Buffer Basics: An Overview of the Buffer Social Media Scheduling Tool
When it comes to social media management tools, the ability to schedule your updates is arguably the #1 feature most people look for. That are plenty of tools that offer this feature, but one of the best and easiest to use is Buffer. Here we’ll discuss the basics of Buffer and how it can help you manage your social media activity.
Connect to multiple social networks
Originally designed just for Twitter, Buffer now allows users to connect to Facebook, LinkedIn, and App.net profiles, as well. The catch – if you’re on the free plan, you can only connect one of each profile. Upgrade to their “Awesome” plan for just $10/month, however, and you’ll be able to add as many as 12 profiles total (any combination of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and App.net). In addition to profiles, you can also connect to Facebook pages and LinkedIn groups.
Schedule your updates
It’s easy to schedule tweets and status updates in Buffer – just choose your time zone and set your schedule, and your posts will be sent out automatically. If you’re on the free plan you can set different schedules for each profile, but each profile’s schedule will be the exact same each and every day. To vary your posting schedule from day to day – for example, more frequent posts on the weekends than on weekdays – you’ll have to upgrade to the paid plan.
Add posts to your queue
Buffer works by “dripping” out the posts in your queue, or buffer, at the predetermined times. To add posts to the buffer, just click on the “What do you want to share?” box at the top of the page and enter your post. Then click the avatars for the social network you want the post to go to, and click the “Buffer” button (you can also click the “Share now” button to send out the post immediately). Again, there are differences between the free and paid plans when it comes to buffer size – with the free plan you can add as many as 10 posts at a time to each profile, while the paid plan gives you an unlimited number of posts.
Add an app (or two)
Buffer has browser extensions available for Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera that make it easy to share content you find on the web. If you want to post an update to Buffer right from your smartphone, mobile apps are offered for both Android and iOS devices. Other Buffer apps allow you to share your WordPress blog posts, share articles from your news reader, and add a Buffer button to your own blog so that others can easily share your blog posts.
Analyze your social media activity
With Buffer you also get some pretty decent analytical capabilities that will allow you to see how well your tweets, posts, and updates are performing. Here’s a breakdown of what it tracks:
- Twitter – clicks, retweets, mentions, reach, favorites
- Facebook – likes, comments, clicks, reach, shares
- LinkedIn – comments, likes, clicks, potential, reshares
Like the other components of Buffer, the analytics tool is easy to use and enables you to keep tabs on your social media performance at a glance.
In short, Buffer is a great social media scheduling and management tool that can make your life a whole lot easier, and its developers are continually improving it, so it can only get better in time. The best way to find out if it’s the right tool for you is to simply jump in and start using it. You may wonder how you ever got along without it!