3 Things You Must Know About Buffer

Welcome to episode 225 of Hit the Mic with The Stacey Harris.

Welcome to 2016. Yes, yes, first episode of 2016. Today we’re going to talk about Buffer, one of my favorite social media tools and a really, really great place to start. If you are moving from doing everything separately and trying to find your way, Buffer is a really good start. This is also a really great alternative if you just can’t get into Hootsuite, there’s just something about it. That’s why there’s lots of social media tools, because there’s going to be one that fits your style and how you prefer to work.That’s why I want to talk about Buffer today. We’re going to talk about three things that you need to know about Buffer. I want to talk a little bit about its uses, some things that it does that not everybody else does, and some things that you can do thanks to Buffer, as well as the payment levels and stuff like that.

Before we get started, remember, 2016, SocialPro is back now. Yes, it will be back. Officially, the cart opens in two weeks. January 19th the cart opens. If you want to be the first to know when the cart opens and get really special early bird bonuses, also save some coin on SocialPro, make sure you’re on the wait list. socialproonline.com is the place to get that.

If you haven’t yet, I talked about this in the last episode, but if you haven’t yet joined us for the Suck-Free Social Media Challenge, now is such a good time to do it because it’s a new year, fresh start. Make sure you have your foundations in place, your ideal client stuff, your what networks you’re going to be on this year, the kind of content you’re creating this year. Make sure you have those pieces in place. Even if you’ve already done some planning, make sure everything is just lined up so that you can really go into maximum success.

If you want to learn more about that, thestaceyharris.com/socialmediachallenge, or links to everything I mention today, including Buffer, is at thestaceyharris.com/episode225. That’s the show notes for this episode. If you ever want to find show notes for any episode, thestaceyharris.com/episode whatever episode number it is you’re looking for. That’s how you’ll find show notes. I haven’t said that in a while, so it’s worth reminding you. I think that’s all I’ve got.

Let’s talk about Buffer. First, I want to talk about the fact that Buffer does come in several levels. You have the free individual level, which allows you … I’m actually going to pull this up real quick, so if it sounds like I’m reading it’s because I’m actually looking at the current pricing. If you go to buffer.com/pricing you can see this breakdown. The individual individual level gives you free option. One profile per platform. One user. You can schedule up to 10 posts per profile at a time. It works with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google Plus Pages. There’s a browser extension, mobile apps for iOS and Android. You can use Pablo, which is their image creator for quotes. Personally, I prefer Canva. I don’t think Pablo is all that awesome, but it is a cool feature. You get also the video and GIF uploader, optimized timing tool, and link shortening and tracking. There is a lot in the free option.

However, if you upgrade to Awesome, which is only $10 a month, you get a bit more when it comes to choices. You get 10 social profiles. You get one user still, but you can schedule up to 100 posts at a time. This gives you the option to schedule a lot more … Again, that’s posts per profile, so if you have 10 profiles, you can schedule 100 updates for each of those profiles. If you do one update a day to your LinkedIn profile, for example, you can have the option to go for 100 days without having to need to jump in and schedule something again. That’s pretty powerful.

Again, you got Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google Plus, but you also have the option, and this is something we’re going to talk about in just a little while more, the option to schedule to Pinterest. This is something that not everyone realizes you can do when you upgrade your Buffer, but, yes, you can schedule pins to Pinterest, which is hugely powerful if Pinterest is one of your primary networks. You also, again, have that browser extension, the mobile apps, the Pablo image creator, video and GIF uploader, but you also have the option to upload RSS feeds an the calendar so you can schedule in a calendar format. If you want something to go Tuesday at 10:00, then you can schedule that in there very easily at a specific time. Again, you have the optimized timing tool, and again you have the link shortening and tracking.

What happens then is you move into the team and agencies level. This is where you have a bit more of an investment. However, this is a big part of going pro, is really investing in your social. This may be a really great high-level option for you. You can have 25 profiles, up to five users. If you have a VA, this is a really great option because you can set them up as a user. It’s $50 a month. I’m not sure if I mentioned that. This is for the small level. Up to 2,000 posts per profile. Again, if you have 25 profiles, you get 2,000 posts for each one of those profiles.

Again, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and that Pinterest capability, the browser extension, the mobile apps. You get the Pablo creator, the video and GIF uploader, the RSS feed, the calendar. All of that stuff stays. The optimizing timing tool, the link track shortening and tracking stays, but at this level, the teams and agencies level, you get social analytics, which is, as you know, one of my favorite things. I really, really love being able to see what’s working and what’s not working, and so that’s really cool.

There are three levels at the team and agencies. There’s a $50 level, a $100, and a $250 level. It just depends on what you need. If you’re listening to this show, you probably fall in the small or medium category. Especially as a social media manager, this is a very, very, very smart investment to make because, again, you can manage your clients in one place and you can, again, get some massive social media analytics information from them. That’s really, really powerful. Again, there’s some serious power in going pro.

That’s the way Buffer outlines. An overview of what Buffer does as well in this first piece. The foundation is what we’re talking about in this first section. Buffer allows you to schedule your social media by just adding to a queue which goes out at optimized times you and Buffer have established already, or you can schedule them to specific times, which is a really nice option. I really like that because I will schedule my stuff, like links for this episode, to go out at specific times strategically, decided based on who’s online and where it’s going and that kind of stuff. Then, when I add other people’s content, especially for Twitter and Google Plus and LinkedIn, when I add that piece in I can just add it to a queue and it’ll go out at the next optimized time, which is really, really powerful.

The cool thing also is, when you get into the Awesome level or the teams and agencies level, the premium paid levels, you can have different time schedules for different days. At the free level, you get one time outline, so however many days of the week that you want to put it out at whatever times you want to put it out, you get one schedule. Whereas if you want to have maybe Tuesdays it goes out three times and Wednesdays it goes out five times, you can make that work depending on what you need when you invest in one of the premium levels.

That’s where I wanted to start. That’s the whole first one, the foundations of what it does, the cost. I do encourage you to invest in your social media, but I have to say Buffer can do a lot for you at the free level, especially if you want to use this alongside another tool to just push out the other people’s part of your content. Buffer is my favorite for using other people’s content because I can just simply add it to the queue and it will go out when it needs to go out. I don’t have to worry about scheduling it at a specific time. I don’t have to worry about making sure it’s timed perfectly and it fits here and doesn’t fit here and what did we schedule here. I can just add my other people’s content to it and there it goes. That is really nice to have. Again, even if you just invest in the free level to get started, this is a really great first start.

Number two, I wanted to spend some time talking about the Pinterest capability that Buffer offers you, because that’s not something that all your other tools provide. Again, Hootsuite doesn’t provide that. Sprout Social doesn’t provide that. There are some other Pinterest scheduling tools. Tailwind is one I really like. If you’re already using Buffer or if you’re looking at Buffer for your other choices, then it makes sense to use Buffer here as well. Again, there’s no reason to have six tools if one tool will do the job the way you want it done.

Let’s talk a little bit about that capability of scheduling. What it allows you to do is it allows you to schedule pins to go out. You build a queue just like you would for Twitter or Facebook or any of those networks, those channels, whatever you want to call them. You’re going to just pin them to go out to Pinterest as well. What’s really powerful about that is, when you’re pinning your content or you’re pinning content from other sources, whenever you’re pinning things you find, maybe you’re doing your reading time, your blog catch-up time, your reading your email list those kind of things on Tuesday afternoon and you find a bunch of really great stuff to share, you’ve always been able to add it to your buffer queue for LinkedIn and Google Plus and that kind of thing, but you had to pin all of it right then if you wanted to pin it as well.

That fills up your pin right then. You push a lot out, and then you’ve got nothing for five days in the case of this example, or you have to save it and go through and do it each day. That’s not fun. That’s also not effective. It’s also not a good use of your time. Now you can actually pin those on a schedule. You can actually have them added to the queue and then they will pin when you have scheduled them to pin. It’s really, really cool.

You can also measure the performance of your pin. You can see what pins are doing really well, what pins are not working very well, what time is working very well, when they’re not getting a lot of traction and when they are, so that you have a more effective, more useful, more beneficial way of doing this. Again, this is available as a $10 option for the Awesome, or at the teams and agency levels, which I think is called Buffer for Business or something like that. It allows you to really invest in people seeing your Pinterest content when you want them to see your Pinterest content and sharing that stuff over time. This is really, really, really important if Pinterest is a primary network for you, which for I know a lot of you listening it is. Maybe it’s one of your favorites, anyways, your content does really well there. This is going to allow you to spend a little less time in at and a little more time reaping the benefits from it. Cool?

The third thing I want to talk about is why for me Buffer is not a standalone tool, and that is the recycling other people’s content part. I still use Edgar for recycling content, or not other people’s content, excuse me, recycling my content. I still use Edgar for that because that’s not something that Buffer does at this time. I can’t store a library of content that goes out when I need it to go out. For me, it’s still not my all-in-one resource, but it’s a big, big chunk of your scheduling, especially if you’re just getting started and you haven’t gotten to the point where you have the other people’s content. That’s where Buffer really hits the sweet spot for a lot of users and potentially for a lot of you. It’s going to allow you to schedule your fresh content every week or every month or every whatever, it’s going to allow you to schedule in easily other people’s content, and it’s going to allow you to schedule in a lot of your most important places.

The other downside and the other reason it’s not an all-in-one tool necessarily is there’s no tie-in to Instagram yet. Again, Hootsuite has that Instagram tool. There are some standalone Instagram schedulers, but it’s not something that at this time Buffer adds. That’s a factor as well when you’re deciding whether this is the tool for you.

Just to recap: First thing, we covered the basics. We covered the pricing. We covered the uses. Number two, we talked about Pinterest and how cool that is. Then the third thing we touched on is why this may or may not be your go-to tool. Again, I really suggest trying it out. If you’re looking to get started with any kind of social media tool, this is a great first step. If you’re looking to go pro and really use your time effectively and really make the most of your social media time, this might also be a really great tool for you, but it may not be the only tool you use. It may become part of a suite of tools you use. Awesome.

Thank you for listening. Thank you for hanging out. Again, if you want to check out the show notes for this episode, it’s thestaceyharris.com/episode225. I will see you in episode 226. Bye.

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