Hey friend! I don’t know about you, but I’ve always found hashtags to be fun. I still remember way back when I first started using them on Twitter in 2009. In case, you’re not sure how they work, they’re simply a string of words that begin with the pound sign (aka #). When you use them on Twitter or Instagram, it helps people find your post and build your following.
I use to be obsessed with hashtags and I’ll mentally hashtag everything, everyone, everywhere, and every moment I go because that’s how fun they were! It was like I could only see the world through hashtags.
Whether I’m hashtag queen or hashtag crazy, you can decide.
For the longest time, Pinterest was only a search engine. That means if you wanted to promote your blog on Pinterest, you had to use proper SEO. But as of late 2017, Pinterest has changed its game. SEO still works, but hashtags have entered the game and ecosystem.
So today I’m going to talk all about Pinterest hashtags and why you’re totally leaving traffic on the table if you aren’t adding them to your Pinterest strategy.
Let’s go deeper, shall we?
Pinterest hashtags are ranked as LATEST FIRST.
When Pinterest first announced that hashtags are a thing, I was stoned. Okay, I was unexcited because Pinterest has been making so many changes to their platform in the past year. I felt like I couldn’t keep up.
Sounds like you too?
So when I first heard of hashtags, I just quietly stashed that piece of news on the back burner. Part of me wished I never read it before. About two months ago, I finally started to experiment with adding some hashtags to my pins.
Tailwind and Pinterest experts continue to say that you don’t have to go back to add hashtags to your older pins. It wouldn’t affect their performance. Now I didn’t listen. At the time, I was in product creation and launch mode so I wasn’t creating any new content for this blog.
But because I still needed to keep my Pinterest marketing going, I added hashtags to some of my older pins to see what’s the deal. There were a few hashtags that I reused over and over.
I didn’t bother with them much and didn’t check the results. Then about two weeks ago when I was pumping out content like crazy again, I decided to type into the Pinterest search bar the hashtags I used.
A viola, a bunch of my newly created pins was stacked one after another on the Smart Feed!
Now, what does that mean?
Unlike the Smart Feed for Pinterest search engine, the Smart Feed for the hashtags populates the latest pins with the relevant hashtag FIRST! (At least for now.)
This means if you pinned a pin with the relevant hashtag, it will show up first regardless of how many previous repins it has.
For example, if you just pinned a pin with the hashtag, #healthymeals, and someone happens to search for #healthymeals two seconds later, your pin will show up first.
This is great for Pinterest beginners because many people complain that they can’t compete with old and high-ranking pins that has been ranked at the top of Pinterest for a decade.
After all, your freshly baked pin is competing with a top performer that already has been loved a couple thousand times!
With hashtags, the Smart Feed only ranks you based on the time you pinned your pin and hashtag accuracy.
So I get it that I should start experimenting with Pinterest hashtags, but how do I go about it?
I’ll begin by researching for a few relevant hashtags to your niche. This is similar to typing in relevant keywords to the search engine and see what populates.
Simply begin by typing “#(insert your main keyword)”…
Once you’ve uploaded your pin and ready to add your pin description, start typing a hashtag into the description. You will notice that Pinterest begins to give you some options.
The great thing about Option 2 is that it tells you precisely how many times that hashtag has been used on Pinterest.
I usually go for hashtags that are popular and hashtags that are less used.
I just want to have all my bases covered. Popular hashtags are more likely to be searched more often. Meanwhile, less popular hashtags means less competition and fewer people searching for it, but your pins are more likely to stay at the top of feed for longer.
How many hashtags should you use?
Three is a good number, but I alternate between 3-5. I always have one hashtag that has my brand/blog name, #heyjudess.
You see, hashtags are also good for brand building. When you’re just starting out, you might not have a brand yet. But once you have more pins circulating on Pinterest, this brand hashtag becomes more relevant. If people find one pin they like of yours, they might click on your brand hashtag to find more pins of yours.
Then the Smart Feed will populate all your branded pins!
At least that’s the goal.