Buffer, the product, has come a long way since I joined the company in 2015. In the past twelve months alone we’ve added integrations with TikTok, Canva, and Google. Buffer is so much more than a social media scheduling tool!
In this post, I’m going to cover all the ways you can use Buffer to grow your audience on social media and beyond in 2022; every feature, every integration, and all the hidden gems.
Grab a cold drink and let’s dive in!
Which channels does Buffer support in 2022?
Buffer currently enables you to plan, create, and schedule content to the following channels:
Google Business Profiles.
You can also connect your Shopify account to Buffer to analyze your store data alongside your social data.
The beauty of Buffer is that you can manage and share content to multiple channels in one place – whether it’s tweets, stories, pins, or TikTok videos. Here’s a bit more detail about the types of content you can schedule to each platform.
You can schedule posts (including carousels), reels and stories to Instagram business accounts.
Scheduling is available for Facebook Pages and Groups.
Schedule tweets, retweets (RTs) and quote tweets (QTs) to Twitter profiles.
Schedule content to LinkedIn Pages (company pages) or to personal profiles.
Schedule videos to TikTok business accounts.
Schedule updates, offers, and events to Google Business Profiles.
Schedule pins to your pinboards.
Buffer offers auto-publishing for all of the above channels, except for Instagram Stories. If you have the Buffer mobile app, you can also schedule stories and Buffer will send you a push notification when it’s time to add to your story, so that you can finish the post in Instagram.
Marketing without a plan is like cooking without a recipe. You might whip up some content on the spot and it’ll work out fine but for most people, knowing exactly what to post and when is the secret to success.
Here are all the planning features you can use in Buffer to feed your audience a steady diet of quality content.
The queue is a simple way to visualize all the content you have scheduled for a particular channel. Think of it as a conveyor belt for your posts. This is a great option for scheduling evergreen content that doesn’t need to be shared at a specific date or time. You can pause your queue, shuffle your queue, and move content in and out of your queue.
With the calendar, you can see all of your content in a weekly or monthly view. This is great for spotting any gaps in your schedule and managing time-sensitive content. You can filter your calendar to show drafts, scheduled posts, sent posts, and posts that are awaiting approval.
You can group content together by adding campaign tags to content. For example, if you have a holiday promotion that involves multiple pieces of content, you can keep track of it by creating a campaign in Buffer and adding that tag to each piece of content.
You can set up pre-determined posting schedules for every channel you connect to Buffer. For example, you might want to share to TikTok once a week, but to Twitter at specific times each day.
What’s the hardest part of social media? Nine out of ten people will tell you that it is coming up with content. Buffer can make this easier for you in a ton of different ways.
Got an idea that isn’t quite ready for the spotlight just yet? Save it as a draft and come back to it later.
Buffer can easily import your existing content from a variety of places, including:
Some other quick ways to add content to Buffer:
Drag and drop files from your computer.
Use the Buffer mobile app to add content from your phone.
Even if you create images outside of Buffer using Canva or another integration, you can edit them in Buffer using the simple editing tool in the Buffer composer. You can crop, rotate, blur, and enhance, among other things.
When you’re posting to Instagram, you can use Buffer’s hashtag manager to save and insert groups of your favorite hashtags. You can add these to the first comment of your post.
As the saying goes; if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Buffer’s suite of analytics is included in all paid plans.
You can get in-depth insights on the following channels you’ve connected to Buffer:
You can also connect your Shopify store and Buffer will give you insights into customers and sales from social media.
On the analytics home screen, you’ll see the high-level metrics for all of your channels. This includes a quick glance at your total audience, total impressions, and total engagement combined. You’ll also see:
Your recent posts across, along with the reach and engagement rate for each post.
Followers, impressions, and engagement rate for each of your channels.
Links to your recent reports
Each channel has its own set of analytics for you to explore. This includes overview analytics, which charts the performance of your channel based on a timeframe of your choosing. You can compare performance week on week, month on month, or a custom date range. You can also break down performance by various metrics; followers, reach, impressions, comments, etc.
Post analytics dive deeper into the performance of individual posts. It’s a great way to gauge how effective specific pieces of content are. This area also includes analysis of your hashtag performance.
If you’re boosting your Facebook or Instagram posts with ad spend, Buffer will help you monitor your results.
Buffer will give you demographic data for your Facebook and Instagram audience, including gender, age, and location. This can help you tailor your messaging and strategy to these groups.
Wondering when is your best time to post? Or how often? Buffer provides quick, actionable, insights for each channel in the Answers section.
You can add any chart into an exportable report, which is ideal if you have clients or interested colleagues and you need to share your results with them. You can also add a logo and summary to your reports if you wish, and export them as PDFs.
If you connect your Shopify account to Buffer, you can see key stats like your top social referrals, customer lifetime value, and your top selling products alongside your social metrics.
Social media is called “social” media for a reason and when it comes to growing your brand, engaging in conversations is just as important as publishing content. With Buffer, you can view all of your unanswered Facebook and Instagram comments in a single dashboard on your desktop, with the most important comments highlighted so that you can answer them first.
Toggle between channels
Any Facebook or Instagram account that you have connected to Buffer will show up in a dropdown menu. You can easily switch between accounts.
Your posts will be displayed as image thumbnails in a grid view, which makes it easy to see all your post history at a glance.
Above the post grid, you’ll see the total number of unanswered comments for that account, including a breakdown by sentiment – negativity, order, or question.
Buffer uses machine learning to identify specific types of comments that might need your attention; negative comments, comments about order/sale, and questions. If there is a comment on a post that matches any of these sentiments, you’ll see an alert on that post in the grid view.
Buffer has a set of hotkeys specifically for managing comments – which is especially handy if you have a big backlog of replies to get through.
‘Control + D’ to mark comments as Dismissed.
Up key to go to the previous comment.
Down key to go to the next comment.
When replying to a comment, Buffer will automatically offer you a set of emojis to use in your reply. These are based on your history of replies. For example, if you use the 💜 emoji a lot, this will become a default emoji option for you. This is just another way that Buffer can help you reply to comments with speed.
You’re probably familiar with the term “link in bio”. Having a landing page with all of your most important links and latest content makes it easy for your audience to connect with you beyond your social accounts. With Start Page, you can quickly build a beautiful page to add to your bio.
Not sure where to begin with your page design? Buffer has a series of page templates that you can use as the base of your Start Page.
Choose a URL for your page
One of the things that makes Start Page different from other link-in-bio tools is the structure of the URL. Start Page puts your brand first. For example, if your company is called Betty’s Burgers, your URL could be bettysburgers.start.page. Other tools typically relegate your brand to a page path; something like “manylinks.com/bettysburgers”.
Choose your preferred theme, colors, and font packs to make your page stand out from the crowd.
You can adjust the layout of your page using the simple drag-and-drop interface.
Building a Start Page involves adding “blocks” of content. There are a bunch of different types of blocks at your disposal, from a simple block of text to an embedded Spotify track. Block types include:
In terms of page analytics, Buffer tracks page views and link clicks for you and these can be found in the Statistics section on the right-hand side of the page builder. Statistics include daily, weekly, and all-time page views, links with the most clicks, and social link clicks.
You can create multiple Start Page in Buffer, which is handy if you manage multiple brands or have side projects. Each one will count as channel in your subscription.
Buffer has an iOS and an Android app to help you publish and analyze content on the go. These apps have all the core publishing features and some options that are exclusive to mobile. Examples include Siri shortcuts, queue count widgets, and a direct integration with Unsplash.