Your website, or blog, has so much potential, it is ready and available 24 hours a day, each and every day, and people are using the web all the time, even at times when we personally cannot be present. It would be nice to be able to post a Tweet at 4 a.m. when people in another part of the world are starting their workday, or at midnight as another part of the world signs into Facebook. This is why you need Buffer.
There are a wealth of free applications available today, few provide the writer with so much publicity assistance than the Buffer App. I have been using Buffer for many years and you can sign up here. You will need to download the Buffer add-on for your browser in order to make it function.
The browser extension enables its users access to the power of Buffer, it is the tool that allows you to add posts to your buffer for Twitter, Facebook and other social networks, building a queue of future posts, spread out over the next few days. This ensures you never overwhelm your followers with your social activity. You wish to share something, simply Buffer it, then in a few hours your social post will be seen by all.
Add Buffer to your browser by using the Add-ons facility, search for Buffer and get to the installation page, shown here (this example is for the Firefox browser):
Setting up Your Buffer Account
Once you have installed buffer you will need to register an account at buffer.com. You should create a free account where you can post to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram – this will also allow you to post to Google Plus pages. If you have multiple profiles on these sites that you wish to use then you will need to purchase the upgrade.
As a part of the process of setting up your account you should add all of your social networks and define the times at which each of your posts will appear, you can tweak these over time, but you do need a start point set.
How to use Buffer
The Buffer icon will appear on your browser’s tool-bar once the add-in has been installed. If there is any website you wish to post to your queue in order to keep your social team informed you do so with a click. Simply use the button shown here:
Once clicked the Composer screen will appear:
Buffer’s composer screen will allow you to select a picture to enhance your social post:
The Internet is largely visual in nature and it is a good idea to include a picture with your post.
By default the pictures from the post are included in Buffer’s composer screen. Selecting one of these, particularly the featured image, will reinforce the visibility of the work you are trying to publicise. Another option is to use Buffer’s Pablo page, that will allow you to add an image and a quote to your post.
Schedule Through Buffer
Scheduling is sometimes a better option than the default buffering times, ensuring you post at a precise point.
This gives you the flexibility to plan social posts ahead of time. There is a conference starting at 9 a.m., tomorrow, in India and you would like to post something that will be relevant to attendees. Provided you can convert it to a time in your local time zone. The schedule is an important tool.
Another feature is called Power Schedule, which allows you to post in multiple places at different times: now; in 8 hours; in 1 day; in 7 days; or at another time you may define.
Monitoring your Posts
Once you have an account you can monitor progress of your posts on the Buffer website:
Here you can see each of your queues individually, you can also see to some extent how your posts have performed, although I believe Buffer is weak in this area as I have tracked social postings showing more likes and shares than are reported through buffer.
Schedule & Other Things
The Schedule Tab allows you to set the times at which items are posted from the queue. I post five times a day from Twitter, twice from LinkedIn and Facebook. This is one of those things that should be synced to the times when your social sites are most active – there are apps that will allow you to discover what is the best time of day, if your really wish to take a scientific approach.
Upgrading costs $102 per year and will allow 100 items in each queue, more social profiles, a social media calendar to manage all your social accounts “at-a-glance,” manage Pinterest involvement. It is the ability to add 100 items to the queue that attracts me, but so far I have retained the standard membership.
There are limits to most software applications, including buffer, such as the limited number of social connections, unless you upgrade your account. Additionally Buffer doesn’t allow pictures larger than 3mb to be posted.