I’ve never been a fan of using scheduling devices like Facebook’s new scheduler or even post dating a tweet through Hootsuite. To make things worse, Facebook’s Edgerank as completely demolished the amount of views your post will get if you use one of those tools. I also go through phases with my Twitter account (www.twitter.com/smobrandon) of extreme engagement and then absolutely ignoring it for a week or two. Now…I can always keep my Twitter posting useful information and posting past blog posts steadily. Note, this does not simply provide engagement with my followers and I still take time out of my day to retweet what I see fit and connect with like minded individuals. Here’s how you to, can automate Twitter posts effectively throughout the day.
Let me begin by saying I have heard incredibly mixed reviews about this service and it is surprising that anyone could have a problem with it. Buffer App starts with an easy and simple sign up process where you can add 4 different types of profiles to automate:
As I was going through the program it was a little confusing as to what the program actually did. I hadn’t read any reviews or how-to on the service so was entering blindly. Eventually I found out what the service actually did through the help and information options at the bottom of the site. This is a very easy improvement that can really help out Buffer App’s new users. Most social media tools will have short videos on where to go first and how to set up. After a few minutes I was up and running with my Facebook and Twitter account.
Here is the dashboard screen with all connected accounts. It’s a fairly simple layout and is also consistent throughout the pages. The settings page has a few options that you can set such as a default posting account, switching times to post, and a huge factor for me was the ability to connect my bit.ly account to the link shorteners. I use bit.ly for multiple different accounts and prefer to use their site for additional information on clicks so this was a must have for me.
Apps and Extras has quite a large selection for ways to use buffer app. Whether you have Safari, Firefox, or even Opera, buffer app will work for you. The firefox extension is really the only reason I would ever think to use this application. It cuts down on one more website that I have to keep open while posting to Twitter and my other social media networks. The Buffer App button was a quick install and is a very small button that’s incredibly easy to use. Here’s a photo of the icon and what comes up when I clicked it to schedule a blog post.
One of the beauties of Buffer App is you don’t have to do the scheduling. It pre-determines the best time to send your tweets and automatically places them in a queue. The times suggest for my tweets were 8:14am, 11:52 am, 4:48 pm, and 8:06 pm. They’re far enough apart to not anger any followers and at key times that my followers are online. Once you click the browser extension button whatever page/link/post you are wanting to share is automatically added to your queue. You can also go through Facebook posts and share those with a buffer button that is added once your browser extension is installed.
That’s how easy Buffer App is. You find pages/links/posts to share and add them to a queue. With the Twitter posts they give you some basic statistics such as clicks, retweets, and mentions about the post. The simplicity (once you install the browser extension) is absolutely amazing. Even with my hatred for scheduling posts I couldn’t turn down Buffer App and use it very frequently now. I can load up blog posts and relevant information to my Twitter account for days on end and then spend my time on Twitter engaging.
There are however a few things I found lacking in the application that are minor but still noticeable. One is no real answer to why my tweets were scheduling for such specific times. I get that’s the usual time people are online with most social networks and that I can find when best to post through other programs like Social Bro, but give me an explanation. If it’s going to be a one stop shop for scheduling you’ll need to explain yourself.
Also, like previously stated, the site was confusing at first. Until I went to the help guides I had no idea what the website was going to do for me. On the same page, they should REALLY stress the importance of the browser extension. It’s not convenient for me to keep multiple pages open in my browser just to add what I find interesting to a queue. The browser extension is the epitome of convenience and is the only reason I still currently use the service.
That being said, there are SO many great aspects of this service, including one of my favorite being the general want and desire for the developers to improve the service. There is a Feedback Forum located at the bottom of the page that gives everyone the ability to post what they would like, change, or dislike about the service and each post can accrue votes for popularity. Some of the major concerns were to add Google+, rearrange posts (which was added), and tagging people through posts on Facebook within Buffer. Each suggestion has a reaction from the developers and is grateful for the suggestions and includes the level of importance to the company at the time.
Although Buffer App is a very specific service and is still growing I’m pretty impressed. Every social media tool out there today has a scheduler and they are just incredibly lacking. Buffer App has the opportunity to really take over the market with a few improvements and it looks like they are willing to and able to make those. In the category of scheduling programs, I would give Buffer App a 4.5/5. I really enjoy using the service but there are just a few hiccups at start-up that turned me off. Luckily I pushed through the confusion and found a great service to repeatedly and consistently use.