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Recent Update: After much research and trying, it appears we at Intelligent Designs Media have cracked another integral part of the “search code.” Repinning pictures and tagging them will NOT propagate your pictures into the search engine database, as the original pictures have already been tagged and organized on Pinterest. If you wish to have a picture propagated into the search database you must save the file and repost it as an original. Also, the search database appears to be updated every 4-5 hours, so please allow some time for the pictures to get into the system before you search for them.
Many of us are aware of the hashtag (#) search function on Twitter, that allows people to quickly and conveniently discover conversations on particular topics they’re interested in.
For those unaware, hashtag is attaching the symbol (#) to a keyword to make it searchable on social media.
For instance, if I wanted to talk about basketball on Twitter, I could end my tweet with #basketball, making the tweet easily searchable to other people talking about basketball. Conversely, if someone wanted to search for people and tweets talking about basketball, they could type it into the search box and find all the tweets that included the hashtag #basketball.
Also, if I saw someone talking about #basketball on my Twitter timeline, I could simply click on the hashtagged word #basketball (as hashtags turn words on Twitter into search links) and it would automatically take me to the Twitter search area to see tweets talking about basketball.
In essence, Twitter hashtags make finding, reaching out, and talking to others about shared interests easy and convenient.
But, did you know that Pinterest, the newest and hottest social media photo pinning site, is also utilizing hashtags? And, hashtags on Pinterest may be even more useful than on Twitter.
Why? Because Pinterest is made up of user photo boards ( user-created topics and interests) that connect the users to larger boards ( site-created global topics and interests).
However, the one drawback to the architecture of Pinterest is also its claim-to-fame: Pinterest is dominantly visual in nature. Therefore, your brief, written descriptions of pictures and keywords allowed by Pinterest when pinning are absolutely vital if you wish to connect your hobbies and interests to larger communities.
How do I use hashtags (#) on Pinterest?
Exactly like we described you would on Twitter.
In the description of the photo you’re pinning, hashtag (#) the keywords that best describe the picture you’re pinning and make sure the tagged words are broad and cover topics that connect you to the largest audience possible.
For example, if you are posting a recipe for soup, you would not want to hashtag #soup, but rather broader descriptions like #cooking, #food, or #recipes. This way, you assure that you have the potential of connecting to the largest audience possible.
Here is an example of a picture I found for a ”Lin and Tonic” drink, in honor of burgeoning NY Knicks Point Guard Jeremy Lin, that highlights what, and what not, to hashtag:
Notice, they have hashtagged #Lin, #Linsanity, and #recipe. Recipe is a good tag, because it covers a broad topic. Lin is alright, as there are a lot of people talking about Jeremy Lin currently. However, Linsanity is too specific and not a good tag. If I were to tag this based on audience size and community connection potential, I would definitely go with #recipe, #drink, #Lin, and #vodka.
Despite the quality of tagging, the fact that this person tagged their photo put them at a connection advantage over other users on Pinterest. Their picture is now more searchable when people are looking for certain topics, and they created extra ways for people to connect with them. As is always the case with social media, the more outlets to make connections, the better.
Try tagging your pictures today, and let us know what works and what doesn’t.