Prior to the rise of Twitter, the # symbol led a life of innocence and simplicity. You could find it on coffee mugs and t-shirts letting you know exactly who was number one (usually it was a Dad or a Boss!).
Every now and then, you’d hear the automated voice on the other side of the telephone telling you to “push the pound sign” to continue. It was a very useful little symbol that didn’t receive much consideration.
Boy, how things have changed. This is the Cinderella story of symbols, moving from complete obscurity to celebrity all because of social media. In the social world it isn’t known as the number symbol or pound sign, no sir, this is a hashtag!
Hashtags and Pinterest
For a very long time, Pinterest told us not to use hashtags. They didn’t work as expected, they could be confusing, etc. But now they’re back. See the latest update on hashtags on Pinterest. And Pinterest’s official word.
Now on Pinterest, as in other social sites such as Twitter and Instagram, hashtags serve as a shortcut to performing a search for other pieces of content. Here’s the official word:
Hashtags on Pinterest work just like they do anywhere else. When you add hashtags to the description for a new Pin, other Pinners can visit a feed of all the Pins that share that hashtag.
Hashtags – A Whole New Way to Search Pinterest
Pinners will find hashtagged Pins when they search for a hashtag, OR when they click on a hashtag in a Pin description.
Interestingly, it’s the freshest hashtagged Pins that will appear in the search. From the help files,
When a user searches a hashtag the freshest pins with that hashtag will appear at the top of the feed. When a user searches the same phrase without the hashtag, it will pull up the original search results page.
This suggests that we view hashtags as an entirely new method of search. We have keyword search for evergreen Pins, and now hashtag search for newer Pins. Marketers need to be taking advantage of both!
Where to use Hashtags on Pinterest
We’ve seen hashtags used in Pinterest in the past including board titles, board descriptions, account descriptions and profile names. Alas, hashtags DON’T work in these areas, they are not clickable and they’re not searchable. Keep them to your Pin descriptions.
Hashtags have come a long way and in Twitter and Instagram they have definitely made their mark. Will you be using hashtags in Pinterest?
Promoted Pins are not currently showing up in hashtag search results. So should you use them? Well, Promoted Pins do tend to get saved (repinned) a lot, so in theory THOSE Pins could then show up in hashtag searches. I’m using them!
Which Hashtags Should I Use on Pinterest?
Use relevant hashtags (up to 20). Use a mix of time sensitive (if applicable) and evergreen keywords. Start with something that makes sense to you and when you start typing it in the description within Pinterest, you’ll get suggestions along with the number of Pins with that hashtag. Use those suggestions to build up lists of relevant hashtags you can use when you schedule with Tailwind.
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Great post, Cynthia. Even though it’s hard to keep up with all the changes in social media, including the evolution of the hashtag, I so appreciate you keeping up to date. I always know I can head over to your site for a quick refresh on the most recent changes on Pinterest and how it can help marketing efforts. Thanks so much again!
My pleasure Laura! Thanks so much for coming by and leaving a comment. I really do appreciate it 🙂
Would be great if you added the date to your posts. When you talk about “New changes” its difficult to find relevance without a date.
Thanks for the feedback Graham, I’ll keep this in mind 🙂
I love this article! It was so well written and so helpful that I immediately stumbled it and subscribed to your e-mail list! I had thought that hashtags were abandoned with the new look and stopped using them. Now I know different. Thank you! I look forward to hearing more of what you have to say!
Kimber, thanks so much for subscribing! I’m so happy to hear you found this helpful. Best of luck with your hashtags.
Thanks for posting this – it would have taken me months to figure out the ins and outs on my own. Plus, there is some conflicting info out there about using hashtags for Pinterest. However, you’re a trusted source so I believe you!
Do you know if using hashtags on Pinterest has any effect on over SEO?
Hi Abbey! Within Pinterest I don’t think it really matters if you use a hashtag or not if it is a common term or phrase. For example if you do a search for “socialmedia”, you’ll see pins with the hashtag and with the phrase in the pins description’s. But, if you do a search for a not so common phrase like “pinuplive” you will see more hashtag results.
Thanks for stopping by 🙂
Found your blog while looking for information on the use of hashtags on Pinterest – what luck for me! So much great information. I just started work with a company that places a big emphasis on social media so this is perfect timing. The interweb goods were smiling on me today for sure.
Thank you!. Please let me know if I can help in any way. Gotta love it when the interweb gods smile upon us!
I created the hashtag #feedthechallenge for one of my pinterest boards, which is going to be a group board for my blog readers to participate in a challenge I’ve set up. After 24 hours the tag isn’t findable. How long did it take before your #pinterestingtips became findable? Keep me posted, thanks.
Jessica I posted mine weeks ago and still have yet to see it. It might be that I needed to use it more often, I only tried one. One interesting thing I did find was that Google had indexed it. When I Googled #pinterestingtips it showed up as #1 on the results page. I hope it works for you soon.
Thanks for the clarity. So glad I found your blog.
Thanks for stopping by Theresa!
I’ve been trying to decipher social media for weeks now and this is the first piece of information I’ve found that is written in plain and simple English. Thank you very very much.
[…] Kolmandaks, saab tahvlit ja “pin”-e levitada sotsiaalmeedias ja teha veebis leitavaks. Teised kasutajad saavad neid oma tahvlitele lisada ning klikkida “Like” nupul ja nii sinu kogutud teadmist edasi jagada ja levitada. Siin on näiteks minu persoonibrändi ja karjäärijuhtimise “pin”-id. Pinterestis artiklite ja piltide leitavamaks muutmiseks kasuta “Pin”-i kirjeldudes märksõnu koos #-ga. Loe rohkem kuidas oma “pin”-id nähtavaks teha kasutades Pinteresti. […]
[…] and tag it #umhbcharterday13. The pic with the most likes won $50. (With Pinterest’s new hashtag capability this is an awesome contest to try […]
[…] has joined the ranks of Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest when it comes to […]
Thanks for the great advice. So much of it is contradictory out there. Will have another go at re-trying the #hash tags!
Hashtags are tricky on Pinterest. Right now, they seem to be working as shortcuts to do a search and the results will give you pins with and without hashtags used. Some people are finding their hashtags in searches, others are not. I hope they work well for you.
[…] Pinterest […]
This is a good tip in using Pininterest.. In our website we have many images that we can share through Pin Interest but only few people notice it. But this article had help us learn how to make it more known to other people.
my hashtag on a pinterest contest isn’t coming up in the search.. any idea why? it’s unique and in the description.
Sometimes hashtags take a while to index. For some accounts they don’t seem to work at all. I haven’t been able to figure out why, sorry.
Thanks so much for this information. It was the second article I read about #’s, the first did not make sense. This will definitely be my first and only stop for information on Pinterest from now on.
Lynn, so glad to hear you fond this article helpful. Thanks so much for letting me know 🙂
This weekend I ran into something on pinterest that was interesting. Some people are not only putting every single imaginable word with #’s, they are also duplicating words. For example they may have #craft #diy #project #halloween #craft #diy #october #halloween #diy #craft. Putting the same word in the same entry multiple times will not help them be recognized more quickly will it? Thanks!
I’ve noticed this too I and I really don’t think that it will help their content get noticed any more. Not sure why people think this would be a good idea? Remember # aren’t indexed the same way on Pinterest as they are on on other platforms, basically they are a search shortcut.
Thanks so much for your question 🙂
I did stop using hashtags in Pinterest when they announced a change but it looks like I should start using it again. Whew, they keep on changing things.
Thanks for this very detailed info!
Things do change quickly Ruby! Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂
Thank you for the interesting article. Is it more beneficial to combine two works in a hashtag or to separate them?
Interesante artículo Cynthia Sanchez. Me suscribo. Saludos.
Gracias Agustin 🙂
Cynthia, I came across your article through a Google search looking for information on how hashtags work with Pinterest (You’ll be happy to know yours was the top search result!). I learned a lot from your article, but have a question: If “clicking on a hashtag in a pin’s description will not only result in pins that include that hashtag but also in pins that include the same word or phrase in the description,” is it necessary or important to use a hashtag if you make sure to have a really good description for your pin using keywords and phrases? I’m just wondering if I need to do both?
Carrie thats great news, thanks! I don’t recommend doing both. If you can naturally fit a keyword into your pin description then there’s no need to use the hashtag. If someone clicks on it, that will take them away from your pins or board, not a good thing.
Thanks for the question 🙂
Thanks for the response, Cynthia. That makes great sense. Next question: Is it worthwhile to go back and update the description on old pins to include better/more keywords and phrases? Thinking of Pinterest like a search engine, I’m wondering if it regularly re-indexes all pins or just new ones? Right now I think most of my pin descriptions are just the title of the blog post, but could be spruced up if it helps make them more searchable. Before I take the time to do so, though, I want to make sure it’s worthwhile. Do you know? Thank you for all your help!
Hi Carrie, if this is for pins for your own content I would go back and change them as you have time. If it has been a while since you originally pinned them like months, you could always repin them with new descriptions that have better SEO. You new followers will get to see your great content 😉
Hi Cynthia, I’m just thinking of the pins for my own content. We just launched our site a few months ago, so all of our posts have been pinned in the last six week or so. What is the recommended amount of time before we re-pin them? Does it look bad if the same pin is on a board multiple times? Or do people not really notice that? HUGE thanks for all your advice!
I really depends on how much content you have on your boards rather than time. For example, if you have a board with 10 pins and you begin to repin, that could keep some people form following that board but if you have a board that you started with your content 6 weeks ago and have since pinned 100 pins to that board repinning would probably be ok and not be noticed. Hope this make sense 🙂
That makes perfect sense. Thank you for ALL your help and great advice!
Thank you. This is very helpful. #goodadvice 🙂
I love this article it was very informative. But as you said some of my hashtags didn’t show up in the search. So, I went to the help center to find out why.
Below was Pinterest 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.
If Pinterest says they are thinking of adding hashtags as a search feature in the future or that they’re “thinking of it” (do social media platforms “think”?), do you think it makes sense to start using them now so as not to have to go back and add them later? (I also found your article with a Google search. Yay for you!)
Thanks so much for your question. I think using hashtags can be a good idea if there’s a strategy with them. You might want to check out this article for some tips http://www.ohsopinteresting.com/tips-for-using-hashtags-on-pinterest/.
Thanks for the best Pinterest hashtag article I’ve seen! Easy to read and also helps me avoid the pitfalls so I don’t use # where it is supposed to be used! I have bookmarked your site…I like the way you provide so much information in a very concise and entertaining way!
Thanks Doctor Matt. I really appreciate you leaving a comment. Best of luck with the hashtags.
Hi Cynthia, I have only recently been getting active on Pinterest and I’ve been enjoying your podcast. I would like to take your 3 week workshop but I’m not sure if I’m ready or if I should wait. I have a small business hand making hair accessories with vintage rhinestone jewelry. I’m currently working on a website with a designer (using Shopify) and I’m selling my items at just one boutique in Florida. I am waiting to approach other boutiques til my website is up and running. In the meantime, I thought it would be good to get started with Pinterest. What do you think: should I take your workshop now or wait until my products are available online on my new website? (I had been selling on Etsy but recently stopped, so the ONLY place right now to buy my pieces is locally in Palm Beach Florida).
So sorry it took me a while to get back to you. I’ve been out of town for a conference and am just getting back on track. Thank you so much for listening to the podcast 🙂
I would recommend starting off with my free video training that you can get by filling in you name and email in the box on the sidebar of any blog post. This will help you get your account profile set up. Then begin creating boards that will appeal to the people you’re trying to attract. Get used to how Pinterest works and begin building a following. Get your site up with your products and and get it refined. I know when I first started, I was always tweaking things with my site.
I think the workshop will be more helpful for you a bit later. Vincent and I will be offering it again this summer.
Best of luck with your new site!
I’m really confused with hashtags, when I click my own hashtags, words that are not even popular show other pins but now my own.
For example this pin here of mine http://www.pinterest.com/pin/211950726187638652/ if you click on the #illustrationBear hashtag, there are only two items that appear and mine doesn’t even show up!
I am beginning to wonder if there is something wrong with my account? Thoughts?
Hi Simone. I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with your account. Sometimes hashtags are never indexed by Pinterest others get picked up right away. I have yet to figure out why. How long have you been using the hashtag? I would give it at least a few weeks of use before trying another. Thanks for stopping by 🙂
Thank you for an interesting read. Im also confused about hashtags. Don´really know if I should use them. Totally new on Pinterest. So If I have good natural keyword descriptions in my pins then I don´t need to use hashtags ?
Hashtags really aren’t necessary at this time if your descriptions have keywords. Thanks for stopping by 🙂
Thank you for this article! I too stumbled upon but found it very informative and well written. Much appreciated!!
My pleasure Angelica 🙂
Thanks for the tips, but i guess it takes time and effort to be popular on pinterest,
Hashtags have been unclear to me, until now! Thank you so much for the great information. It really helps! Happy Pinning!
Cindy, I’m so glad you found it helpful 🙂
It was hard to find your website in google search results.
I found it on 19 position, you have to build some quality backlinks , it will help
you to increase traffic. I know how to help you, just search in google – k2 seo
Hello Cynthia, nice article on using hashtags. I have a question for you. Is there such a thing as hashtag stuffing? I remember quite a few years ago when the internet started out or should I say google had not really got its act together at this stage and keyword stuffing for SEO was everywhere. The reason for my question is that I have seen a few boards on pinterest that use ONLY hashtags in the description, ie #janechurchill #decoracioninfantil #decoracion #infantil #telas #papelpintado
Is this not hashtag stuffing and could you maybe be penalized for it by pinterest? I would have thought that a well written description of what is being sold with a hashtag to end it would be better?
Lawrence, you’re right, that is hashtag stuffing and a well written description of what is being sold would be a better choice. I cant say for sure that Pinterest penalizes pins with hashtag stuffed pin descriptions but I will say that I don’t often see them in Pinterest search results.
Thanks for your question 🙂
Thank you Cynthia !
Thank you for the useful info!
Thank you for explaining this! I see hashtags occasionally on Pinterest and wasn’t sure if it was worth my effort or not. It seems that Pinterest is probably the best place to use hashtags after reading this.
Hi, I have been asked recently about hashtags and Pinterest by one of our team members. Does Pinterest still support the use of hashtags against boards and Pins? Can we still use these and are they successful?
[…] instance, hashtags are used on several sites including Pinterest and Twitter; however the use for them on Pinterest has changed in the last […]