This post is about how to optimize tailwind to double (or more) your pinterest followers. I went from 968 followers to 3155 in the 2 months after I joined tailwind. Tailwind is a pinterest scheduler. This post is not about homesteading, gardening, or any of my normal topics. If you are interested in blogging it can be a fun way to socialize on the internet and…. maybe… earn a little money in the process. It is one of the thing I mentioned in my creating multiple income streams post (which I do consider an important part of homesteading).
At the end of last year I decided to start focusing on Pinterest. Pinterest was my largest social traffic referrer at that point and I figured trying to optimize the account (and after looking for a pinterest scheduler I found tailwind, and the goal became to optimize tailwind) would only help. I poured myself into Pinterest research and optimization and I feel I have had some great (growth) success with it. I'm a numbers girl, so here are my numbers:
My Pinterest Followers
You can find my Pinterest account here.
- 314 followers July 2014
- 460 followers September 2014 (I joined a pinterest group and started researching pinterest optimization)
- 968 followers February 2015 (I joined tailwind)
- 1893 followers March 2015
- 3155 followers April 2015
So, while I do not have a large following, my growth has exceeded my expectations (far exceeded, in fact, my annual goal set in January was to have 1500 followers by the end of the year) and I was asked to share what I've done to reach that growth rate. Here is what I have done to optimize tailwind, and I hope that you can replicate it. As with everything, do what works for you! A pinterest scheduler was very important in growing my pinterest account.
Optimize Tailwind – Your Account
I am convinced that learning how to optimize Tailwind was the key. My following took off after joining tailwind (and once I learned how to optimize tailwind it more than doubled my followers). Tailwind is a pinterest scheduler (and more). There are a few other pinterest scheduling options, including Boardbooster and ViralTag that I will compare Tailwind later in this post. Tailwind was the third scheduler I tried and, especially after I learned how to optimize tailwind, it turned out to be perfect for me.
Optimize Tailwind – Scheduler
The first step to optimize tailwind is to decide on the number of pins you want. Tailwind will help you with the times (you do not need to optimize tailwind to get the right times, it will do it on it's own). The timing gets better as you use it (the best times are based on when your followers interact the most). At first I checked it every few days to reschedule the times since it was just learning. Now I only check every few weeks to see if they are recommending any different time slots and I move times around accordingly. I have 30-35 pin time slots depending on the day. You may have more or less.
- PIN HINT: In my research I found that successful pinners pin 15-40 times a day and it seemed that the more boards they had the more pins they recommended. Ultimately your goal is to make sure you are pinning to each board at least every other day or so. If you have 60 boards than 15 pins a day is not enough and if you have 5 boards than 40 pins a day is too many.
There are many ways you can add pins to be scheduled to pinterest on your tailwind account:
- Once you connect your pinterest account, tailwind scheduling will become an option when you repin on pinterest. Instead of clicking “Repin” you click the “tailwind” option and schedule it.
- There is also a firefox and chrome browser extension so I you can schedule it straight from a webpage.
- You can schedule from the pinterest mobile app by emailing the repin to your account (they will give you your address after you sign up).
- You can upload, design, or import an image straight into your account.
- You can pin from instagram
Once scheduled, the pin automatically goes into the next available time slot (the times are optimized for your followers). My repin rate increased more than tenfold after using this. You can also have the pin post to your twitter and/or facebook account when you pin it (which is another great tip to help optimize tailwind – use your other social media accounts).
Optimize Tailwind: Scheduling to Group Boards
If I am repinning or pinning my own pins to group boards I spread them out over a few days. In order to optimize tailwind repins, I always make sure other pins are going up in between them.
On the schedule page you can see all the pins you have scheduled and drag/drop them to a new place if needed.
- PIN HINT: I schedule my pins to a blog board and then repin them from there. You can choose all of the boards at the same time and then move them to different times in the scheduler.
Optimize Tailwind: Finding Pins to Schedule
If you don't know where you will find 15-40 pins a day then these tips are for you!
- Pin from your feed. I try to choose 10 or so pins a day from my feed.
- Pin from the “popular” board. These pins are tried and true (or promoted). Since they are popular they may already be on your followers boards, but it isn't a bad idea to pin a few of these.
- Pin your followers and pinners pins. You can't keep up with everybody, but if your feed shows somebody who pinned something of yours head over to their page and pin something of theirs (or follow them). It is a social platform so creating a relationship ultimately helps your profile.
- Pin from facebook groups and share threads. All of them. It helps your pinterest account, strengthens relationships with others in your niche, and makes it more likely that other people will participate in the share group in the future.
- Repin old pins. If you have one that was from long ago then you can always repin it. Delete the duplicate after a week or so (the one with fewer repins). This works well if you have pins that most of your followers have never seen. I had one pin that didn't get a single repin originally, but when I repinned it over a year later it ended up with over 3000 repins.
PIN HINT: Keep an eye on the pins after they are posted. If it doesn't get repins then learn from it (and maybe even delete it). Try to learn what your followers want in a pin. It will help your boards and it will help you craft a better pin on your website. The optimize tailwind pin inspector section talks about how you can find popular pins. You can also use it to find pins with no repins on them. Repin those or make them more pin worthy.
Optimize Tailwind “Monitor your Domain” Section
You can see trending pins from your website here. To be honest, I do not use it much, but the word cloud section under “Latest Pins” can give you an idea if your pins descriptions are good. I saw that I add the word “found” on many of my pins. So many that tailwind was picking that out as an important keyword. I will be changing that. Real keywords should be showing up on that word cloud.
Optimize Tailwind Track your Brand Page
The Profile Performance section can give you an idea if you are trending up or down, but I do not use it much.
The Board Insights section is great! It shows you the Pins, Followers, Repins/Likes/Comments, Virality, and Engagement of every board you have on your profile (including the group boards you belong to). This can be very useful in deciding if a group board is worth staying in or not. It is also useful to see if your own boards are working. Your boards at the bottom might need to be cut. If you have a board at the top that has a lot of pins then take a look at it and consider splitting it into two (more targeted) boards.
- PIN HINT: You should have at least 25 pins on a board. If you have boards that are smaller then combine them. If a board is getting too large then consider splitting it into a couple boards.
Optimize Tailwind Pin Inspector
Pin Inspector is also a great tool and it can be found in the “optimize tailwind content” section.
- Find your top pins (they show up at the top of the page)
- Search for your pins to find the one that has the most repins to promote. If your pin is on 3 different boards then you want to promote the one that has the most repins. Search for one of the keywords that is in the pin and all of them should come up.
- Search for your site name and filter by a group board to see how your pins do on a specific group board. If they are not doing well then it might not be worth keeping that group board on your profile.
PIN HINT: You should keep group boards for two reasons. The first is to promote your own pins to a different audience. The second is to help you get content that your followers may expect or like, but you may not have time to pin to often (like a holiday board or a board that belongs in your niche but you do not have content for).
Tailwind vs Boardbooster
Boardbooster is another pinterest scheduler. It costs $5/month for up to 500 pins, $10 for up to 1000 pins, $20 for up to 2000 pins. I schedule just over 1000 pins a month so it would cost me more to use Boardbooster than Tailwind.
You set your own schedule with Boardbooster. You create secret boards and pin to those then set up a repin schedule where pins that go to each specific secret board are repinned to your public boards on a schedule you set.
Boardbooster has a board doctor that will check your pins for errors, but it costs extra ($0.01 per pin on your account). They have a pin mover, which also costs $0.01 per pin moved (you can now move pins on pinterest). It has a group board manager that helps you track your board collaborators. You can also “loop” (repin your pins after a certain amount of time) and repin pins on a schedule.
If you like the board doctor or mover it will cost you the same whether you have an account with them or not (you can still use that at the same cost if you are a Tailwind user).
I pin just over 1000 pins a month with Tailwind so Boardbooster would cost me more than Tailwind ($10/month with an annual discount vs $20/month with Boardbooster) and it does not have near the features that Tailwind has. I also found the pinning to a secret board first strategy harder to manage than just pinning and moving pins around on a drag and drop page. Not all of my pins go to all of my group boards, even in the same niche. For example, I have a few garden group boards, but one is only for Vegetable garden so if I set up a secret board that pinned to all my garden boards I would end up pinning things to the vegetable one that didn't belong.
Finally, I like that Tailwind tells me times optimized for my followers. You can read tons of stuff on what the best times are, but when you optimize tailwind, the times are specifically for your account, which works even better.
Tailwind vs Viraltag:
The free version of Viraltag does not have a pinterest option. You can have up to 10 profiles (including pinterest) for $29/month. This is not just a pinterest scheduler, it also schedules for other profiles, much like hootsuite. Since I already have hootsuite (and the free version of hootsuite does everything I need right now) I couldn't justify the cost increase for ViralTag. If you do not use a scheduler for your other profiles then ViralTag might be worth a look. It also offers a free trial.
Other Pinterest Hints:
- Follow the contributors to the group boards you are on. You know those people are in your niche. Pinterest does not have a “follow back” culture like twitter does, but getting good niche specific pins in your feed will help your boards.
- Comment on a few pins each day. Make them meaningful 1-2 sentence comments and don't do too many (Pinterest will think you are spamming).
- Optimize your profile – keep it short, sweet, and loaded with keywords.
- Utilize your other social media profiles – occasionally send your pins to your twitter account and leave an option for your facebook followers to pin your posts for later.
None of this would have been possible if it wasn't for my Pinterest Party Facebook group! They are excellent and if you have the time to really optimize tailwind or just your pinterest account then consider joining us!