Tips for Using Hashtags on Pinterest

The inspiration for this week’s Friday Pinterest Quick Tip comes from Judy in Pennsylvania. Judy came by the blog and left a question about using hashtags or #s on Pinterest. If you’re a Twitter user you’re probably pretty familiar with them but on Pinterest they work a bit differently.

 

 

Using #’s in Board Titles

Judy’s question was about using hashtags or #s in a group board’s name. She’s starting a group board about inspirational quotes and asked “To be more searchable for the inspirational quote area, should I put # before (key)words such as #inspirational or #inspiration…?”

Like this:

Source: Pinterest.com

 

From my research on Pinterest, #s used in board titles or in board descriptions seem to have no impact on making boards easier to find in Pinterest searches. I was able to find only 1 board named #Inspirational quotes and it was way down on the list.

The search function of Pinterst is somewhat of a mystery to me. I wish I had a crystal ball to tell me how Pinterest decides who or what appears in the search and in what order. For example, on the day of writing this post I did a search for inspirational quotes boards and the first board listed was for a Pinterest account with 56 followers and the most recent pin on the board had been pinned 22 weeks ago.

It doesn’t seem that Pinterest uses the number of followers, the number of pins or the board’s activity to order search results. Could it be completely random?  Actually, I like the idea of it being random, that means everyone has a shot of being listed first!

 

How can #’s be used on Pinterest?

Where #s really seem to show their muscle on Pinterest is in pin descriptions. The # is clickable within the pin’s description and when clicked, it searches and pulls up the other pins that use the the same # or words in their description. It seems to be a shortcut for using the search box.

For example, in the contest I entered with Bazaart  and Lionesque Style. I had to use a # in my pin’s description to enter the contest, it was #Lionesquestyle. (You can read more about that contest here.) The # made it easy for Lionesque Style to find contest entries.

 

Source: Pinterest.com

 

An example of a less effective use of a # on Pinterest is when it is used with a common keyword. I’m guilty of this mistake hoping to make my pin more searchable.  In the example below, I used #Pinterest in the pin’s description. When clicked, every pin with Pinterest in the description and some that just linked back to something Pinterest in the URL came up. Everything from recipes to wedding dresses and iPhone apps came up. Don’t do this!

The #socialmedia one did a bit better, clicking it bought up other pins with the same # but the results were pretty broad.

 

Source: Pinterest.com Click here to learn more about group boards

 

I also found that if you use multiple words in your hashtags, and you capitalize the words, you’ll get different results than if you didn’t.

Changing #socialmedia to #SocialMedia brought up different results. It did not bring up any pins with the same #. The pins that were found in the search results in had “social media” with a space between the words as a part of each pin’s description. It seems that Pinterest possibly recognized the capital letter as a new word when searching.

 

Make the most of # in Pinterest

In Pinterest, #s are really powerful when you can create one that is unique and use it in a pin’s description and use it repeatedly in your other pins that fit with the hashtag.  This could be used to help you find repins of your pins when repinned by someone who you don’t follow.  Lionesque Style can easily find the pins with their unique # and see who pinned them just by clicking on it. Pinterest users who clicked on it would find pins with similar content which also builds brand awareness for Lionesque Style. Powerful stuff!

Hmm, what could I use as a unique # to use in Oh So Pinteresting’s pins? Have any suggestions? Leave them in the comments or on the Oh So Pinteresting Facebook page I’d really like to hear what you think.

 

About ohsopinteresting

Cynthia Sanchez is a Pinterest marketing consultant and expert. Cynthia created OhSoPinteresting.com, one of the early leaders in Pinterest education for businesses. Contact Cynthia on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cynthiasanchezrnbsn

58 thoughts on “Tips for Using Hashtags on Pinterest

  1. January 25, 2013 at 11:49 am

    I’ve been wondering how hashtags worked on Pinterest. This certainly helped! Thanks for the research! I pinned it of course. 🙂

    1. January 25, 2013 at 2:21 pm

      Meagan, so glad it was helpful. Thanks so much for the pin!

      1. December 10, 2013 at 8:03 am

        Hi Cynthia, This is an amazing article about the usage of hashtags. I really liked it. 🙂 Thanks.

        1. December 13, 2013 at 7:54 pm

          My pleasure Abinash. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. January 31, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    Excellent advice. Thank you. I’ll get to #ing in the description right away! 🙂

    1. January 31, 2013 at 4:37 pm

      So glad it was helpful. Thank you for leaving a comment, I really appreciate it 🙂

  3. February 10, 2013 at 6:00 am

    Great post. No one has really been able to answer the # question re using multiple words. I found it very interesting to hear that you get different results form using caps when bunching 2 words together…interesting! Thanks for posting. I’m sharing now 🙂

    1. February 11, 2013 at 1:22 pm

      Hi Jane, thanks so much for sharing the post. I’m so glad you found it helpful.

  4. Ciprian
    February 22, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Hi Cynthia, great article, I’m very happy that I found it on the first page on my google search:)
    I have updated the description of some pictures with an unique hashtag, however, when I click on it I get no results back. Is this delay normal? Is it going to take a while for Pinterest to reindex the descriptions or my #s are a lost cause because I haven’t had them from beginning?
    Thanks
    Ciprian

    1. February 24, 2013 at 10:37 am

      Hi Ciprian, I don’t think your hashtags are a lost cause. The Pinterest search function is not the most reliable system yet, and as you said, it might just not be indexed yet. The people who repinned your pins before wont have the new hashtag included in the description but going forward the new repins will.

      Thanks for your question. I’d like to see how things are working with your hashtags, what’s your Pinterest user name?

      1. Ciprian
        February 24, 2013 at 2:07 pm

        Hopefully the search function will be sorted out very soon as Pinterest already started to roll out the new design that has non-clickable hashtags (bummer). Our username is showmecats – quite new in the space, only 3 weeks old 🙂

        1. February 24, 2013 at 3:08 pm

          That is a bummer. So far on all of the accounts I manage the hashtags are still clickable. On the Pinterest support page I searched for hashtags and found this reply “Right now, our search does not support hashtags (ex: #hashtag). It’s a feature we know would be useful for pinners and businesses and that we may add in the future. If you’d also like to see hashtag searches on Pinterest, vote for it using the “Me too!” button below.”

          You might try going there to show your support for searchable hashtags.

          I’m not sure If you have an account that has different updates than the ones I have access to. When I clicked on your #showmecats it is odd that nothing came up but the other hashtags worked. Have you tried using capital letters to separate the words? I’m not sure if it will make a difference but it might be worth a shot.

          Good luck and congrats on joining the Pinterest community. It looks like your account following is growing well. 🙂

          1. Ciprian
            February 24, 2013 at 6:19 pm

            Have a look at these screenshots:
            http://screencast.com/t/HjPWLdZ0i
            http://screencast.com/t/b1nK3ShDF
            http://screencast.com/t/yLSHGA9S
            Bigger pictures on the home page, no activity history, unclickable #s, more estate for the board where the pin comes from.

            PS: the other #s don’t work either, #thecutie #thehipster #thesocial, etc.
            PPS: I clicked the Me too button

          2. February 24, 2013 at 10:02 pm

            Oh, my! I think I like the new look but I don’t like that they’re taking away features. On the support/help page, you can also email Pinterest with your problem here.

            I really appreciate you sending the screen shots. Hopefully, the updates they’re making offer more features instead of taking them away.

  5. March 17, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    Very informative and to the point. Thanks

    1. March 18, 2013 at 4:26 pm

      Thanks for your comment. This post was written before the new Pinterest look. Some of the features in the new look do not function the same way at this time. Hopefully, they will return.

  6. HT
    April 12, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    Thanks for the informative post.

    I’m also wondering is there a difference between #motivationalquotes and #motivational quotes in the eyes of Pinterest?

    1. April 13, 2013 at 1:49 pm

      Hi HT, thanks for the question. From what I found poking around Pinterest is that it depends on how you search.

      If you put “#motivational quotes” in the search box you would get results with both words. If you click on this phrase in a pin description the search would result in pins with #motivational and some with just the word in the description or the link.

      1. HT
        April 14, 2013 at 12:31 pm

        Thanks Cynthia. So in your opinion, is it better to split the 2 words in the hashtag or join them?

        1. April 14, 2013 at 3:16 pm

          HT, I think it matters if you want to be found for a specific phrase. For example, #CoachingJourney would probably more effective than #Coaching Journey or #Coaching#Journey since clicking on the hashtag would only search for the single word.

          1. HT
            April 14, 2013 at 7:43 pm

            Ahh I see what you mean; I get it now. Thanks Cynthia.

  7. Jalin
    May 1, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    So question for you – I have pinned many items with the same hashtag – but when I click on it, the search comes back saying there are no pins for that search. What am I doing wrong?

    1. May 1, 2013 at 12:51 pm

      Jalin, I don’t think you’re doing anything wrong. It might take a while for Pinterest to index them so you might not see your pins right away. I hope they work for you soon. Can you send me a link to one of you pins with the hashtag? Thanks for your question.

  8. tracy
    June 5, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Great article. I was wondering how many hashtags are too many when putting them in the description of a pin? Also, is my pin going to be more visible to others by adding relevant hashtags?

    1. June 5, 2013 at 8:31 pm

      Hi Tracy,

      Thanks for you question. As far as how many hashtags, there isn’t a set recommended number maybe just a few, any more than that and it could give a negative feeling and the person repining could change the whole description.

      It doesn’t seem that hashtags have that big of an impact in visibility for general terms. What seems to be important is if the word or phrase is used in the pin description and if the same word or phrase is in the URL the pin is linked to. For unique phrases like #pinuplive hashtags make a big difference.

      Do you notice more of your clients using Pinterest?

  9. June 12, 2013 at 3:02 am

    I didn’t even realize you could tag on Pinterest! Really helpful, thanks!!

  10. July 26, 2013 at 3:28 am

    Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and
    wished to say that I have truly enjoyed browsing your blog
    posts. In any case I will be subscribing to your rss feed and
    I hope you write again very soon!

  11. August 26, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    Hi,

    Thank you for the information. I am very new to the world of hashtags and social media…that said, I just created a board for my business through the Pinterest business page. I was told to hashtag my store name in every pin description as that would help when people search for me. Is this true and I quess my question would be about how to make my boards/profile more searchable and how to best use hashtags to do that. Thank you so much for any help in this matter.

    1. August 27, 2013 at 5:25 pm

      Hashtags aren’t as powerful on Pinterest as they ore on Twitter. Basically hashtags give users a quick way to search for related content but not necessarily limited to pins with the hashtag. For example, I clicked on #timemanagement in a pin’s description and pins with the hashtag and the phrase “time management” came up in the results. Unless your business name is very uni Hashtags don’t work at all in board or account names.

      Hashtags used in pin descriptions are can sometimes take a while to be indexed by Pinterest. I’ve heard of some cases where even after weeks some hashtags aren’t searchable.

      Thanks so much for your question. Best of luck to you.

  12. September 24, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    hi Cynthia

    very helpful your article! I didn´t know also in Pinterest I can use hashtags

    all the best 🙂

    1. September 25, 2013 at 11:54 am

      Thanks Dusan! Hashtags can be tricky but when they work, they’re great!

  13. October 2, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    This is really helpful article! Thanks so much!

  14. December 4, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Thanks for solving this problem about hash tags and Pinterest. It will be interesting to experiment a little and see what works.

  15. December 9, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Thanks, great article! I haven’t thought about using hash tags for Pinterest. Quick question about creating unique hash tag: what about using your brand name or website name? For ex, #lettucebehealthy? Thanks!

    1. December 13, 2013 at 7:53 pm

      I would try experimenting with it Kim. A unique branded hashtag like your business names would be most beneficial for you to help you get found. Sometimes they get indexed and sometimes they don’t, they’re pretty quirky on Pinterest but it’s worth a shot.

      Thanks a bunch for your question 🙂

  16. December 26, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    Thanks for this post. I learned a few new things. I do have one question for you. If I edit the pins on my boards to include hashtags, will that help? Or do the hashtags need to be used when the pin is originally pinned to Pinterest. Thanks in advance.

    1. December 27, 2013 at 10:43 am

      Melissa, that’s something I haven’t tested yet but I don’t think it could hurt. It would make sense that if you edit a pin that Pinterest would keep up with the changes. If you add a hashtag and it gets indexed it could help your pins to be found in searches. Thanks for your question 🙂

      1. ram dash
        January 16, 2014 at 5:11 am

        Hi Cynthia, Its a great article and this can help to promote business in pinterest. I have a quick doubt on this matter how to use broad keywords or long keyword terms # tag. Ex-Budgethotelsinamerica etc.. Thanks in advance

        1. January 16, 2014 at 1:50 pm

          Sometimes Pinterest will break those long key words phrases into smaller words in the search results so it migh be better to use the separate words. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  17. July 22, 2014 at 5:38 am

    thanks for clearing the doubts. Being new to pinterest, don’t know what’s going on there.

  18. August 19, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Interesting… I would have thought that you didn’t want weird unique hash tags. I’ll have to experiment with it.

  19. September 21, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    Today, I went tօ the beach front with mƴ kids.
    I found a sea sɦell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear and screamed.
    There was a hermit crab inside and it ƿinched her ear.
    She never wants to go bасk! LoL I know this is entirely off
    topic but I had to tell someone!

  20. Me
    October 9, 2014 at 9:06 am

    So how do you actually SEARCH for hashtagged posts on pinterest? I searched for #pergola and got results that didn’t have hashtags in them.

    1. October 15, 2014 at 10:35 am

      Pinterest doesn’t limit the search results to content with hashtags, it will give you results with and without.

  21. June 8, 2015 at 11:33 pm

    I love the idea of using unique hashtags. What a great way to direct people to more of your pins. Thanks!

  22. September 1, 2015 at 3:47 am

    Good article. I wish one could follow hash tags directly through your twitter account. In the beginning you could track tags but it seems that service was stopped. I’m using Monitter and the normal Twitter search to follow tags but clearly….thanku….

    http://hashtagpirate.com/

  23. November 17, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    I got this website from my buddy who informed me regarding this website and at the moment
    this time I am visiting this website and reading very informative content here.

  24. January 6, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    If you are going for best contents like I do, only visit this web page everyday since it gives feature contents,
    thanks

  25. January 24, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    I’m now not certain where you are getting your information, but good topic.
    I must spend some time learning more or working
    out more. Thanks for magnificent info I used to be searching for this information for my mission.

  26. January 24, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    Hi mates, its great post concerning educationand
    completely defined, keep it up all the time.

  27. xxx
    February 9, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    What’s up to all, as I am truly keen of reading this blog’s post
    to be updated daily. It consists of pleasant
    stuff.

  28. March 1, 2016 at 11:50 pm

    Good post. I’m dealing with many of these issues as well..

  29. March 7, 2016 at 1:00 am

    Hurrah! In the end I got a website from where I can actually take helpful facts regarding my study and knowledge.

  30. March 26, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    I’m impressed, I have to admit. Rarely do I come across a blog that’s both equally educative and engaging, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head.
    The issue is something not enough people are speaking intelligently about.

    I’m very happy that I found this in my search for something relating to this.

  31. September 10, 2016 at 12:57 am

    Famous last words, I suppose. We’ll see what happens if and when it does.

  32. Dylan Cornelius
    January 2, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    To be sure I got this right, hashtags don’t work on Pinterest…they’re just another searchable character, and capitalization matters not only for uniqueness, but also to separate words in searches. Is that right? Thank you!