I tested four different Pinterest-approved schedulers, so you don’t have to. In fact, in 2021, we now have a myriad of different tools that we can use that are Pinterest-approved.
I would like to show you each one of them because there are not many people talking about them.
All of them are Pinterest partners, which means they are API approved. You only want to use an API-approved tool when scheduling to Pinterest; otherwise, you run the risk of getting your account marked as spam.
I decided to write on this topic because things at Tailwind are changing rapidly. They recently changed their pricing tier and what’s included in their plans. With all of those changes comes some upset in the community with using a tool like that.
So I figured I would just test out and review each tool from a Pinterest manager’s perspective. I will tell you how they work and suggest how to use them.
I have rated each of these tools on a scale of one to five (1 is crap, 5 is excellent) and covered six different areas.
Given that we are measuring all of these tools against the original gangster scheduling tool Tailwind, these are all the pieces of the puzzle that I’m interested in.
I polled my membership community, Pin Profit Academy, and asked them what they care about when choosing a scheduling tool. I gave them a bunch of options, and they voted on them.
These are the things that they voted on. So that’s what we are judging the tools on. This comparison is not meant to pit one tool against the other. It is just a review of the six items and how each platform stands on its own.
Later gets an overall score of 3.8 out of five. Now let me break down this score further and tell you why.
I rated Later as three for pricing and affordability because you pay $18 a month and get 30 posts per platform.
You don’t get unlimited scheduling, and you have to add on additional invoices to add additional platforms in. So for affordability, I’d rate them smack in the middle.
Once you get into Later it’s not super obvious how to upload your content for the platform. It was confusing when I first got into the platform and tried to upload the content to schedule. They do have a chrome extension, which is fantastic. I do like their chrome extension in order to bring content right into your library. Really great on Later’s part for developing that out. I wish all of the scheduling tools had a chrome extension. So this gives it a huge bump right there.
Once you get your content uploaded to Later, it is relatively easy to get it into the schedule and to optimize it at that point. Figuring out how to actually get it into the platform from the beginning as a new user is kind of a mystery from the start. Unless you have used this platform for Instagram in the past, as a brand new user to Later, it wasn’t really intuitive to me.
I wish all of the scheduling tools had a chrome extension.
Overall I felt like there were way too many clicks between adding your content to the library and actually getting it into your schedule. Between uploading to optimization and scheduling, there are way too many clicks, which makes it kind of clunky.
The ease of uploading gets a five because it is easy to upload your content once you get past the initial humps. Using the platform overall, figuring out where everything is uploading your content onto Later using that chrome extension is a total winner. That is the number one reason why I gave it a five.
Content optimization also gets a five for Later, and that’s because as soon as you pull a pin over to schedule and optimize it, it is super simple to understand. It is so easy.
You choose your board, put your description and title in, and you give it the link. You can later shorten the link because they are approved with Pinterest. Then throw it into the schedule. That part is really simple.
Scheduling on Later can be confusing when you do it the first time. You simply drag your image from the unscheduled section from the left, over to the calendar. It pops the window up, and then you can optimize the image itself.
One thing to note with Later is that you can’t schedule each individual pin to multiple boards at one time. You actually have to go back to your schedule tab, re-add it on to the calendar and optimize the whole thing all over again. This is quite annoying.
I still have a strategy where I pin my pins to multiple boards with a minimum of a 30-day gap between them. But I feel like, for a content scheduling capability, it could be better for Later, especially for people with more seasonal traffic to be able to schedule to multiple boards at the same time.
So kind of meh, I scored it as a three with ease of scheduling.
RELATED: How to Use Later to Schedule Your Pinterest Pins
Analytics with Later gets a three because it is just bare bones. There is very basic analytics within Later. I am not a huge fan. I still prefer across all platforms to use Google analytics in Pinterest. So this is why I am giving Later analytics a three.
I like this tool for Instagram scheduling. It seems to be more intuitive for that. I don’t love it so much for Pinterest scheduling, especially considering it is $25 per month for 150 posts. That is quite expensive when compared to the plan with Tailwind, which is between $12.99 and $14.99 a month. I am not a huge fan of how limited it is and how many posts you get to schedule per month.
So, overall I am giving this tool a 3.8. I think it is a decent tool if you are already using it for Instagram and want to add Pinterest.
Read the full post about Later: How to Use Later to Schedule Your Pinterest Pins
I liked Planoly the most and gave it a 4.3 overall. Even though, just like Later, Planoly started as an Instagram-only scheduling tool and added Pinterest later.
It seems to be more intuitive for someone coming from a tool like Tailwind or from no tool at all and trying to use Pinterest scheduling. Overall, I like this tool.
There are two different tiers that you can go with. I am actually singling out the solo account on this one. So, it is $9 per month if you pay monthly. It’s $7 per month if you pay annually for the solo account.
You get two social media accounts with this plan. One of them gets unlimited posting, and the other one gets 30 posts per month.
If you are like me and you don’t schedule on Instagram too often, you can use the 30 posts per month for Instagram and unlimited posts per month for Pinterest. So affordability-wise, I’m loving Planoly.
Ease of use gets a three from me because overall, I’m coming from the world of Pinterest scheduling, and like you, learning for the first time how to use this tool was not the most intuitive.
It took me a good ten minutes to figure out how to upload content and where to find it. Once I got in there, and I kicked things around a little bit, I figured out where everything was. Then it was more intuitive. But I wish there was a more detailed walkthrough from the start. That would have been more helpful.
They do dump you into walkthrough videos, but I don’t have the time or patience to sit and watch all these videos. I would rather have a very simple walkthrough like step 1- upload your content, step 2 – optimize your content, instead of a whole video.
They do give you a chrome extension that makes it super easy to pull your content right into Planoly. I do love that feature.
The chrome extension plays into ease of uploading and scheduling as well. So for ease of uploading, I gave them a five. It is simple to upload the content to their library or pull it right into their chrome extension.
I gave them a five for content optimization. It’s absolutely impossible to screw this up. Like Later, you pull the pin image from the unscheduled or library section onto the schedule. It pops a dialogue box, and you start inputting all of the information.
Once you pull a pin over and begin the scheduling process, you can actually schedule to multiple boards in one go. And you can choose exactly when you want them to go out. I like that capability of being able to schedule pins 30, 60, or 90 days out again and not just be a one-and-done situation.
The analytics capability as a stand-alone tool gets a three because the feature capabilities are limited. I will still stand and die on the hill of using Pinterest and Google analytics and not just analytics in the tool. But then again, this review is for the solopreneur out there.
I will still stand and die on the hill of using Pinterest and Google analytics and not just analytics in any tool.
I have decided to keep my Planoly subscription for Instagram because I was trying to hack together other tools, and I really like Plaonly’s capability overall. So I have decided to keep it for Instagram and continue to test it for Pinterest capabilities. You will probably see some more videos about Planoly in the future.
Overall it is an excellent tool; I really enjoyed using Planoly. It was not super hard to learn or navigate as soon as I signed up and started to play around in there. Just the ease of use at the beginning of that platform is why I gave them a lower score because it wasn’t really intuitive. Overall, it gets a 4.3. I loved Planoly.
Read the full blog post on Planoly: How to Use Planoly to Schedule Your Pinterest Pins & Social Media Posts: Pinterest Scheduling Tool Alternatives
Buffer is my second favorite platform out of the four. It gets a 4.1 on the rating scale. They got quite a lot of fives in their scoring, with the first five being their pricing.
This platform is the most affordable at $6 per month per scheduling platform. So you can have two scheduling platforms and still have a cheaper plan than some of the other tools.
Buffer is priced at $6 per month per platform and has unlimited scheduling capabilities. I love that about Buffer.
Buffer’s been around a long time, and they have cut out all of the fluff. It is so easy.
As soon as you sign up and connect to Pinterest, they have you set up your time zone and schedule, and then you can go straight to your content library and start uploading and pinning. I love that it is so easy.
Ease of uploading gets a four because of the ability to upload straight to Buffer. But their chrome extension does not pull in the metadata that I already assigned to pins on my website. My pins and my website are completely optimized for Pinterest.
It is disappointing when I actually go in to pull in the image with the buffer extension, and it doesn’t come through with the metadata that I already assigned to it. That means I have to do more work. I took off one because of the chrome extension not pulling all that information through.
Content optimization gets a five because this is so simple and easy. A dialogue box pops up as soon as you pull your content in and you start optimizing it. You give it your board, description, title, and link, and then you choose your scheduling time, and it goes right on in.
RELATED: How to Optimize Your Pinterest Ads
So, for ease of scheduling, I am giving it a five. Right after you optimize all of your content, you add it right into your schedule. Because you pre-setup all of your scheduling time and posting times when you first started using this tool, adding things into your schedule is even easier.
Again, they have taken out all of the extra steps, all the extra clicks. It is so streamlined to actually get your content uploaded to Buffer, which is probably the best way to do it. Optimize it, and then get it right into your schedule.
One downside to the scheduling is that you cannot schedule to multiple boards at the same time. However, you can go into your published content and actually reschedule that pin again.
So that’s a little bit of a benefit. You don’t have to optimize it all over again. You can just add it back into your schedule, choose a new date and time and a new board, and you are good to go.
Even though you do not have the ability to schedule to multiple boards in one go, having the feature available where you do not have to re-upload and optimize definitely lends to that five that I am giving them for ease of scheduling.
Overall analytics for Buffer is one because they don’t give you analytics. You can actually see how many saves your pin got if you go in the Pinterest window, which I don’t think I captured in my tutorial window, which is really unfortunate.
But once you actually publish your pin, then you can see how many saves it got, and there are two other metrics that you can see which don’t really mean anything.
So, overall analytics capability for Buffer gets one because they don’t offer a detailed Pinterest analytics view. They don’t even offer the same capabilities that Later or Planoly offer.
This is a really great tool if you are not looking for embedded analytics for just Pinterest. The ease of use and affordability of this platform can’t be beaten. It even beats out Planoly at $9 per month.
You get unlimited postings at $6 a month per platform. Super affordable, super easy to use. Overall it gets a 4.1. It comes in a little lower than Planoly because of the analytics alone.
The ease of use and affordability of this platform can’t be beaten.
I would not recommend Hootsuite to any of my clients. On a scale of one to five, Hootsuite got a 2.1 overall, and a lot of that comes in because it just seems clunky.
I used to use Hootsuite when I first started blogging. They had a free plan that you could post up to three times a day per platform. It seemed to be more intuitive back then, but five years later, it’s definitely not intuitive anymore.
Overall pricing and affordability got one. It is $49 per month to use this tool. You can use any of the other tools I have already mentioned for a lot less money per month and still have multiple scheduling platforms, except for Later. That’s the second most expensive platform. For the feature stack specifically for Pinterest, it is very lacking to be that price.
I feel like this was an all in one scheduling platform because they had Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and they added in Pinterest just because their users were asking them for another platform to be able to schedule to without having to have another subscription.
They didn’t do the delivery on that tool. It is just not there. It was not meant to be a Pinterest Scheduling tool.
Ease of use for Hootsuite comes in at 3. That’s only because I was being nice. It is not intuitive once you get in there. There are the streams, but Pinterest is not in those streams. The ‘create a post’ also doesn’t include Pinterest. So, overall, ease of use is very clunky. I just didn’t like it.
The ease of uploading gets a two. There is no chrome extension. When you actually go to create a pin, and I did this multiple times, I was not seeing the ‘create a pin’ in the create dropdown.
So instead on the top left-hand side of your screen, you will have to hover over ‘create a post’ in the list, then it says ‘create a pin’. From there, it actually gets a bit easier, but the overall ease of uploading your content to their platform is definitely not the greatest.
I gave a one to content optimization because it is not very intuitive when you are going through and adding all the stuff in. The other reason why I gave it a one is that you can’t create a pin title in Hootsuite.
This is one of the key components of using a Pinterest scheduler or creating an optimized Pinterest pin. There are several places where you optimize your pin content, and your pin title is one of the main ones.
So the fact that they don’t have a pin title box is beyond me. It’s just so aggravating.
For ease of scheduling, I gave it a 5. It’s like polar opposites here. The ease of actually scheduling their pins is super simple. When you are scheduling pins, you can actually schedule to multiple boards in one go. That’s a really fantastic feature. However, the rest is lacking.
So actually, optimizing your pins sucks, but scheduling is super easy. And editing them once you have scheduled them is also really easy.
There is no analytics inside Hootsuite for Pinterest, so I gave analytics a 1. This is something that my audience and community wanted, so I wanted to make sure to include it.
You will need to use Pinterest and Google analytics outside of the tool. So I gave it a one as it is just not the greatest.
It’s too expensive; it’s too clunky. There are way too many clicks between getting everything in and understanding how to upload your pins, how to get them optimized, figuring out between the streams and the schedules. It’s just too much.
I would not recommend Hootsuite to anyone looking for a simple scheduling tool because it is not simple.
Buffer and Planoly are the most affordable and easiest to use as far as scheduling, content optimization, and editing once it is scheduled. They are by far, across the board, the easiest and the most affordable. And that’s why they both got a 4.3 and a 4.1 overall out of 5. I think that is pretty good.
Buffer and Planoly are by far, across the board, the easiest and the most affordable.
I hope you enjoyed this comparison of Pinterest schedulers. I will also be publishing individual scheduling tutorials to correspond to each of the tools I talked about.
But if you are looking for a Pinterest scheduling tool that is affordable, easy to use, and that optimizes all of the relevant pieces of a Pinterest pin that you want that you need, then you should definitely check out Planoly or Buffer, and NOT Hootsuite.
Heather went to school for accounting and worked for years in banking and finance. After finding all of that entirely too boring she started her first blog in her basement in August of 2016. She has started 3 blogs in the marketing, motherhood and travel niches and used Pinterest to grow them all. She quickly became the go-to Pinterest strategist in her peer circles and has been implementing strategies, driving traffic and sales through organic and paid tactics for her clients. On this blog and her YouTube channel she educates the public about clear and transparent marketing strategies to help them to grow on Pinterest and in other places online.