How to use Tailwind Tribes

Answers to all your questions about Tailwind TribesHere are some things that you might be wondering about Tailwind Tribes….

Do Tribes really work?
Should I join/start a niche Tribe?
How do I join a Tribe?
Can I really use Tailwind Tribes for free?!? Are you sure?!! What’s the catch?

Great. You are in the right place. Read on!

(warning: this post uncharacteristically contains affiliate links. And links to third party posts that also contain affiliate links….and so on….)

Patchwork and Quilting tailwind tribe pins
Come join us in the Patchwork and Quilting Tribe!!

Why do I think that you may be wondering these things about Tailwind Tribes???? Because until very recently, these were things I was wondering too!

First, a little of my Tailwind backstory……. I started taking my Pinterest account seriously about 4 months ago. This was because I started a blog and needed to start generating web traffic. I am guessing that if you are here and have an interest in Tailwind Tribes, that you are either in the same boat, or looking to get in. Welcome!

After I had changed my Pinterest account to “business”, optimised my board descriptions and set my board covers, I started looking at other means to gain Pinterest exposure. And of course, the next things to explore were tools to help with pinning regularly. As you are likely already aware, Tailwind is one such tool. For a fee, Tailwind will pin your pins to your boards for you at specified times and keep track of your analytics. So I signed up for a 100-pin free trial account. If you haven’t done this, you should. It’s totally free, no credit card number required or anything. On that note, if you sign up via this invitation, you will be offered a free month of Tailwind, and so will I if you decide to continue using Tailwind after your trial period.

Anyway, after I had pinned a few pins through Tailwind, I noticed people talking about Tailwind Tribes. This is a feature that is not evident in the dashboard of Tailwind unless you are part of a tribe. So it was a bit mysterious….. but here’s what I now know.

What are Tailwind Tribes?

Tailwind Tribes are groups of Tailwind users with like interests. When you join a tribe, you are able to add your pins to a source board for other pinners to choose from. If they like your pin, other tribe members can schedule it to their Pinterest board via Tailwind. In return for leaving your pin on the source board, you are expected to pin at least one pin from someone else. Some tribes expect more than one reciprocal pin per pin deposited. You need to check each tribe’s rules.

Come join us in the Patchwork and Quilting Tribe!!

How do I find Tailwind Tribes to join?

At the moment this is a little tricky. The Tailwind Tribes tool is still under development, although it is now in alpha phase and is working pretty well. Most Tailwind Tribes are administered groups, which means that you have to be invited to join, and if you are not a nice member, you can also be tossed out. Quite often, the invitation links are not a secret, you just have to find them on the big bad web. If you are into blogging about quilting (absolutely anything to do with quilting, from piecing to embellishing, designing to selling) then you are welcome to join my tribe. It’s called Patchwork and Quilting.

Invitation to the Patchwork and Quilting Tailwind Tribe
You’re invited to join the Patchwork and Quilting Tailwind Tribe!

If you click on this link you will arrive at the gateway to the Patchwork and Quilting Tailwind Tribe. You can find out more about the aims and rules of the Patchwork and Quilting tribe beforehand if you wish. 

If you are looking for other types of tribes, you can peruse the links directly below for lists of tribes you can join. I also belong to the All Things Crafty Tribe started by PS I Love You Paper Arts and Crafts. It is a good idea to belong to a number of different tribes to increase your pin exposure, but not too many that it becomes an administrative burden. Start with just a few.

Now, those links to some Tailwind Tribe lists:

  • Singing in the Rain – (I joined All Things Crafty through the invitation on this site).
  • Blogging Butterfly – also another great post for understanding Tailwind Tribes
  • Becky and Paula  – this list appears to be maintained.
  • Haley’s Vintage – another list that is definitely active.
    That’s four excellent lists for you. If you google for “Tailwind Tribes” you’ll find more. Other places to find Tailwind Tribes to join include Facebook (some suggestions in blog links above) and within your tribes. Sometimes new niche tribes will be advertised by members of larger tribes.

Do Tailwind Tribes generate traffic?

The short answer is yes. My Pinterest account and my blog are very much still in their infant stages. So organic traffic from Google etc is very small. I need extra strategies. Tailwind Tribes is probably my most successful so far.

The long answer: My overall Pinterest impressions per day for my total account are slowly but steadily climbing. I cannot honestly say that Tailwind Tribes has made a noticeable difference to this rate of increase, as I am employing numerous strategies and constantly changing things. But, and this is a BIG BUT….. the impressions I care about the most are the ones that give my own blog content exposure. And here, Tailwind Tribes is definitely helping.

Pinterest Analytics for Clever Chameleon pins
Pinterest Analytics for Clever Chameleon pins July 2017

The figure above is a screen shot of my July stats. It shows Pinterest impressions of pins from my website. I don’t think I really need to point out when I started using Tailwind Tribes. It’s pretty self-evident! Before I started using Tailwind, this graph was a very steady miserable line hovering in the low hundreds of impressions per day. Now, it goes through cycles as my pins are shared by my awesome tribe mates. The residual activity in between share cycles is still better than when I was pinning alone. Even on “bad” days I am still getting around 1,000 impressions per day. This graph is the overall effect of pins from both tribes I belong to, plus my own pinning. But mostly the tribes. 

How do you use Tailwind Tribes for free after the free trial period? Does this really work?!!!! 

This was one thing I was really worried about. I used my trial pins sparingly because of it. When you have a trial period or a paid account with Tailwind, the pins you choose from your tribe go to the scheduler and are pinned in the next available time slot (unless you arrange it specifically). But without a paid account what happens?

To my relief, it is simple for the moment. You can still add your own pins to your tribes like you always did. To share other people’s pins, you choose the pins you want by designating a board and clicking on “Send to Queue”, just like before. Once you are finished queueing pins however, you have to go into the scheduler and click on “Pin Now” to actually pin them. Job done.

Is there a catch?!

Why do you say “it is simple for the moment”. Well, let’s be realistic. There is this worrying badge all over the Tailwind Tribes page:

The key worrying word here is the word “currently”.

In the FAQ pages, it says:

“Tribes will always have a free version available for use. ……..  once you’re out of your free scheduled Pins, you can still use Tribes for free!”

But it goes on…..

“If you’re not using Tailwind to schedule your Pins, you’ll be able to click on the Source URL at the bottom of any Pin in a Tribe. When you click the URL of a pin, you’ll be taken directly to that website.  Use the Pin-It browser button or click on any of the social share links in the article to share this blog post to your audience. Even if you’re not using Tailwind to schedule your Pins, using your free Tribes as a source for the highest quality content from your peers is a pretty great deal.”

This sounds to me like, “No, you won’t really be able to use Tailwind Tribes for free to any real effect in the future once it is fully developed and commercialised“.

I hope I am wrong. For several reasons.

Why I hope there is no catch

I believe this would be a flawed model on Tailwind’s part. It is certainly not a “great deal”. Why? Because it will hurt Tailwind Tribes. I can get much the same pins as I find in my tribe by following my favourite blogs on email and Pinterest and participating in Pinterest group boards. Realistically, I am not going to head especially into Tailwind to sift through hundreds of slowly loading pins to click on URL source links. Not. Going. To. Happen. 

Even worse, this implies that you won’t get Tailwind acknowledgement that you have shared pins, so you won’t be able to meet the deposit and share ratio rules set by tribes. So, if you can’t add your own pins, why come to play at all?! If stacks of people leave because they cannot add new pins anymore, then this will hurt the paid up members by decreasing the turnover of new content…. will I be pleased if I am a paid up member and my tribes collapse in this way??? N.O. Tailwind is not cheap.

I sincerely hope I am wrong about this. But this is not a sponsored post, and this is what I currently see. (Please prove me wrong Tailwind….)

So what to do? Make hay while the sun shines, my friends!!

Photo by Peter Kleinau on Unsplash
Photo by Peter Kleinau on Unsplash

Make Hay….

At the moment, Tailwind needs Tribe participants to continue their development and iron out the bugs. At the moment, the prize for you not getting uptight about the changes and slowness and bugs that happen is to use a powerful community tool for free. Enjoy it. Get that blog pumping and find out now whether it works well enough that you will pay for it when Tribes in its useful form likely becomes a premium service down the track. 

Now, moving on….

Should I join a niche tribe or a broad topic tribe?



Large, broad topic tribes are constantly active….

Lets start with the more broad tribes. Broader topic tribes will likely be more established, have more members and a bigger reach. But….. be prepared to work for exposure. More members means more pins in the feed. Because these pins cover a wide topic range, you are unlikely to want to pin them all and can spend substantial amounts of time skipping pins that are irrelevant to your Pinterest boards. Also many members won’t be into your topic and won’t pin your pins either. For example, in All Things Crafty there are currently 9141 pins. I have been active in this tribe every few days since I joined and I have shared 49 pins, added 13 pins and skipped 2,948. 

All Things Crafty Tailwind Tribes August 2017
Screen shot from All Things Crafty August 2017

This means that less than 2% of pins in this feed are relevant to my boards (and it would be less than this, but I created a board especially so that I could share more pins)! There are over 6,000 pins I haven’t even seen yet. And I have wasted plenty of time being distracted by fun looking pins that are nothing to do with what I need….. just saying! Actually, I do need to stop doing that….

Also, in big tribes, if the administrators aren’t really active, the feed can get a bit clogged with off-topic pins. Some by accident, some because… well, you know why. Some on-topic members are even a little bit too keen to re-pin and re-pin their old content too.

Anyway, in “All Things Crafty” (my broad topic tribe) for my 13 pins, I have received 24 re-shares, 13 re-pins and about 85K exposure. Because of how Pinterest works, the re-pins will continue to tick over, even if I do nothing more. So, I have to say, there is a lot to like here. 

All things crafty Tailwind Tribes overview
All Things Crafty tribe performance August 2017
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Small, good-fit niche tribes are less work….

Now let’s compare my niche tribe “Patchwork and Quilting”. This tribe has 11 members so far, including me. Most of these members have not begun to be active yet. We have 37 pins total so far. But here are my stats.

Patchwork and Quilting Tailwind tribes stats August 2017
Patchwork and Quilting tribe performance August 2017

So, as you can see, slightly less re-shares and slightly less reach, but stacks more re-pins! Happiness abounds! I have several important thoughts on this….

Firstly, the increase in re-pins could be due to more targeted pinning by my tribe members, but it is probably mostly just luck. If you have been pinning for a while, you will notice that pins can become popular for no apparent reason after being ignored. It’s all to do with where they land and when, and who happens to be looking. That is why there is so much analysis of “best time to pin” going on. And also why you should join more than one tribe. Go “Luck Fishing”….. but don’t get spammy.

My second thought is this. Even though this tribe is Much smaller than the other, my rewards so far are very similar, maybe even better. And importantly, the time I have spent on this tribe is much much less. Nearly all the pins are relevant, so I pin them with abandon. My reward to effort ratio in the niche tribe is definitely more favourable.

If you have great quilt-related pins, come join my Patchwork and Quilting niche Tailwind Tribe. We will pin your content too, because it is easy to find! 

Clever Chameleon logo in redAlso happy to help you get the word out about your Tailwind Tribe….

I am more than happy to add links to other tribes into this post. Please let me know if you would like your links added. You will need to send me the long link that starts like this…..……… followed by a huge random string.

Hope you found some of these answers helpful. Now if you haven’t given Tailwind and Tribes a whirl, you should. You’ve got nothing to lose. To try Tailwind now and claim you free month, click here.

Now it's your turn.... what do you think?