In this blog series, Hashin’ It Out, we’re breaking down best practices for using hashtags across the social media landscape. So far we’ve covered Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Vine and LinkedIn. Today, we’re tackling Pinterest hashtags.
Users like to use hashtags to find topics and follow conversations. Social media marketers like them because they can extend the reach of brand messages. Hashtags allow your content to be seen by people who don’t even follow you—that’s pure marketing gold. While hashtags can be used on multiple platforms, the use case does differ slightly on each one. It’s important to understand how they work on each one to make sure you are using them to their full potential, and most importantly, look like a true social media pro.
Where to use them
Hashtags only work in pin descriptions. They are not clickable (or searchable) in profile names, descriptions, board titles, board descriptions or board titles.
What they do
Hashtags in Pinterest have the same basic purpose as they do in Twitter—uniting common conversations. But functionally, they’re a bit different. When you click on a hashtag within Twitter it displays all other tweets including that hashtag. In Pinterest, clicking on a hashtag not only displays other pins that contain it but also pins that include the same phrase or word in their description—and it can even result in pins that include the word in its URL.
Take a look at this example from uberVU’s Pinterest page. We pinned a picture we took at 2013’s New Media Expo and included the event’s hashtag #NMX.
After you click on #NMX you’ll see a bunch of pins that are also related to the event, both ones that include the hashtag and ones that include just NMX. The sandal image appears because as you can see NMX is used in its description.
But what about these shoes? There is no mention of NMX in the description, but when you click through you’ll see that the URLs attached to these pins contain NMX.
Make them unique
Since search works a bit differently on Pinterest it’s best to create hashtags for your company or brand that are totally unique—the more specific the better. This will help people find the right content—content by or about you!
Plus, if you run a contest asking people to pin with your hashtag, having a very specific one will make your job of searching through the entries that much easier.
Build and monitor your brand
Hashtags are a great way to brand your content on Pinterest. Include #yourbrandname on images you pin from your site to make it easy for people to find more of your content. Make sure to check out your brand or product hashtags as people might already be pinning about you. Check out what people are sharing, what they’re saying about your brand and engage with them!