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Early in 2016 I was invited to join a special project for Tailwind. I’m a huge fan of the tool and when they explained how this new feature was going to work, I couldn’t wait to get into it!
I’ve spent the last 12+ months using it to not only get more visibility and traffic for my content, but also powering up my overall Pinterest activity and success.
Today, I finally get to tell you all about it!
That beta project has officially launched and is now open to the public. It’s a tremendous opportunity for bloggers and marketers, so we’re going to review what Tribes is and how you can use it.
What Is Tailwind Tribes?
Before we get into Tribes, for those who haven’t used it before, perhaps we should start with Tailwind, since the two services are integrated.
Tailwind is the premiere Pinterest management tool. With Tailwind you can schedule dozens of pins per day to various boards, curate pinnable content from other sites, and monitor how your pins and boards are performing. With the Tailwind browser extension installed, you can schedule pins from any website you happen to be on.
Now, with Tribes, a collaborative element is introduced to Tailwind.
A Tribe is a group of people interested in sharing each other’s pins. You can create your own tribes and join other people’s tribes. And typically, tribes are centered around specific topics so that you and other members are all sharing pins that are mutually interesting.
We sometimes refer to such setups as Reciprocal Sharing Groups.
The idea is simple. When I’m in a Tribe I’m able to share pins of my own content that other members see and can choose to share. Likewise, whenever they share their pins I see those posts and can choose to share them with my own audience.
Since Tribes are built in to Tailwind, that means I can queue up pins to whatever boards I want and let Tailwind handle the actual pinning when it’s time.
It also means that whenever I have new content I can use the Tailwind browser extension to add that post to whichever Tribes make sense!
How Do I Use Tailwind Tribes?
Now that you have an overview of Tribes, let’s dig a little deeper into some of the features and uses.
There are two essential aspects: Sharing Your Content & Curating Other People’s Content.
The first aspect, sharing your own pins and content, we basically covered just now. Whenever you want to share pins to one or more of your tribes, just use the browser extension, click on Add to Tribes, and select the appropriate ones.
The second aspect, curating content, is really cool.
Here’s what a typical Tribe looks like.
In the upper left (1) you have a drop down list of every tribe you’re a member of. You’ll also see a notification number representing new pins shared since the last time you viewed the tribe.
In the upper right (2) you can click to create a new tribe of your own and invite anyone you wish to participate! Tribes can also be Public or Private (more on that in a moment).
In the lower left (3) you’ll find a list of all Tribe members along with how much they’ve contributed to the tribe.
The main window is then filled with pins that other tribemates have shared to this tribe. Note that for each pin you can select which board or boards you want to pin it to (4), schedule it, or add it to your queue (5). You can also chat with and ask questions of your fellow tribemates! (6)
This is how I keep my queue, and days, filled with relevant activity! Longtime Tailwind users are familiar with the schedule recommendations (within Publish -> Your Schedule) which may recommend a dozen or more pins per day at very specific times based on past pin performance and audience engagement. As a result, successful Tailwind users often find themselves needing to pin 20+ times a day!
Tribes make filling that queue easy.
How Much Does Tailwind Tribes Cost?
According to Tailwind’s release:
- The free plan of Tailwind Tribes allows access to 5 Tribes and the submission of 30 pieces of content a month.
- Members who want more than the free plan offers can add Tribes PowerUps starting at just $5 per month.
- To date there is no Enterprise version of Tailwind Tribes for large brands.
How Do I Join / Grow Tribes?
Once you start your own Tribe, you’ll see a green Invite New Member button just above the list of existing members. Click that and you can invite new members by email or via Facebook.
Tailwind Tribes also provides a dedicated Invitation Link that you could share anywhere – even in a blog post!
But what if you want to join other people’s Tribes? There are a few bloggers who have published lists of Tribes for certain niches. But something else Tailwind is doing is making it easier to find relevant Tribes within the platform. According to the release:
Along with making Tailwind Tribes publicly available, we’re also launching a new Find a Tribe feature that lets you search for Tailwind Tribes to join by keyword or by category. Before you join, you’ll be able to preview a Tribe’s content to see if it’s a good fit. You’ll also see how many Tribemates it contains and how active the Tribe is. Find a Tribe is a potential gamechanger, especially for new marketers or bloggers who need help kickstarting their networking efforts.
Even before coming out of beta, there were thousands of Tribes across a wide range of niches. Chances are, there are Tribes out there for you!
Tailwind has over 150,000 member brands spanning over 500 industries in over 150 countries. However, the most common industries that use Tailwind are retail/e-commerce, consumer products, food & beverage, hospitality, travel, health & fitness, beauty, fashion and digital publishing.
The Tailwind Tribes Interview
Recently, Tailwind asked if they could interview me about my experience with Tribes. They provided a number of questions and asked that I record myself answering them. Here’s the recorded video, and the full transcript follows.
Hey! My name is Mike Allton, and I’m the CMO for SiteSell. I’m also a content marketing practitioner which is just a fancy way of saying that I like to test and write about all aspects of content marketing. I do that over at TheSocialMediaHat.com.
How would I explain what Tailwind Tribes are to someone who hadn’t heard of them? To me, Tailwind Tribes are an opportunity for you to connect with other bloggers and content creators who have a similar audience to you – but not the same audience. That’s important because the idea behind joining tribes of fellow bloggers is that you’ll share each other’s pins and content. When they have new content you’ll see it and have an opportunity to share it with your audience, and they’ll do the same for you.
Which means that the articles you write will get shared with a larger, interested and targeted audience.
Reciprocal sharing of content to various social networks has been around for years, with plenty of tools and sites that try to facilitate the activity. The flaw though in most every implementation elsewhere has been the randomness of the participants and resulting shares. It’s one thing if someone who blogs about Pinterest shares one of my Pinterest articles, as I assume their audience is naturally interested in Pinterest and will be interested in my content. It’s something else entirely if someone who blogs about celebrities shares my stuff. There’s just no connection, and therefore, far less likelihood for a successful pin.
The most valuable thing that I get from Tailwind Tribes is the opportunity to get my content in front of other bloggers and content creators in my niche.
Look, it’s up to them whether they share it, and it’s up to their audience whether they click through and read the article. But all of that starts when you have a system in place that facilitates the initial exposure.
How else does Tailwind Tribes help me? It’s definitely with the surfacing of other content and pins that I can share. I’m in about 10 tribes, with dozens and dozens of other similar content creators in those tribes, which means that at any point there are anywhere from dozens to hundreds of pins from my tribemates waiting for me to queue them up.
This results in plenty of great pins to keep my account active and audience engaged, as well as leveraging Tailwind’s integrated schedule queue so that activity gets spread out accordingly.
My favorite part of the Tailwind Tribes experience is probably how easy it is to submit new pins to tribes! I use the Chrome Extension so whenever I have a new piece of content I simply hit the button, select the pinnable image, then add it all my relevant Tribes. And that’s just one extra step in the midst of my normal process for queuing up pins over time to group boards, so it adds just seconds to my process.
What’s the first word that comes to mind when I think of Tailwind Tribes? Has to be effective. I have an extensive list of things that I do each and every time that I publish a new piece of content. It’s critical to me that I get that content in front of as many people as I can so that they have an opportunity to see it and decide for themselves if they’re interested in reading and potentially sharing it.
Few tactics in my promotional checklist are as effective at Tailwind Tribes.
What kind of impact has Tailwind Tribes had on my Pinterest Account? Well, the ease at which Tribes helps me keep my account active can’t be understated. Prior to Tribes, I would spend a lot of time each week or month sourcing content from Feedly and other places, trying to keep my queue filled for the immediate future. And when you’re trying to maintain an active level of 20+ pins per day, that’s a challenge. On top of that, when sourcing pins from other places, you don’t immediately know if they even have a pinnable image! Many of the leading publications like Inc or Forbes don’t include tall images, if any image at all, which means I either have to create a tall image or skip the piece entirely. Tailwind Tribes completely eliminates that issue since every suggested piece of content is 100% pinnable.
What kind of impact has Tailwind Tribes had on my blog traffic? It’s been fantastic. Before Tribes came along I was all but done with Pinterest, honestly. Due to my own terrible imagery, my pins were performing extremely poorly. But with Tribes in place, combined with a more deliberate effort on my part to create good, tall images, the network has seen a resurgence for me. I’m getting more and more organic traffic each and every day.
What kind of impact has Tailwind Tribes had on my bottom line / income? This is the fun part! All of the new traffic is resulting in measurable gains in subscribers, leads and affiliate sales. It becomes a complex system at that point which means it’s important to have all of the pieces in place and working in harmony, of which Tribes are now an important part.
For instance, the pins that are driving traffic thanks to tribemate shares need to lead to content and offers that appeal to that audience. For a long time, my primary offer was too off-target to be wildly effective, so I recently created an entirely new offer. My Facebook Survival Kit is now much more in line with what my target audience and actual website traffic is interested in, so it’s converting at 4x the rate my old offer was. This results in more email subscribers which means more people seeing my future blog posts and automated email messages. And because I’ve refined and added to my email sequences, more of my email subscribers are taking advantage of paid offers that I’m earning commission off of.
All of that success is hinged on increased, targeted traffic.
Are shares by tribemates better in any way than the general shares I might get? Definitely. Like I mentioned earlier, when general followers and Pinterest users share my content, it’s a mixed bag as to what they’re writing about and why their audience may be following them. I might reach people who are actually interested in blogging and social media, but I might be reaching people who are more interested in recipes or crafts or the latest developments in pet hair removal… I just don’t know.
But when a tribemate like Louise Meyers shares my content, I know that her audience is made up a far higher – exponentially higher – percentage of people who are genuinely interested in blogging and social media topics and information. Repins from her and other tribemates have a greater potential for click-throughs.
How has Tailwind Tribes made my life easier? Definitely content curation is now a piece of cake. I tend to check my tribes once a week and there are now hundreds of pins waiting for me to check out and queue up. And even that gets easier and easier as I get to know, like and trust fellow tribemates. When I see a pin from Alisa Meredith or Jeff Sieh, I don’t have to think about whether it’s good stuff, or spend time reviewing the article, I can simply queue it up for the appropriate board.
For tribemates whom I don’t know well, it’s an opportunity for me to get to know them and potentially find some really great content along the way. Like Carina Jane, who offers great organizational and time management tips. Her content is a fantastic supplement to the posts I’m creating and sharing elsewhere.
Why is it important for marketers / bloggers to collaborate with others? Well, collaboration is one of my favorite, and more important tactics for successful content marketing. The work itself benefits through the combined thought, effort and reach collaboration brings.
But more important than that is the relationship building that comes as a natural byproduct of collaboration. You see, when Jeff and I work on a project together, we’re helping each other at the same time as we’re helping our respective audiences, and of course introducing each other to our audiences. But we’re also spending time together and working towards a common purpose which results in a positive, shared experience. Those experiences, over time, help to build incredibly strong relationships and pave the way for even bigger and better projects.
How does Tailwind Tribes help me to collaborate with others? That goes back to the opportunity tribes offer for you to meet and read new bloggers and influencers in your niche – people you didn’t know previously and might never have met otherwise.
The reality is that most of us are creating content in a niche and industry that’s filled with other bloggers and content creators. Even if we’ve chosen a particularly narrow topic, there are still tremendous numbers of complimentary topics and writers – and we can’t possibly know them all. In fact, the longer we’re in our industry, I would argue that it becomes even harder to break out and meet new people. We simply don’t have the time to keep up with all of our existing friends and colleagues AND meet new ones as well. So Tribes helps to give that focus and surface interesting new connections whom we might collaborate with in the future.
What’s my favorite thing about the community of people that I’ve connected with in Tailwind Tribes? I would have to say it’s the eagerness to share. Everyone is in these tribes to bring visibility to their own content, of course. But it’s more than that. They understand that a tribe succeeds by working together, and that there’s no place for people who aren’t interested in helping others. And of course Tailwind Tribes makes it incredibly easy to help your tribemates – just make sure that you’er sharing & giving more than you’re receiving!
How does it feel to be part of a great Tailwind Tribe? It’s a real privilege. As I mentioned earlier, I have used and do belong to other reciprocal sharing systems and it’s always a challenge to create a great atmosphere. Many of these other systems have become overwhelmed with cheap traffic seekers who have no interest in community or collaboration. To them, it’s just about getting the maximum number of clicks for the least amount of work.
I don’t know if it’s the Tailwind community of users or the way Tribes has been implemented, but that’s far less of an issue here.
What kinds of benefits would a newbie blogger be able to get out of Tribes? Easily that’s the incredible amount of exposure. If social media is the great equalizer between small businesses and large businesses, Tribes helps level the playing field in the same way for new versus experienced bloggers.
When I’m looking at my Tribe feeds, I don’t see whether someone’s new or experienced! I just see interesting, relevant pins. Sure, if someone’s new to the game and I’m not familiar with their work, it won’t be an automatic pin on my part. But if the topic is compelling I’ll take a look, and just might share it! To have your content shared by someone with a large, established following is gold to new bloggers.
How do transparent share scores improve the Tailwind Tribes experience? This, I think, may be one of the reasons the Tailwind Tribes experience is better than other reciprocal sharing networks. Even other places that make that kind of historical sharing and participation information known may not do it as well or as visibly. Within Tailwind, I can instantly see how I’m doing compared to others in the Tribe.
How are the analytics in the dashboard and in Tailwind Tribes summary emails helpful? Honestly, the most important data is referral traffic from Pinterest and what that traffic does on my website, like subscribing. However, what the summary emails do exceedingly well for me is remind me of how important and effective Tribes are. When I see how the hundreds of pins that I’ve had repinned have reached millions of Pinterest users, that’s inspiring.
If I had a friend who was skeptical of Tribes, the first thing I would point out right from the start is that this is one of the easiest promotional tactics you could find to test. It’s not like we’re talking about creating 20 minute videos and uploading them to a Facebook Page three times a week. This is just taking the time to join a few Tribes, queue some other people’s pins, and share some pins of your own. Very, very low barrier to entry.
But then I’d start talking about the potential to connect with genuine influencers in their niche through a Tribe, and how great it would be, not just if that influencer shared their content, but if they actually made an impression on that influencer!
A few months ago I got to hear Marcus Sheridan speak, one of the preeminent experts on content marketing, and he was brilliant. Afterwards we found ourselves standing together in the hallway and he immediately introduced me to his friend and he described how good my content was and how much he enjoyed my writing.
Once I got over the shock and impact of what he was saying, it dawned on me what a tremendous opportunity it was for me to have gotten my work in front of someone like Marcus.
That’s not the kind of thing that happens every day, so bloggers would do well to be mindful of the potential a system like Tribes offers. Sometimes all you need to turn the corner is one influencer, one read, one share… and then everything changes.