If you are trying to grow your business using social media then it is important that you post regularly. A quiet profile, with few posts, will not perform well or attract a lot of followers.
Finding the time to post to social media regularly is not always easy. Instagram influencers and YouTube stars make a career out of posting regularly but for most of us, social media is just something we do in our spare time, and we have a proper business to run or work to do. Rather than spending time on social media every day, it makes sense to put some time into preparing posts in ‘chunks’ and then to schedule the posts so that they go out when you need them to.
While some social media platforms allow you to schedule posts from within their own tools, it’s not always easy, and the degree of control you have, as well as the number of posts that you can schedule, is limited.
The good news is that Buffer.com allows you to schedule posts to multiple social media platforms, so you can manage your Facebook and Instagram for free. The tools make it easy for you to set posts to go out on a specific day and at a specific time, and even to repeat if you would like.
Buffer has both free and premium services, so depending on how much you want to spend you have some good options. The service supports posting to several platforms:
This means that you can go to one site and get all of your social media work done in one place. It’s a huge time saver.
The free version of the Buffer service supports scheduling ten posts per platform. This should be enough to reduce your need to log in to social media services too often, especially for Facebook and LinkedIn where posts have a long ‘half-life’.
With Twitter, posting regularly is important because it is such a fast-moving platform. If you post something at noon, and someone does not log in to Twitter until that evening, then even if they are following you it is unlikely they will see your post. If they are following a hashtag instead of your account directly then it is even less likely that they will see what you have shared. Therefore, it makes sense to share a Twitter post a few times throughout the day for different audiences. Timing your posts around when your users are most active can be a big help in terms of making your message seen.
The free version of Buffer will allow you to load up ten posts, so will save you some time. If you want to be able to schedule more than ten posts then you will need to use the premium service.
One of the best things about Buffer is that you can use it without having to log in to each social media account every time. You link the social media accounts that you want to use with Buffer by following the on-screen prompts in Buffer itself. This is a simple process and involves using each site’s “auth” system. You will need to know the login details for the social media accounts that you want to link to Buffer, but you will only need to authorize them once.
Many teams use Buffer because it means that they can just give the employee an account on Buffer with all of the social media accounts tied to it. If that employee ever leaves the team, then they can just revoke access to ONE account, instead of having to change the passwords for every social media account.
Another handy feature of Buffer is the ‘group’ system. If you have one post that you want to share to multiple platforms, you can write it once then say that you want it shared to all platforms. This is very handy for important announcements, however, it’s probably best used sparingly. Ideally, if you have the time, you should share different content to each platform because each audience has different tastes. In addition, the handful of people who follow you on more than one platform will want to see different content on each site, if they see that you are just sharing the same thing to every site then they may get bored and unsubscribe.
The key features of Buffer are Share Now, Share Next, and Schedule Post. Share Now is self-explanatory since it allows you to share a post immediately. Share Next will share the post you just entered as your next scheduled post, so if you always share at 1 PM every weekday, it will go into the queue for that time. Scheduling a post means that the post will go out at the specific time you set.