I recently caught up with co-owner and marketing mastermind behind Boston co-retail space For Now, Kaity Cimo. She runs the space with friend and business partner Katharine ReQua. They opened a year ago and have played home to over 80 brands in that time.
Tailwind Tribes Review: A Hands-on Look Through the Eyes of a Small Business
If you’ve been marketing your business with Pinterest, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Tailwind. Tailwind is the premiere scheduling tool for Pinterest, and while there’s a lot to talk about as far as the tool’s scheduling and management capabilities are concerned, this review is going to focus on one feature in particular: Tailwind Tribes.
This is the second installment in our series of hands-on marketing tool reviews through the eyes of small businesses. We have no affiliation with any of the tools we review, and we receive absolutely no kickbacks. We’re doing this solely to spread the word about great tools and help businesses like yours grow.
Related: If you missed it, be sure to check out the first installment where we reviewed Linktree here.
So, let’s jump right in and see if investing time and money into Tailwind Tribes will pay off for your business.
What is Tailwind Tribes?
If you’re familiar with Instagram pods (and if you’re not, check out our article on the subject), then you should have no trouble understanding what Tailwind Tribes is all about. In short, the tool brings the concept of Instagram pods into the Pinterest world: users join groups, or “tribes”, focused on different topics and share their pins with the group. Then, the other tribe members reshare their favorite pins on their boards. Overall, it’s a convenient way to both expand your reach through shares, find new content to share to your boards, and network with other Pinterest users in the same niche.
How much is Tailwind?
This is a bit of a tough question to answer. Technically, Tailwind Tribes is free: users can join up to five tribes and submit up to 30 pins per month to them.
However, to submit to a tribe, you usually need to use Tailwind’s scheduler, and you can only schedule 100 pins without upgrading to a paid plan. There are workarounds that let you submit to tribes without using the scheduler, but this will affect your post-to-reshare ratio (which we’ll discuss later) and can end up getting you kicked out of the tribe.
Because of this, after using Tribes for approximately three months (if you post every day), you’ll likely want to upgrade to one of Tailwind’s paid plans.
If you run a business with less than 25 employees, you can subscribe to the Pro plan, which costs $9.99/month billed annually or $15/month billed monthly. If you run a business with 25 or more employees, you’ll need to subscribe to the Professional plan for $799/month.
However, neither the Pro plan nor the Professional plan include any extras as far as Tribes’s basic functionality is concerned. If you want to be able to join more tribes and submit more pins to them, you’ll also need to purchase “PowerUps”. Your options are:
- Tribes Pro: $59.99/year for 10 tribe memberships and 80 monthly submissions
- Tribes Max: $119/year for unlimited tribe memberships and 200 monthly submissions
- Tribes Unlimited: $359/year for unlimited tribe memberships and unlimited tribe submissions
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How does it work?
To kick off this review, I’m going to show you how to use Tailwind, and throw in my thoughts on what’s great (and what isn’t) along the way. For my testing, I created a new Pinterest account for an imaginary small business called Graham’s Crackers, which sells — you guessed it — artisanal saltine crackers. What else would it sell?
It might not be much, but hey, everyone’s gotta start somewhere. Let’s see how good ol’ Graham will fare with Tribes.
Tailwind does a good job of making setup easy. After entering your basic sign up information, you’re presented with your dashboard. You can find the Tribes feature on the left-hand side:
Once you click the Tribes icon and click the “Get Started with Tribes” prompt, Tribes will ask you to select a few categories that best fit your pins and will use those to present you with suggestions for Tailwind tribes to join. Here are the suggestions I got:
When you join one, Tailwind automatically starts a tutorial for you, which is quite thorough and helpful. However, I’m going to skip over that and give you my own personal walkthrough.
How to find Tailwind Tribes
So, now that we’re all set up, here’s what a tribe looks like:
On the right, you can see all the content that’s been posted in the group:
In the top left, you can see the tribe you’re currently viewing:
Clicking on the arrows to the right of its name will expand a dropdown menu with all your tribes and let you switch between them.
Below that, you’ll find the tribe description, its rules, its visibility (public, request required to join, or secret), and an overview of how many pins and reshares there are in the group.
Right below that we can see how many repins and reshares our content has received along with our estimated reach, and underneath that there’s a list of all the tribe members. The number in the grey oval next to a member’s name displays how many pins they’ve reshared. Most groups have rules that require members to reshare a certain number of posts or meet a specific post-to-reshare ratio to ensure that you’re not just spamming your own content without promoting other the other members’ work. Failure to follow these rules can get you kicked out of the tribe.
If you want to chat with any of your tribe’s members, you can do so by clicking the speech bubble icon in the bottom right hand corner. That will bring up this chat window:
Once I found some content I liked, all I had to do was click the green “Add to queue” button to schedule it to post to a board of my choosing. Unfortunately, doing so didn’t work and presented me with this error:
Having to get in touch with support as soon as I tried out a core feature is not a good look. Luckily, reaching out to support is easy enough: all you need to do is click the question mark icon below the chat icon.
Since posting pins related to Graham’s sophisticated saltines would violate this pumpkin-themed group’s rules, we’re going to need to learn how to find Tailwind tribes that better suited to our business. To do so, we just click on “Find Tribes” in the top left:
Doing so brings us to a search page. Unfortunately, crackers doesn’t appear to be a hot topic on Tailwind, but if we did want to join one of these groups, all we’d have to do is click join. That said, some groups aren’t public, so we’d need to have our request approved.
The fact that you can see how many members a tribe has as well as the general activity level of the group is a very welcome feature, especially considering you’re limited to only five tribes per account on the lowest pricing tier. This can help save you from joining a tribe with very little activity and using up one of your five slots. That said, you can leave a tribe whenever you want if you’ve found yourself walking into a ghost town.
Since there doesn’t seem to be any artisanal cracker communities to mingle with, let’s start our own tribe. To do so, just click the “Create New Tribe” button in the top left:
After doing so, we’re presented with this tribe creation prompt:
All the fields are pretty self explanatory. Since this is an imaginary business, and it’s in an extremely specific niche, I’ve set the group to secret. All the functionality will be the same, but only other members that I invite will be able to see what I post. Secret groups can be incredibly useful for sharing content among small groups like all your business’s team members, for example.
Posting to tribes
So, now I’ve got a tribe set up, and I’m ready to start promoting these amazing crackers. There’s two ways to share a pin to a tribe: using the Tailwind Chrome extension and using the Tailwind scheduler.
The Chrome extension is simpler, so let’s take a look at that first. But before we get into it, I have to say: this is one cool extension! You can hover over any image you come across on the internet and instantly convert it to a scheduled post. Check this out:
Pretty cool. I’ll show you what happens when you click that button in a moment, but first let’s go back to Graham’s Crackers’s Pinterest page and share one of the pins on there.
To start, simply navigate to a pin you’ve posted and click on the schedule button at the top:
Doing so will bring up this window:
From there, you can either schedule it to post to one of your boards, or — more relevant to us — add it to one of your tribes:
Hitting that button will bring up this window:
Having the ability to post pins to multiple tribes at once is a much appreciated feature, and I also liked that Tailwind clearly shows you how many monthly submissions you have left at the bottom of the window as well as how long until your count resets.
After clicking “Add to Tribe”, the pin showed up in the “Yours” section of the tribe I set up:
If you want to post to a tribe from within Tailwind itself, all you need to do is navigate to the Publisher section in the left hand navigation bar and select “Drafts” from the dropdown menu.
That will bring you to this page:
From there, the process is exactly the same as with the Chrome extension: click “Add to Tribes”, select the tribe, and share it.
That pretty much wraps up the functionality of Tailwind Tribes, so let’s dive a little deeper into what I thought of the experience.
So, is it any good?
Yes and no. Let’s be clear: functionally, there’s a lot to like about Tailwind. It makes it easy to find interesting and pinnable content in your niche, connect with other Pinterest users, and expand your content’s reach.
However, despite Tailwind’s reputation as the champion of all Pinterest schedulers, I found the interface to be rather clunky, I encountered quite a few bugs, and the UI design felt outdated — it reminded me a bit of how iOS used to look in 2011. Not only did I encounter errors when I tried to reshare pins, but I also got an error message when I tried to refresh my Tailwind name to reflect an update I made to my Pinterest account. That’s two too many errors after only using the tool for a few hours.
Overall, I think that if you can get over some of the design quirks and can make it past the bugs I encountered, Tailwind is definitely worth using. It may not be a totally seamless experience, but when it works, it gives you a great platform to share your content on, it helps you find interesting content to reshare, and it makes networking with other businesses and influencers in your niche easier.
Who should use it?
After using Tailwind Tribes for a while, it became clear that the tool was designed with bloggers in mind, and I’d recommend it to anyone in the blogosphere without hesitation. Furthermore, pretty much anyone with an active Pinterest account can make use of it in one way or another.
If you want to see how real world businesses are faring with Tailwind Tribes, take a look at some of these case studies:
Considering it’s a (sort of) free tool, there’s really no reason not to give it a go. If you’re seeing results after using it for a while, then you have your answer. However, if you’re finding it’s not worth the time or money you’re investing into it, then move along. At the end of the day, the only way to find out whether Tailwind Tribes will work for you is to try your hand at it.
Did you find this review helpful? Get in touch with us at email@example.com to let us know what other tools you’d like to us to review!
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