What is Buffer
Buffer, http://bufferapp.com, is a popular social media management tool that helps you centrally schedule (to buffer) your social media activity. While they have numerous stages of progressive pricing tiers, their free tier is among the best available. That is, it allows a single user to connect one account to social media network. (vs Hootsuite’s 3 accounts).
With a Buffer account, you connect to:
- Facebook Pages
- Facebook Profiles
- Facebook Groups
- LinkedIn Profiles
- LinkedIn Company Pages
- App.net Profiles
- Google+ Pages
On free, you can connect to one per each social network. One Facebook, one Google+, one twitter, one Linked In, one app.net. On the awesome plan, you can connect to any combination of those 9 up to 10 profiles.
Below we give you some idea of what Buffer excels at, some negatives as well as the basics to get started. Lastly we pulled out a selection of our favourite features that make it really easy to post to multiple accounts simultaneously.
- Multiple connected social accounts
- Good user interface, easy to use, e.g. add any web content using a right click context menu
- Free, or low cost options
- Buffer as a business is incredibly transparent. their pricing / costs. salaries and more
- Non-profits rates are discounted at 50% (based on the pricing disclosure we know they take a loss on these)
- Has fewer features than some competitors
- Some setup to control the schedule for when posts will be pushed out
- Doesn’t have features to respond to incoming messages
Go to https://bufferapp.com
Sign in with a social media account or by using your email address. We suggest you sign in with a social media account because you’ll complete part of the next step.
2. Connecting Accounts
Add accounts from the button “Connect More” on the left side of the main page. Connect your Twitter Account, Facebook Page/Profile, LinkedIn and Google+. Each of them will take you to a sign-in page on each network to authorize the Buffer App to use your profile and credentials remotely.
You can start using Buffer right away, from the Dashboard, Content tab type in your message, choose the accounts it will post to by (un)selecting the greyed out icons from those accounts. If you want you can attach a photo and then when you are ready press “Add to Queue”. Other options to post are accessed from the drop down arrow, allow you to Share Now, Share Next or Schedule Post.
Other Buffer Functionality
One of the features I like is the Suggestions. One of the main points of Buffer is to improve your social media productivity, and sometimes you need some ideas for more content if you’re setting up many posts. Buffer’s Suggestions (inside Content tab) gives you a bunch of ideas of relevant tweets based on your past activity.
A handy feature for Chrome users is the buffer chrome plugin which gives you a button to add posts with about any website without leaving the page. If you found an inspirational quote, select it with the mouse and right click to Send to Buffer and it prompts you refine the post. Its so fast and lets you get back to reading / working.
If you’re on the road a lot or using tablets and phones, you’re also covered. The functionality of the applications cover all the basic functionality as the web application we’ve shown in this article. Download the Apple and Android apps.
For us, experience has shown in late morning and early afternoons during the weekdays are best for us. We typically have business users who come to our site and you likely have different target audiences. Below are more resources that can give more specifics that hopefully cover your respective target audiences: