About 90% of what I share on social channels is done using Buffer.
Buffer is one of the tools I called out as invaluable for managing social throughput, and in that post I offered up a few tips for using it. I wanted to dive into the tool a little deeper here.
I’m not what you would call a power user (I run on their basic tier), but I do try and squeeze a whole lot out of it in terms of function.
My primary use is as a curation tool to bring together other people’s content into my feed. Given the amount of content I read each day, I generally end up queuing about two days worth of social posts each time . As far as my own content goes, I use CoSchedule to develop and schedule my messaging, but the great part is that it integrates with Buffer as well. I’ll be publishing a post on CoSchedule soon.
Here are my 4 tips for doing more with Buffer.
Add more times
When you sign up, there will be a number of times already picked to share content.
I highly recommend changing these up, and creating a sharing schedule for each platform.
Firstly make sure that your timezone is right (under the Schedule tab) – nothing worse than setting times only to find yourself hours ahead or behind.
Understand the consumption habits of each platform – Twitter should be higher frequency of content as an example, given how fast a feed can move, whereas LinkedIn may be a 2 or 3 updates a day platform for you.
Add new times to each platform. My Twitter schedule (right) is based on 6 scheduled times a day, every 2 an a half hours, whereas LinkedIn is timed for 3 times a day, at the start and end of the workday, and lunchtime.
Change up your messages and add context
Depending on what device I am using, I use the Chrome and Safari extensions and the iOS app to add to my queue when I like a story. I will often add the item to the queue looking the same across all the platforms I want to share to.
After you’ve added your item to the queue, don’t forget about it. Every platform has its optimum posting format, so you need to make sure you go into the Buffer and edit what you have saved there to suit.
I will typically add a source’s Twitter handle at the point of adding to the queue and Buffer will automatically parse that to a full name for LinkedIn. It’s important to check this as you want to make sure the source is credited correctly.
Also important is adding hashtags for Twitter, G+ and even Facebook if you want (although they’ve never really taken off on Facebook). This will help visibility when they are published.
Understanding platforms like Google+ allow for a longer message (it only supports pages, not individual profiles), use this opportunity to write your thoughts ahead of the link
Add a picture
Images increase engagement with social posts exponentially, so where available (which is everywhere), you should be using them.
Buffer offers the opportunity to add an specific image to the posts you share. This is particularly handy for Twitter posts where there is no preview of the content, unless the site you are sharing supports Twitter cards, but you can’t see this from queue dialogue, unlike Facebook, LinkedIn and G+ shares where the tool will parse a preview that you can see in the queuing dialogue.
Don’t just share something once
There is research to suggest that the multiple sharing of the same piece of content can do wonders for engagement. CoSchedule has a great schedule framework that demonstrates this.
Use the New Scheduler tool (second tab) to pick the frequency by which you share your content and again, make sure you vary your message by platform.
Add additional schedule times to it if you want as well, per my first point.
If you want to keep a track of all the links you share using the tool, I also recommend checking out this post on using IFTTT to achieve that.
This kind of tool shouldn’t be the only thing you use to share content. As I said, I schedule about 90% of my output using this, with the remaining being direct shares from social platforms as I find information, and others being my own content that I post on the blog.
So how about you? Any ways you are using it that you’d like to share?