Scheduler Review – Buffer

Buffer is an internet-based social media scheduler and handles more than just social media planning or posting. You can link your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest accounts. It is trusted by a variety of brands, businesses, agencies, and individuals to help drive engagement and results on social media.

Buffer boasts that they have a suite of products for publishing, engaging, analyzing and collaborating within the platform in a vaiety of ways and are targeted to help social media markeers and teams work more efficiently and effectively.

Overview:

Buffer is a relatively organized application in terms of layout which makes it fairly easy to keep yous social media accounts updated and posts organized. It does have an automation feature for timing outbound posts. And it’s user interface has a streamlined and somewhat sophisticated appearance with options available for adding social media networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc.

The app lets you make status updates and create tweets directly in the program or via one of the available importing options like Zapier or browser extension. Status updates can be cross posted to multiple social media accounts with a few simple clicks and either a specific time set or a user can opt to “add to Buffer” section which adds the update to the next available slot in the Buffer que for that social account.

The app comes with some analytics that can be used to determin optimal posting times and the effectivness of the updates shared to date. Reports are neat and tidy with an easy to read function clearly showing helpful information like number of clicks, mentions received, retweets, and the potential reach of a post in a format that doesn’t overwhelm the user.

Features:

  • RSS feeds connectivity
  • Social analytics
  • multiple posts & tweets
  • Social profile sharing
  • Profile management
  • Multi-media format sharing
  • Agency/business planning
  • Analytics and insights
  • Stats comparision
  • iOS and Android support
  • Team collaboration
  • 2-step account login
  • Customized scheduling
  • Standard buffering

Connect to:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter

Integrations:

  • Browser Extensions – Chrome, Firefox, Safari
  • Google Analytics
  • Zapier

Getting Set up:

Getting set up is as simple as clicking the right buttons, just make sure that you are already logged in on the account(s) you want to connect to and add it, if it’s not in the automatic list on the left of your account screen then click the “Manage Social Accounts” in the bottom left corner to add more. Or connect your accounts through your phone or tablet app by following the prompts.

IF connecting Instagram it will first prompt you to set up notifications so that Buffer can remind you when you want to post, then after that it will ask if you want to automatically post to Instagram. If you have a business Instagram account and would like to auto post like you do on other platforms follow the prompts to set this up and Buffer will only notify you if there is some reason that your update can not be automatically posted.

Access via

Web login
Mobile – Android
Mobile – iOS Native
Browser Extensions – Chrome, Firefox, Safari

The Plans

Buffer has 3 plans to choose from for getting started and offers a free 7 day or 14 day trial depending on which account you would like to test if you are going with a paid account. They also have additional features larger companies that may be looking for brand monitoring but to get started you can use either the free or Pro plan (trial) to get a feel for how it will work for you.

It is worth it to note that only paid plans can pin to Pinterest, however the free plan (and paid plans) can post to all the same social platforms within the limits of the plan.

Pricing varies by plan from the Free to $99/month and annual plans save you a few months worth of the expense if you wish to pay it all upfront.

The Pros

  • Simple set up, it won’t take too long to get all your accounts connected and ready to go. It even suggests recommended posting times for each platform and a frequency for each week.
  • Link Shortener for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn (Instagram doesn’t connect links).
  • Google Analytics integration for custom Campaign Tracking
  • “Shuffle Queue” option for each platform to randomize your upcoming posts
  • Connects to Zapier so you can add posts from anywhere Zapier can pull them
  • Automates posting to Instagram so you don’t have to rely on reminders to tell you when to post

The Cons

  • No “reposting” or library function
  • Cannot connect Zapier to post to Pinterest from anywhere… (ie reduced automation)
  • Scheduled posting/pinning times have to be generated by the user.
  • Need to Manually generate all pins one by one if pinning to Pinterest

You can find Buffer here

Final Notes

Buffer can be a helpful tool if your looking to automate your social media, however for Pinterest it honestly doesn’t cut it.