What is Buffer?
As one of the most successful social media scheduling applications on the market Buffer makes it easy to share content and automatically schedule the distribution to all your social media channels.
How does it Work?
Buffer will automatically feed out and spread your created content over an hour, day, week or whatever pace you set. As you add content, your settings will post as required so all you have to do is keep adding articles etc then Buffer will just queue the content as it is added. Posting to frequently or infrequently should never be an issue now.
Fill your queue and away it goes!
If you into data like myself, Buffer has all the prowess to help you analyse your posts to give you feedback on how things are going, what posts were popular, even within the free plan.
Every piece of software now should have this ability for you to stay focused on what works, so a good tip for any newbie is to learn what data is important for your business. Email sign ups per article or $$$ per share.
Simplicity is Key
The company prides itself on doing one thing perfectly, and that is content distribution, you won’t get caught up in any complex learning curves or busy dashboards.
You can source articles as you scan the net, set this in your queue and have the peace of mind that your audience is receiving appropriate updates.
I’ll show you some articles that let you identify the best times to post content and you can feed those instructions back into Buffer to create a well, optimized platform.
Now I’m sure your thinking, “Well when is the best time to post content?”
I won’t go deep on this subject but I’ve shared with many clients a couple of articles that I think are worthwhile reading to learn about optimal post times.
Easy Set Up
Buffer is super easy to set up. You can sign in with the following accounts:
- Your email account
Once you sign in you will need to authorize Buffer to link the account you signed up with. Just enter your Username and Password (this is secure and safe), then choose sign in, and there you go, just like that, we are logged in and the account is now established with Buffer.
As a free-mium member, you are restricted to one social profile for each network, so as long as your business has one account for Facebook, Twitter etc, you should be fine to start this up for free.
Restrictions with the free plan:
- Limited to ten post in your queue
- No variation on your posting schedule
What I mean by variations to your posting schedule is if you set it up to deliver a message at 1pm and 4pm during the week, then on the weekends you want the posting at midday and 5pm, this is not possible unless you upgrade the account.
The “awesome plan”, as Buffer calls it, is ten dollars a month and it removes all restrictions allowing you the ability to link 10 social profiles and up to a 100 posts in your queue along with the flexibility to set the daily and frequency of content delivery.
As you navigate the site on the free plan and click on options that aren’t available you will get some suggestions to upgrade; now this may annoy you and please keep in mind that the upgrade price is a measly $10 per month.
Calculation Time – What’s Your Time Worth?
I have written down a quick calculation to figure out what you time is worth to post at the optimal times over the month.
Say your time is worth $30/hour, you post 10 articles per month and the average time per post is 4 minutes once the content has been developed and I will assume ready to go.
|Posts Per Month||
|Time per post||
Cost to Post
Whether it is your time or someone else’s, it is easy to see why Buffer has such a compelling offer.
Anyway, at any time you can upgrade and I’m sure you can cancel and get a refund if you absolutely don’t get value from the tool.
The free plan is available forever, but if you decide to forego those 2.5 coffees for the month, I can guarantee you $$$ will be well spent.
After Logging In
Once you log in, you will notice on the left-hand side of the screen, the accounts view which shows you the check tag that your default account and this should be the only one because you haven’t linked any other account.
If you want to add another account, you just choose the option for the other accounts like Twitter or LinkedIn. In order to connect multiple accounts, click the bottom option, or we can choose the + icon, and from here you can review the options.
For Facebook, you can connect your profile, page or even a group that you won, and this is really important for control & flexibility over who sees your content.
It’s here on the dashboard that we see the queue for content to be shared on Buffer, so, right away you are generally prompted to share something.
Once you add multiple accounts, you would see multiple icons to give you access to your sharing channels where you can toggle them on and off as you click.
Your First Share
Once you’ve created your content, you can “Add to Queue”, showing you all the details that you need, like time till share which you can edit in the settings tab.
Even though you haven’t set up your schedule yet, Buffer will automate this with a default setting.
You can add another post, go to the top next to the pencil icon, click into the box, add the new information, and “add to queue” then this will schedule the content for tomorrow. For each account, Buffer uses the appropriate style to distribute them so you’d have a Tweet on Twitter, a post on Facebook and an update on Linkedin.
Organise Your Queue
The user interface for editing the queue is beautiful, you can click on each post, drag them around to change the order, and to delete, edit, post straight away or whatever is available, simply place your mouse over a particular message, and click.
The other options that you will see across the top of the screen are Analytics, Schedule Options, My Account and the Content view which is what we are in now.
Or check out how to run feeds with Buffer…
In the Analytics tab, you will see the data about your posts, through each channel.
In the schedule option, you can change all the default settings to what you need.
Right now, we’re set up to post four times, if you’d like to remove one, simply click on it. To remove a time, you can choose the X option which appears when you hover over the clock icon. You can even reduce that down to two, and we can set the time simply by picking from the drop-down menu.
Buffer will auto save for you so it is all complete when you make the changes in the edit view. You can review your settings or changes, in the right-hand corner, and this gives us some additional options to add team members, which again which is a paid feature, also you can empty our queue, or remove your account.
If you do a lot of sharing by finding content around the web that you think would be interesting to your audience, you can install a Chrome extension on your browser, or Safari if you’re using Safari, and what it will allow you do to is simply share links and pictures from wherever you are. It is just under the “My Account” drop-down, is the browser extensions option. Click to install.
Once installed, simply click the Buffer icon in the center of your screen, and it’ll share it right to your Buffer queue.
Whether you are a one person operation or a fully-fledged social media provider for clients, Buffer is a great tool to utilise in your arsenal. At a steal for starting price of free, you can become familiar and grow your usage with them.
Finally, you should check out buffer as a company, the first i have ever seen where they show the company salaries of each employee and their equity stake. Check it out here…
Check out some frequently asked questions at https://bufferapp.com/faq