cook.

A search for the chef’s branded challenge hashtag turns up more than 4.9 billion views and a never-ending stream of cooks hoping to be featured in a Ramsay video.

ramsay reacts

Source: TikTok

Creating a branded hashtag challenge is an excellent way to reach new people and engage fans on TikTok.

Remember to track your hashtags to discover how well they’re performing. Start tracking hashtags with Sharelov’s monitoring tool today!

Keyword Hashtags

Using hashtags like keywords can help you reach people who are interested in your products or services.

For example, the Red Cross uses the hashtag #coronavirus to reach users looking for information such as how long to wash  your hands.

Understanding how your fans and industry influencers use TikTok can give you excellent insights on what type of hashtags and content they respond to.

In 2020, Healthcare workers shared everything from heartbreak and exhaustion, to dancing, prayers, and reprimands for those not wearing masks with keyword hashtags such as: #maskoff #quarantine #nurse #covid #washyourhands#covid-19 #karen #healthcareworker.

Source: @elisecahill1, @byerneston, @philadelphia_lgbt

Medical workers and essential workers shared a look behind-the-scenes in their workplaces with keyword hashtags such as:  #corona #essentialworker #MagicMoment, #emergencydepartmentlife, and  #covid19.

When her high school prom was cancelled, teen influencer @nataliereesie took to TikTok to share her feelings — and a solution — with videos of her at-home family “prom.”

One of the videos in her #TikTokprom series included only one hashtag, #coronavirus, and it landed 38 million likes and more than 34,000 comments.

Individual users shared the ways they survived quarantine, tagging their captions with the keyword hashtags #quarantine,  #covid19, #washyourhands, and #randomthings.

Source: @taylorceleste7 and @charming.bear

There are countless ways for brands to connect with users on TikTok, so don’t waste your hashtags by ignoring the opportunities!

Get to know your audience on the platform so you can discover what types of videos, challenges, and contests they respond to.


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Social Cause Hashtags

As the pandemic raged on, TikTok evolved to meet the demands of its 2020 users.

Once a platform for lighthearted entertainment, the social media giant quickly became a central source of serious topics that included life hacks, survival skills, and social and political issues.

For example, the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, which received more than 23 billion views, was used to share videos of users’ expressing their thoughts, feelings, and experiences surrounding racism.

TikTok growth paves the way for brands to include social awareness, justice, and charitable causes into their marketing campaigns.

When building your hashtag campaigns, consider how you might incorporate social responsibility into your TikTok content in a way that fits with your audience’s personality.

Whether you include branded, challenge, keyword, or social justice hashtags, developing a strategy in advance will help your brand reach and engage the widest possible audience.

Best types of hashtags for TikTok

5 Ways To Find The Best-Performing TikTok Hashtags For Your Brand

If you’re new to TikTok, the amount of styles and personalities can feel overwhelming. 

It takes time for the algorithm to learn your preferences and deliver relevant content and hashtags to your feed.

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Researching TikTok hashtags can help you find the best ones for your brand in the beginning. As your audience develops, research can continue to present an invaluable source of creative ideas for your content.

Here are a few ways you can find hashtags for your branded content.

#1– Monitor Your Favorite TikTok Hashtags

By following promising hashtags, you can learn which ones are most likely to reach and engage your target audience.

For example, if you use Sharelov’s TikTok hashtag monitoring tool to follow the hashtags #music and #newmusic, you can instantly learn what posts contain those hashtags.

Hashtag monitoring tool ex 2Hashtag monitoring tool TikTok

You can monitor any hashtags you like by tapping “Manage” in the upper left corner of your Sharelov monitoring panel and typing in a hashtag you’d like to track.

Add new hashtag tool2

Monitoring your favorite hashtags helps you discover exactly how well they work for other people, so you can zero in on which ones are best for your brand.

Try Sharelov’s Hashtag Monitoring Tool FREE.

#2 — Monitor Industry Influencers On Tiktok

Following and monitoring your industry influencers can help you get straight to the most popular hashtags for your industry.

Monitoring TikTok influencers is simple with Sharelov. 

All you need to do is add the influencers you like to your Sharelov monitoring dashboard, then you can track their content on TikTok, Facebook, or Instagram — or all three.

To find out which hashtags hold the most potential for your brand, filter results by your goals (shares, comments, or overall engagement) or by the most recent posts.

Monitor most engaging post for industry influencers 1

Next, just tap on any post to find out what hashtags an influencer used in the post. You’ll find the original caption, with hashtags, in the lower left corner of the data card.

Monitor influencer data highlights view 2

Monitoring industry influencers is an excellent way to discover hashtags that are already working well for your audience.

#3 — Monitor Your Competitors On Tiktok

Check in with your competitors regularly to discover what type of hashtags are getting the best response for them.

On Sharelov, you can easily follow and track your competitors by engagement, comments, shares, and most recent posts.

TikTok competitor monitoring tool

Tapping on any post brings up the data card, where you can find the post hashtags in the lower left corner.

monitor tiktok influencers

Sharelov is a marketing collaboration software that helps remote teams work better together. 

Subscribers get free, full access to a suite of tools that make social media marketing easier — such as the hashtag, influencer, and competitor monitoring tools.

Why not give Sharelov a try today? Get a free Sharelov trial here.

#4 — Research Trending Keywords And Topics Off The Platform

Researching top keywords on Google can also help you discover what topics are trending right now.

There are several quick ways you can find strong keywords:

  • Google Related Searches: Type your keyword idea into Google, then scroll to the bottom of the search results page to find out what similar keywords are getting the most requests.
  • Google Predictive Search: When you begin typing a key phrase into Google, you might notice that it usually provides suggestions for what it thinks you’re going to search for. This is another quick way to learn what key phrases are most popular for your keywords!
  • Answer The Public: Type in your topic to learn what questions people most want to know about it.

#5 — Research Today’s Most Popular TikTok Hashtags

Instead of guessing what topics TikTokkers enjoy most,find out firsthand by participating in other creators’ challenges and engaging with other people’s content.

Pay attention to the hashtags of your favorite creators, and click on them to view the page for that hashtag.

Monitor the Performance of your TikTok hashtags with Sharelov

Is the hashtag popular — how many people viewed it and how many participated? Are the people similar to those in your target audience?

hobby how to tiktok b

Source: @youneszarou

You can also review today’s top TikTok hashtags to determine whether any might be a good fit for your brand.

5 Ways To Find The Best-Performing TikTok Hashtags For Your Brand

How To Find Today’s Most Popular TikTok Hashtags

To find trending hashtags, you can visit a site such as TikTokhashtags to discover up-to-the-minute trends.

1 — #viral

2 — #love

3 — #instagram

4 — #explorepage

5 — #fashion

Or, narrow your search to hashtags that get the most likes. 

Influencer Marketing provides an easy-to-use tool that shows up-to-the minute trending hashtags that are most likely to inspire engagement.

For example, running the tool now returns hashtags such as:

  • #dadsoftiktok
  • #yogaflow
  • #Juneteenth
  • #howto
  • #obsessedwithit
  • #skillbuilding
  • #whatidwear

How To Find The Highest-Performing Hashtags For Your Brand

The best way to get to your top-performing hashtags is to experiment with different types and strategies to learn which ones do the best job of helping you meet your goals.

TikTok analytics help you determine which hashtags deliver the highest engagement rates, follows, and overall marketing ROI.

To make analytics easier, your team can use Sharelov’s TikTok analytics to easily access, share, and discuss TikTok insights with each other. 

TikTok analytics are FREE to Sharelov subscribers, and you can get a free Sharelov trial here!

TikTok Analytics For Teams On Sharelov

Tiktok Hashtags Best Practices

Build a more-engaged TikTok audience the following hashtag best practices.

#1 — Begin with a hashtag strategy.

Avoid tossing random hashtags into your posts.

Instead, plan hashtag campaigns to help meet your marketing goals, such as:

  • Grow your following
  • Boost engagement rates
  • Inspire user-generated content
  • Promote your products

Clarifying your marketing goals will help you decide what niche group of people you want to reach and what types of hashtags will help you succeed.

#2 — Avoid outdated messaging and old trends.

TikTok culture is all about what’s happening right now.

Use hashtag research and monitoring tools to discover what’s most popular and engaging — before you post.

#3 — Research hashtags before using them.

Avoid outdated trends or keywords that might have negative connotations by researching every hashtag before adding it to your posts.

#4 — Choose quality over quantity.

Pick high-quality hashtags that will help you achieve your marketing goals. 

Avoid overwhelming your posts or comments with too many hashtags. Remember, it’s not Instagram!

#5 — Continually test and analyze.

TikTok is a creative platform, so don’t hold your team back from trying new hashtag strategies. 

Instead, experiment freely and find out what works best by tracking your TikTok analytics. 

TikTok analytics are easier with Sharelov — try it here!

#6 — Use different types of hashtags.

Incorporate branded, challenge, keyword, and possibly social good hashtags into your marketing strategy for a well-rounded approach to developing an engaged audience.

#7 — Consider partnering with TikTok influencers on a hashtag challenge.

Partnering with influencers can help your content and challenges take off quicker, possibly at viral levels.

Get to know the TikTok influencers that your audience responds to. You can even try using some of their hashtags or participating in their challenges.

Hiring an influencer to boost your results can be one of the best ways to help your branded hashtags take off.

For example, influencer partnerships such as Luke Combs and Crocs resulted in the hashtag challenge #lukecombsxcrocs, in which customers share videos of their shoe unboxings.

Tiktok Hashtags Best Practices

TikTok Hashtags Cheat Sheet

Here’s a recap “cheat sheet” for TikTok hashtags that you can save and refer to anytime you need pointers on using hashtags.

Types of Hashtags

  1. Branded
  2. Branded Challenges
  3. Keyword
  4. Social Good

How Many Hashtags to Use

  • 150-character limit includes hashtags.
  • Don’t go crazy with loads of hashtags. It’s not Instagram.
  • Try using one per post so you can clearly see the results in TikTok analytics.

Track your brand mentions on TikTok with Sharelov

Most Popular TikTok Hashtags

  • #viral
  • #love
  • #instagram
  • #explorepage
  • #fashion

Most Engaging TikTok Hashtags

  • #dadsoftiktok
  • #yogaflow
  • #Juneteenth
  • #howto
  • #obsessedwithit
  • #skillbuilding
  • #whatidwear

  How To Generate New Hashtag Ideas

  • Monitor your industry influencers
  • Monitor your competitors
  • Monitor your favorite hashtag ideas

Using TikTok Hashtags

Hashtags take center stage on TikTok, paving the way for discovery, challenges, contests, and more.

Developing a solid hashtag strategy that includes trending and branded hashtags will help your content generate more engagement and followers.

Want to learn more about Marketing on TikTok? Check out our latest guides for brands:

Best Times To Post On Tiktok in 2020

The Complete Guide To TikTok Ads In 2020

The Ultimate Guide to TikTok Analytics for Brands 2020

The Ultimate TikTok Marketing Guide For Brands 2020

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