The problem with social media management is that it feels like you just don’t have enough time to do it. Honestly, there really is no excuse when you learn how to use Buffer. It’s just simply that easy.
There are plenty of great posts on how to use buffer, so I am going to give you the absolute basics and point to some of those posts. If you follow the very basic steps in this post today, you can be up and running with the basics in five or ten minutes.
What is Buffer App?
Buffer is a social media tool that lets you schedule tweets, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ updates and more.
Why should you use Buffer?
You should use Buffer because it allows you to make regular updates to your social media profiles without having to do them in real time. It buffers the updates that you do by adding time between them but lets you schedule them all at once.
John Jantsch, author of best selling books such as Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine, puts it this way:
“I subscribe to over 100 blogs and I hear over and over again how much some of the folks that choose to follow me on Twitter and Facebook appreciate that I share what I think some of the best reads from each day.
I share other things in those platforms as well, but I generally find 8-10 blog posts daily that I think people will appreciate.
The problem is that when I scan through my RSS Reader, something I do before most of my readers have had breakfast, I don’t want to Tweet all 8-10 at one time because it kind of overwhelms a handful of people and leaves little for those that get on social networks at other times of the day.
To solve this problem I started using a free app called Buffer.”
How do I use buffer / what is the basic idea of it?
Sign up for the free version to give it a try and you can schedule up to 10 pieces of content to share. Basically you are going to be finding interesting pieces of content that you want to share with your followers and then you will put them in a queue that will release them at the specified times.
Here is what Buffer does on their own account:
“Twitter – 14 times per day, from midnight to 10:00 p.m. Central Time, never more than once per hour; seven times per day on weekends, from 3:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., roughly every three hours.
Facebook – 2 times per day, seven days a week, 10:08 a.m. and 3:04 p.m.
LinkedIn – 1 time per day, 8:14 a.m., no weekends
Google+ – 2 times per day, 9:03 a.m. and 7:04 p.m., no weekends
You’ll see some of the science behind our sharing frequency below, but also know that we have set our schedule—like almost everything at Buffer—as an experiment and are constantly iterating based on our analytics.
As far as an explanation for why we tweet at 3:00 a.m., we want to connect with our global audience. Three in the morning, Central Time, is 9:00 a.m. in London. If you don’t have a global audience, you might not get the same value out of tweeting in the middle of your night.”
Social media posting frequency
As you can see, there is a very particular science to scheduling your social media posts. While it is going to depend on your audience and you will want to do some testing to see what works for you, the initial and simple answer is to post at least five times a day on Twitter, twice a day on Facebook, once a day on LinkedIn (not on the weekends) and twice a day on Google (not on the weekends).
Exactly how to get started using Buffer in 9 simple steps
- Sign up / login. Start with the free account.
- Add Accounts: Start by just connecting your Twitter account to make it really simple. After you get the hang of it you can add your other accounts. If you sign up for the premium version, you can add up to 10 of your personal and business accounts, so you are feeding many places at once.
The accounts are listed on the left side:
- Set up your schedules. Go to the schedules tab and set up your schedules. Pretty self-explanatory, so just use the outline from how Buffer does it above – in terms of when to post on each profile – to get you started.
- Add Feeds: After you add your Twitter account, you’ll need something to share. Go to the feed section and search for some of your favorite blogs and add them to the feed.
- Also install the Buffer Chrome Extension to allow you to easily share while you are doing your daily searching as well.
- Fill your queue. Click the add button to add any of the posts that are coming in through the feed that you want to be in your queue to be sent out to Twitter and eventually on your other profiles.
I like to click the Buffer link to the actual post, which will open it in a new window and then click the Twitter share button on the post. When the details show up of what will get shared on Twitter, – if you have the Chrome extension installed – hit the Buffer button instead.
I do that because Buffer usually just gives you a short headline and a shortened URL. Most sites that allow you to share by clicking a button on the blog post add more information into the outgoing tweet, such as people’s Twitter handles and/or hashtags.
This will save you time finding Twitter handles of relevant people. It’s important to add these things in, so that the authors and relevant people will be aware that you are sharing their content.
You can also get inspiration to fill your queue from the suggestions section.
- Check your queue. Click the queue tab to see how many items you have available to schedule. If you put out at least five a day on twitter, you’ll easily be covering your Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ activity for a ways out but will have to do at least five “adds” a day to keep up with Twitter.
You can easily add about one per minute, even if you are being sure to add some Twitter handles, so this doesn’t take a long time. You just have to do it and choose content to share that fits your niche and that your audience will like. If you are reading regularly anyway, this really takes almost no extra time. Or as Anthony Robbins calls it, NET time.
- Influencer marketing. If you want to get a little bit more advanced, make a list of your top influencers and use their blogs as the feeds. Then you will be regularly sharing their content and starting a connection with them, even if it is just through curation. You can worry about the engagement stuff later but this is a great first step.
- You’re done. Hahaha. Internet marketing is never done and there is so much more to it than this, if you want to take it up a notch, but this post is about keeping it simple.
You’ll feel real good, real fast
Sign up for Buffer immediately and you will see how easy it is to get started managing your social media profiles. You will start to get more followers and become known for sharing helpful content. You should add links to your own original content / blog as well but make sure to get started immediately by sharing other people’s content and you will have instant gratification.
Check out this video tutorial by Kimberly Ann Jimenez to see Buffer in action:
How do you keep up with your social media management?