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3D Illustration of the South African flag with a hashtag sign in it to showcase the top trending hashtags in South Africa.

List of the Most Trending Hashtags in South Africa

Katherine McInnes

Mar 27, 2024

Hashtags have been popular since the dawn of social media, serving both as a way to increase reach as well as to add personality to posts. Despite the myriad changes that every social channel has been through, hashtags have always been a constant.

In this blog piece we take a look at popular and trending hashtags and their influence on South African content. We have used our social listening suite to accrue the most trending hashtags across industries in South Africa from the beginning of January until early March.

Table of Contents:

Reading Tips: Best Hashtags for #followers, How to Use Hashtags on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, The Best TikTok Hashtags For More Views, Hashtags for Health: Successful Social Media Campaigns, List of the Most Trending Hashtags in Australia

The Importance of Hashtags in South Africa

Hashtags are incredibly practical, helping people and programs sort through countless content. They make it easy to find what you’re looking for, and allow current content to gather organic hype. In South Africa, hashtags are often common phrases or colloquial sayings.

Hashtags also help drive engagement and reach, as they allow content to fall within a popular search term. They increase and amplify content visibility - especially in South Africa where social media is used for sales, marketing, entertainment, and business.

Using the right hashtags for your business can make a difference across your audience reach, content uptake and brand awareness - especially when used correctly over the long term.

List of the top hashtags in South Africa

Below, we have used our social media monitoring tool to analyse the most popular South African hashtags across the following categories (from 1 Jan 2024 - 7 March 2024):

  • South Africa as a whole
  • The finance industry
  • Beauty & fitness
  • Arts & entertainment
  • The food & beverage industry
  • Law & government
Top Trending Hashtags in South Africa
  1. #bbmzansi - 914k
  2. #afcon2023 - 274k
  3. #totalenergiesafcon2023 - 160k
  4. #khositwala - 158k
  5. #votemk2024 - 128k
  6. #liemapantsi - 69.7k
  7. #bafanapride - 68.3k
  8. #registertovoteeff - 60.7k
  9. #2024isour1994 - 58.5k
  10. #southafrica - 54.1k

Entertainment is immediately noticeable as a common thread, with Big Brother Mzansi and AFCON 2023 dominating the list. Big Brother began on 24th January 2024, giving #bbmzansi the top spot with a use count of 914k. #afcon2023 garnered 274k, while the title sponsor hashtag, #totalenergiesafcon2023, also spiked with a use count of 160k.

Top hashtags in South Africa for finance industry
  1. #bitcoin - 34.6k
  2. #crypto - 29.3k
  3. #airdrop - 28.5k
  4. #discoverybestbank - 24.9k
  5. #treatmetuesday - 20.7k
  6. #discoverymiles - 16.8k
  7. #bfc - 12.3k
  8. #forex - 11.4k
  9. #pump - 9.94k
  10. #trade - 8.89

It’s not surprising to see that digital currency features in the top 2 spots, #bitcoin with 34.6k and #crypto close behind with 29.3k. Interestingly, Discovery bank featured 3 times in the top 6 - their hashtags #discoverybestbank, #treatmetuesday and #discoverymiles combine a collective 62.4k.

Top hashtags in South Africa for beauty and fitness industry
  1. #bbmzansi - 21.6k
  2. #fetchyourbody2024 - 5.93k
  3. #parisfashionweek - 5.88k
  4. #khositwala - 3.88k
  5. #jenniexchanelfw24 - 3k
  6. #runningwithtumisole - 2.55k
  7. #girltalkza - 1.89k
  8. #fitness - 1.59k
  9. #jisooxdioraw24 - 1.57k
  10. #jennie - 1.55k

#bbmzansi features highly in the beauty and fitness sector, likely because of audience overlap, influencer marketing, or both. #fetchyourbody2024 encourages users to share their workouts, and, running during the week of February 26th, #parisfashionweek spiked as conversation around the event increased.

Top hashtags in South Africa in arts and entertainment industry
  1. #bbmzansi - 717k
  2. #khositwala - 107k
  3. #liemapantsi - 47.8k
  4. #grammys - 39k
  5. #zintlemofokeng - 38.1k
  6. #bigbrothermzansi - 38.1k
  7. #zintlezee - 37.1k
  8. #khosireigns - 27.1k
  9. #yolandamonyai - 25.6k
  10. #podcastandchill - 23.8k

Entertainment shows the domination of Big Brother Mzansi in terms of wide appeal. #khositwala and #zintlemofokeng are both hashtags of names of contestants on the show, with spin-off hashtags like #khosireigns also featuring highly.

Topd hashtags in South Africa in food and drink industry
  1. #khositwala - 25.3k
  2. #bbmzansi - 22.1k
  3. #kfc - 10.1k
  4. #khosireugns - 4.75k
  5. #kfcsa - 4.71k
  6. #mostawardedbeer - 3.7k
  7. #westpacklifestyle - 3.2k
  8. #sparfreshlove - 2.95k
  9. #expressoshow - 2.21k

Numerous brands feature in the South African food and beverage hashtag top 10. KFC has a collective use of 14.81k through #kfc and #kfcsa respectively. Carling Black Label are prominent with #mostawardedbeer at 3.7k, and West Pack and Spar represent outlets with #westpacklifestyle on 3.2k and #sparfreshlove on 2.95k.

Top hashtags in South Africa in law & government industry
  1. #votemk2024 - 61.3k
  2. #registertovoteeff - 32.8k
  3. #sabcnews - 28.4k
  4. #2024isour1994 - 27.4k
  5. #senzomeyiwatrial - 26.4k
  6. #newzroom405 - 25.8k
  7. #crimewatch - 25.6k
  8. #anc112 - 25.5k
  9. #sona2024 - 25.3k
  10. #southafrica - 21.4k

With general elections in South Africa in mid-2024, political party hashtags pepper the top 10 list. News channels and outlets are also tied closely to the content, which sees 3 channels make the top 10: #sabcnews at 28.4k, #newzroom405 at 25.8k, and #crimewatch at 25.6k

If you want to promote your brand, increase engagement and visibility as well as leverage everything hashtags have to offer, get in touch with Meltwater South Africa by filling out the form below.

Our suite provides advanced social listening that delivers essential insights, including the ideal number of hashtags to employ and unique hashtag strategies tailored for each social media platform.