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Leveraging Hashtags

What is a “Hashtag?”

A Hashtag, otherwise known as the Pound Sign (#), is a tool used across social media platforms used to sort posts or bring together groups of a interest.

For example, if you pin a pasta recipe, you might incorporate hashtags in your pin description such as: #recipe #italianfood #pasta #pastarecipe.

Hashtags are an incredibly useful tool whether you are posting for a business or personal social media account. They are a wonderful way to stimulate a conversation online.

The more general a hashtag is, the more general the grouping will be. In the above example, if you were to explore the recipe hashtag, you will find several posts relating to a wide variety of recipes. Similarly, the more specific a hashtag is, the more specific the result will be. If you were to explore the pasta recipe hashtag, you will likely only find pasta recipes.

Why Use Hashtags?

Hashtags are an especially helpful tool in reaching an audience beyond an already established following. Hashtags are used to help users be found on social media, and direct users towards a topic they are interested in.

You can search for and click any hashtag in a post description to see a feed of all posts with that tag. Because of the exposure it generates, hashtags are a fantastic way to grow your social media following, presence, and brand awareness organically, rather than paying to have your content show up in front of viewers. With that logic, why would anyone ever pay to boost their posts? When you click on or search for a specific hashtag, Pinterest will show the most recent posts with that hashtag first, so yours might get lost in the clutter.

As a business, it is a great strategy to use a hashtag to start a conversation. By encouraging others to use your hashtag, you can direct users to one central feed. In turn, this will hopefully allow others to find your business and even join in on the action.

For example, a pool store might create a campaign to generate brand awareness for the upcoming summer months. They might create a post with a picture saying “Use #ILoveNewYorkPoolStore2020 to get 15% off your next purchase at our store!” This hashtag is specific enough that its feed will only consist of those looking to take advantage of the promotion. Another user, unfamiliar with New York Pool Store might see someone they follow incorporate this tag into a post description and decide to join in and give the store a try.


Using Hashtags on Pinterest Checklist

  • Pinterest, has a 500-character limit on hashtags
  • Use no more than 20 hashtags in a post, fewer but more specific is better.
  • Try to use hashtags that are:
    • Evergreen such as #recipes and #homeorganizing
    • Seasonal such as #falldecor or #springcleaning
    • Holiday / Event specific such as #thanksgiving or #backtoschool
  • Quality hashtags should always be prioritized over the quantity of hashtags.
  • Put your hashtags at the end of your description to create a cleaner feel to the post.
  • Create a hashtag specific to your brand and add it before any other hashtags in your content.
  • Research the hashtags you are considering using.
    • What content shows up for that hashtag? Is it relevant to what you are sharing?
    • When was the last pin posted for that hashtag? If it’s within the past 15-20 minutes, it may move too quickly for your content to be seen.
  • Incorporate a mix of broad descriptive and specific hashtags.
    • Example: #Sneakers #Nike #Foamposites
  • Keep your hashtags straightforward and to the point.
    • Good Example: #pastarecipe
    • Bad Example: #myfavoriteitalianrecipeinthewholewideworld
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