If you post to social media a lot then you have probably researched third party apps to help the process along. I know I have. In addition to this blog, I am the part time de facto social media manager for the Summer Of Fun Blog media empire. Okay, so really what I have is a talented Tween with a bumping blog, a hot You Tube channel, a bustling newsstand of online aggregates, a popping website and handful of social media accounts to tie it all together. Even with a tween living on social media it requires a great deal of my time and organization to put it all into place. Third party apps like Buffer have been a saving grace.
Buffer is basically what the name says. It is a buffer filled with posts ready to go out to your accounts on your schedule. Just fill it and forget it. For free you can link one profile to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. With the upgrade you can add Pinterest and multiple profiles and though I haven’t yet checked it out, this last week they have added video capabilities.
For ‘I Read What You Write!’, I use the basic free app. It is connected to Twitter and Facebook and allows me 10 buffered posts per account.
For the ‘Summer of Fun Blog’ accounts, we use the Awesome account upgrade. For $10 a month (because I can’t find a way to budget in the reasonable, yet upfront, yearly fee of $102) we get 100 buffered posts per profile and we have put the buffer limit to the test. I have buffered entire years of the blog at one time and then sat back and enjoyed the fact that they post to Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest without any more work from me. Once the schedule is in place and the buffer is full, it takes a only a few minutes a day to add anything new. –With the Awesome upgrade I can actually use this account to run both my personal and blog pages all from the same account. I chose to set up a separate account to avoid the scatter braininess of my accidentally buffering the wrong blog.
My can’t-live-without tool is the Buffer browser extension. With it I can add any posts I wish to share either immediately, at my scheduled time or I can choose a custom time. The last option is especially useful for annual or monthly events. If I use the power scheduler, I can also send a single message to several accounts at once and set repeats automatically. The post to each account (and repeat) can be customized with different text, hashtags or photos. I have set up to 10 repeats, only because I ran out of space on my screen for more to be easy (for those of you doing the math that can be as many as 40 buffered posts on four different platforms for less than ten minutes of work).
Buffer also offers analytics for your posts and the ability to re-buffer your posts.
Customer service is the reason for today’s blog. For some reason today my browser decided my social media sharing extensions are no longer safe to use. While that prompted a strongly worded letter to the browser, it also presented an issue that needed to be dealt with. While not being able to share on social media might not have global urgency, not getting today’s share of the work done would have put me drastically behind schedule on pre video shoot day. After trying to solve the problem myself I shot a tweet to @buffer. Imagine my surprise when a return tweet came back only minutes later with a possible solution. It didn’t work of course, my browser was intent on being obstinate today. A little further research and another set of tweets got me an answer to the problem. I didn’t even tweet from the paying account and I had two helpful individuals trying to fix my problem and they did so quickly. Mary and Katie and the rest of @buffer team, I thank you for getting me back on track.