Who doesn’t love saving time? I can’t think of anyone, though I do know quite a few people that wouldn’t know what to do with themselves with more “free time.” Here are a few tips to get you started with my favorite social media automation tool, Buffer.
If you’ve ever tried to queue up social media posts for the week it won’t take you long to realize that there must a be a better way. If you manage social media for your business, your personal accounts or both, and you’re not using a social media automation tool, your (social media) life is about to get a lot simpler. And you’ll have more free time to watch more mannequin challenge videos. (This post brought to you by the letter B.)
There are many social media automation tools but my favorite is Buffer. You get a lot out of the free version (depending on the channels you use). The free version allows three channels and up to 10 pre-loaded posts per channel. If that’s not enough, the Awesome plan (paid version) is just $10/month at the time of this post. And Buffer shows you where your money goes. Not 100% what “culture” means but I’m sure it’s all good:
Here are the channels to choose from:
Note: Pinterest is only available with the Awesome Plan.
Just by using Buffer, you’ll save time because you’ll be able to set up your posts across all your channels at once. To get started, create a new account and connect your social media accounts using the above choices.
Loading posts in Buffer
Here’s how to load up something in Buffer.
I’ve found some content that I want to share. In the Content tab, I open the “sharer” section and place the url I found. In this example, I have the options of pushing to Twitter, Facebook and/or LinkedIn. This right here is a big time saver because I don’t have to go to each separate social media channel’s website.
Pro tip: take it a step further and go into each channel (on the left nav) and tweak the wording based on the channel. Or, you can leave it alone and the post will push to all three channels with the same wording.
After you’ve typed the copy, you can either publish it immediately or schedule it to publish later. To schedule for later, look for the “Add to Queue” button on the bottom right:
Here, you can schedule an entire week’s worth of content:
As mentioned in the above Pro Tip, once a post is scheduled, you can check out each channel on the left navigation:
In this example, I’ve clicked on Twitter and I notice that I don’t have a picture to accompany that post. To add a photo, look for the “Add photos or a video” in the lower left corner:
Once the picture has been added, review the post and hit “save:”
When you navigate to each channel individually within Buffer, you can make minor adjustments such as changing the time of the scheduled post so that it will publish at a different time than the other channels (if you so desire):
Using the Buffer integrations on social media channels
There are two other ways to extend the use of Buffer for time savings. The first is by using the integrations within the social media channels themselves. Under “My Account,” check out “Browser Extensions:”
Check the boxes for the social media channels you have connected to Buffer:
Then, go to one of the channels. In this example, I’ve found a Tweet that I want to ReTweet. Look for the Buffer symbol at the bottom of the Tweet:
Pro tip: It’s important that you share, comment, like, follow and ReTweet other peoples’ posts/pages, respectively. The world doesn’t revolve around you. Spread social media love and be more giving.
When you click on the Buffer integration button, you’ll see this workspace:
In this example, the top area is for Twitter and LinkedIn and the bottom area is for Facebook in short, because Facebook wants users to populate the text themselves separately from a pre-filled app post. Once you have the post set up the way you want, you can schedule it like the others in the above examples.
Use the Buffer extension to load up content you see in your internet travels
Throughout your day, as you find something you’d like to post, you can queue it up with the help of the extension. Click the button on the website page you want to share:
The same workspace will pop up (as above) and you can edit for each channel (and Facebook) separately:
Takeaway: I use Buffer to schedule posts for Snowbird Creatives and my clients and have found it to be a great time saver. The free version is pretty great but if you want to connect Pinterest, curate content or take a deeper dive into analytics from Buffer, you can do so for a nominal fee. I can’t tell you how much time you’ll save using Buffer, but I’m sure you’ll be able to squeeze in another mannequin challenge video or two. You’re welcome.