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What is the Best Method to Use to Pin on Pinterest?

January 21, 2021

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Being a part of many Pinterest groups, I see a common theme among them: The debate of how to pin on Pinterest – manual pinning vs. Tailwind. It often starts with a bold assumption that Tailwind is completely useless and that manual pinning gets the person the best results. This is followed by the argument that Tailwind is a valuable tool that helps drive traffic with Tailwind Communities (formerly called Tribes) and interval pinning. Each side makes good points.

The problem with this debate is that it’s a giant waste of time. Neither one is wrong. Both tools are useful. It comes down to money and time.

It can seem outright frustrating with all these mini arguments going on around what Pinterest is doing. I want to encourage you to test out your own ideas and see what works and let the discussions go on without you. It’s better to learn what works specifically for your own personality and business instead of letting others dictate what you should do. That includes me!

pin on pinterest

How to Pin on Pinterest with Manual Pinning

If you use a manual strategy, you will be investing more time by being on the platform, arranging your day to make certain you pin at specific times, trying to evaluate when your audience is actually on the platform, and using a spreadsheet to track your pins and the traffic results. If you want to use manual pinning, then you need to build a strategy that allows you to be on Pinterest at least 5  times a day. Some have claimed they see better results with manual pinning, but I haven’t tested this myself. It’s a good way to start especially when your business isn’t making much money.

The benefits for a business might be

  1. You can save money – it’s free!
  2. Pinterest likes when users are on the actual platform
  3. Since you are active on the account, you are more aware of your results

The Benefits of Tailwind

The main issues that some have with Tailwind are the cost and the time to learn it. If you want to know how to pin on Pinterest using Tailwind, you can expect to spend some money on this tool. It’s about $10 a month or $119 for the year (get 30 days free with this link). While a manual method won’t cost you money, you still have to learn how to do that too. Each method has a learning curve.

Tailwind has some obvious benefits:

  1. You won’t have to figure out when to be on Pinterest because it figures it out for you
  2. The tool allows you to set intervals so your pins are scattered every 2-7 days (you set this yourself) and it optimizes it for the best times.
  3. The “smart guide” feature warns you if you are about to pin something that might get you booted off Pinterest.


Is Tailwind a time-saver?

Using Tailwind isn’t completely hands-off. You still have to spend time scheduling pins, adding those pins to a Tailwind Community, and using the analytics to adjust your strategy.

I’ve seen some people say that Tailwind is confusing and takes too much time. Both manual methods and Tailwind take time. There’s no way around it. A good strategy for Pinterest marketing is going to involve your time, but I believe manual pinning takes longer. You need to put each and every one of your pins into a spreadsheet to track it and you need to analyze and understand your audience for the optimal pinning time and this all takes a lot of time. But if you have the time to do this, it’s a good way to start pinning.

Are Repins OK to pin on Pinterest?

Repinning other people’s content used to be important. Pinterest is moving away from that. One argument against Tailwind is that Communities is completely useless because you are just repinning your old content (basically Pinterest has stated that those first pins are considered fresh and the ones you schedule are repinned).

It’s a black and white view of Pinterest to think that all repins are not being seen. Pinterest still wants you to share content, but it isn’t as important as fresh pins. It’s wrong to state that Tailwind is on the outs of Pinterest. They are a Pinterest partner which means they have to be “in the know” when it comes to Pinterest. They aren’t going to jeopardize their relationship by having tools that don’t work with the platform.

How to tell if a pin on Pinterest is a repin

Logically speaking, when you do a search, you’ll still see repins. Want to know if something is a repin? Click on the pin to see it in full view and right-click on the screen. In the dropdown box, choose “view page source”.  Click on CTRL+F (Find) and search for “is_repin”. If it says “is_repin: false” that means it’s a fresh pin. But if it says “true” then it is considered an old pin.

pinterest view page source
How many repins are showing up in a search?

Take this search I did for “keto recipes” on Pinterest. The top 3 pins are repinned content. They are not fresh pins. This is how I know repins still get seen on Pinterest. If repins were dead, you’d not be seeing repins on a search page at all.

top rank Pinterest pins

What about the Dip in Traffic?

I will not claim to be an expert on Pinterest algorithms. Honestly, it’s constantly changing so much that I just can’t keep up with it. The other day I was on Pinterest and my monthly views jumped 45k. Next to my views was a box that stated that Pinterest had made changes to reflect my true views. The metrics have changed constantly over the past 2 years.

If you are seeing nosedives in your impressions, it’s not a reflection of your true reach. It’s best to analyze the data on any channel you have: Google Analytics, Pinterest, and Tailwind. I use Ubersuggest to also see how I’m ranking with Google.

Some have claimed manual pinning has improved their traffic. Without seeing their actual yearly data, it’s hard to know if they are actually seeing results from their strategy or it’s just the ups and downs of the season. Around the holidays, I see a dip in my traffic and I know not to freak out. It’s just the season. People aren’t on Pinterest. They are unwrapping gifts, baking cookies, and spending time with family. That’s pretty average. It’s not an indication that Tailwind has dropped the ball.

What’s the Best Strategy?

With all of this said, I believe a good strategy is a mix of Tailwind and manual pinning. My personal choice is to create Story pins manually on Pinterest and pin it to the most relevant boards. Also, any other pins I create also get pinned this way. I always choose the best boards (that is, the board that relates the best to what I’m pinning) first and then schedule them to all the other boards using intervals. I choose up to 5 boards and pin them to each board first before scheduling them.

As a reminder, no matter what strategy you personally use, it’s important to be consistent. If you use Tailwind 5 times a day and switch to saving pins every other day, Pinterest will consider you an inconsistent pinner. Aim to pin the same amount of pins every single day.

Another strategy is to repin your successful pins. Over time, you’ll start seeing pins on the platform that do well. Repin those pins and see if they take off again. I realize that Pinterest has stated that new, fresh pins are more important, so you could try recreating the image for that pin and see if it does well down the road.

Visit the Pin Website

When you pin content manually, try to go to the website (don’t save a pin on Pinterest–actually click over to the website) and use the Pinterest button on your browser to pin the image. This strategy is helpful because Pinterest is sort of greedy. They want you to click on pins on their platform because they have a better chance of making money from their ads. At the end of the day, you need to follow the money trail and that’s what’s going to get you the most engagements.

It’s a good idea to spend a few minutes a day on Pinterest so that your account is seen as a Pinterest active user. This helps your content rank better. Even if you don’t manually pin full-time, it’s still good to jump on the platform and use it.

Main Take-aways

  • Manual Pinning is a great strategy when starting out. It’s free but requires more time and energy to learn your audience’s behaviors and adapt your pin strategy to them.
  • Tailwind Scheduling is also a great strategy but will require an investment of your money. The tool tracks your audience’s behaviors and knows the correct times to pin. It also allows intervals and notifies you about the potential dangers of being seen as spammy.
  • A mixed strategy of Tailwind and manual methods can work great if you have the money. Add your pins to relevant boards first and then schedule them to Tailwind.
  • Repins aren’t as important, but they aren’t dead. They still can rank high on a search.
  • Dips in traffic can be seasonal, so it’s best to look at your analytics to see what’s going on.
  • Whichever strategy you end up using, be sure to visit Pinterest every day to see the best results with your pins.

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About the Author

Pinterest graphic designer and digital strategist for business owners and change-makers who want to be seen and heard.

Michelle Buck

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