Pinterest is one of those social networks that isn’t widely used amongst certain niches, but is the number one network for others. If you haven’t used it, it’s something you may want to consider. If you do use it, you should probably look at some of the powerful tools you can use to step up your game.
One such tool is Tailwind. Tailwind is an app for scheduling Pinterest – and now Instagram – posts. You can bulk upload images and manage uploads on a calendar interface. You can pin content across multiple boards, loop pins, maintain hashtag lists, and optimize your posting schedule based on peak active hours automatically.
No app is complete without analytics, of course, and Tailwind links into Pinterest’s analytics while providing more of its own. It has a hashtag analysis and suggestion engine, and more. You can read all about their features on this page.
All of this just goes to show you that Tailwind is made up of people who know what they’re doing with regards to Pinterest marketing. So, when I tell you that Tailwind launched a community-focused program to help with content promotion, curation, and sharing, you know they have some idea of what they should be doing to hook people up with the content their audiences will love.
Tailwind Tribes is this community program. Tribes are basically small communities, which can be similar to Pinterest Group Boards, or Facebook Groups, and other small communities. You join Tribes in general, and then you can join or apply to join specific tribes within the system. You can submit your pins and see the pins submitted by other users, and have an instant source of content to curate.
With many such content curation organizations, there needs to be some kind of system in place to minimize abuse and spam. Tailwind Tribes solve this with the usual sort of measurement of downstream and upstream usage. In other words, they track how many pins from tribes you share and build a ratio comparing that number to the number of pins you submit. If you’re doing nothing but submitting your own pins and not doing anything for the community by sharing theirs, you aren’t going to last long in the tribes system.
To join Tailwind Tribes, you’ll need to visit their website and create an account. It’s just the Tailwind Tribes landing page, for the record. I didn’t bother to sign up for one of their affiliate programs, which a lot of other posts I’ve seen about this topic generally do. I always try to be objective in my analysis of tools and communities, so I don’t run affiliates that would jeopardize that objectivity.
In any case, click their button to join and they will ask you to authorize a Pinterest account. This gives their app the ability to engage with Pinterest by pinning and liking content, adding new boards, and so on. You will then be asked whether you’re a blogger or part of a larger organization, and you’ll be prompted to add your email address and a password for your Tailwind account.
Once you’ve done that, you’re in. It’s free to create a basic account. You’re then told you need to install their browser extension in order to schedule pins and share your own pins to tribes. Once you have it installed, you’ll be given the opportunity to go through a demo of how their system works. It’s a demo pin, so it isn’t actually pinned to your account, but it walks you through the process.
It’s a simple process. You choose a pin, then choose a board to put it on. You can change the source URL for the pin if you like, and then you choose tribes to add the pin to. There’s an “add to tribes” button, which allows you to submit your pin to any tribes you’re a part of. From there, they put you in a basic tribe as a test to show you the ropes.
The way tribes work is easy. You submit a pin and can see who re-shares the pin on their own boards. Ideally, you get plenty of shares from your tribe-mates, and can curate plenty of content from them along the way.
Now, of course, the important part is to find tribes that resonate with your niche. There are a ton of tribes available, so while my title tells you that I’m going to give you a complete list, that’s not true. As a quick count of just the “popular” tribes, I see over 8,000 of them available in various categories. There’s no way I can list them all, and besides, it does you no good if I do. Tribes can come and go, and new tribes are added all the time.
Tribes come in two flavors: open and on request. Open tribes can be joined immediately, and as such are either very new and building a basic community before closing, or are very large and prone to abuse. Request tribes require you to request to join, whereupon the tribe admins can accept you or not, mostly depending on the content you have available to share. Many tribes are picky about who they let join, to avoid the low quality spammers and off-topic abusers. Free accounts (and possibly all accounts, I’m not sure offhand) have a maximum of five open tribe requests at a time. Once your request is accepted or denied, it is no longer active and you can apply to another closed tribe.
When you search for tribes, you search in a category and by keyword. This gives you a large feed of tribes, which tells you the name of the tribe, the categories it has tagged, the number of members, and a graph of the relative level of activity in the tribe. You generally want to go for tribes that have a high level of activity and a moderate number of users. Tribes that are too small won’t get you much promotion, while tribes that are too large are generally going to miss a lot of your content.
You can also read an About and a Rules section for each tribe. Some tribes have lengthy sets of rules, while others are as simple as “no porn, no spam.” I see tribes with rules like “only pin vertical pins” and “pin 1:1” to enforce ratios.
Some tribes are also labeled “starting up”. Tribes that are just starting up are new, and they have the added benefit that the first 20 pins submitted to a new tribe (from you or anyone else, so there’s limited space available) don’t count against the Tailwind Tribes submission limits.
So what’s this about a limit? Tribes has a limit of 5 tribes you can join as a free account, and a total of 30 pins submitted to tribes each month. You can also pay for a Plus plan, which costs something like $120 per year. This paid plan gives you a bunch of benefits that I’ll discuss below, but one of them is a higher limit on submissions, up to 400 per month. There’s also a yearly plan with unlimited pins and an enterprise plan with even more stuff.
As I mentioned, Tribes has a Plus plan you can upgrade to for $120 per year. You can pay monthly, but it costs more, and this is a per-account fee, so if you’re trying to run more than one Pinterest account, you need to pay more than once.
The basic Plus account bumps you up to 400 pins per month submitted to the system if you’re paying monthly, or unlimited if you’re buying the year-by-year plan. You also get better analytics, more optimizations, and website insights. Then they have an Enterprise plan which is, well, a bit extreme unless you’re an enterprise or agency.
The Enterprise plan has full board reporting, optimized content, brand monitoring, ROI analysis, industry benchmarks, a year of activity history, multi-account features, collaborators, data exports, and on and on. It’s a lot. It also costs you a whopping $1,200 per month. Not year, month. If you’re a company with that level of marketing budget, by all means, look into it. I’m not.
What I’ve done here is produced a list of tribes, largely aggregated from a few sources, that might be worthwhile for you to join. Remember, this is far from a complete list of tribes, and some of these tribes may not be very active. Always check within the Tribes dashboard to see if a tribe is worthwhile. Preview a tribe to see the content and activity levels before you decide to join. Additionally, if your tribe join application lingers for more than a few days or a week, I recommend cancelling it and joining another. You can only have so many tribes at once, after all.
Best Bloggers Pins – This tribe has a bit over 700 embers and is focused on blogging and blog marketing. As you might expect, this is one of the more active niches in Tailwind Tribes
All Things Beautiful Home Décor and Art – This is a tribe with only 24 members, but they are relatively active, focusing on just what the name says. If that’s your niche, find a few new friends.
Paleo and Gluten Free Lifestyle – This is a tribe with 60+ members dedicated to the paleo lifestyle. I know a lot of you bloggers out there are focused on eating in some capacity, and this can be a great option for some of you.
Fabulous Food Pinners – This is a tribe for a general food blogger community, with nearly a thousand members and a huge potential reach. This is a great rising community to look into.
Mmmm Recipes – This is another food tribe run by Seduction in the Kitchen. It has over a thousand members and is broadly available to any food bloggers with recipe posts to share. They, like most other tribes, enforce at least a 1:1 submit to share pin ratio.
Christian Bloggers – Faith – This is a Christian-focused blogger group and illustrates something I’ve seen fairly often in Tribes, which is taking the Tribe off-site. A lot of these tribes are managed by people who simply don’t want to pay for Tailwind and don’t find it as useful as they thought, so they register a tribe and use the description to refer people to a Facebook group. I’m including a few of those, but for the most part I’m ignoring them because they’re less active through Tailwind. If you want Facebook groups, I can do an article about that specifically, just let me know in the comments.
DIY Wedding Bloggers – Pinterest is very frequently used by couples looking to plan a wedding to various degrees of DIY, and this is a great community if you’re looking to take advantage of that niche.
Home Design and DIY – Another DIY focused community without the wedding angle, this is one of the larger tribes I’ve seen with over 2,500 members.
Over 40 Style Bloggers – This is a community focused on style blogs aimed at women over 40. This is a growing niche, so getting in a community based around it can be a good idea, if that’s the target you want to aim for.
There are, of course, thousands of other tribes available. I’ve mostly just picked a representative sample of a few niches to show you the kinds of tribes you might find. Some are small, some are larger, some are active and some aren’t. It’s up to you to make the most of the community when you find it.
Drew Hendricks is the CMO of Blogpros and a contributing writer to Inc., Entrepreneur and Success.