Hashtags on Pinterest – Effective?

By: Casey Weinfurtner @CaseyWein

#pinterestPinterest. It’s recently been one of the trendiest social media tools and undoubtedly, one of the most time capturing. We’ve all been there – minutes to hours to way more than we’d like to admit – spent searching through and pinning our favorite quotes or fashion items onto boards that will never exist outside of cyberspace. But Pinterest is innovative. It’s fun. It’s creative. And it’s one of the huge social media sites companies are learning to incorporate into their marketing strategies. However, for companies just learning to adapt to social media branding or working to develop their Pinterest site with a great following, there a few tricks a company can use to strengthen that interest. In fact, one of those major tricks has already been used for years and made its way from its original site onto other social media sites as well…


Why Hashtags?

At the start of this year, I vowed to distance myself from Pinterest for at least five months. I had spent the previous four weeks building a Pinterest account for a nonprofit organization I interned with over winter break, and needless to say I was “Pinterested” out. The countless hours spent sorting through photos, uploading to the site and establishing eye-catching phrases to each board was much more work than I had anticipated. But finding ways to gain an audience and help Pinterest users stumble across our site was actually a fairly easy concept. Using hashtags on each photo I uploaded was the profound solution for not just this organizations website, but for my own personal use when searching on my own account. But, why?

It’s simple – it works. It’s been ridiculously successful and unique to Twitter and now sites like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest have learned to use the same technique. You can make your search as general or narrow as you wish, and help lead you to exactly the right content you’re looking for. You can view what’s most popular, what people think and contribute to the conversation or post your own related photo/link – thanks to a little help from this key: #. Pinterest is only benefiting itself and its users by joining the phenomenon and helping better link our social media sites together by one common thread.

How Is It Effective?

Let’s say the nonprofit organization I interned with was having an annual fundraising event this summer called “Raise Awareness.” The organization decides to hire a well-known chef “Chef Casey” to prepare the meals for the event dinner. The photographer at the event takes a plethora of photos of Chef Casey at work and all her gourmet meals served to the guests.

When the organization then goes to upload these photos onto their Pinterest board for the event, they can not only use #RaiseAwareness as a way for guests to find the event photos, but use the well-known Chef Casey as a way to direct her fans to the organizations site and increase publicity of the event.

You can first start with #ChefCasey as a broader search and discover photos of Casey’s meals at the event. By clicking on the photos of Chef Casey, viewers can be directed to the nonprofit organizations website itself, or even just get a glimpse of what type cause Chef Casey has donated her time for.

For those who may not specifically be a huge fan of or intentionally search Chef Casey’s meal recipes, using a hashtag for specific entrees Chef Casey created at the event is just another way for Pinterest users to stumble across the organizations website or Pinterest boards. If Chef Casey had prepared an “Apple Pie” for one of the deserts, using #ApplePie or other components that made up the pie could direct a Pinterest user searching a good apple pie recipe right to Chef Casey’s recipe, and you guessed it, right to the organizations fundraiser/website. However, the more specific your hashtags are to your subject, the better the likelihood of their discovery.

Go ahead and try it. #SeeForYourself.

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