There’s a debate out there in the Pinterest universe as to whether manual pinning or using a scheduler like Pinterest is best for getting traffic and clicks. Maybe you’ve been wondering the same. I’m going to try to set the record straight for you.
As someone who has used both methods, I’ve realized that whether or not you manually schedule your pins or use Tailwind is not quite as important as some people would have you believe.
Every month, 250 million people use Pinterest to search for information or products. We’re all vying for a space in front of these consumers and how you get it is much more complicated than just manually pinning or using a scheduler. BUT, here’s what I do know about creating a Pinterest scheduling strategy that works for you.
Please be advised that I do use affiliate links in my posts for which I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
How Do You Get Your Pins Out There?
As more and more people learn the potential Pinterest has for their business or blog, it becomes increasingly difficult to get your content seen and on the first page of people’s Smart Feed. That’s where a pinning schedule and strategy comes in.
Pinterest craves consistency. If you want Pinterest to show your content some love, you’ve got to reciprocate and that means pinning high-quality content every, single, day.
For this, you have two options: manual pinning and using a scheduler like Tailwind.
What Is Manual Pinning?
Manual pinning, or live pinning as it is sometimes called, is more or less exactly what it sounds like. You see something you like on Pinterest or a blog somewhere and you decide to hit the “pin it” button to add to one of your boards.
You can also upload pins directly to Pinterest and manually input the link and details. Repinning other people’s content is also a form of manual pinning.
AND YOU NEED TO REPIN OTHER PEOPLE’S CONTENT.
Pinterest wants you to share the love with other content creators and will reward you for doing so. The general rule most Pinterest Business users apply is to pin 80% high-quality, third-party content and 20% original content. If you spend all your time pinning copious amounts of pins from your own website, it can be viewed as spammy behavior and Pinterest will punish you accordingly.
What Does Tailwind Do?
Tailwind is a Pinterest scheduling, analytics tracking, and content sharing platform all wrapped into one. It will track your account and let you know which pins are doing the best for you and which times are optimal for repins and clicks. It’s also important to note that Tailwind is the only Pinterest approved scheduler.
If you use another scheduler you run the risk of being penalized by Pinterest for going against their terms and policies agreement.
Tailwind allows you to select the original and third-party content you wish to share and schedule them into a calendar within predetermined time slots that should allow for your content to reach the most people. It’s a wonderful “set it and forget it” tool and an incredible time saver.
There’s also the added bonus of Tailwind Tribes which are very similar to Pinterest Group Boards. Tribes vary in size, but the purpose of them all is to allow people to find third-party content within their same niche to schedule.
The great thing is that after a while, you’ll discover a group of bloggers and business owners whose content you especially like (and vice versa) and can easily access third-party content to repin without having to search all over your Pinterest Smart Feed to find it.
Why Would Anyone Bother To Manually Pin?
Right, so here’s the thing.
There is a THEORY that if you manually pin, you’ll get more traffic than you do with scheduled pins. Now because Pinterest likes to stay pretty tight-lipped on the inner workings of their algorithm, there’s no way to know this for sure other than anecdotal examples.
When I first started on my Pinterest journey, I took a FANTASTIC course by Carly Campbell (Mommy on Purpose) that encouraged manual pinning. She was a devout believer in the power of the manual pinning strategy (she’s since experimented with more Tailwind scheduling) and all I can say is that by using Carly’s strategies, I jumped from 13 monthly views to nearly 1 million in the span of five months (that number has since come down to about 770K due to an algorithm change).
Here’s what happened to my blog traffic from Pinterest:
My average daily clicks are closer to around 600 now, but because I started out at zero, and math being what it is, my combined average is a bit underwhelming. But I digress!
The point is, Carly’s strategies worked and changed the entire blogging game for me because my particular niche is heavily reliant on social shares.
If you’re interested in taking Carly’s course, I cannot recommend it enough. She charges $47 for information that others charge triple or quadruple that amount. I took the Pinterest Strategies course, but she does offer other topics as well.
If you’re a DIY Pinterest user, it’s a good investment. Click the image below to go to her course.
The Downside To Manual Pinning
After that enthusiastic endorsement of Carly’s manual pinning strategy, I’m now going to tell you that I mostly rely on Tailwind these days to do my pinning and here’s why:
Once I had implemented Carly’s strategies for a couple of months and got the hang of it, switching to Tailwind and decreasing the amount of manual pinning I was doing did not change my numbers very drastically.
Manual pinning is very time-consuming. The reason I was able to achieve such rapid growth was because I was devoting 3-4 hours EVERY DAY just to pinning. Sure, part of that was trying to get to know the medium better, but it was a lot and I don’t recommend spending that much time on Pinterest marketing each day.
To be fair, Carly didn’t recommend I spend that much time, but I got a little overly enthusiastic about the potential.
Manual pinning is good in the early days because it helps you get better acquainted with Pinterest from a creator’s perspective which is critical if you’re to be successful utilizing it as a marketing tool. Again, I would not have had the success I have without Carly’s manual pinning strategy in the early days.
More than likely, the reason people experience a slight uptick in their audience growth and clicks when they switch to manual pinning is that they are forced to pin content that is recent which Pinterest LOVES. So it’s likely that other variables are contributing to the positive change in traffic.
When you use a scheduler, you run the risk of filling up your queue so heavily that your pin from the post you wrote today doesn’t make it onto a board right away. Manual pinning eliminates that issue, which is why I recommend the following strategy.
The Manual-Scheduler Combo Pinterest Strategy
Whenever I have a new post, I immediately manually pin it from my website to one of my own boards. I then manually repin it to a group board. Once I’m on the group board, I repin 2-3 third-party pins (because you have to show the group boards love or they kick you out).
I then schedule the pin using Tailwind and aim to stagger the pin about 7-12 hours apart, so that over the next week or two, that pin starts popping up on all related personal and group boards. I then immediately upload that pin to Tailwind Tribes so that my tribemates will add it to their scheduler as well (hopefully).
I do this with ALL of my personal pins. Pinterest is cracking down on excessive repinning of your own content (again with the spammy behavior), so this strategy helps me ensure I don’t unknowingly overdo it. Because I have so much content and approximately 3-4 pins per post, it can be tricky to keep track of what pin went where and when.
Several bloggers and Pinterest professionals recommend using a spreadsheet to help you track your scheduling. I have found that too labor intensive and prefer to rely on a solid Tailwind strategy instead.
I spend maybe ten minutes per day manually repinning third-party content and recirculating older posts that have gained a bit of traction and the rest of the time, I let Tailwind do its thing. That requires me blocking out time once or twice per week to finding content in Tribes and Groups Boards to schedule, but I spend no more than 20 minutes on that activity in each setting.
As a side note, I’m able to be efficient with my own pinning now because I know my content, I know the bloggers I like to repin, and I have a system in place. In the beginning, you will want to take at least a couple hours per week to really nail down what content is best for repinning and where you can go to get the highest quality third-party content.
Pinterest Scheduling Strategy Support
If you’re looking for additional support for your Pinterest scheduling needs, you check out my Pinterest consultation service. On the other hand, if you feel like all this scheduling business is not for you and you want to outsource most of it, you can check out my monthly Pinterest maintenance packages as well.
Interested in trying Tailwind? Click the image below. Happy Pinning!