You might have wondered if hashtags even exist on Pinterest in 2021? Back in 2017, Pinterest was strict in its no-hashtag policy, but then things turned up for good.
Now, in 2021, Pinterest does not use hashtags but only has keywords. Even if you find hashtags, they are no longer clickable, and the feed is out.
A hashtag identifies a particular topic preceded by a hash (#) symbol. The hashtag concept was first introduced by Twitter when they wanted to index keywords for easier retrieval of related tweets. Soon other social media sites introduced this method to their platforms, and hashtags became omnipresent.
Hashtags are used to find similar topic-related posts on social media. And Hashtags are usually clickable, and they lead to a hashtag feed page where one can view all recent/most relevant posts containing that hashtag.
Hashtags have made it easier for people to look up for their interests on social media and to quickly communicate and be a part of a conversation related to that interest.
What Are Hashtags on Pinterest? Are They Different from Regular Hashtags?
Until late 2020 hashtags on Pinterest worked precisely as they do on any other social media platform. But Pinterest had the problem of showing non-hashtagged content in hashtag searches. So, Pinterest decided to remove the hashtag feed altogether.
Now hashtags on Pinterest are no more clickable and do not lead to a hashtag feed with pins having the same hashtag. Hashtags have become like keywords. You can type the hashtag in the search bar you are interested in, and the most relevant pins sharing the hashtag will appear as your search result.
The Pinterest algorithm for hashtag searches will return relevant pins that match your hashtag most closely if there are not enough pins sharing the hashtag you are looking for.
Do Hashtags Work on Pinterest?
The purpose of hashtags like in all social media platforms is to categorize the pins on Pinterest. With hashtags, a Pinterest user no longer has to look through irrelevant pins to find the pins they actually want.
Using hashtags on Pinterest is great if you want to attract new traffic to your brand or platform. Pinterest stresses using content-relevant hashtags instead of resorting to other techniques (like using popular but irrelevant hashtags).
If you use such spam techniques, there are chances of your account being suspended due to spam filter triggering. And you do not want to get there as it may take several months to reinstate your account, or sometimes never.
How to Use or Add Hashtags to Pins?
Like in any other social media platform, you can create hashtags by merely typing a word or a phrase (without spaces) after the pound/hash (#) symbol. Yes, it is that simple. It does not matter if your pin is promoted or not; your pin will appear if it is relevant and fresh content when someone else searches for the hashtag you used in your pin.
You can also edit or change your hashtags in your pin by editing the pin description. It is recommended that you use hashtags at the end of your pin description. If your older pins do not have hashtags and you are thinking of going back and adding hashtags to them, then it would be best to leave them as they are.
The reason is since you posted, thousands of other posts have been made using the hashtag that you wish to add. These new posts are relevant and fresh content on Pinterest. Adding the hashtag to your pin will not help your pin show up as freshest content on hashtag searches.
Pinterest says, “When inserting a hashtag, we recommend you be specific and descriptive. Use words or phrases that describe the pin’s content – we suggest adding no more than 20 hashtags per pin. It’s best to be objective and use hashtags that make sense and are relevant to the pin.
Hashtags are a new way to reach users interested in your content. 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.
Use hashtags to improve search results:
Add a few relevant hashtags to help people find your content. Hashtags function as search terms, and people use them to find trending pins related to your topic of interest. Unlike hashtags elsewhere, Pinterest hashtags aren’t used for jokes, memes, or commentary.
So, for a fashion brand, something like #fallboots would work well—but #ilookterribleinhats wouldn’t. If you’re not sure which hashtags to use, try searching for your topic on Pinterest and use the autocomplete suggestions as guidance.”
How to Find Pins with Hashtags?
You can search for a hashtag by typing the hashtag in the top bar of Pinterest, like “#weddingideas” or “#mustreadbooks.” Before late 2020, the hashtag feed would be in chronological order with the freshest content in the beginning. But now Pinterest seems to have replaced the freshest content with the most relevant content on top.
No longer descriptions are seen in the hashtag searches. Now you can only see the title of the pin. Also, since hashtags work as keywords now, you will get pins related to your hashtag but may not have the hashtag in their description.
Which Hashtags Should I Use on Pinterest?
Hashtags can be categorized based on certain broad topics like location (#indiatour, #NYC), industry (#fashioninsta, #salestechniques), holiday (#hotelsnyc, #argentinafood), festival (#durgapujashopping, #christmasdecorations), brand (#alldaybreakfast, #costco), etc.
Hashtags on Pinterest are often used as a broad search phrase. Pinterest hashtags are not just used to find topics of interest. Companies and individuals use them to promote their business, spread their message to communities, and build awareness.
While creating a hashtag, it is critical to note that the hashtag must not be too complicated or too specific. It should resonate with your targeted audience at a personal level as well. It is also a good practice to add more than one hashtag to your pins (all that are relevant) so that your audience can find it easily as you increase the search choices for them.
Hashtags do not always have to be single words. They can be phrases as well. But it is essential to keep the phrase short. If the phrase used is too long, it will become difficult for readers to remember them. Hashtags should be consistent and try to be exclusive to your content. It is not advisable to try to send too many messages through one pin. Also, phrases as hashtags should have no space in between individual words.
How to Optimize Your Pins with Hashtags?
If you consider social media, hashtags have been a primary engagement tool that works like a magnet to users looking to explore your content with the related keywords or phrases.
But, utilizing hashtags on Pinterest is significantly different from other platforms, say, Instagram. There are certain levels for optimizing the Pinterest hashtagging process.
- Avoid misleading or indirect hashtags: This is where you can differentiate between hashtags on Pinterest and the other social media platforms.
- No shorthand or acronyms: Keep away from using acronyms or shorthand in the hashtags that are not directly related to your Pin.
- Relatability: Hashtags are winning social media marketing with the only trick, relatability. It is key to successfully utilizing pins in your favor.
- Keyword Hashtagging: It is proven that using keyword hashtagging with the relevant topic can be great for search optimization on Pinterest. Say you are collecting terms for some social media marketing pin. The ideal keyword hashtags would be social media marketing tips, social media marketing strategy, social media marketing business, social media marketing plan, etc. You can quickly look up for these keyword hashtags from the search bar. This can be a significant boost to your online presence and target audience.
- Positive Hashtags: Pinterest encourages its users to promote their hashtags on a positive note. Like if the pin is regarding bad hair, instead of going for a hashtag that reads #badhairday, you should ideally use a hashtag like #hairsolutions or #saynotobadhair.
- Mix Hashtags: Most professionals consider it a best practice to mix broad and specific hashtags in a pin. The main reason to do this is that the mixed hashtag helps capture both audiences for the broad and the specific hashtag. For example, suppose you are a sustainable clothing brand. In that case, if you use a hashtag #christmas in your pin, alongside a more specific #sustainableclothing, it will attract an audience for both #christmas and #sustainableclothing. One takes care of the broader reach, while the other is closely related to your products or brand.
Pinterest Task Checklist – Tricks to Boost Hashtag Performance
- Practice to pin at least five times daily.
- Check home feed to repin top content.
- Follow influential pinners as well as some of your own followers.
- Ensure to schedule your pin to all relevant boards and share on other social networks
- Pack your pin descriptions with relevant keywords
- Consider the following month or trending topics as well as evergreen content to create images and pins often
- Evaluate best group hashtag performance
Common in all the above tasks is searching and feeding your pins relevant hashtags that help your online presence.
Benefits of Hashtags with Your Pins
- Promote brand awareness – When McDonald’s changed their breakfast timings to an all-day breakfast menu, they promoted this using the hashtag “#alldaybreakfast.”
Hashtags have become a way to make consumers aware of offers, sales, and new product launches. Also, adding just the company’s name as a hashtag to all company posts helps consumers find all your content in one search.
- Brings content writers closer to their readers – If your posts have hashtags relevant and closest to ones that your targeted audience uses, you are in luck. This results in your pin being most relevant on hashtag searches and increases readers’ chance to go to your pin. Since you provided them with the exact information they wanted, your chance of being followed by them also increases.
- It helps readers and consumers find exactly what they are looking for – Pinterest hashtags can be particular and is extremely useful to search for required content. For example, searching “#ketorecipes” will show the most relevant and trending pins related to the keto diet and recipes. Because Pinterest hashtags are not used as memes or jokes, they can get the necessary information in no time. This helps users to avoid spending time sifting through irrelevant pins to find the ones that are required.
Where Not to Use Hashtags on Pinterest?
Now that you know the benefits of using hashtags in your pins, that does not necessarily mean we can use them everywhere across Pinterest.
There are individual sections on Pinterest where it’s best you don’t use hashtags, like your profile bio, name, board descriptions, etc. Again, this does not mean you switch the use of hashtags completely. Instead, use them in places where they are clickable and retained, like pin descriptions.
Moreover, keep in mind not to use the same hashtag repeatedly, but go for different hashtags in the same genre. You must increase your brand’s reach by using hashtags that appeal to different audience sections.
For example, if you have created a pin about a homemade vanilla cupcake, the probable hashtags you can use are #vanillacupcakes, #uniquedessertideas, #baking, and #homemade.
How to Know If Your Pinterest Hashtags Are Working?
Unlike other social media platforms, Pinterest does not offer any analytics or insights into the hashtags. However, for business accounts, you have a Pinterest Analytics section to check how your hashtags perform and which ones work better than others.
Open Questions Regarding Pinterest Hashtags
Can Pinterest hashtags improve user-generated content?
Pinterest hashtags work both online and offline and most often inspire user content. One great way to promote your hashtag or brand itself would be to offer your customers an incentive to purchase. This way, you can encourage customers to post a picture of your product with your brand hashtag.
What is the maximum number of hashtags you can use on a Pin?
The best way to go about hashtags on Pinterest is to start with three pins, your brand hashtag, the product hashtag, and a campaign hashtag. One thing to remember on Pinterest is that you should always avoid using unnecessary or irrelevant hashtags, as this may trigger spam filters and, in turn, block your account. Anyway, if you want to add the maximum number of hashtags you are allowed, then that number would be 20 as per Pinterest rules.
How to format pins with hashtags on Pinterest?
Always keep your descriptions short and crisp, and then go with the hashtags at the bottom of the pin. Use good quality images, preferably larger ones that are more likely to show up on the hashtag search feed.
Also, do not forget to use title text on all pins (images), as some pins may or may not display the pin title.
How specific do I need to be with the hashtags on Pinterest?
We recommend using the right mix of both broad and specific hashtags. While the broad hashtags take care of the search feed and reach the target audience, the more specific hashtag helps pop up your content when a user searches for something specific.
The best trick is to find the keywords people generally use to explore content in a particular genre and use them as hashtags to improve your online presence.
Can pins with hashtags be stolen?
This is not a thing to worry about. Pins should always be relatable, so your audience can find you when they search for related content. Shying away from using hashtags as scammers may use your pins can be a wrong move for your overall business via Pinterest.
Even though Pinterest does not have free clickable hashtags or a hashtag feed anymore, hashtags still have their importance. Like keywords, hashtags are beneficial to find the content you are interested in, in no time.
Now that hashtags finally have a place on Pinterest, it is essential to admit that hashtags are a part of the ongoing marketing strategy, as are keywords. So, we’d recommend never replacing keywords with hashtags but using them in conjunction with each other.
Your hashtags should always be a combination of broad, niche-specific, and event-specific to reach the maximum target audience. Ensure to check hashtag search results to find the relevant keywords, and this will help get good results on your fresh pins, which may otherwise take days and months to appear in search.