How to Use Buffer for Kick-Ass Content Scheduling
I’m very excited to bring you this post because I’m in love with Buffer. Love, I say. It’s made my life online 100x’s easier and more efficient, and I’m going to show you how. The content scheduling app is not only super easy-to-use, but extremely affordable.
What Does Buffer Actually Do?
The beauty of Buffer is how easy it is to use. Simply tell Buffer what posts you want to share to which networks, and they will be posted for you, accurately spaced out throughout the day. You can easily Buffer your own content, as well as the content of others from around the web, quickly, easily, and exactly in tune with each network. It is a great way to help with overwhelm!
- Facebook Pages, Profiles & Groups
- Google+ Pages (not profiles, yet!)
- LinkedIn Pages & Profiles
What Does Buffer Not Do?
Buffer does not manage your community per se, for example, replies, likes and shares with your followers, or being loveable. However, you can get great insight into how people are interacting with your content shared via Buffer, including likes, comments shares and retweets. Note, it will only track and measure content that is published from Buffer.
Step One: Setting Up Your Buffer Schedule
Before you start publishing content, you’ll first want to create your schedule. You can set-up an everyday schedule, or create a schedule that is specific to each day. You’ll also want to determine the amount of posts you’ll want to schedule each day based on the network. This is really dependent on your strategy and community, but generally you’ll want more posts going out to Twitter than any other network.
Here’s a glimpse of how many posts I schedule per day by networks:
- Facebook: 3 Posts
- Twitter: 15 Tweets
- LinkedIn: 3 Posts
- Pinterest: 10 Pins
I must admit, I use Buffer mainly for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. I only use Pinterest when I have content of my own to schedule. I rarely use Google+ (yes, I know, I know). Looking to create a social media routine that rocks? Try this handy post!
Best Times for Facebook
To determine exactly when to post, I have a couple tricks I like to use. First, I like to consult my Facebook insights to see when my followers are online. For example, I usually see a peak in engagement at approximately 9am, 3pm and 6pm EST each day. Because of this, I set my schedule for approximately 1-hour each of those times. Next, I consult my Google Analytics. I like to see when I receive the most amount of traffic across the board, as well as from Facebook.
Best Times for Twitter
To determine the best times to tweet, I like to use Tweriod. Simply log in to the app using Twitter, then run a report to find out the most optimal times for posting. Once your report is ready, simply click the “Sync BufferApp Schedule” button and let it do its magic.
Changing Your Schedule
Remember to check your schedule every so often to be sure that your times are still relevant. As your community grows, your optimal times may change. You may also want to override your schedule when posting. You can easily choose to share now, share next or schedule for a specific date and time.
Step Two: Download Tools for Buffer
The beauty of Buffer is to be able to add content to your Buffer from anywhere, anytime. No matter where you are on the Interwebs, you can quickly and easily curate content from your desktop or mobile device.
Nine times out of 10, I Buffer from bed. Yep, it’s true. Before I roll out of bed, I grab my phone and Buffer all the interesting content I find. I love the Buffer app, because it makes it so easy to create great looking posts. And easily. Grab the mobile apps for iOS and Android.
If you’re using Buffer, then a browser extension is a must. Easily Buffer content, as well as clip images and quote text super easily with use of the extension. I love Chrome, but it’s also available for Firefox.
I love CoSchedule, and integrated with Buffer, it’s a whirlwind romance. I can easily create social posts within my CoSchedule calendar, and seamlessly push content to Buffer for publishing. The beautiful part is that when content is pushed, it will automatically be slotted into my Buffer, around my curated content. I can easily set posts for months in advance, then set it and forget it.
There are a ton of tools that integrate with Buffer. Check them out here.
Step Three: Find Awesome Content to Buffer
The most fun part about buffer is easily finding content to share. There are so many ways you can Buffer content, including on social media networks and even from websites that offer Buffering as a share option. Here are some ways you can easily find content to Buffer:
Feedly is my favorite aggregator, pulling content from around the Internet into one centralized hub. Feedly offers an upgrade, allowing you to Buffer content straight from the app itself. Just a tip, if you’re using Feedly on your iOS mobile device, you can easily use iOS sharing to Buffer content from Feedly without upgrading. (See screenshot below)
If you’re looking to Buffer a ton of content super fast, then you’ll definitely want to add RSS feeds to your Buffer. RSS (Real Simple Syndication) feeds help you to pull content from around the internet, just like Feedly, but straight into Buffer. I love to use an aggregator like Alltop to pull a ton of content into my Buffer.
Buffer Retweets, Facebook posts and more
Many of the major social networks include a Buffer button, including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Just look for the Buffer icon (as shown below).
Step Four: Viewing Analytics
Depending on the level of your Buffer plan, you will have access to certain types of analytics. With the Awesome Plan, you can view your most popular posts, including likes, comments and shares. You can even follow users that engaged with your Twitter content from the app and reply to Facebook comments on your posts.
Now do you see why I love Buffer? I’d love to know what you think of it. Be sure to leave me a comment below and let me know.