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Are you a small business owner looking for the best way to schedule your pins? I’m going to compare two popular Pinterest scheduling tools that are official marketing developer partners with Pinterest, Tailwind and Buffer.
While each tool has their unique features, I’m going to cover what I believe are the most important features and benefits for small business owners and solopreneurs. Some of the features covered will include pricing, scheduled pin limits, and customer service and much more.
I compare the Awesome plan by Buffer, and the Tailwind Plus package which are similar in price. I’ve used both packages for clients and myself before so I’m coming from the perspective as a paid user.
Tailwind versus Buffer – Let’s Compare…
Scheduling Pins and Repins from Within Pinterest
Tailwind and Buffer have browser extensions that allow you to schedule pins and repins directly from within the desktop version of Pinterest. This means that when you’re scanning through pins on your Pinterest feed you can schedule them within the Pinterest platform.
While both have the ability to schedule pins and repins within Pinterest, it’s Tailwind’s ability to quickly save a pin in draft mode that I really love. Instead of choosing a schedule, a board, and filling in all the pin’s descriptions for a pin right then and there, I can save it a draft and deal with small details later.
I’ll often save 30-40 draft pins at one time. I find this hunt for great looking pins keeps my mind focussed on a singular task for a period of time instead of having my brains go from collecting a picture, focusing on keywords in the pin’s description, and choosing the right board and repeating that for each and every pin.
This saves a lot of time and allows for a better workflow.
Buffer does allow you to save pins for a queue but it requires that you fill in the pin’s description, choose the board, and schedule the pin for each and every single pin. You can’t amass pins for later use and deal with the pin’s description and board at later time.
The one key difference that I like about Buffer is that they will automatically add the source of the url within the Pinterest pin description. Since urls are clickable on the pin descriptions on the desktop version of Pinterest this can help with driving additional traffic to your site. That’s definitely a nice touch!
Winner: Tailwind. Both have the ability to schedule within Pinterest, but Tailwind’s “set it and take care of small details later” draft mode is a huge time saver. This can also allow for one person to curate the right images and board and have another person deal with the pin descriptions later.
Scheduling Pins from a Website
When you use the browser extension to pin directly from a website it’s a breeze for both Tailwind and Buffer, The button for Tailwind sits on the bottom left corner saying “Schedule”, and for Buffer it sits on the bottom right that states “Share Image.”
When you click on the buttons it will load up the scheduling tools for their respective platforms.
With Taliwnd’s button, it’s a breeze to pin all vertical and pinnable images.
Unfortunately this is where Buffer seems to have dropped the ball. It’s able share some images but not others. I experienced this problem on my own site, and also on a friend’s as well.
Knowing Buffer, they will most likely fix this issue ASAP.
Winner: Tailwind. It works with all vertical images I’ve tested so far.
Number of Scheduled Pins Allowed Per Month
Buffer doesn’t set a limit on how many pins you can pin throughout the month with their Awesome plan which is nice. There is no limit on how many pins you can pin in a month. But there is a catch to it, and that’s what I’m going to cover in the next section.
Tailwind’s Plus plan, if you pay month by month, allows you to schedule up to 400 pins per month. If you upgrade to the yearly plan, you can schedule unlimited amount of pins.
Winner: Buffer. If you’re paying a month by month basis then Buffer technically allows you to schedule up to 100 pins in their queue, there’s no monthly limit. For the yearly plans, Tailwind is the winner since there’s no limit on how many scheduled pins you can queue.
Freedom of Scheduling Pins
Tailwind will allow you to schedule as many pins as the limit allows, so the month by month Plus plan allows you to schedule up to 400 per month, with the annual plan you can schedule as many as you like.
This means, if you really want to, you can set and forget it, if you decide to schedule pins for a month with ten pins a day. So there’s more time flexibility as an owner or a social media manager when you decide to go on vacation.
The Awesome plan with Buffer allows you to schedule up to 100 posts at one time. This means that if you schedule 100 posts, and then 20 go out, you can then add another 20 to max it at 100.
Since it’s only limited to 100 at a time and let’s say you schedule ten pins a day you can only schedule for 10 days in advance. Keep in mind that Buffer also allows you to schedule tweets, Facebook posts, which can reduce the number of pins you’re allowed to queue.
Winner: Tailwind. It allows up to 400 a month and you can take off on a three week trip (which I’ve done before) and not worry too much about the account when you schedule ten pins each day. I wouldn’t be able to do that with Buffer’s awesome plan.
Customization of Pinning Schedule with Your Pins
Buffer allows you to customize the times you want your pins to go out with their Awesome plan. You also can send out pins for a specific time and date.
Tailwind allows you to customize when you want to post your pins as well.
The one thing I LOVE about Tailwind is that they will recommend times for you to pin based on the engagement levels of your pins with their Plus plan. This means that as you start pinning more often, they will recommend more and more times that you should pin.
Winner: Tailwind. They give recommended times on when you should pin. How great is that?
Since Tailwind almost exclusively focuses on Pinterest it offers some amazing analytics. You can find out how your last 5000 pins have performed in terms of engagement.
You’re able to find out which pins are being pinned from your domain and from what device, which pins have had a high repin activity and also which boards are getting the most repins. You can also track your follower growth for a 7 day period.
The Awesome Buffer plan can tell you which pins had repins, comments and likes and you can organize them into the best performing ones.
Buffer does provide analytics like follower growth and board engagement as well but that’s not included in the Awesome plan, but their Business plan provides these analytics at $50 per month.
Winner: Tailwind. They just offer such detailed analytics for the price point that’s just missing from Buffer. Wouldn’t you love to know how your last 5000 pins have done?
Re scheduling within the Tailwind and Buffer
The great thing for both Tailwind and Buffer is that you can actually reschedule pins that are performing well within each platform. So if you find an older pin is performing well you can schedule that again within Tailwind’s platform.
With Tailwind you can get a break down of how well pins have performed on certain boards. You can discover what pins have the most repins from a group board, and then you may decide to schedule that onto one of your individual boards.
You can also reschedule pins in Buffer known as re Buffering a tweet. So when you check the analytics on Buffer for your old posts, you can re pin them for later. You can organize your pin posts in categories of most popular based on repins.
The downfall is that you’re not able to find out which pins have the most repins for a specific board with the Awesome plan.
Winner: Tailwind. Allows you to reschedule pins within their platform but also organize pins according to how popular they are for a specific board, not just the whole account. This way you can repin some of your boards most popular pins with ease.
Bulk Uploading of Images
Tailwind is amazing in the sense that you can bulk upload images from your computer and have them saved in draft mode to schedule for later. This can save you an incredible amount of time, especially if you have an e-commerce site with a lot of your own product photos.
With Buffer you can upload images that can be used for Pinterest but there’s no bulk upload feature and that means you’re uploading images one at a time, making it tough if you’re an e-commerce site with 30 different products shots to upload.
Winner: Tailwind. Upload a lot of images all at once. Great for e-commerce sites on Pinterest.
Number of Contributors
The Awesome Buffer plan allows for one registered user to post tweets or contribute to scheduling pins. However, with the Buffer business plan at $50 a month you can have 5 team members.
The Plus Plan on Tailwind allows you up to 3 different contributors to your Pinterest account. As a business owner you can have your own Tailwind account but share the tool with your social media co-ordinator and another member of your team.
Winner: Tailwind. The Pinterest Plus plan allows three different contributors at one time versus one for Buffer’s Awesome plan.
I’ve never had to file any type of complaints to either company, but I have left feedback for how they can improve their scheduling system. When I usually leave feedback, I don’t expect to get a response from customer service since it’s really just feedback.
Tailwind, which can get a bit annoying at times, has a feedback popup that comes up regularly which distracts me from my workflow. I did leave some feedback (about something else) and within 2 hours they offered a helpful suggestion and a workaround.
I left some feedback for Buffer regarding their Pinterest scheduling but didn’t hear back from them after 12 hours. I did have a billing issue with Buffer one time and they got back to me within less than an hour, which was nice! Buffer has tiered customer service requests, so if it’s something that’s urgent, you can let them know.
Winner: Buffer. This is a bit tricky for sure but to get a response in under an hour is amazing, and I like that Buffer has a tiered system when it comes to what type of customer service emergency or issue you have.
What’s really great about the Buffer Awesome plan is that if you’re not planning to do a lot of scheduling with Pinterest then you can use it to schedule tweets, Facebook posts, pins for up to 10 different social profiles from a variety of networks. I’ve used the Awesome plan for scheduling tweets with a client and loved the simplicity of it all.
Buffer also came out with Pablo which allows you to create amazing tweetable images, and no doubt it will just get even better.
Tailwind is currently working on a content discovery engine that makes pin recommendations based on what you’ve pinned before, so if you pin a dessert related pin, they will try to show you a dessert related pin from their content providers. It’s not exactly perfect, as I’ve seen recommended pins pop up that have nothing to do with the pin I just scheduled. This feature is in beta.
Another bonus is that you can pin Instagram pics onto Pinterest with ease. This is also in beta, but another great feature that saves so much time on cross promoting onto different platforms.
Winner: Buffer and Tailwind. Different perks for different people.
Costs and Value
If you go by a month by month plan with Tailwind its $15 USD or $119 per year for their Plus plan.
Buffer costs $10 per month for month by month or $102 a year for their Awesome plan.
Winner: Buffer and Tailwind. Buffer is technically cheaper, but doesn’t have as detailed analytics as Tailwind. It will really depend on what your marketing and social media goals are and what you feel is important to measure.
Buffer Versus Pinterest – The Winner is…
I have used both paid plans, and if I had to come from the perspective of exclusively focusing on Pinterest scheduling analytics, and their bulk uploading and ability to save drafts of pins are massive time savers in the long run.
For me Tailwind is the clear winner for the price and for what you get.
If you’re a small business and you want to add Pinterest to your marketing mix, but don’t use it a lot, but if you do use Twitter and Facebook more, then having the Buffer Awesome plan is probably the plan for you.
To check out the Plus Plan for Tailwind you can visit them at TailwindApp.com
You can also check out Buffer’s Awesome plan at Bufferapp.com
How about yourself, which tool do you like to use more for your Pinterest scheduling? Buffer or Tailwind. Share your thoughts in the comment below and don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter.