Pinterest is a powerful tool when it comes to social media these days, whether you be a personal user pinning for your own future reference, or on the flipside, when you are using Pinterest as a promotional tool to support your blog or business. These days there are an array of tools available to schedule social media updates and Pinterest is no exception.
For me, Pinterest is not only a hobby (and addiction) but also a powerful tool for driving traffic to my blog, and it can be for you also. To do this, it can be time consuming, which is why Pinterest scheduling tools can become your best friend to save you time and grow your Pinterest following.
To make your life easier, I have done a Pinterest scheduling tools comparison to bring you the pros and cons of each of the leading services, in the process of finding the perfect tool for my own use.
Tailwind was the first of the Pinterest scheduling tools I trialled. They offer a free trail for your first 100 pins. The most impressive feature of Tailwind are the Pinterest analytics that are built in. While a Pinterest business account gives you access to analytics, Tailwind adds a few interesting extras that Pinterest analytics alone do not offer.
Cost – Tailwind Plus will set you back $119 a year giving you 4 free months access & an unlimited pin schedule. Alternatively, monthly is $15 and you are limited to 400 scheduled pins per month.
Pros – You can create a schedule based on the best times of day to pin, with as many or as few pins per day as you like. There is a Safari browser extension that allows you to pin from any website, including Pinterest, so no need to create pins from scratch with images, links and descriptions. You can schedule pins from Instagram. You can integrate with Google Analytics.
Cons – There aren’t a lot of cons with Tailwind. It takes a little getting used to, but overall more user friendly than the other tools. The affiliate program is only available if you are already a paying member, so no savings before you subscribe.
ViralTag offers a free one month trial and is relatively simple to figure out and use. It also offers scheduling to other social media services, including twitter, tumblr, facebook, linkedin and of course Pinterest, if you are looking for a more all in one system.
Costs – Significantly more expensive than Tailwind at $298 per year or $29 a month for a general paid subscription. However for every person you refer via your referral link, you will earn $30 credit to your account and they will earn $15 credit so a pretty awesome referral program to bring down those costs.
Pros – Easy to use with a simple dashboard interface. Also offers an extension with Chrome or Safari to allow you to pin directly from websites. The discover feature is a cool way to find interesting content without even scrolling through Pinterest, with a selection of popular pins you can add to your schedule from within the ViralTag dashboard.
Cons – No access to your general Pinterest boards for pinning/repinning so you either have to create pins from scratch with images, links and descriptions or pin them from the website extension tools. No analytics
BoardBooster is the latest of the Pinterest scheduling tools I have tried and I am a fan. You get a 100 pin free trial to start with. It is set up in such a way that it was so simple that it was confusing initially, but once you get the hang of it, it’s really easy to use. The best part – pining directly from Pinterest through the use of secret boards. If you are fairly experienced with Pinterest, you will know you can create secret boards only you can see. With BoardBooster it will create a secret board for each of the boards you nominate within your account, and you set up a pinning schedule for each. Then simply add pins to your secret boards and BoardBooster does the rest – pinning during your scheduled time frames while you sit back and relax.
Costs – There are plans to suit users of every pinning level from $5 per month for 500 pins right up to $50 per month for up to 5000 pins. It makes for an affordable scheduling tool. Plus you can save $5 for every person who signs up as a paying customer with your referral link. That means it can essentially be free.
Pros – Pin from within Pinterest by adding pins to secret boards and BoardBooster does the rest. You can choose to schedule as many or as few pins as you like to each board, with a separate schedule per board if you want some more active than others. Basic analytics/reports available. There is the ability to bulk edit pins to different boards plus set up campaigns, as well as looping – reviving older pins by automating the repinning of old content. It will detect duplication so you can set up a minimum time frame between repins to avoid duplicates occurring too close together. It will then compare the number of pins on each after a period and delete the one with the least interaction. There is also a group manager option in case you manage a group board to see who contributes the most quality content and to monitor inappropriate content that may have been pinned to your board.
Cons – Having double the boards can take a little longer to scroll through when scheduling your pins. Minor con really.
There is indeed a free Pinterest scheduling tool option and ViralWoot is it, however like they say, you get what you pay for generally. ViralWoot does however allow you to manage Instagram also and you can earn credits for certain features by following other pinterest users, using the ViralWoot currency – Seeds. This is an option for building your own following too, offering seeds for follows, or for promoting your posts. The free options are limited though so if you want a powerful scheduling tool, you would consider a paid account anyway or one of the alternatives.
Costs – Free for basic account with limited features. Plans from $12 per month or $99 per year, which gives you 15 free seeds per day, and up to 450 scheduled pins. Higher cost accounts for more inclusions available.
Pros – Free for basic features. Can help you build your Pinterest following.
Cons – Limited free features. Can only create your own pins from your images with a paid account. No browser extension for ease of use.
Buffer only offer a short 7 day trial, which isn’t long enough to get much of a feel of how effective it is. However Buffer works quite similar to ViralTag and Tailwind, with the extra bonus of being able to manage your Twitter, Google+ page and Facebook posts as well. It is the newest of the Pinterest scheduling tools on the block.
Costs – Either $10 a month or $102 a year for a Buffer Awesome plan membership, which will give you access to Pinterest scheduling, Other social media scheduling is available on free accounts.
Pros – Similar pros to ViralTag with a relatively easy to use dashboard. You can set up the schedule to suit as many or as few times a day as you like, with the ability to optimise the posting times. Browser extension available, as well as a connection to the amazing CoSchedule which is a powerful blog post organisation tool which you can learn about here).
Cons – It does not give you direct access to your Pinterest account for easy repinning, so you have to create Pins from content around the web or your own images.
The standouts are Tailwind & BoardBooster. I love the extra features of Tailwind, with the analytics and optimised pinning schedule, however BoardBooster is really easy to use and I love that my actual pinning experience does not change so much when utilising this tool. Once you set it up, you do everything you would normally do within Pinterest, but instead of pinning to your general boards, you just pin them to your secret board versions. Both of these tools are around the same cost per year also.
My recommendation would be BoardBooster just because of the simplicity of use and the fact that I really enjoy using Pinterest for personal use as well as for business, so it is the perfect tool for me. However if you are planning to use Pinterest almost purely for business, Tailwind is a better option, so you can monitor more extensive details on how your Pinterest strategy is going.
Hint: Once you have a Tailwind account, even if it is not an active paid account, you still get access to a lot of the analytics anyway such as your increase in following, pins from your website, trending images and page impressions so you could utilise both while only paying for BoardBooster (plus Pinterest Analytics are pretty awesome anyway).
If you are looking for more useful tools and services to support you in your blogging or business, head to my blogging resources page for plenty of great recommendations.
Update 18.9.15: I have been using the Board Booster Looping and Repin functions recently as I did not previously set them up. This is by far resulting in higher repins, increased following and more pin engagement. The looping repins an old pin to your board and deletes the one with less likes/repins so new followers can see your earlier pinned content. The repin function will pin from boards you specific to other boards automatically at random. Both very powerful tools.