Have you heard the news? We’re all using Pinterest hashtags now!
Well, perhaps not ALL of us, but the smart bloggers and marketers are.
This Definitive Guide To Pinterest Hashtags is not just going to teach you why hashtags are brilliant and how they work on Pinterest, but also exactly how you should be using them — sliding them in right alongside your existing keyword strategy — to get more monthly unique viewers, followers, and click-throughs to your blog.
It’s an easier process than you’d think. Let’s jump right in!
Just a couple of years ago, marketers everywhere were telling you to avoid using Pinterest hashtags like the plague.
The social platform hadn’t yet utilised the feature, and some people saw them as spammy and/or unnecessary.
In September 2017, however, everything changed. Pinterest announced that they weren’t just allowing the use of hashtags (finally …), but also actively encouraging them as a new way of categorising and promoting content.
Welcome to the hashtag world, Pinterest. We’ve been waiting for you!
How do Pinterest hashtags work?
In the same way that hashtags work on Instagram, Twitter, etc., hashtags on Pinterest work to help categorise content.
A Pinterest user would be able to search for #chickenrecipes and see all chicken dinner-related Pins, with that hashtag in the description, making it easier for someone to find everything they’re looking for without clicking all over the place.
Hashtags can be used by a Pinterest user in one of two ways. Firstly, the hashtag can be typed into the search bar, much in the same way as any other search term — just with a # in the front and no spaces between the words.
The search results will be Pins that have that particular hashtag in the description.
Secondly, a user can click on a hashtag in a Pin’s description to open up all of the other Pins that contain it.
Pinterest hashtags offer a secondary, additional form of searching for Pinterest users, alongside regular ‘keyword’ search terms.
In turn, they offer marketers and bloggers a secondary, additional form of Pinterest promotion.
Aren’t they just like keywords, though?
A little bit, yes, but not quite.
It’s no big secret that keywords are a hugely important feature on Pinterest for growth, and that’s why you shouldn’t forget about them when you start implementing hashtags in your marketing strategy.
Hashtags offer marketers and bloggers another form of promotion and categorisation, and that’s why you should use them in addition to keywords in the description of a Pin — like the sprinkles on top of an ice cream.
Why should you use hashtags on Pinterest?
Because hashtags are a way of life!
Hashtags can actually work REALLY well on Pinterest, offering a range of benefits:
1. They can help to increase awareness of your brand.
Using a branded hashtag in all of your posts means that someone will be able to find all of your content simply by clicking on the tag.
The Pin for this post would be shared with the hashtag #BloggingWizard in the description. What would yours be?
2. Pinterest hashtags can help you to get really specific when organising your Pins, which in turn helps people to find EXACTLY what they’re looking for.
With so many people jumping on the keyword marketing bandwagon, certain search terms on Pinterest can generate vague results, oftentimes with Pins that have little or no relevance to what was actually searched for. Being relatively new, hashtags have fewer spammy/hashtag-stuffed/keyword-stuffed/vague Pins attached to them … for now.
3. Hashtags brings consumers or readers together with content creators.
People who love #veganrecipes may search for exactly that, or click on the blue link and expand; and if your Pin descriptions contain that hashtag, yours could be one of the Pins they see and click on. Following on from that, because you offered them exactly what they were looking for, they’re going to be more likely to follow you.
4. All of these benefits come together to bring you a brand new train of growth for your blog.
On top of using keywords, brightly-coloured Pins, great descriptions, and the rest.
5 . The idea of using hashtags on Pinterest is still pretty new.
So you’ll look totally cutting edge with your sparkly new marketing strategy!
As with most things in marketing, hashtags and other tools will work for Pinterest growth provided you use them correctly.
They’re still a new tool in Pinterest’s box and people are still learning how to best use them, but there are a few do’s and do-not’s that can make your journey a lot easier.
Where to use hashtags on Pinterest
Hashtags should be used in a Pin’s description. There’s space for 500 characters in which you’ll need to fit an actual description – what the blog post behind the Pin discusses, a call-to action, keywords, and hashtags.
It is recommended that you add hashtags to the end of the description text. If you add them to the beginning, the text will be difficult to read. The user will also need to work their way through a potentially spammy-looking list of hashtags before learning what the blog post behind the link is actually about.
On a mobile device the full description is shown, but the desktop site can sometimes cut text. Only the first 50-or-so characters are shown. If your hashtags were at the front, that’s all people would see.
It is also #important to think about how #readable your Pin’s description will be with #hashtags. I don’t personally recommend including them #randomly in the middle of #sentences because it makes the #Pinterestdescription really #difficulttoread. You just can’t get away with that kind of thing on #Pinterest like you can on #Twitter and other #socialmedia platforms.
(I guarantee I was just as annoyed writing that as you were reading it!)
The hashtag location doesn’t have any bearing on how successful the Pin will be, but adding them to the end makes the user experience a more pleasant one.
Can you add hashtags to Pinterest comments?
Yes, you can — and they ARE clickable hashtags. Adding a hashtag to the comment of an old Pin won’t make it appear any higher in search results, though. Pins appear in results chronologically from the date they were first shared.
Should you add hashtags to old Pinterest Pin descriptions or comments?
Because Pins are displayed in hashtag search results in share-date chronological order, it is probably not going to be a great use of your time to go back and add hashtags to old descriptions … unless there aren’t many Pins with that hashtag attached and you feel like it is gaining in popularity.
Instead of adding hashtags to old Pinterest pins, focus on creating more, fresh content, including new Pins for old blog posts.
Where shouldn’t you use hashtags?
There is very little point in using hashtags in your Pinterest bio, board descriptions, board names, or profile name.
They aren’t clickable hashtags, don’t offer value, and just use up space. Focus your attention on adding them to the Pin’s description, and also work on incorporating keywords naturally into the spaces that hashtags don’t fit — your bio, board descriptions, etc.
How many hashtags?
You can add up to 20 hashtags to your Pin’s description, but that doesn’t mean you should use that many. In fact, using a lot of hashtags can make your Pin look spammy, as can inserting lots of keywords one after the other.
From personal experimentation, I can recommend using between 2 and 5 hashtags, but you should most definitely do your own trials.
If you use too few hashtags, your exposure will be minimal and you won’t note any positive changes. Use too many, though, and you may find that people disregard your Pins completely.
SPAMMY, SPAM, SPAM.
Remembering that you only have 500 characters to play with, using more hashtags (especially at the beginning) takes up space that could be better used with well-researched keywords or more information.
Remember, folks — hashtags are still new and not everyone is using them yet.
Don’t forget to switch your hashtags up!
It is NOT recommended that you use the same hashtags and keywords over and over again in your Pinterest marketing strategy. There’s very little point to that — you’re going to be hitting the same audiences each time and limiting your own reach.
By using different hashtags in each of your Pin descriptions you can ensure that the maximum number of people see them.
Creating multiple, slightly different Pins for the same blog post is common practice now for bloggers and marketers, and this gives you the perfect opportunity to increase your reach using different hashtags.
If you create 3 different Pins, create 3 little groups of hashtags to use with them.
- The first one could have — #ChocolateCake #DessertIdeas #DarkChocolate
- The second one could have — #ChocolateCakeRecipes #Chocolate #Baking
- The third one could have — #BestChocolateCake #CakeRecipes #EasyChocolateCake
All three of them contain different hashtags, so it doesn’t matter what combination of words is searched for, your Pins will have a higher chance of being shown.
An example Pin description —
“Click to read everything you need to know about using hashtags on Pinterest in an easy-to-follow guide. Also features a complete list of Pinterest hashtags for all niches — bloggingwizard.com #BloggingWizard #PinterestMarketingTips #BloggingTipsForBeginners | Blogging Tips | Pinterest Marketing”
If we break that Pin description down, you’ll see that not only is it super obvious what the blog post is all about, but that it also contains the following keywords:
- Hashtags on Pinterest
- [List of] Pinterest hashtags
- Blogging Tips
- Pinterest Marketing
It also contains three hashtags —
You may also notice that the first letter of each word has been capitalised, for both the hashtags and the keywords.
This is definitely a decision that comes down to personal preference, but hashtags are NOT case-sensitive. I think they’re easier to read when the first letter is capitalised, and that’s why I keep the trend going with the non-hashtagged keywords.
If the text was cut short by Pinterest (on a desktop), the main bulk of the information would still be shown — the call-to action [“click to read everything …”] is there, and someone would easily understand what the post was about before clicking through.
If you insert a # into the description of a Pin during the ‘Create Pin’ process, a list of hashtags will appear, alongside the number of Pins that contain them.
As you can see, #homedecor is one of the most popular tags, with 3.5 million Pins.
Start typing a word after the # and you’ll be offered related suggestions.
You can search for hashtags in the Pinterest search box too, but if you want to see a drop-down list of suggestions, insert a space before the #. Otherwise, nothing comes up.
It should also be noted that you do not get hashtag suggestions in the drop-down list, but instead a list of related keywords/search terms.
Another great way for you to find Pinterest hashtags is to think about what someone would search for if they were looking for what you had to offer.
Let’s imagine that you have created a recipe for a delightfully gooey chocolate cake — what would YOU search for in order to find that kind of recipe on Pinterest?
Now, let’s actually search for #chocolatecake in the Pinterest search bar. It recommends a few more search terms, some of which I can add to the list of hashtags —
While I was noting those hashtags, I also thought of a few more —
I clicked on the first Pin that came up for the #chocolatecake, and then took a closer look at what other hashtags the Pinner had included in the description —
You should definitely look at what hashtags other people are using, especially in the descriptions of Pins that pop up on the home page.
Those are *popular* Pins that Pinterest has chosen to show you, and you can make note of what has made them popular — including any keywords or hashtags used in the description.
Take different approaches to your Pinterest hashtags
A thick, gooey chocolate cake recipe could just as easily come under #bakingrecipes and #chocolatecakeideas as it could #winterdesserts. It’s a really good idea to think outside the box when it comes to picking the right hashtags for the job, although you do still need to keep things relevant.
Let’s pretend that you’re promoting a new fashion blog post featuring black jeans. That’s your first hashtag — #blackjeans.
Those black jeans could also come under #blackoutfit – a Pinterest hashtag that is on its way to become a popular one, currently sitting at 3.1k Pins.
Is the outfit more suited for summer wear or winter wear? #summerwomenswashion (IKR?) has 12k Pins – a great one to use if you’re a fashion blogger.
You could also consider #summerfashion [95k Pins], #summerphotos [1.3k Pins], #summeroutfits [56k Pins], or #summeroutfitswomen [1.9k Pins].
Is the outfit a casual one? There are many Pinterest hashtags you could include if it is — #casual [754k Pins], #casualstyle [69k Pins], or #casualwomensfashion [55k Pins].
When those special occasions come around — Christmas, Valentine’s Day, birthdays, anniversaries, etc., think about whether or not that fashion blog Pin (and all of your other fashion blog Pins) could be suitable for just those occasions. #valentinesday is a banned hashtag on Instagram … but not on Pinterest! It boasts of 390k Pins.
You could also consider using #valentinesdayideas [5.1k Pins], or #valentinesdayoutfit — 758 Pins at present, but I predict that’ll go up fast when January/February comes around!
By thinking outside of the box and adding different types of relevant hashtags to the Pin’s description, you have a chance of reaching the maximum number of viewers.
It would be an absolute shame for someone to miss your cute outfit post because they searched for #cutesummeroutfits [1k Pins] but you used #blackdenim [500 Pins] and #blackjeans instead.
Make sure you include the evergreen hashtags too!
Evergreen hashtags are hashtags that are relevant all-year-round, perfect for using to promote blog posts that are also relevant throughout the year. Your black jeans-based outfit would absolutely suit evergreen tags like, #outfits [1.4m Pins], #outfitoftheday [190k Pins], and #outfitideas [115k Pins].
I found all of these hashtags by spending 5 or 10 minutes tapping out # ideas in a blank, not-to-be-published Pin’s description box on my phone and seeing what else comes up.
When you do this, make a list of all the hashtags you think might be relevant in your posts, and then use in them in future Pin descriptions.
You’re not going to like this answer …
There isn’t an easy way, yet.
Pinterest doesn’t offer analytics or insights into the hashtags you use, unlike Instagram. This could be something that comes about in the future, but right now, the only way to check whether or not your Pins (and new Pin hashtag strategy) is working is to keep an eye on which of them are doing well.
Pinterest Analytics (available for business accounts) helps you to keep track of popular Pins.
Taking a peek at my stats for the last 30 days and I can see that all of my well-performing Pins contain at least 2 or 3 hashtags in the description — at the end. I can also see that 3 out of my 4 TOP performing Pins contain the hashtag #instagrammarketingtips. It’s not a very popular tag with only 764 Pins in total, but it’s a tag used in 3 posts that are doing well — which would suggest it’s doing the trick.
Remember — it will be very easy for your Pin to get lost in a sea of other Pins when using the most popular hashtags. Mix up popular ones with less popular ones to ensure that yours do get seen!
To get confirmation, I would use that same hashtag – #instagrammarketingtips – in other, newer Instagram-related Pin descriptions to see if it yielded the same results.
If something works for you, don’t ignore it; make use of it!
I hope you’ve learned a lot from the Definitive Guide To Pinterest Hashtags! With more and more people coming to the realisation that #’s finally have a place on Pinterest, it is inevitable that they’re going to become just as important to your marketing strategy as keywords are.
Hopefully, now you’ll have the tools and information you need to go into marketing battle (metaphorically, of course) — and win!
- Use hashtags sparingly — they’re still a fairly new concept and not everyone is using them yet
- Spend 10 minutes or so creating a list of hashtags that are relevant to you and your blog
- Don’t replace keywords with hashtags; use them in conjunction with each other
- Change up your hashtags from Pin to Pin to gain more reach and learn which ones work best
- Add them to the end of your Pin’s description to keep things neat n’ tidy
- Use a combination of niche-specific, evergreen, and seasonal or event-specific hashtags for maximum reach
- Keep your eyes on your Pins to see which hashtags seem to be working out well for you