A buffer is one of the new buzzwords in digital marketing and is a very convenient scheduling tool that can be used on any social media platform. A buffer is a new smart way to share what you want to share on Social Media. It is also popular as a Social Media Assistant or the Siri of Social Media.
What buffer does is not very complicated. You have something called the buffer queue and you can schedule your social media posts by adding it to the queue so that it gets posted whenever you please.
It is similar to a magic carton you can use anytime to fill with great Tweets, Facebook stories or LinkedIn updates. You just drop them off and everything else will be taken care of by the application for you.
Every digital marketer rates this product highly and Digital marketing classes have started teaching about this tool to students.
Who needs to use Buffer?
Here are a few types of people who might find Buffer useful, are you one of them?
- Praveen is a voracious reader but doesn’t want to flood his followers and friends with too much of the good stuff at once. By using the Buffer queue, he can space our posts and not use everything at once. He simply Buffers everything and avoids boring or intimidating anyone who might be following him.
- Maneesh is the Social Media Manager for his business and needs to save time on posting interesting stuff. Using Buffer, he can manage his work and time efficiently just by queuing stuff for a few minutes every day!
- Nitin is heading a Non-profit Organization and wants to schedule posts but does not want to spend much. He uses buffer because it suits his needs and even has a discount plan for Non -profit Organizations.
Why use Buffer?
Simply put, you do not have to worry about keeping track of what to post on different platforms and you can concentrate all your energy into finding something or thinking about something good to post!
You never again have to choose a date and time for every single post. It is all taken care of!
Where can I download this tool from?
Extensions are available for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera and can be found in the below link.
Buffer has a smooth, clean interface. Installing its browser extensions – a lot of its best functionality comes from these add-ons enhances this.
Can I Connect my Google+ page also?
Yes, of course. You can connect a range of accounts such as:
Buffer integrates with around sixty different platforms and they can be found here:
After you have created your buffer account, you can start linking your social media accounts and the following link can help you.
How can I schedule posting times?
For every account you connect, you have the provision to schedule the times that posts should be shared. These can be the same or different for every account. This feature helps when you want to post more frequently on Twitter, for example, than you do on your Facebook Page. You can thus take care of the rate of posting easily.
How can I start Buffering posts?
Enter the text and any links you want to share in the box at the top of your list of updates. If you have multiple accounts connected, you might want to select which accounts the post should be shared with and, if one of those is a Facebook account, you can even preview how the link will appear.
Go to any blog post or website and share it directly by clicking the browser extension button. A pop-up will appear containing suggested text to be shared. The title of the page would generally be the suggested text and a short link to this page will also appear.
Edit the text and choose which accounts you want to share it through and then add it to your queue.
Can I also schedule a retweet on Twitter?
Yes. You can reschedule retweets with tools like Hootsuite. However, you can only schedule retweets if they are in the old format (e.g. RT @razorsocial…) in Hootsuite whereas, with Buffer, you can schedule newer-style retweets from the Twitter website.
When you install the extension, underneath each tweet you will see the Buffer icon. When the icon is clicked, the interface will pop up and you can schedule the retweet to be shared from whichever Twitter accounts you, please.
A picture speaks a thousand words and the creators of Buffer ensured that images can be shared too!
Capturing people’s attention has never been easier and Buffer’s extension lets you share the images you find on the web. If you have the extension installed and you hover over an image, a “Share Image” button appears in the bottom right-hand corner.
In case the button does not show up, fear not. You can right-click on an image and choose ‘Buffer this image’.
In both cases, this then brings up the pop-up box so you can customize the update.
Are there other things that I can do with Buffer?
A Buffer hack that may be useful is the ability to highlight text and schedule it to post on social media.
Say bye to Ctrl C and Ctrl V.
You can highlight some text on a page and right-click. Click on ‘Buffer selected text’.
Also, you have three options at your disposal when sharing. You can click on ‘share next’ to add it to the top of your queue, ‘share now’ to share immediately or ‘schedule post’.
If you run out of content to share, the ‘feed’ option will help you. The buffer provides twenty-five posts that you might find useful, every day. You can add the links that buffer provides by clicking on the ‘ADD’ button next to each link.
Can I also check how much traction my tweets are receiving?
Say Hi to the Analytics tab.
Here, you can look at the posts you have sent and see the engagement they got. You can find out the number of retweets, favorites, and clicks that your tweet got. In case your tweet was popular, you can re-buffer it to add to your queue again.
Can I use Buffer on my mobile phone?
Yes, there are iPhone and Android apps for the same.
Earlier in 2014, Buffer launched an app called Daily. It was an iOS app that helped users manage their social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. The user could accept, share or dismiss suggested links through swipe gestures popularized by the Tinder app.
Where can I learn in detail about Buffer?
For starters, you can try videos on Youtube.
On the site, some guides and tutorials can aid you. If you still want more help, you can join any Digital Marketing class in your locality.
All this seems cool! How did the creators come up with this?
Buffer began its development in October 2010 in Birmingham, UK. Co-founder Joel Gascoigne started it, who established the idea of the social media application while he was in the UK. After developing the idea, he created a landing page to see if enough people were interested in the product to test its profitability.
After reaching a critical mass of registrations, Gascoigne built and designed the first version of the application software over 7 weeks.
The initial version of Buffer was launched on November 30, 2010. It contained limited features that only allowed access to Twitter. Four days after the software’s launch Buffer gained its first paying user.
A few weeks after this, the number of users reached 100, and then that number multiplied to 100,000 users within the next 9 months.
In July 2011, it was decided to move the start-up venture from the United Kingdom to San Francisco in the United States where Buffer was converted into Buffer Incorporation. When in San Francisco, Gascoigne and others dealt with the San Franciscan startup incubators AngelPad.
This was due to the shooting up in cost after moving from Birmingham. During December 2011, Joel and Leo were able to secure 18 investors in their company. They later said that up to 88% of the people they met with to offer investment to their company rejected their proposal.
Now, the investors include Maneesh Arora, the founder of MightyText, Thomas Korte, the founder of AngelPad, and Andy McLoughlin, the co-founder of the software company Huddle.
The company’s base had to be shifted to Hong Kong in January 2012 because the co-founders ran into problems with their Visas. More visa issues meant that it migrated again to Tel Aviv, Israel in August 2012.
In October 2012, Joel Gascoigne reported that “1.5-2% of users are on the paid plan, so we’re currently on an $800,000 annual run rate”. In May 2013, the company’s base shifted back to the United States, after the resolution of co-founders’ visa predicaments.
Is the whole thing for free?
Well, good things come at a price. This link gives you a picture of the price of Buffer.
There are free features as well as paid features.
Buffer’s paid plan is known as ‘Awesome’. Awesome gives access to users to the RSS feed which displays content from external websites. Analytics is also not entirely free.
Scheduling posts are free but it limits to ten posts for any given time. The free user also can manage only one social media account per website.
How secure is Buffer?
Also, you might want to be wary about the security issues that come along with it. In October 2013, Buffer’s system was hacked, allowing the hackers to get access to many users’ accounts. The hackers started spamming posts through many of the user’s social media accounts.
On October 26, 2013, Buffer was temporarily suspended and this was a direct consequence of the hacking. Joel Gascoigne sent an email to all users, apologizing about the issue and advising Buffer users about what steps they should take.
A buffer was then un-suspended within the same week. Off late, there seems to be no problem with this application but one can never be sure about this aspect.
Does it have a special plan for businesses?
Yes, it does.
Buffer for Business intended for managing social media accounts for businesses and corporations. Launched in 2013, it contains a similar interface to Buffer, but with additional features:
- Detailed analytics that enables one to perform comparisons between different metrics, such as between retweets clicks and posts, sorting of different data and accumulation of statistics is available
- Team-collaboration-features that contain approval features, admin privileges that grant permissions to users assigned as managers over any other member assigned as a contributor. They allow more members of a team to access and manage the accounts.
- Exporting privileges allow the export of data, statistics, and analysis to any reports or documents that are available.
The costs of Buffer for Business differ according to the scale and size of the potential user’s business and the classifications are as follows:
- Small Business: You can manage 25 social media accounts and the access of 5 team members
- Medium Business: You can manage 50 social media accounts and the access of 10 team members
Buffer for Business produced over 10% of the company’s total revenue in December 2013. In 2014, over 2,500 publishers and agencies used the app. Famous organizations that use Buffer for Business include About.com, Fortune Magazine, and Business Insider.
What about Instagram? Can I use Buffer here too?
As you may know, Instagram does not allow outside apps to post directly to Instagram. With Buffer’s Instagram support, you may create an Instagram reminder on the web or mobile application.
When it’s time to post, Buffer sends a notification to your phone that loads your photo on to Instagram. Moreover, the prewritten caption saved to your phone’s clipboard will also be pasted.
How do I remove a profile from Buffer?
Select the profile you’re looking to remove on the left-hand side of your dashboard and then click on “Settings” in the upper right corner. From there, click “Remove”. After confirmation, your profile is removed and all your data and history are deleted.
Note that if you have any team members with access to the profile you’re looking to remove, you will need to revoke their access first. For this, click the “Admin” link at the top of your dashboard. Then click ‘Manage’ to the right of the team member you’d like to modify access for
Change the drop-down to ‘No Access’ next to the profile you’re planning to remove and then click ‘Save’. Repeat these steps for any other team members who you need to change the access for. You’ll then be able to remove the profile seamlessly.
How to delete your Buffer account?
You can delete your account and delete all data by clicking on “My Account” and then clicking on “Access and Password”. Then choose “Leave Buffer.”
However, publicly visible text/images often aren’t properly deleted even when you succeed in deleting an account. It is a good practice to edit or delete them manually before deleting the account itself.
You can also remove third-party logins using the link below:
A buffer is a helpful tool as we can see but you might also want to limit your spending and not splurge on every new fad that goes on to become the ‘next big thing’. However, one cannot dismiss Buffer as just another fad because its popularity continues to soar even after three years of its introduction.
Though it cannot tell when tweets are time-sensitive, the advantages in the form of analytics, scheduling, and an easy-to-use interface make it a good contender for any digital marketer. It is sure to increase your productivity and make your life easier!
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