How exactly do hashtags on Pinterest work?
In this post, we are going to be diving deep into Pinterest hashtags, specifically what exactly are Pinterest hashtags, where do you find them, how can you use them, how many do you use and so on and so forth.
As someone who’s grown up multiple accounts to over millions of monthly followers and used hashtags to do that, I’m sharing all my secrets in this post.
Why do you even need hashtags on Pinterest?
On Pinterest every single month, there are billions of pins that are being uploaded in different categories, formats, shapes, and sizes.
Hashtags really serve two different purposes. The first one is to tag fresh content that is being added to the platform. When you add specific hashtags to your pins, especially when they are something which is relevant or trending such as, for example, Thanksgiving recipes or Christmas cookies, then Pinterest can tag and assign these and show it to the right users when they search for these keywords.
The second purpose that hashtags serve is to assign and rank your content, as well as your account on Pinterest, so that Pinterest can figure out what is the kind of categories of content that you’re creating, and where should it be showcasing that content.
Now, keeping in mind that Pinterest is a search engine, the way to look at it is that your hashtags essentially give clues to the Pinterest algorithm about what your content is all about and where should it be showcasing your content.
For example, when you create a blog post on Google, you also add specific tags that help you rank in search and make Google understand exactly what your content is all about. It is similarly the case for hashtags on Pinterest as well. When you use hashtags correctly, they can boost your search rankings on Pinterest, as well as get you more traffic from your Pinterest account.
Where do you use hashtags on Pinterest?
Hashtags are usually placed in the pin description. That is when you’re uploading a pin on Pinterest, you have a specific area where you can type in your pin description. Usually, after you write it a pin description which relates to what the pin is all about, you can add a couple of hashtags, which brings us to the next question, which is how many hashtags should you be adding to your pin descriptions?
According to official data from Pinterest, you can use up to 20 hashtags for every pin description. However, when it comes to the best practices of using hashtags, I actually recommend my customers and clients to use less than 10 hashtags. The reason why this is the case is because when you use a lot of hashtags in your pins, you don’t really always know which of these hashtags are going to be linked to spammy content.
If you add a lot of hashtags which are irrelevant or spammy, then that can end up in your account being blocked or suspended, and it’s going to be a hard thing to recover once that has happened to your account. If you’re thinking of adding hashtags to your description, make sure to stick to less than 10, if possible, just between five to 10 hashtags that are highly relevant and specific to your pin description.
Where do you find hashtags for Pinterest?
There are two different ways of finding hashtags.
The first and the best way to find a hashtag is to simply open up the Pinterest app on your mobile phone, and then upload any image that you want to create as a pin, and then go into the description and start typing, #quotes, #Christmas, anything that you are looking for, you can find the relevant auto-populated suggestions that Pinterest comes up with. And then you can just copy paste them into your notes app or into your desktop app, and then make sure you’re using them when you upload your pins.
Unfortunately for us, Pinterest does not have this feature in the desktop app anymore. It would be a really handy feature to have, and maybe in the long run, Pinterest is going to bring it back to the desktop app. But for now the fastest and the easiest way for you to generate hashtags which are specific to your pin is to log into your Pinterest app and use the method that I just shared.
The second method that you can use to find hashtags, which is not exactly the best method, but can be used as a good proxy for the first method is to simply use the keyword descriptions that come up on Pinterest as your hashtags. So when you go into your search bar on Pinterest and type a particular search term that you’re looking for, you’re going to see a row of different keyword suggestions that pops up at the top.
All of these different row suggestions can be used as hashtags in your pin descriptions. What you need to do when you’re uploading your pin each time is to simply open another browser tab, type in the keyword suggestions that you think might be most relevant to your pin, and then simply go and copy paste the different ideas that come up in the top bar.
Now that you know the technical bits of how to use hashtags, let’s talk about some of the best practices that you need to ensure so that your account doesn’t get blocked and you actually benefit from using hashtags on Pinterest.
How To Use Pinterest Hashtags
#1 Keep them relevant
The number one thing to keep in mind is to make sure that your hashtags are always relevant to the pin. If you’re creating a pin which is about Christmas gifts, make sure not to add Thanksgiving or a random different hashtag description in the pin description, because that is not going to help your case at all.
The other reason why you want to make sure that you’re adding relevant hashtags is so that Pinterest can in the long run understand exactly what your content is all about and start assigning different tags and categories to your content so that it can always showcase your content to the best audience on Pinterest, keeping in mind that it does work like a search engine.
#2 Mix them up
The next tip that I have for you is to use a mix of broad and specific hashtags. For example, if you want to use holiday hashtags, maybe you can use #christmas and then you can add #sustainablegiftguide. When you use Christmas, that is a pretty broad hashtag, but if you add sustainable gift guide, then that is a kind of narrow and specific hashtag. What this does is that it allows you to dominate search not only for a broad search term, but also for specific search terms for your content.
This is especially beneficial for people who have a new Pinterest account and don’t necessarily have a large audience reach because when you use large hashtags, you’re probably going to get drowned by the content of larger brands and accounts on Pinterest. However, when you add in specific hashtags to your pin description, you can also get discovered in smaller search queries and make sure that your content is showing up at the top, even if it is just a small search pool.
#3 Use seasonal hashtags.
The next thing to keep in mind is to add seasonal hashtags whenever possible. No matter what niche you’re in on Pinterest, there are going to be certain trending or seasonal changes that you can add as hashtags to your pins. For example, when the new year is approaching, you can add #newyearresolutions, if you are someone in the personal development or growth space. Since seasonal content is something that only shows up during or before the season, you want to make sure that you’re content actually has a chance to show up on search when it comes to the seasonal content that you create in your niche.
#4 Avoid using too many hashtags.
Next tip that I have for you is to avoid hashtag stuffing. This is a tip which is true pretty much on every social media platform. Pinterest is no different. When it comes to using hashtags, less is more. It doesn’t matter if you choose to use two hashtags or 10 hashtags. As long as the hashtags that you use are specific and relevant to your pin, that is pretty much the only thing that matters. I would avoid adding too many hashtags to your pins as that can lead to Pinterest considering your account as a spammy account, and it might end up in one or more of your pins being blocked.
#5 Switch up your hashtags often.
Keeping in mind this tip, the next one that I have for you is really to switch up your relevant hashtags. When you’re creating fresh pins and fresh images on Pinterest, you might be tempted to keep copy pasting all of the old hashtags that you already created for your old pins.
However, that’s not really the best practice when it comes to using hashtags. If you continue to repeat the same hashtags over and over again for every single person out there, that is again, a spammy practice that Pinterest does not really approve of and might end up in getting your account suspended.
Even though hashtags on Pinterest can be a little bit tricky, if you stick to the best practices that I just mentioned, you can definitely benefit from the hashtags and use them to improve your reach as well as your overall search ranking on Pinterest.
If you would like more in-depth strategies and step-by-step tutorials of how to use Pinterest to grow your traffic, leads and income, then you can check out my training program called Pinfluencer Collective, where I share my step-by-step success roadmap for building a profitable and thriving business on Pinterest.