Content publishing tool is crucial enough if you want to get the most out of your social media channels.The tool allows you to schedule your social media contents and publish them on the certain times without requiring you to be staring at your computer screen all the time. Buffer is one of the examples of this sort of tool.
Regardless the social media platforms you focus on, you can make use of Buffer to create scheduled posts for them. Need a content publishing tool for your small business? Buffer is the tool you are looking for. You can use it for free although there are some restrictions you have to deal with.
If you haven’t used Buffer before, following are the features and capabilities of the tool.
Supported social media platforms
Buffer is a content publishing tool for that supports multiple platforms, not built specifically for a specific platform like TweetDeck. All major social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google+ are supported by Buffer. Additionally, you can also schedule pins on Pinterest. It’s just, Pinterest is only available for premium members of Buffer.
Although Buffer supports all major social media platforms, chances are you wont’t need to add all your social media accounts. In some cases, it would be better to focus on a specific social media platforms, or two. For instance, if you are looking to use Buffer to distribute your blog contents, then Twitter and Facebook would be proper choice than Instagram and Pinterest. Conversely, if you are a photographer who to make use of social media to build your online presence, Instagram is probably a better suited option.
Social media platforms that are supported Buffer:
- Pinterest (premium only)
Publishing and scheduling features
Some people call Buffer as a social media management tool instead of content publishing tool. Actually, Buffer has no full functionalities of social media management tool like, for instance, Hootsuite. The focus of Buffer is to help you publishing your social media contents instead of interacting with your audiences. You can use Buffer to post the same content to multiple social media accounts at once, but you won’t be able to interact with your followers, like replying Facebook comments or Twitter mentions. Buffer also doesn’t offer feed to allow monitor your social media timeline.
Two major things you can do with Buffer are:
- Schedule social media contents.
- Publish the same contents to multiple social media accounts.
Although you can’t interact with your social media followers, but you will still be able to keep on eye of your content performance. Buffer features an analytics tool to do so.
As I said above, you can monitor your social media contents performance via the analytics feature offered by Buffer. It’s just, the analytics feature of Buffer is very basic. You will also need to upgrade your free account to get the most out this feature. There is no advanced graphic offered for free account users. You will only be able to monitor the content performance individually. For instance, if you want to check the performance of the tweets you have posted, the stats you can check on each post amongst other are the number of retweets, the number of likes received, the number of mentions as well as the number of clicks.
You can check more advanced information if you upgrade your free account to one of the offered premium packages. Including posts with the most retweets or favorites. You can also check which posts that has the worst performance. Furthermore, you can also compare the statistics between certain month and previous month. If you want to perform further analysis, you can also export the analytics data.
Not only you can use Buffer for your own business. Buffer is also a great tool if you are working for a digital agency firm and responsible of handling social media accounts of multiple clients. Buffer allows you to build a team to work together for handling social media accounts. But again, this capability is only available for premium users. To be able using the teamwork feature, you will at least spend $99 per month. The appeal thing offered by Buffer it that it doesn’t adopt per user cost, which is become the common model adopted by online tools that offer teamwork capability. The cost offered by Buffer is an all-inclusive cost, as opposed to a “per team member” cost.
If you want to use Buffer as a collaboration tool, there are two user levels offered by Buffer: manager and contributor. Contributors can only add posts to a profile you have given them access to. All of the posts they added will only be added to the queue once you (the manager) approved them. You don’t need to share the passwords of the social media accounts you are handling to add collaborators. You can invite as well as authenticate your access via an email address or a social account.
Free version vs paid version
You can use the free version of Buffer as long as you want, but there are much benefits you will get if you upgrade your account. Free version of Buffer is limited to a single social media account per platform. The number of scheduled posts you can create is also limited to 10.
The premium package of Buffer is divided in two categories: Starter Plans and Business Plans. Teamwork capability is only available on Business Plans. In general, following are the differences between free version and paid version of Buffer.[table id=13 /]
If you run a business, chances are you also use another online-based services or tools other than Buffer. If so, you can integrate those services with Buffer. Some services that you can integrate with Buffer are Zapier, Feedly, Pocket, WordPress and so on.
In addition, you don’t need always to rely on the Buffer dashboard to add new contents. Buffer also provides mobile apps for Android and iOS to allow you add new contents via smartphone. It is also possible to share interesting web pages right away without login to the Buffer dashboard by making use of Buffer browser extension. The browser extension of Buffer is available for Firefox and Google Chrome.
Buffer is a great tool to get the most out of your social media channels. But keep in mind that Buffer has no full functionalities as a social media management tool. Instead, Buffer is a content publishing tool with the main focus to help you manage scheduled posts for your social media accounts. Regardless the business scale you run, you can keep be able to use Buffer since it’s a freemium tool.
While you can use Buffer for free, upgrading your account would be great idea to get the most out of the tool. Overall, Buffer is a great tool for all business scales. From small to enterprise.