Love it or hate it, social media is here to stay.
These days, people rarely read newspapers, and television commercials are practically dinosaurs.
If you want to market to people, you must go where the people are, and if you want to stay relevant, you must take advantage of social media marketing.
Keeping up with social media can certainly be time-consuming, though. That’s why social media scheduling services like Tailwind are so helpful.
Finding the Best Social Media Scheduling Service
Finding the best social media scheduling tool isn’t so hard as long as you know what you need.
Not all services offer the same features, so it’s really a matter of determining the features you most need and then finding the service that provides those features.
The following are some of the most important things to consider.
Which social media networks are served?
Since the first social media platform, Six Degrees, was launched in 1997, social media has evolved into a totally different animal.
Gone are the days of a single social media platform that everyone uses.
Now there are multiple platforms – including the seven main ones – for people to use, and scheduling services can work with any number of them.
They may not, however, work with all of them. This means it’s up to you to decide which social media platforms you need.
How does the scheduling process work?
Knowing how the scheduling process works is important. Is it automated? Can you create unique content and have it delivered at pre-set times?
How often do you have to manually arrange posting times? If you have multiple sites, will the service post to all of them simultaneously?
Is post scheduling all you need, or do you need other tools?
Some services only provide post scheduling, while others give you more.
If you also need additional services such as keyword monitoring, trends reporting, customer relationship tools and more, you might need a social media marketing service as opposed to a social media scheduling service.
Does the service provide you with analytics?
Some social media scheduling platforms will provide you with free analytics as part of the package.
These analytics include how many people actually read/clicked on your posts, how many times they were shared, etc. Not all scheduling services do this.
What’s the cost, and is it worth the value of the services provided?
Finally, it’s important not only that the price fits your budget but also that the value of the services you’re receiving is worth the price you’re paying.
Tailwind: The Good and the Bad
The biggest downside to Tailwind is that it only works with Pinterest and Instagram. If you’re hoping to post to Facebook, Twitter or other platforms, you’re out of luck.
However, the services provided on those two platforms are pretty extensive, particularly those provided for Pinterest.
That plan allows you to schedule an entire week’s worth of pins at once in a timeframe of about 20 minutes.
Some people complain that the price is a little high, but to me, the features provided are well worth it.
There are also advanced features that can be purchased in addition to the regular plans. (You get so many of these advanced options each month as part of the regular price.)
Analytics tracking is also included for revolving 30-day intervals. Unfortunately, both sites aren’t covered under one plan.
You have to buy both the Pinterest and Instagram packages if you want to post to both.
- Discounts available for nonprofits
- Includes analytics
- Convenient mobile app
- Includes plenty of helpful tutorial videos
- Generous free trial
- No partial refunds for early cancellations
- Must pay separate prices for Instagram and Pinterest
- Some people feel the pricing is a little high for use with only one app
Tailwind Feature Breakdown
When Tailwind first came on the scene almost a decade ago, it was interested in one social media platform – Pinterest.
It has since added Instagram, but Pinterest was where it all started. As a result, most of Tailwind’s best features are included in its Pinterest plan.
There are some good things in both, though.
Getting Started – It’s FREE!
Unlike most “free trials,” which require you to enter your credit card info and rely on you forgetting to cancel before your card is charged, this free trial doesn’t require any payment information upfront.
There’s also no time limit on your trial period.
You can stretch your free trial out over whatever length of time you want – however long it takes you to schedule 100 pins on Pinterest or 30 posts on Instagram.
After you’ve exhausted your set number of free pins or posts, you’ll then have the option of signing up for one of the monthly options.
Remember: There’s no combined plan option for both Instagram and Pinterest. You can select a plan for one social media platform or the other.
You can also use the service for both platforms, but you have to pay for two separate plans. To me, that’s a bit of a downer. I wish they provided a combined offer.
Additional Included Features
This is a social media post scheduling service, so post scheduling is, of course, included in the price. That’s not all you get when you purchase a package, however.
Depending on which social media platform plan you purchase, your features will differ, but there are good things on both.
For the regular price of $9.99 per month, you get to manage one Pinterest account. You can upgrade to multi-account capability for only five dollars more.
Along with unlimited and smart pin scheduling, the Pinterest plan also comes with the following features:
- Included analytics and reporting (includes measuring post success and a seven-day history archive)
- Content marketing and basic website insights
- Trend monitoring, promotions and content optimization
- Content recommendations
Additionally, you’ll also get access to a certain amount of the company’s advanced features, including 250 Smart Loop posts, 30 Monthly Tribe submissions and five Tribes memberships.
If you really enjoy these features, you can pay extra to add them on to your regular monthly plan.
For the $9.99 per month Instagram plan, you get unlimited post scheduling, included analytics and reporting, Instagram listening, a drag-and-drop calendar, hashtag monitoring, content management and audience management.
You’ll also get hashtag recommendations and access to a relatively new feature called the Smart.bio Custom Link.
Convenient Mobile App
If you’re the type of person who likes to work from your phone in addition to using standard web-based applications, you’re in luck.
The company has apps for both iOS and Android devices, and they’re 100% fully functional. Everything you can find on the website will also be included on the mobile app.
This makes it easy to schedule your pins/posts and monitor your social media accounts from anywhere at any time.
Exceptional Customer Service
Whether you sign up for the Pinterest plan, the Instagram plan or both, you get the same great level of customer service.
The site has continuous customer service assistance available via email, through the online knowledge base or by live chatting with a real person who can help you with your issues.
In all the time I’ve used this particular platform, I’ve never had to wait too long to have an issue resolved. The customer service team really is on it.
I even had to reach out to them before I ever registered for a paid account, and they treated me just the same, answering my questions about my free account just as they would later answer my questions about my subscription account.
I’ve personally never been less than fully satisfied with this company’s customer service team.
If you’re hoping to use this service to help you market on Pinterest, there really aren’t that many downsides. In fact, I’ve never really found any.
Some people claim that the price is too high for monitoring a single social media account, but for everything I can do with my account,
I’ve never had too much of an issue with the monthly price. I’ve always been very happy with my Pinterest-specific plan.
If you’re using this service solely for Instagram, however, there are a few downsides.
The features are much more limited with that plan than with the Pinterest plan. I hope that one day soon the company will begin investing more time and effort into its Instagram plan now that it seems to have perfected the Pinterest one.
As of this moment, I do feel that there are better Instagram scheduling services available. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for additional features and services in the future, though.
What People Are Saying
Because I had never used Tailwind or knew of anyone personally who had, I wanted to check out some reviews before committing.
After doing a thorough search online, I was pleasantly surprised by what I found.
“The program is very easy to use and has great features.” ~ Jenna L.
“Tailwind helps me accomplish a list of tasks that I can hardly do on my own.” ~ Martine
“I found it to be quite useful. Especially when I knew I would be on vacation or busy, I could pre-schedule posts.” ~ Peggy H.
This is a great option for individuals and casual users because there’s a free option. There are also three higher priced plans for people/businesses with larger needs.
Even the free option comes with a single social set (Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest), and each paid plan allows users to purchase additional social sets.
Other features include a visual content calendar, a drag-and-drop feed preview, social media analytics and more.
For individuals, this is one of my favorite options, and thanks to the included social set, even the paid plans are almost worth the price.
Later vs. Tailwind
- Offers a free option to individuals
- Created for Instagram, but can be used on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest
- Allows users to pay monthly or annually
Formerly known as Schedugram, Sked Social now allows users to do more than just schedule their Instagram posts.
Users can also post to Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter. Prices are high, but there are plenty of great collaboration opportunities and advanced features.
The big draw to Sked Social is that you can get unlimited user accounts with no additional fees, and users don’t have to share login information.
Sked Social vs. Tailwind
- Designed for Instagram but can work with Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter
- Includes analytics and hashtag recommendations
- No free options; prices are expensive
This is an effective, comprehensive social media marketing tool. It can be used for post scheduling, but it also provides analytics, has keyword research features and more.
There’s no free option, and the price is far greater than the price of some of its competitors, but there’s also a lot more you can do with Hootsuite.
It’s great for serious businesses but may be a little overwhelming for beginners.
Hootsuite vs. Tailwind
- Unlimited analytics
- Ability to preview posts is limited
- Acts as an all-in-one social media marketing tool (not just used for scheduling)
Although Tailwind isn’t my favorite social media post scheduling tool for Instagram, it’s easily the best one I’ve found for Pinterest.
Although not everyone appreciates the monthly price, I find it to be more than fair for the amount of great features I get for monitoring and posting to my account.
Unlimited post scheduling is nice, but I particularly love that the company includes analytics and reporting, site monitoring and content recommendations.
I was also pleasantly surprised when the advanced features were added and basic users were given a number of them to use each month.
I thought that was a very classy move, and I utilize the heck out of those features. If you’re looking for a post scheduling tool for Pinterest, I honestly couldn’t recommend a better one.