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The Power of Pinterest

For those new to Pinterest or those wanting another users point of view, read on!

What is Pinterest?
Foremost Pinterest is a search engine that leads to ALL of the pins/boards/videos/people posted on Pinterest. It’s akin to searches found at Etsy, Amazon or eBay.

Pinterest is unique in that pins are selected and repinned on other boards. There pins can be picked up again (and again) and re-shared to more boards. This exponential sharing is the power of Pinterest. By design re-pins expand a pin’s viewing audience.

About Pinterest Profiles, Boards & Pins
A Pinterest profile is a webpage that contains boards. Profile owners can create new boards- or join existing boards. Inside each board is a collection of pins. There are 2 types of boards: personal and collaborative (group). Personal boards contain pins procured by the board owner. Collaborative, or group, boards invite others to join. Group boards offer a variety of pins on themed subjects.

Join and/or Create Group Boards
Anyone can create a group board. And invite other Pinterest users to pin on their board. You can also ask to join a group board. Joining a board allows you to post a pin on it. When you join a collaborative board it also displays on your profile page. Joining group boards is a great way to have your items mixed with like kind pins for more exposure. (Group boards are recognized by the sectioned circle icon on the left lower corner of a board.)

If you want to join a board, contact its owner. The board description may provide their email–or the URL contains their profile name. Send them a private message. Be sure to FOLLOW the board -FIRST- so you can be sent an invite to join.

Ideas to Organize Your Boards
There are many ways to set up your profile cover page. There is no magic formula. Realize your profile boards can- and will change over time. You can move/edit/delete/rename boards at anytime. For my profile I have presently arranged the boards in this manner:

  1. My first 3 boards contain products from my stores at: PattyAnn.net; TeachersPayTeachers, and Etsy. The 4th board has my photography and fine art as it’s a distinct category. Searchers prefer to target specific board types, so accurate board titles are vital.
  2. The next 5 are group boards I created: 1- eBook Stop n Shop; 2 – Books of Discovery 3- Education 4 All; 4- Graphic Arts Design Resources;  5- Career & Vocational Resources. These boards were created for my own pins, namely because I could not find any genre specific boards on Pinterest. I also invited others to join the boards who had similar pins to provide a variety of pins for viewers.
  3. Next there are my other interest boards: Communication in Relationships; Ethics & Critical Thinking Activities; Mental Health Mindfulness; Videos by PattyAnn.net; DiY Home Projects, + more. In all I have 18-20 boards. The rest of the boards are collaborative boards I joined. Board arrangements can be changed anytime.

Viewing Pinterest Profiles & Boards
People landing on your profile page want to know who and what your boards are all about. Since profiles can have many boards, people may view only the top rows. Therefore, when arranging boards, think of the visual experience you want to create for your audience. If you offer products to sell it is wise to put these boards upfront. Remember if someone is searching a particular topic they will pull up your board(s) and/or pin(s) if it fits their search. So do not fret about the perfect board display.

If you don’t see a group board to meet your needs > Create one! Then invite others to join. That was the case for my group boards. The intent was not only to showcase my pins, but invite like-kind pins. Now others ask to join my boards because they have pins that fit–and my boards are actively viewed.

Note: If a board receives few pins, views or action > change the board title, and description, to make it more attractive. The success of a group board depends on its owner.

TiPs for Collaborative Board Owners
If you create a board and want to attract quality pins, you MUST monitor board activity. Here are some tips:

  • Upfront in the description tell your audience what the board is about -and how to contact you. Post rules on what is- and is not- acceptable to pin.
  • When you get a request to join your board, click back to that person’s profile–before sending an invite. Check to see if their pins will fit your board. Otherwise spam can occur.
  • If a person posts off topic pins message them and request they comply to the board rules. I always give 1-3 courtesy warnings. If they don’t comply I block them from my board. Many folks just block pinners without notice. Sometimes pins get misplaced. Or their pin scheduler is not set up correctly. I believe it’s fair to warn folks, so they can modify their pinning habits.
  • You alone are responsible for the integrity of your board. View your group boards at least weekly. Keep them spam free. And cohesive to the board theme. Pinners and viewers appreciate a board that is true to its description.
  • Only create the number of group boards you are willing to monitor. My limit is 5 because I do not want to review, or police, my boards more than once a week. Do what fits you best.

Pinterest Takes Time to Grow
Like any social media, growing your Pinterest profile and following takes time. I started on Pinterest in 2012?- but did not become regularly active until 2017. That is when I truly realized the potential Pinterest offered. I only market through Pinterest. Because a picture IS worth 1000 words! And, it’s just fun to look at others creations.

The beauty of your Pinterest profile is that its active 24/7. And, a fun way to create and showcase our passions and talents. In any event, I hope this info provided a tad more insight to your Pinterest adventures!

Copyright 2019. All rights reserved.
No reprints or copying without permission of the author, Patty Ann.

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Is Tailwind Worth It?

Are you curious if Tailwind will help your cause, product line and/or store to grow? This post is a snapshot of the Tailwind app, so you can decide if it will work for your needs. This article is not an advertisement, or an endorsement. It is an opinion based on my experience of what worked–and what didn’t- for me.

What is Tailwind?
Tailwind is an automatic pin scheduler. It’s designed to save time if you pin regularly to a variety of boards. Tailwind schedules pins throughout the day for weeks-months in advance. You just load the scheduler and (hopefully) forget about pinning everyday. You can add and edit pins any time. Tailwind also offers other features such as Loops and Tribes.

What are Loops?
Loops are useful when you have pins that go to targeted boards. Every loop can be set up using board lists and pinning rules. Loops rotate indefinitely without reloading the pin scheduler and can be edited at any time. The basic plan includes 250 looping pins. There is an upgrade fee to add more loops. I had over 5000 pins in 15 loops so I invested in the Power Up option which allowed unlimited looping pins.

What are Tribes?
Tribes are groups of people with like interests. Anyone can start a tribe, or join one from the many available. Tribes can be any category: books, animals, relationships and so on. Included in the basic plan are a few tribes. You can join as many tribes as you can manage at an extra cost. I desired lots of exposure due to all the e-product genres I sell. So I bought into the unlimited tribes Power Up as well.

At What Point Does Tailwind Become Handy?
If you are regularly pinning 50+ pins to many boards you may find an automatic scheduler handy. I had 200+ pins and 100+ boards, so Tailwind’s appeal was as a time saver.

Is There a Learning Curve?
YES – most definitely as there is with any new program! Tailwind does offer good instructional videos. The support staff will direct and answer your questions as well. But, experience is the best teacher. Every app is easy -after you invest the time to learn it. Such was the case with Tailwind. Understand that Tailwind is an accessory to Pinterest. I would recommend you are proficient using Pinterest, otherwise Tailwind may confuse you.

What Plan Should You Buy?
Tailwind has a free trial period. If purchasing, I’d recommend just the basic scheduler for newcomers (currently $119/year). This way you can familiarize yourself with this app, before spending more $$$. Loops and tribes can be added at any time if you see the need. Upfront I wanted unlimited pins in loops, and unlimited tribes for unrestricted use. I paid $119 for the basic plan + $360 for unlimited Power Ups = $479/year.

Was the ROI (Return on Investment) Worthwhile?
The point of any marketing/sales app is to gain a financial return. At least have the app pay for itself-and preferably profit further from it. The dollar amount returned must be measurable to determine this. For instance, I sell many products on TeachersPayTeachers (TpT) as well as other sites. TpT has sales stats. In the year Tailwind was in effect there was a return of $2.80 from Tailwind loops. Ugh. My own website PattyAnn.net drove more sales to TpT than Tailwind by 300%. Most all TpT sales came from TpT searches directly. Was Tailwind worth the investment? No. Not according to the stats.

One could argue that repins have traction thereafter – the Tailwind effect. My personal belief is pins are short lived for the here and now. I would say to do your homework and follow your repins to the boards they are pinned on. Many of my repins went to dead end boards. Meaning one owner boards used as personal reference- or act as a wish list. There is nothing wrong with that. I do the same. However, the result is that personal boards typically get little visibility outside of their owner. Sellers desire a pin that is actionable; one that clicks through to the point of purchase.

Tailwind involved a time investment. To learn. To monitor. To add pins and edit loops. And to contribute to the Tribes to increase reach in other markets. I spent money and I wanted to maximize its return. So I learned everything about Tailwind down to the details.

Tips on Tailwind Tribes
The point of joining tribes is that your pins will land on boards outside your niche. My ebooks and art products span a variety of genres. Joining a variety of tribes was appealing for reaching other select markets. Again I opted for unlimited tribes. But, this was too time consuming for receiving only 17 tribe click-throughs and ZERO sales.

Many tribes had too many participants, which equaled too many pins. And my pins, along with others, got buried. Smaller tribes are your best bet to get pins noticed. What worked was to buddy up. I pinned others who pinned mine. At least until my pins saturated their boards, and vice versa. Also pinners may market to your same audience. So repins often land on the same Pinterest group board(s), which is unproductive.

All tribes had rules. Most require a pin ratio of 1:1 -meaning pin one for every one of yours posted. I wanted repins as much as the next person. I tended to trust the intent behind the repins I chose. And did not check out their links, or quality, prior to repinning, which is a good idea. Tribes take time to monitor and attend. There are no guarantees your pins will be repinned. My view is that Tribes are another social network that is promoted within Tailwind, by subscribers, to get hooked.  Tribe time was too consuming for me. And without any tangible ROI.

Tailwind Issues & Support
I spent too much time monitoring Tailwind’s glitches. Forums revealed I was not alone experiencing Tailwind issues. In short, the Tailwind app ignored my board rules. There was excessive, rampant pinning on boards in loops . A single pin would get repinned on the same board perhaps 12-18x in a row. There was no rhyme or reason to this behavior. Consequently, I lost 5 favorite Pinterest boards. Either board owners blocked me. Or Pinterest did for excessive spamming. I was not aware of this immediately.

I contacted Tailwind support numerous times. Every support rep was polite and promised to solve this. But no one rep followed this issue through even though my issue was acknowledged and assurances made. It became clear Tailwind is about marketing and selling its app, not about supporting it. BTW if you contact support it can take 2-3 days to get a reply. My conclusion? Tailwind’s claim to “unlimited” pins is a misnomer. After this problem popped up randomly several times I had to monitor my boards closely. I asked for a refund. But Tailwind does not give refunds once paid. So to get my money’s worth I continued using Tailwind until my subscription expired. When pins went on rampages, I had to delete the excess pins. I was not happy about an app that was designed to save time, and instead was quite the opposite.

NO Guarantees & NO REFUNDS
Regardless to issues that come up due to your –or Tailwind’s error there are NO REFUNDS. For this reason if you chose to subscribe I strongly suggest to start with the basic plan. You can add options later if they fit your needs. If you want to exit tailwind permanently, you need to contact support prior too your resubscribe date. I had several emails with Tailwind support telling them explicitly I want to expire my entire Tailwind account. On the last day, I double checked. The Power Ups had been expired, and the basic plan was slated to renew! I contacted support. Again. Their answer: “I am glad you were able to reach out to us before the payment processed.”  What the bleep!!??? While support was always friendly, it was too exhausting keeping track of what they were suppose to service.

Pinterest vs. Tailwind
Understand that Pinterest is a search engine at its core. (And Tailwind is simply a pin scheduler.) When people look for something in particular they search for it. While some folks swear by Tailwind; it is matter of personal opinion and experience. For me > the bottom line is the Return on Investment: for my time and money spent.

Additionally, I found the most re-pins came from folks selecting pins directly from my boards. If your Pinterest boards and pins are set up correctly, the audience will seek what you offer. My article, The Power of Pinterest can educate you on how to set up your profile boards to get noticed.

I hope this assessment helps you evaluate Tailwind (or any marketing app). I am no longer a Tailwind subscriber. I do not believe I will return. My suggestion is to determine 1) what your pinning priorities are; 2) the co$t of the app, 3) the returns you seek- financially or otherwise; 4) and the worth of investing your time prior to purchasing any marketing tool.

Copyright 2019. All rights reserved.
No reprints or copying without permission of the author, Patty Ann.