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. Please see the latest update on using Hashtags on Pinterest here.
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…?”
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.
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.
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.