Tailwind: Day 1 -What Fresh Hell is This?

Last night’s post about discovering Tailwind  was dampened slightly by the early morning’s study of the Tailwind reality.   At 11pm, the idea of getting like-minded people together to encourage repinning in a community setting seemed fun!  Filled with promise!  In the cold light of morning, there are still many questions.

Quantity Versus Quality?

I was a bit concerned about the apparent expectation that the typical Tailwindian citizen would be pinning 20 or pins a day. The expectation is that we’ll be pinning (1) mostly pins from our fellow Tribal members; (2) and then our own pins; and (3) good stuff from around the web.  It is the exceedingly rare individual who has the time and patience to READ 20 articles, posts, etc. a day.  To find good information, interesting (and pinteresting) enough to repin, I would expect to have to read 60 pieces a day, supposing that 1 in 3 articles was good quality.

Blind Repinning is the Expectation

The Tailwind way is all about blind repinning.  One just chooses likely looking pins  from a tribe board and schedules them.  The free trial account drops you in the wading pool of the Tailwind Welcome Tribe. Screen Shot 2018-02-14 at 8.46.20 PM.png

All the newbies start here, putting up their first content.

The Tribes themselves are more like private communities.  One has to ask to join most of them and they all have Rules.  Most of these rules are about the expectations about repinning.  Some Tribes specify one for one reciprocity.  For every pin you put on the board, you’re expected to repost one pin.  Others have higher expectations, such as two shares for every one of your pins.  Many of these Tribal Rules are fairly to the point: share our pins at the expected level (1:1 or 2:1) or be booted out of the Tribe (you low-life free-loader!)

The trick, then, is finding a Tribe with good content and a high degree of activity–or making one of your own, which is likely going to be a bit more difficult. I requested to join small tribes and large ones this morning. One, which is primarily about mommy blogs, let me in right away, no problem–and I created a Mommy Blog and Family Board to pin things on.  I had to go out to the blog itself, READ the blog, to assure myself that the content was going to be reasonably okay.  (I recall my own first mommy experience and the alt.parents Usenet group back in the 1980s.  There were some weird and dangerous people in that group. Yikes.)

The free trial version only lets you schedule a few pins a day. I quickly filled up my allotment for  “today” and some for “tomorrow.”

The Tailwind Welcome Tribe

When we open the Tailwind Welcome Tribe page, we’re shown this big, random board with pins on it, just as hard to process as Pinterest.  The Tailwind Welcome Tribe is particularly hard to grok. Over 1000 pins, of which I shared four.  It was fairly overwhelming and random–I decided to break it down into “Top Users” (clearly the people who had the knack of this), the “Middling Users” (the folks who were in the know, just not as active) and the Low Volume Users, presumably the folks still getting their feet wet, like me.

 

The Real Numbers

In point of fact, for this day (14 Feb 2018), while there are 357 users in this Tribe, only 161 people have posted pins.  Free accounts are limited in the number of pins they can schedule, so that limits them considerably.  I went through the user list, which shows the number of posts per user, fairly easy to do if tedious.  We assume that the folks with high and middle numbers of tweets have full-on, paid for Tailwind accounts, so they don’t have to limit the number of pins they put out there.

Here’s a little picture courtesy of Google Sheets:

You can see here that there are a small number of folks flooding the system, most folks in the middle ranges, and then a whole bunch of folks who have contributed a few posts.  The other 196 users have posted nothing in this Tribe.  Presumably, these are the folks on the free trial and very new users.

Top Users

The top 27 users have ten or more posts in this view of the data.  They contribute a total of 576 of the total posts — more than half of the total of 1037 posts that are available when I do the actual math with the actual number of posts.  I was expecting total schlock out of these users but. . . um. Heeeeey.  The top one was a really high quality blog for grandmas. (I put in on my follow list. I’m a closet grandma).  The others were good quality–a merchandiser here, a podcaster there.  The pins were nice to look at.  I was impressed despite myself.  The top pin posters were interesting.  Only a few of them were what I would call “eyeball herders”  or get-rich-schemers (there are always some.)    And the stats on their pins were very high. Huh.

The Middling Users

These are more “normal” active users–37 in all.  We assume these have paid accounts and are reasonably new to Tailwind but not out of the box newbie (like, say, me).  They contribute 245 pins.  Here, too, I found what looked to be interesting posts.  I spent most of the evening staring at these pins and at their repinning rates–which were impressive.  And the content, I must say,  was quite good.  Blink. More huh.

The Low Volume Users

There are over 100 low volume users–those who create at least one pin for this board, for a total of 214 pins.  The rest of the users haven’t created anything to post on this tribe board.

Pro-Tip: Look at the Pins By User.

You can look at the list of users and choose to see ONLY that user’s pins.  Or look at groups of users by checking off the little box next to their names.  This reduces the noise of a huge number of pins all clamoring for your attention and helps you to understand what the poster is all about, how well they’re doing (in terms of shares and repins).

How Big a Boost Does Tailwind Give Typically?

You can see the number of times a pin is SHARED by a member of the group–and the number of times that pin has been repinned in Pinterest   that the post POTENTIALLY could reach a Pinterest Audience.  The Tailwind number at the top is like potential impressions. Top users had phenomenal (potential)  impression rates–and very large numbers of  shares, too.  Even the lowest volume users got some shares got a small advance in audience in terms of these  potential impressions.

What? Potential Impressions?

After watching the video on “Mastering Tribes”   I realize that the very high “Tailwind” numbers at the top of each piece of content is potential reach. That is, if my pin is shared on a board with a HUGE number of followers, then that number is going to be very large. If it’s shared on someone’s board with a small number of followers, it will get a smaller number in that box.  This is why the Analytics features are important, for understanding the results of your own pins.  It’s hard to tell whether there is a Tailwind effect going on or whether the person was already pretty savvy in their use of Pinterest.–such as sharing it on large group Pinterest boards. Hmmm. Can’t say just yet. I am intrigued.

Verdict After Day 1: Still Interesting. Still Have Good Vibes.  Still Don’t Quite Understand the Whole Tailwind Thing.

I have to say that I am having fun with it. 🙂  More soon.  Sweet Dreams. ~ Lola

 

 

Author: Lola

Recovering academic, real-life, honest to cornflakes anthropologist (Ph.D. and fieldwork and everything), tech-head and social media researcher.

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