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Best Ways to Use Hashtags on Pinterest

Best Ways to Use Hashtags With Pinterest

I’m really proud and happy to have assisted Cynthia Sanchez with her Business for Pinterest workshop series this past month.

There always hot topics about Pinterest that people want to know about. They want to know how to get their pins to show up in Pinterest search results, or how to drive more web traffic to their blog. There’s no doubt that one of the most controversial topics that have come across Pinterest marketing is the use of hashtags.

What is a Hashtag?

Let’s start off with what a hashtag is. A hashtag is simply this #. You’ll see these across a variety of different social networks like Twitter, Google Plus, and occasionally on Facebook as well. When Pinterest first came out in 2010 there was a lot of confusion about hashtags and how they were being used in Pinterest.

Many marketers assumed that by inserting # in their description that they would automatically pop up in search results for Pinterest, similar to the way that Twitter’s search works. But this was not the case, and soon a war on how to effectively use them ensued.

As the years have gone by, more and more brands are starting to use hashtags the smart way. Here are seven tips for using hashtags on Pinterest.

Hashtags Lead to Search Results for that Keyword

When you put a # in your pin’s description it will become bolded in the pin’s description when people are viewing them on the desktop version of Pinterest. This allows people to click on the # which leads to search results for Pins that may or may not contain that hashtag.

Usually the results that are shown are a mish mash of pins that contain the words used in the hashtag. I typed in #GardeningTips onto the desktop version of Pinterest and here were some of the results that were shown.

Hashtags on Pinterest - 7 Tips You Need to Know

Notice that some of the results show #GardeningTips, but other pins contain Gardening tips, some have Gardening-tips, and some of the don’t even have the keywords in them.

Not all Hashtags will be Indexed

Just because you put a hashtag in a pin’s description doesn’t automatically mean that it will show up in search results for that hashtag. Pinterest operates very different from Twitter.

To find out how keywords and hashtags are indexed within Pinterest search results, read my article 4 Tips to Make Your Pins more Searchable on Pinterest.

Hashtags May Lead People Away from Your Pin

A major con of having a hashtag on Pinterest is that it does lead people to search results for the keyword associated with that hashtag. Let’s say that I see your pin about gardening tips, I find the pin has the hashtag #gardeningtips and I click on it.

That click then leads me to search results for that #. And since not all hashtags are indexed, the person that clicked on your hashtag has now been taken away from your pin and now is browsing someone else’s pin.

This can be extremely troublesome when someone has click to enlarge a pin, and is seconds away from clicking on it again to be redirected to your website, only to be intrigued by the hashtag and clicks on it to disappear to a whole new set of results.

Hashtags are not Clickable on Mobile Apps

A big mistake on Pinterest is to assume that it works the same across all their different platforms. But Pinterest operates very differently from their internet versions compared to their mobile apps. One of the biggest differences between the mobile apps and the internet versions is that hashtags are not clickable on mobile apps.

While Pinterest has not given the exact number of people who use Pinterest mobile apps, we do know that 75% of all daily traffic comes from mobile apps according to article by TechCrunch.

This is important because too many hashtags written in a description can make it look cluttered and turn people off from clicking. Which leads us to the next tip.

Don’t Overuse Hashtags

You’ll still see this practice occur where there are pins that use dozens of hashtags in their descriptions. While this may be a popular practice on Instagram to get more followers, it can be annoying for users of Pinterest and poor etiquette.

Create a Unique Hashtag For Your Business

If you do want to use a hashtag for your business ensure that it’s a unique one. Try to avoid using common search terms that thousands of other pinners have used. This way when you create you own unique hashtag, when people do click on it, it will lead back to search results that are about your blog posts or products.

To help promote my upcoming book Pinterest to Profits with Pintalysis, I’ll be using the #Pintalysis in pin descriptions that are being used to promote that book since Pintalysis is a unique word.

Don’t Use Hashtags in Board and Account Descriptions

You’ll see some Pinterest boards have hashtags in their pin descriptions. Hashtags in Pinterest board descriptions are not helpful because people rarely search for boards by using hashtags in front of them.

And having them in your board descriptions and are detrimental to Google search results.

Best Ways to Use Hashtags with Pinterest by Vincent Ng of MCGNmarketing.com


Avoid using hashtag in your Pinterest board and account descriptions.

Boards on Pinterest can rank very well on Google, but they have to have keywords that people are searching for with the search engine. When was the last time you decided to type into Google #YourSearchTerm? I would imagine close to never.

Leave out the hashtags in your business name and board names and descriptions to help them rank higher in Google search results for terms you want to be searched for.

Have you been using hashtags in creative ways with Pinterest? Leave a comment and share with other members of the community.

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Vincent Ng is the founder of MCNG Marketing, and the author of Pinterest to Profits with Pintalysis and the host of the Pinterest podcast, Pictures to Profits. You can grab your free e-book on How to Search Optimize Your Pins for Pinterest and Search Engines."
  • http://www.PinningPowerProfits.com Michelle Sanchez

    Thank you Vincent for a great article on hashtags on Pinterest! As you pointed out, there is so much confusion out there as to if, how, where and when to use them! It would be great if Pinterest jumped on the Hashtag bandwagon 100% and made them work just like on the other social media networks! Until then, I recommend everyone use them, but use them wisely, as you pointed out in the article! Thanks for all you do! I am excited about your book too! Thanks!

    • http://www.mcngmarketing.com Vincent Ng

      Thanks Michelle. I think the fact that hashtags are so different across all these different platforms is what makes it even more confusing. I advocate people use them, but to stay away from common terms that overused. If they keep using the same original # they created, I think it will pay off dividends much later.

  • Ksenia

    Extremely useful! Thank you very much. I always used hashtags, but now I see I did it wrong.

    • http://www.mcngmarketing.com Vincent Ng

      Ksenia, you’re welcome! Glad that the article was of help.

  • http://wrapitgiftbag.com/ Adam Levine

    Hey Vincent,
    Digging your style again. Great post! I use only about 3 #hashtags in my product pins.
    #WrapiT always , and then I mix up #giftwrapstorage , #giftwrap , #giftwrapideas , #storage , #organize

    • http://www.mcngmarketing.com Vincent Ng

      Thanks Adam, your kind words are always appreciated. How have you found the results of using #giftwrap and the others. Have you noticed more repins when you’ve added those hashtags? Would love to know what your experience has been like with them.

  • http://www.writeontrack.ie Lorna

    I have to admit that I very rarely use hashtags on Pinterest and don’t recommend that others use them. They just don’t work well enough, unless as you say, you create one that is unique – that could be handy for keeping tabs on repins too (if the repinner doesn’t change the descriptor)

    • http://www.mcngmarketing.com Vincent Ng

      Hi Lorna, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I feel that hashtags will probably play a less important role as time goes on, but can still be helpful. The tricky part is not having people change the description, or worse yet, hijack a customized #.

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  • Krmlks

    very informative, thanks for sharing! Ill try it out