This post is a bit selfish.
That’s because it concerns some questions I’ve been wondering about for a while.
On Pinterest, does pinning manually vs. scheduling make a difference?
Does one give you more impressions than the other?
Should we avoid schedulers?
Or maybe we shouldn’t avoid them, but should we manually pin more often?
In this post, we’re discussing whether manually pinning and scheduling pins makes a difference to impressions.
How Do You Schedule Pins on Pinterest?
If you landed here and you’re like, “wth are scheduled pins?” this section is for you.
On Pinterest, you can manually pin by clicking the red + circle in the right upper hand corner. You can then select a board and hit “publish.” This posts your pin right away.
Another option is to use Pinterest’s built-in scheduler. Click the same pin button, but to schedule it for a different time or day. To do this, select “publish at a later date” at the bottom of your pin and select the day and time. Pinterest says you can schedule 30 pins for up to 2 weeks in advance.
Yet another option is to use a third-party scheduler. These are programs that aren’t owned by Pinterest but allow you to schedule more pins. You can do this with several sites, including:
- Tailwind (most popular, maybe because people promote it more due to affiliate links)
All of these have free trials or are free to use until you’ve reached a certain number of pins. However, ultimately, you’ll have to pay if you plan on using it to mass schedule pins. Trials are a good way to test out which site you like best, but if you only need to schedule 30 pins at a time, save yourself some money and use Pinterest’s built-in scheduler.
Scheduling Pins Vs. Manually Pinning: My Experience
I’ve used schedulers for other social media—such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter—without any difference.
But when it came to Pinterest, I noticed some changes.
Or at least I thought I did.
Before Pinterest came out with scheduled pin, I would post every pin manually. Yes, very time consuming. But I also got some pretty decent impressions. When I started using Pinterest scheduling, I didn’t notice much of a difference.
Third-Party Pinterest Scheduling Sites
When I used third-party schedulers, I noticed that my pins were getting fewer impressions in the first 24 hours. Of course, you can eventually repin these images to other boards or group boards to build up your impressions. However, the first go around wasn’t as popular as my manual pins.
For example, I was pinning dog quotes. I noticed that manually pinning them at 3PM-4PM on Fridays consistency gave me 1-3k impressions in the first 12 hours of checking it. When I used this same time on a third-party scheduler, it just didn’t happen. I got maybe 20 original impressions on average across multiple quotes.
It’s also worth noting that not all third-party schedulers include the same pin fields as Pinterest. For example, before, Tailwind did not allow you to customize your pin title—it just pulled the title from your description. I don’t doubt this has Pinterest SEO disadvantages. However, Tailwind now allows pin titles. Other schedulers may vary in what pin info they allow you to fill out.
Are “Optimal” Pin Times Really Optimal?
I noticed something else. I used Tailwind’s “optimal pin times.” When you drag and drop pins into the Tailwind scheduler, it will automatically pick the best times unless you set them. These times are supposedly when Pinterest users are more engaged. But that just wasn’t true for me. Building off the example above, I usually received 1-3k impressions in what I perceived to be my best pinning times. According to Tailwind, using similar content, my optimal times only yielded me 100 original impression at best.
I wanted to do further testing to figure out if this is true, but unfortunately, I can no longer do that accurately. This is because Pinterest (wrongly) suspended my account multiple times (their response every time: “good accounts get caught up in the mix sometimes”). Although this wasn’t my fault, my impressions take a worse hit every time my account is suspended. That means that any testing I do now won’t be accurate because the algorithms have already lessened that account’s impressions 🙁 So, what I can share is the data I have before all this happened.
My Theory on Manual Pinning
I have a theory: Pinterest trusts manual pins the best. Makes sense, right? If you’re pinning manually, it’s more likely that it’s because you just found something cool you want to share. In other words, you’re genuine. If you schedule, it’s more likely you’re a business with something to gain. Since this is no hobby, you need to bulk schedule pins to save time. In other words, less genuine. Pinterest gives priority to content its algorithms deem to be more genuine. Users favor genuine content.
I also think that it’s unrealistic to think that Pinterest won’t penalize you for not using their platform. We forget that this is 2020 and websites think more like people these days. If you pin and repin and do everything from a different site, Pinterest sees you! They know you’re not logging on and doing it manually. They know you’re there to give out info more than you are to receive. If you don’t think they take that into consideration, you’re underestimating their algorithms.
Again, this is just my theory according to logic!
Pinterest Scheduling Vs. Manually: Does it Make a Difference?
Now that you’ve heard my experience on manually pinning and my theories behind it, what do others say?
There’s 2 quick notes to make before we discuss that:
- There is no official word on which is better. So all the info we have is based on individual account data or anecdotes.
- If people claim scheduling works best, check to see if they’re using an affiliate link to a scheduling site. They could be giving you genuine advice, but realize if they’re using an affiliate link, they’re making money when you purchase the scheduler. That means they have a reason to favor and promote it over manual pinning (bias).
Most bloggers tend to agree that both manual and scheduled pins have their place. Others take more of a specific stance. For example, one blogger wrote, “If you have about half an hour to set aside every day, or the ability to hire a Pinterest VA, I highly recommend manually pinning your content to Pinterest.”
Manually Vs. Scheduling Pins: Summary
Whatever the topic on whatever platform, you shouldn’t take one set of data or one story as a rule. There’s multiple reasons why I and other people could have experienced better manual pin impressions. This could be due to the fact that they were manually pinned, or something else entirely. With that being said, it definitely gives you something to think about and test out yourself.
But, in summary, which is better: scheduling or manually pinning? The best type of pin is the one you actually pin consistently.
To be successful on Pinterest, you need to pin consistently. For many people, manually posting pins each day is going to eat up time and distract them from other activities. It may work for the first while, but after, you may slack off, forget, get lazy or give up. When you schedule pins—whether on Pinterest or using a third-party site—you do it maybe once a week and you’re done. Easy.
So, even if you run your own tests and figure out manually pinning is better, you may still schedule pins. Also, that may work even better for you because you’re pinning more often than you did manually. And, you don’t have to pin manually every single day for the rest of eternity. But, what I would suggest, is to try pinning manually when you can, as often as you can, within reason. Even if you don’t, it’s still important to login manually and mimic the actions of a real life user.