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How to Use Hashtags on Pinterest

How to Use Hashtags on PinterestIt wasn’t long ago that the answer to “How do I use hashtags on Pinterest?” was, “Don’t!” Pinterest told us that hashtags didn’t work the way people expected, they could be confusing, and using them may even harm your reach.

But in September 2017, all that changed. Hashtags on Pinterest are now a must!

How Hashtags Work on Pinterest

Hashtags provide a whole new way to search on Pinterest. A typical search in Pinterest returns results populated by a complicated algorithm, meaning, your Pins might not appear in the feed or search results as soon as they’re Pinned.

A Pinterest Search for Kid-friendly Food
A regular Pinterest Search for Kid-friendly Food

A hashtag search occurs when a Pinner searches for a hashtag in the search bar or clicks on a hashtag in a Pin description. Pinterest will then return the freshest Pins using that hashtag.

A Pinterest Search for #kidfriendlyfood
A Pinterest Search for #kidfriendlyfood

How to Use Hashtags on Pinterest

Pinterest’s help files suggest using ” a few” “specific and descriptive” hashtags per Pin. Hashtags will only function in Pin descriptions, so don’t use them anywhere else.

Because hashtag searches are looking for the freshest Pins, you should use a mix of evergreen and time-sensitive hashtags. For instance, if your Pin features a healthy Christmas treat recipe, use time-sensitive hashtags such as: #christmastreats #christmasrecipes OR some timeless tags such as: #healthysnacks #healthydesserts.

Keep your hashtags to two per Pin.

Remember that you’re trying to help people who are interested in your content find your content. You’re not trying to hijack a popular hashtag to trick people into finding your content.

How to Choose the Right Hashtags for Pinterest

Hashtag strategy is important for any social channel. And while we’ve published extensively about ways to find the best Instagram hashtags, the truth is, for Pinterest, we’re all figuring it out together!

Fortunately, Pinterest does help us out with hashtag suggestions. When editing your Pin description, start typing in a hashtag that makes sense for the Pin. You’ll see suggestions for similar hashtags along with the number of Pins already using that hashtag.

Pinterest makes hashtag suggestions and shows how many Pins use the hashtag.

Note: Based on my own (albeit limited) use of hashtags on Pinterest and the fluctuation in numbers and results I’ve seen, this count doesn’t appear to be a total of all Pins that EVER used that hashtag. It could be that this is a count of all the “fresh” Pins using that hashtag or perhaps all the Pins that will show up in search results. Regardless, it will give you some idea of the popularity of the hashtag.

As with Instagram hashtags, you should use a mix of popular and more niche hashtags to increase your chances of discovery. Don’t go too broad (“#pinterest,” and “#blogging” for example, are a mess). Instead get more specific and relevant (#pinterestmarketing”, or “#bloggingtips”).

When choosing hashtags for Pinterest, think like a Pinner and ask yourself, 'Would I be happy seeing this Pin in the results for that hashtag search? Click to Tweet

Ask yourself, too,“What hashtags might I search if I wanted to find a Pin like this one?”

Where Should I Put my Hashtags on Pinterest?

Hashtags only function within your Pins’ descriptions. But, should hashtags be scattered throughout your Pin description, or be placed at the end of your description?

The location of your hashtags inside the Pin description appears to have no impact on their functionality. So, it’s a matter of personal preference. But, when people are reading MY description, I don’t want them to click away!

For that reason, I’ll put the hashtags at the bottom of my description. I want them to make me appear in search, but not distract my viewers!

It’s always a good idea to write for humans first and search engines second. Pinterest Pins are no exception.

Should I Add Hashtags to Old Pins?

Some bloggers who have been using Pinterest for years worry that they’re not at a disadvantage for having followed Pinterest’s advice NOT to use hashtags. But by surfacing only the FRESHEST hashtagged Pins in search, Pinterest has our backs!

So, there’s no need to go back over all 20 thousand of your Pins, or even the Pins that lead back to your own content. Those old Pins would likely not surface in a hashtag search anyway since it’s looking for the “freshest” Pins.

Instead, use hashtags from now on. And go back and Pin your own content to your boards and to any Group Boards you might belong to again with hashtagged descriptions. Tailwind’s Interval Pinning can save you hours of time in this process!

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What About Hashtags and Promoted Pins (Pinterest ads)?

Hashtags do not help or hurt Promoted Pins. Promoted Pins don’t appear in hashtag search results. At least, not yet.

The only change in relation to Promoted Pins is that you are no longer limited to one hashtag.

However, one of the great things about Promoted Pins is that people tend to Save (repin) them. So, to get those repins into hashtag search, use hashtags in your Promoted Pins.

So, if you want to be found on Pinterest, start using hashtags now and keep using them to surface your freshest Pins in hashtag results!

What’s your take on hashtags on Pinterest? Are you excited about them? Have you started using them?

Pin me:

How to Use Hashtags on Pinterest #pintereststrategy #pinterestmarketing #pinteresttips #marketingstrategy #hashtags


  1. Avatar

    Thanks Alisa for this great article on using hashtags. Very informative and thank you again for telling us about Pinterest’s new hashtags update.

    • Alisa Meredith
      Alisa MeredithModerator

      You’re welcome, Asad. I’m glad it was helpful to you! ~ Alisa

  2. Avatar

    This is the best and most helpful Pinterest article I’ve ever read – and I’ve read tons of them trying to figure out Pinterest! I’m trying to use it to build page views of my travel and nightlife blog. For one things, can’t figure out how to get on the search pages like this one (just to use this as an example on Key West):

    I did the hashtags as you suggested on a post about the Napa fires and what is open and not open there and it appeared immediately in a Napa Valley search but with the hashtags instead of the images. Any ideas/suggestions!? Thanks!

    • Alisa Meredith
      Alisa MeredithModerator

      Well, aren’t you nice!? Thanks for taking the time to comment, and I’m glad it was useful to you.

      Getting on those searches is about keywords and the algorithm. So, if you can Pin great content that uses those keywords consistently, you’ll up your chances of showing up. That said, and I know it was just an example, “Key West” is a pretty broad term, and I’m not sure how many people would search that.

      That’s interesting. I clicked on that search and saw images that had hashtags in the description (awesome). What is it that you’re seeing? Feel free to email a printscreen to alisa (at)

  3. Avatar

    I tried that trick where you said to search hashtags on pinterest when you said to type in the hashtag in the description but nothing popped up for me. Do I need an app or something to do that? Thank you!

    • Alisa Meredith
      Alisa MeredithModerator

      Hi Cindy. So far, I’ve only seen it on desktop. Nothing special needed, it’s right inside Pinterest.

      • Alisa Meredith
        Alisa MeredithModerator

        Scratch that! – I just saw it on mobile, too. Start with a hashtag like #bloggingtips and it starts suggesting related hashtags.

  4. Avatar

    Thanks so much for the clarification with the hashtags in Pinterest! I like the suggested hashtags they give, it’s just too bad the number count isn’t aggregate.

    • Alisa Meredith
      Alisa MeredithModerator

      Don’t get me started. 😉 I’m glad it was helpful to you, Stephanie.

  5. Avatar

    I had no idea that we could use hashtags on Pinterest now! Thanks for the heads up, can’t wait to see if this positively impacts my traffic and repins.

    • Alisa Meredith
      Alisa MeredithModerator

      I’m so glad that was helpful to you, Charlie – it was a big change for all of us!

  6. Avatar

    Yes, big thanks , this is a very helpful article 🙂 I went into Pinterest and edited a pin I put up a couple of days ago. The hashtag I typed in was #smoothierecipes #smoothies and nothing came up as suggestions. Ive left it in the description anyway, so I shall see what happens. Thank you again for the great article 🙂 Kate xx

    • Alisa Meredith
      Alisa MeredithModerator

      So glad you liked it, Kate! My guess is that when they say it pulls “fresh” Pins with hashtags, that may exclude older Pins that you edit – it’s looking for brand new Pins. Maybe try repinning that Pin and use a different hashtag so you can see if the new one shows up for you.

  7. Avatar

    I am super excited to start using hashtags! 🙂 Angela – The Inspiration Edit.

    • Alisa Meredith
      Alisa MeredithModerator

      Me too, Angela! Another way for people to find my fresh pins. Hooray!

  8. Avatar

    Hi Alisa,
    Thanks for the great article. I am new to Pinterest and have just started my first blog as well! Crazy time right now. Any advice on how to find the best hashtags for my niche? I am in the family travel arena.


    • Alisa Meredith
      Alisa MeredithModerator

      Hmmm, well, you could use the hashtag suggestions that populate when you start typing in a hashtag. You could also use guided search to find longer-tail hashtag words. Congrats on your new blog!

  9. Avatar

    Thank you, this was a great article. I wish more people would explain things better about how to do everything on Pinterest. I will start using more of them.

    • Alisa Meredith
      Alisa MeredithModerator

      You’re welcome, Tami! I’m glad it was useful. Thanks for stopping by.

  10. Avatar

    I’m using Hashtags and only some of my pins are coming up when I search. I’m using them on pins that I just pinned (so they are “fresh pins”). Maybe 2 out of 20 will show up when I search the hashtag, but then several pins from other people who were pinned weeks ago are coming up in search. Also, most of what comes up seems to be pinned from Instagram or Amazon, or really small pins, not the high quality vertical pins that usually come up in my feed.

    • Avatar

      I also noticed that MANY coming up first in the search were “uploaded by user” (several weeks ago) that don’t even link to a website. It’s frustrating that those would show up before mine. I hope this changes.

    • Alisa Meredith
      Alisa MeredithModerator

      Interesting observations, Laurie! I’m sure they’re already having to filter results for hashtag searches, so maybe you see 2 out of 20 and I’d see a different 2 out of 20. I can see why they wouldn’t want one person to have the top 20 or 50 spots.

      Out of curiosity, what search were you doing that brought up a lot of Amazon and Instagram images? I just tried #bikeaccessories and got a bunch of Instagram posts. Naturally those will have a lot of hashtags and will get picked up.

      It’s interesting to see when they were Pinned – I haven’t seen that on Pins in a while!

  11. Avatar

    Wow! I am just learning about this today!! Thanks for all of the great information. I was wondering if I should go back and add hashtags to my older pins, and you answered that question for me. 🙂 Have a great day!

    • Alisa Meredith
      Alisa MeredithModerator

      I’m so happy I was able to save you some time, Amy! Thanks for leaving a note – and you, too!

  12. Avatar

    Hi Alisa! I am just starting to use Pinterest on my blog and the and the results are beginning to appear. These tips for using hashtags will be even more useful! Thanks!

    • Alisa Meredith
      Alisa MeredithModerator

      I’m so glad! I is exciting to see things change. Thanks for stopping by, Pedro.

    • Alisa Meredith
      Alisa MeredithModerator

      Isn’t that encouraging! Keep up the good work, Pedro – and you are welcome!

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