Optimizing Hashtags on Pinterest vs. on Instagram

    November 19 2019

    Hashtags are – and always have been – a powerful engagement tool on social media. They essentially perform like a magnet, attracting users to your content based on terms and phrases they're looking to explore. Similar to social media itself, the way we utilize hashtags is forever changing. So is the way we use hashtags from one platform to the next.

    Intro to Pinterest Hashtags

    Pinterest is undeniably the most interesting case study. In its infancy, Pinterest wasn't exactly against hashtags, but if you weren't using a branded hashtag, they had very little impact. Much has changed in the years since then. Today, utilizing hashtags on Pinterest is more important than it's ever been. But approaching this engagement metric on Pinterest the same way you would on, say, Instagram, won't net the results you're seeking. There are levels to optimizing Pinterest hashtagging. We've studied some of the best ways to successfully navigate this space. Here's our take:

    Optimizing Hashtags on Pinterest

    • Be direct – this is what separates Pinterest from other social platforms when it comes to a hashtag strategy. Avoid hashtags that are vague or misleading.
    • Pro Tip: Utilize keyword hashtagging that is relevant to the topic and great for search bar optimization on Pinterest. For example, if it's related to a Social Media Marketing Pin use keywords such as: social media marketing strategy, social media marketing tips, or social media marketing business when crafting your hashtags. Collect keywords that appear at the top of the search bar (related to your topic) in order to boost your content and reach a larger audience.
    • Don't use acronyms or shorthand if it's not directly related to that subject of your Pin
    • Relatability is the key to successfully utilizing hashtags on Pinterest.
    • If your Pin is an image of a Dior gown, your hashtags should read #Dior #Gowns #Dresses, not #HighFashion #ANightOut #OOTD.
    • Speak directly to the content you're presenting. Hashtagging on Pinterest is a very literal exercise.
    • You don't need 20 hashtags to bridge the gap between you and those seeking your content.
    • Seek out Pinterest trends, both from other users and the brand itself.
    • Add your hashtags in the Pin description to optimize impact and effectiveness.
    • Use PLANOLY's Hashtag Manager to create custom groups of hashtags to quickly add to your Pins.

    Optimizing Hashtags on Instagram

    Instagram hashtagging tends to tell a story. While some shun excessive sharing, Instagram allows you to list upwards to 30 hashtags per post – offering users a wider funnel to discover your content. In contrast to Pinterest, hashtagging on Instagram can be playful or vague. There are even acronyms specific to Instagram. They function as searchable keywords, grouping your content into a digital community with hundreds of millions of others. Note the key Instagram distinctions below:

    • More is More. Use as many hashtags as you'd like and it won't diminish the integrity of your feed.
    • Test niche hashtags. In lieu of creating a hashtag surrounding one that already has millions of impressions, find a niche hashtag audience with 10k-500k impressions to make a larger impact instead of getting lost in the pack.
    • Personalize your brand by creating your own hashtags to use throughout your content shares. Keep in mind that audiences can only remember one or two hashtags per brand – keep the personalization to a minimum.
    • Hashtag both posts and Stories. If the tags interfere with your content, you can hide them in your Stories by pinching the words until they're virtually invisible or hiding them behind stickers.
    • Optimize your captions. While it doesn't quite matter if you post your hashtags in your caption or your comments, what can make a difference is automating those hashtags by using our Comment First feature.
    • Get Creative - be vague, use acronyms, apply your sense of humor - there are no rules other than to hashtag and hashtag a lot
    • Use PLANOLY's Hashtag Manager to create a base set of custom groups of hashtags to quickly add to your posts, and add additional hashtags that are more relevant to the actual content you're posting.

    Whether you're scheduling to Instagram or Pinterest, test out a new hashtag strategy to increase engagement or follower growth. Hashtagging helps make your content discoverable for new audiences. As you know, we're always looking for ways to make PLANOLY better by adding features that you didn't even know you needed. Haven't tried PLANOLY's Hashtag Manager yet? This feature will make your planning process more efficient than ever! Gone are the days of copying and pasting from your notes or trying to come up with original tags each time. Click the sign up below to schedule your content and create groups of hashtags! The PLANOLY app and web platform simplifies social media marketing by allowing you to visually plan, schedule, and analyze your Instagram and Pinterest content.

    Learn more about Darren Griffin, on PLANOLY

    Darren Griffin

    Darren Griffin was a contributing Senior Writer at PLANOLY. His expertise includes culture, fashion, and social media marketing.

    More by Darren Griffin

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