Want to make the most of every pin you add to Pinterest? That extra boost of marketing energy can be found in the “hashtag.” Here are all my best tips for using hashtags on Pinterest. They can be surprisingly helpful for your traffic.
Ooops! Hashtags on Pinterest are no longer working – so I basically wasted all this time making this post! Thanks Pinterest.
Here’s an update from 2021 – Pinterest, ever the fickle boyfriend, has decided that they DON’T like hashtags after all. So Pinterest hashtags not working is totally the new thing. They aren’t clickable, so if you search #puppies, you get exactly the same result as puppies – sigh… But at least you get to see adorable puppies either way!
You can still leave them on your older pins, it’s probably not worth the effort to go and fix them all, but do NOT use them on new pins. Also, if you are using them on your profile descriptions or your board descriptions, that IS worth taking the time to remove them. And don’t just take off the # sign, using a whole string of keywords is bad juju for Pinterest. It’s called keyword stuffing and it’s BAD. Instead, you want to use your fabulous unhashtagged keywords in nice complete sentences.
In other news, you might try this popular post – You Might Need a Pinterest Strategy Planner
If you’re new to social media marketing, hashtags are those little links that are preceded by the pound sign (#). To your customers, hashtags will mean nothing. To you, hashtags may mean the difference between having your posts found though search or rarely seen. Most people think they are familiar with hashtags, but I do see people making some errors with their hashtags on Pinterest.
Note: Pin scheduler Traffic Wonker has sadly gone out of business, but owner and CEO Andy Fling has given me permission to share his useful Pinterest research and other information on my site. I jumped at the chance as Andy is the smartest guy I know when it comes to Pinterest!
How to Create a Hashtag
If you’ve ever set foot on Instagram, you probably have a pretty good idea of how to use a hashtag. HOWEVER, I’ve seen some whopping mistakes using hashtags, so I’m going to just start with the basics – (typical issues I see are people trying to put punctuation like commas, spaces, or periods in hashtags).
1) The Tag
Every hashtag begins with a tag – the pound symbol on your keyboard.
Spaces are never used.
If your hashtag uses multiple words, group them together. If you want to help people read the hashtag easier, use a capital letter to start each word. A search for #DisneyMovie yields the same results as #disneymovie, but one is easier to read.
Include numbers if you like.
Avoid punctuation marks. They clutter your hashtags.
There’s no preset list of hashtags. While there are some that are common, what is common may not be the perfect solution for your business.
Finding the Perfect Hashtag
Our theme song has always been, “Do what the big guys are doing.” If they became the big guys with the hashtags they’re using, copy them.
Search Pinterest for similar pins to see what’s getting repinned the most. If the hashtags are right for your pins, use them.
The Recommended Number of Hashtags
It’s easy to go overboard with hashtags. After all they help your posts get found. However, you need to consider that being found is not your only objective. Ultimately, your Pinterest pin was created for potential customers – real people. If you write for the search engines, your potential customers will find your pin, but they may not be engaged when they do. Limit hashtags to 1 or 2.
While the following stats aren’t Pinterest specific, they do clearly indicate the value of the hashtag in social media. All signs indicate the hashtag is as significant on Pinterest.
When to Avoid Hashtags
Some marketers make a habit of turning every keyword into hashtag, cluttering their description. They get people to their pin, but forgot their goal – getting people excited about the product. Include hashtags after your description.
The Value of Popular Hashtags
Using popular hashtags helps your post be found in Pinterest search results. The hashtag allows you to place keywords in the description box that are difficult to include organically. We include popular hashtags in many of our pins – #SocialMedia and #PinterestTips – and choose to capitalize the first letter of each word for easy reading.
The only downside is visitors clicking on the hashtag is that they are delivered away from your pin, to a large collection of pins sharing the same hashtag. While the hashtag does help to attract views, it also creates an escape route – through the clickable link. Generally it’s still a better idea to include one than not.
The Value of Using Unique Hashtags on Pinterest
Using unique hashtags have the opposite effect. Few people will ever search for your unique hashtag, but the click through on your unique hashtag allows you to direct your audience to more of your pins. We also include a unique hashtag – #SocialMediaAutomation – in select pins. The use of a unique hashtag will in effect multiply its value, showing a potential customer many pins and therefore providing many points of entry to your website.
by Andy Fling
Founder and CEO of TrafficWonker.com
Here are some other posts from Andy that you might find helpful: