Social Media Marketing

Using Hashtags On Pinterest.


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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.

  • Kevin Law

    You seem to be making the assumption that reaching the largest number of users is the highest aim. What I want to do is reach the “right”users – people with like interests that I can connect. Having “narrow” search terms more often than not helps me do that.

    • intelligentdesignsmedia

      I think the upside is that hashtags do both what we are saying, and what you are saying. Thanks for adding a new perspective to this, that is definitely a good way to define the usefulness hashtags.

  • baptiste Cartereau

    Thanks for the article. usefull! Im wondering how to use it to run a contest for a brand, any idea?

    • intelligentdesignsmedia

      Caption contests are always awesome! Depends on the brand, but for most, posting a product or action and asking readers to provide a caption incites engagement, fun and active participation. Let us know what you choose!!!

  • Kim

    I am going to be participating in a workshop on how to utilize pinterest in extension education, and I am in charge of researching hashtags. I have used them in Twitter forever, but can’t seem to figure out how they work in Pinterest. I have created specific hashtags on a few pins and when I click those to see if my other pins will turn up, my search turns up empty. Any suggestions?

    • intelligentdesignsmedia

      Absolutely. Whereas on Twitter hashtags are chronologically organized, Pinterest “tags” are sorted by perceived relevance. Therefore, hashtagged photos with the most “likes, repins, comments etc.” will show up at the top of the search page. Much like how Google’s search engine rankings work. If you scroll for awhile, you will find your pin, but if it’s a broad topic at a timely hour, it may take a little searching…

      If you have any more questions, email our Technical Director Steve at

  • Winston Su

    Hi, very interesting article. I am researching more on using #hashtags on Pinterest. Don’t seem to be able to search for a promotions tag #youpicktwo, I’ve also noticed the search results don’t show all the tags. Hope there is nothing wrong with the way I’m searching. 

    • intelligentdesignsmedia

      For searching phrases, connect each word via a hyphen. For instance, instead of searching youpicktwo try you-pick-two. The search engine operates very much like Google’s so traditional search tips usually work.

      In terms of having trouble finding some things that are tagged: “Whereas on Twitter hashtags are chronologically organized, Pinterest “tags” are sorted by perceived relevance. Therefore, hashtagged photos with the most “likes, repins, comments etc.” will show up at the top of the search page. Much like how Google’s search engine rankings work. If you scroll for awhile, you will find your pin, but if it’s a broad topic at a timely hour, it may take a little searching…”

      If you have any more questions, email our Technical Director Steve at


  • Alfonso Soriano

    I made a specific hashtag (#disenobasico) that nobody is using, but when i search for it, I only get some of the pins I attached the hashtag to. Its not about relevance because no one else is using it.

    You know anything about this?

    • snevillebu

      According to them, results are all based on “freshness” (not chronologically ‘fresh’, though) and perceived relevance. Not unlike the EdgeRank system used by Facebook, or, so they say. Meaning, likes/repins, source of the material, and times posted all factor into how they appear in the search results for Pinterest. Which could also mean that at this time it is totally random and they are just blowing smoke up our you-know-what.  I understand how this can be a little disconcerting, as we are so used to Twitter and their neat and chronological organization of tagged Tweets, but the fact of the matter is simply that Pinterest is a young social media site that is still learning the best practices for the site. 

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  • cheap seo services

    Has tag is good for seo

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  • johannascott

    Hi all. I’m having a similar problem. Trying to create a unique hashtag for my brand so people can submit their own pins (which I’ll then re-pin). Trouble is, I can’t search for it. It seems from the comments below that if enough people use it it will start to be relevant – but i’m worried I will miss posts from people in our community….

    • intelligentdesignsmedia

      Keep at it, it’s a good habit to have, even if you don’t feel it’s helping right now. A more predictable algorithm is in the works for their search engine.

  • Free Powerpoint

    Good concept. ;)

  • Wedding photography Melbourne

    Thanks – very useful

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  • home pro health

    Thanks for sharing this. I was looking for a great hashtag for pinterest. Does anyone know how to get more followers from pinteres?

  • Mike Flower

    Good stuff. Thanks for the hashtag tips. 

  • SBJ

    I have tried to use the hashtag and it doesn’t link up correctly

    • snevillebu

      Are you tagging repins? Or fresh content?

      Steve Neville
      Intelligent Designs Media
      Technology Director/Social Media

  • Mtb388

    If I’m using a social plug to pinterest in on my website and have users include a specific hashtag on each pin they pull from my site, will these images propagate the search results of my specific term? 

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  • Tim Rohe

    I find that adding hashtags does not necessarily guarantee that a pin will show up in search results. As an experiment, I pinned five images with the tag #PinHashtags. So far nothing shows up in search results for that tag. Clicking the hashtag on any one of the images does not allow me to find the other four either. Unfortunately, I do not think we can curate visual conversations with hashtags on Pinterest at this time.

  • Micky O’Pinions

    New to Pinterest and so far love it from all the topics it covers to its interface. Still getting to grips with it though in terms of promoting my blog so it’s good to know hashtags can play a role in getting “pins” seen. Many thanks!

  • Parnita

    I want to put # with 2 words like online shop then will it right- #onlineshop or something else?

    • snevillebu

      It would be #OnlineShop

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  • Finnur

    #hashtaggin #is #not #available #on #pinterest #