buffer-app

Why Buffer App rocks – Tips, Tricks and Features

Buffer App Tips Tricks and FeaturesA long time ago, in a blogosphere far far away…I was looking for some awesome tools to automate my tweets. There are certainly a lot of them out there. I checked. As a result, the choice is quite difficult.

Many people want an all in one solution, where they can take care of all their social media needs at once. Others are just looking for simplicity. A way to share content easily, quickly and with optimum effect.

If you are one of the latter, then in my humble opinion, Buffer is the way to go.

You have heard of Buffer, right? Or perhaps you have seen the funky “black stacked plates” symbol amongst the share buttons and wondered:

What is that crazy icon all about?

In the following post I am going to explain what Buffer can do for you. I will also show you how amazingly integrated it is. Finally, I will go over some features even Buffer pros might not have heard of.

Now, go and put on your most comfortable shoes. Let’s get going…

What is Buffer App exactly?

If you are new to Buffer (or Buffer App as it is also known), here is a quote from their homepage:

Buffer makes it super easy to share any page you’re reading

Not only that, but you can schedule your posts on various social media accounts, and do so in an optimized way!

If you are not yet into scheduling on social media, I wrote a post about three great scheduling options a while back. It is very enlightening!

Some of Buffer’s benefits and features

If you are already using Buffer, a lot of this will seem obvious. However, for the newbie, the following are some of the highlights.

Add to Buffer from your browser

With the Buffer Chrome browser extension (Safari, Firefox and Opera are available too) you can add content from right inside your browser. Simply click the Buffer icon (top right in Chrome) and go to the standard Buffer share window. Here is what you will see:

 

buffer app share

 

It allows you to choose what social media networks you share on, the contents, the scheduled time and so on.

If you click on a tweet button inside a blog post instead, the Buffer button also appears inside the Twitter window. 

buffer app twitter share

The green Buffer button above will then take you to the same buffer share window shown above. So why use the tweet button then? It has the advantage of adding the blog owner’s Twitter name to the tweet, which is something you really want to do.

Some Hootsuite fans reading this will say: Hootsuite recently added similar functionality with the Hootlet browser extension. Sure, but Buffer has been doing this for a long time. They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery!

Buffer from your phone

Want to share from your phone? Of course Buffer has you covered! With Buffer apps on both iPhone and Android, you will have no problems sharing at all.

So how is Buffer integrated in your phone? Actually, it’s quite similar to the web version:

  • Via the share menu
  • Inside standard Twitter apps, news apps, paper apps

Here is a comprehensive list of what applications Buffer works with, in case you are curious. 

Schedule for best times (and specific times)

As you can probably tell by now, Buffer makes it pretty easy to share content. That is certainly one of their missions. What makes it even more powerful though, is the ability to share via a schedule. Your Buffer schedule can be set up in a variety of ways:

  • Let Buffer make one for you
  • Create a manual schedule
  • Import an optimized schedule

There are two fantastic services you can use to find your best times to tweet. After you have done that, you can import these times straight into Buffer. Then you can rest assured that your shares are going out at the best possible times.

Buffer integrates with Bit.ly

Ok, so scheduling your tweets is pretty cool. But the fun does not stop there!

If you like using link shortening services, Buffer integrates with some of the best ones:

  • J.mp
  • Buff.ly
  • Bit.ly

Of course, we all know Bit.ly is the best service out there. If you want to learn a bit more about how to use Bitly, check out Ileane Smith’s post on statistics and tracking with Bitly.

Bit.ly also allows you to add UTM params for unique link tracking, in order to monitor your marketing campaigns. Awesome huh! I know, you just fell off your chair.

**Note:  If you don’t know about link shortening services – they replace URLs with very short ones. It gives you more space to tweet. Remember, you only have 140 characters.

Share content from Feedly

If you are like most people and moved to Feedly when Google killed their reader, then the news gets even better. You can share content from inside Feedly too.

I know, you already have the Buffer Browser Extension so it’s irrelevant. Perhaps some people can’t use the browser extension. Then this is another easy way you can share!

buffer-app-share-feedly

Some lesser known features

Some of you are perhaps a little bored? You have been using Buffer since before it was invented and are just about to leave this page! Well read on my friend…

Auto predict for perfect usernames

Recently, Buffer added even more great functionality to help us share. There is now an auto-predict for usernames.

For example, when you add a username to a tweet by typing @username,  buffer will try to find who you mean.  Take a look at it in action (here’s me typing “ashley”, I was sending myself a tweet!):

buffer app twitter predict name

 

There are two really cool things worth noting here:

  1. You can type either the name or the twitter handle after the @ (as you can see, my name and username are quite different – but Buffer still found me)
  2. If you share on multiple networks, Buffer will try to replace the name on the other social network with the right username

This is extremely helpful. Now you don’t have to go and find the person’s exact username. Buffer will type it for you. Imagine how happy your fingers will be!

Tweet quotes or images directly

This was introduced a while ago, but I did not know about it until I researched this post! The Buffer browser extension allows you to easily share text and images from inside the browser.

Assuming you have the Buffer browser extenstion installed, right click on an image or some text and you will get the option to “add to buffer”. Below I have highlighted some text with my mouse, then right clicked:

buffer-app-share-text

This is great for sharing quotes or images, something we should all be doing to mix up our social media shares a little.

For the geek in you – Keyboard shortcuts

On the Buffer web app (ie the browser extenstion) the following keyboard shortcuts are available:

  • Use “alt + b” to open the Buffer share box
  • Use “alt + b” on any website to open the Buffer browser extension
  • Use “ctrl + enter” (“cmd + enter” for Mac) to add updates to your Buffer
  • Use “alt + (number)” to switch between your profiles

Once you get these shortcuts down, you will be even more efficient :> Is that possible? And don’t forget how happy your fingers will be.

What else does Buffer work with?

Well, everything actually! I even send tweets from my coffee machine. Crazy I know. But I drink a lot of coffee, so it rocks.

Ok, you got me.  Buffer is not integrated with everything (yet), but the list is huge. Take a look and see if your favourite blog feed reader, sharing app or similar is on there.

If it is not, shoot the Buffer team an email (or better yet, a tweet) and I am sure they will start working on it. If enough people ask!

Does it come with a free set of steak knives?

A few people have asked me about the cost (in the comments), so I have added this after publishing.

Buffer comes with a free variant, which is great for most users. Here are the key points:

  • Only connect one of each social profile type (Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.)
  • Only 10 shares in the buffer
  • Limited scheduling (same times on each day)
  • Only one login to the account

If you have a greater need than this, check out the Awesome Plan ($10 a month). This includes:

  • Up to 12 social profiles
  • Unlimited Buffer space
  • Varied schedules
  • 2 team member accounts

So you don’t need to pay, but if you do, you get a lot more!

Summary

So you might be asking yourself:

Does this guy get paid by Buffer?

No, I do not. And they don’t even have an affiliate program. I just pay them for their service! Monthly.

Honestly, I just love the app and what it can do. So I wanted to share it’s power and lesser known features with you all.


Header Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk via Compfight cc

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About the Author Ashley Faulkes

I am an Aussie WordPress Web Designer living in Switzerland. My goal is to make your WordPress website awesome, and get you more customers via SEO and amazing content. I am also a huge fan of the outdoors, so I am often in the mountains doing crazy stuff. I discovered blogging and online marketing while recovering from a shattered leg I got while skiing, and I have not stopped learning since! Join me in reaching for the top!

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34 responses to “Why Buffer App rocks – Tips, Tricks and Features”

  1. Enstine Muki says:

    Hi Ashley,
    That’s a great review of an app I’m beginning to enjoy. I’ve been using the free version but very close to moving to pro.

    It’s good to have such a facility though some folks think that each social media site should have its own language. Do you have an opinion about this?

    • Hi Enstine,
      Buffer is fun and pretty easy. Of course there is no overview, but i use tweetdeck for my tweets. Google+ does not allow personal updates from outside the network anyway, and Facebook I don’t use much. So I am happy with this setup.

      Specific language for each update. Of course some networks require a little more of a description, so to optimize it you could specifically reshare it to that network, like Fccebook. I think G+ is the biggest one that requires hand sharing from my point of view. You can do bold, underline etc in the text. Add specific photos instead of the post summary to get more attention. And so on.

      So in short, yes they do need specific attention but you can get away without it in some cases.

      thanks for dropping by
      ashley

  2. Hi Ashley,

    Sensational review here. So important to keep those updates on social networks flowing smoothly. Buffer can help you do that quite seamlessly.

    I have used it extensively in the past. Now I use hootsuite pro autoschedule some of the time but I am open to different social sharing tools for sure.

    Excellent, fair and honest breakdown here. Automation is a must in this game. Without it you are pretty much doomed to working ridiculously long hours sharing your content endlessly on page after page.

    Thanks Ashley.

    Ryan

    • Hey Ryan,
      Thanks for the comment. Good to see you again (albeit virtually).
      Hootsuite is for sure a big competitor of Buffer, but in essence they do things differently.
      I would say Hootsuite replaces tweetdeck with a splash of Buffer, and covers most social media outlets. So for big companies and the like, I can certainly see the benefit.
      I did not like the interface, and that is a big turnoff for me :>
      have a great day wherever you are
      ashley

  3. Bren says:

    Hi Ashley and great post! I love my Bufferapp! I started at Free and went Pro! I don’t like using it with Facebook though but the Pro version is great for those who have multiple Twitter accounts and a Google+ Page! 😉

    • Right there with you Bren
      I am also juggling a few Twitter accounts these days, so it is optimal in more ways than I mentioned :>
      thanks for sharing and commenting

  4. Tom Jamieson says:

    Hwy Ashley! Great review here of Buffer and all of its features. I really love using it – especially the keyboard shortcuts. They really are quite efficient! Thanks for sharing and have a great day! P.S. – I shared this post through Buffer 😀

  5. Happy Hump Day Ashley! I have never heard of Bufferapp before, I am off to check it out.. Sounds like yet another great free tool! Thanks for sharing Chery :))

    • Hey Chery
      Yes, it does rock for sure!
      It is free to “buffer” social shares up until a certain number, then they suggest paying. But in all honesty, unless you share alot, or are going on vacation and want to still share while away, stick with the free version :>
      enjoy, and let me know if you have questions
      ashley

  6. Reginald says:

    Hey Asheley,

    Lovely review! I love buffer because of its analytics and great support. They are so darn good until I am willing to go Awesome plan with them.

    Don’t do much social media automation without Buffer help :)

    • Hi Reginald,
      Glad to see so many great bloggers agree!
      I did not mention the analytics in my post because I thought it was long enough:>
      But for sure the number of clicks, shares etc, and the easy way to see which are your best for the day, makes life a whole lot easier :>

      take care
      ashley

  7. maxwell ivey says:

    Hi Ashley; Thanks for this thorough explanation of buffer and for telling us how we can use it to automate or at least schedule our social media posts. I’ve been reading posts lately about buffer and hootsuite and would love to settle on an ap for social media scheduling. However, as a blind computer user and a mac user at that I’m just not sure which way to go. I think for now I’m going to post about the best option on a list for blind mac users and see what their members have to say. I can tell you that I run safari. I understand chrome now works on the mac and quite a few blind users are happy with it. Me, I just can’t bring myself to try it. I’ll let you know what I find out. Does buffer offer a free version? And if I do decide to use buffer, I’m sure you and my other friends out here in the blogging universe will help me get the full use out of it. Thanks again and take care, Max

    • Hi Max
      I should do my research a bit better. Buffer is also compatible as an extension to Safari and Firefox. So feel free to try the free version – ie. just create a login. Add the extension from this link http://bufferapp.com/extensions/safari/download and i guess there will be a login required to the extension. Then it will appear on right click menu and in the tweet window as I described (I assume).
      I am soon moving to mac so I needed this info myself.

      cheers
      ashley

      • maxwell ivey says:

        hi ashley; no worries, I’m one of those people who gets a kick out of asking questions that weren’t expected or that haven’t been asked before. I will try the extension and let you know how it works out for me. when you say you are moving to mac, are you getting an imac or bacbook or are you buying an ios device? There is a lot of conversation on the blind mac users list about the surprises in the new operating system called mavric. I am using lion myself as my experience with windows has taught me never to upgrade to the next operating system until they have had a chance to figure out most of the bugs. I mean when you depend on your computer for your business you really can’t have hours or days of down time because the next version of the o s isn’t as accessible with speech as the old one was. and a lot of the best aps for apple are being created for iOS. Well, tai care, max

  8. I have used this service but after about a week, I filled up my tweets to the limit. You should reveal that this is a service that you have to pay for if you want to use it for any length of time.

    For newbie bloggers or bloggers on a budget, this information would save them from discovering this for themselves – which is why I decided to leave this comment. (Yet most newbies don’t always read all the comments…)

    Good review, otherwise~

    • Hi Lorraine,
      Completely correct. I have already done that in extreme detail right at the end :> Tick!
      Thanks for the reminder though. I had noticed it was a theme.

  9. I’ve been a Buffer fan for a long time. A great way to quickly share content to your chosen social networks. I did opt for the paid version. I don’t know when they started limiting the number of tweets in the free version, but way back I was told I had reached my limit. The monthly charge is worth the convenience.

    • Hi Jeannette
      I am finding quite a lot of my fellow bloggers are loving Buffer. It is just so simple and integrated huh!
      I use the paid version for now on a few accounts, so it is a great tool for my uses.
      In the end, if you use it professionally the service is quite cheap.

      thanks for the comment
      ashley

  10. Tim Bonner says:

    Hi Ashley

    I’m a Buffer fan for sure. I’ve tried HootSuite and various others but they just don’t do as good a job.

    I did go Pro for a while but then I use Triberr to Tweet a lot of things so I went back down to the free account for now and it’s mighty fine!

    • Hey Tim
      I understand your dilemma. I also use both at the moment, especially having been away a bit.
      But something you might wanna check out – you can also auto-feed tweets in Tweet Adder, something you are already paying for :>
      Only problem is, your computer has to be on of course and TA running.
      Give it a go
      ashley

  11. Arleen says:

    Thank you for great review of an app. It would be nice to use Buffer. I do have a question. How does tweeting increase your SEO? I have not focused on Twitter. It is hard to select the social media that pays off. I write on my blog site in hopes to get more hits to my main site. Have any suggestions?

    • Hi Arleen,
      Thanks for dropping by. SEO and social media is a long debated topic. All anyone can tell you definitively is that social shares increase your ranking. But actually, Google+ sharing even more so just due to the concrete links to Google themselves. However, I would say that Twitter has been my number source of readers. However, you are in a different game – albeit business not pleasure as such. Then I would suggest Facebook. If you decide to start out seriously on Twitter, the best way to leverage it is via Triberr. That got me a huge kickstart.
      thanks for dropping by
      ashley

  12. Babanature says:

    Hello Ashley,
    This is indeed one great review i have seen on buffer and i must confess that you did it great.
    I was introduced to buffer some months back and i must confess that buffer is one of the most greatest sharing app i have used. It has all the characteristics to distribute your blog post to every part of the world.
    Thanks for this lovely review and new things you’ve shared with us. Have a blessed day ahead…

    • Hey Babanature,
      I am glad you too are a Buffer fan, they are all now coming out to say how great it is.
      Maybe the ones who are not commenting don’t like it as much :> they are all off using Hootsuite¨
      have a great weekend
      ashley

  13. Lisa says:

    Ashley, I really love the Buffer app the best. I had tried Hootsuite and preferred the Buffer over it. I went Pro and haven’t looked back. It’s great using from my Android too as the Hootsuite app was not so mobile friendly. I did not know about the keyboard shortcuts, thanks for sharing all the info on it!
    I hope they get Pinterest one day too. Then it would be absolutely PERFECT! (It’s a 99.9 without it.)

    • Hey Lisa
      It seems we all love Buffer! It would be great huh if we could somehow integrate Pinterest. I use that a lot more than linked in or Google+ business pages. I guess they have that in the pipeline. It can’t be ignored
      thanks for dropping by
      ashley

  14. Adrienne says:

    I love Buffer Ashley and really awesome review.

    I started using the free portion last year and actually wrote a post about it and referred people to this fabulous platform. I think I ended up over time with about 30 additional room in my streams through the free referrals.

    Last May I was traveling twice during the month and didn’t know if I would have time to get on and set things up so I decided to pay for the service. It’s so much easier for me to load up the tweets I want to share and of course their browser extension, their analytics and now their auto Twitter ID load is spoiling me. I’m not a big mobile user so I don’t really use it for that nor do I have multiple accounts or other sites I want to share stuff on that’s automated. It’s there if I want it though and the convenience is worth it to me.

    Thanks for your review and great tips you shared. Hope those that aren’t using yet will give it a try. I think they’ll be very very happy.

    Enjoy your weekend.

    ~Adrienne

    • Hi Adrienne
      Hope you are doing well. I also have not really tried or needed Buffer on mobile, but it’s great to know that it is possible and easy.
      The other features have me sold on paying for the moment, plus I have now three twitter accounts that I need to take care of – I know Twitter is taking over my life.
      Let’s hope it just keeps getting better
      ashley

  15. Hi Ashley,
    It’s great to see a review of Buffer. It’s one of my favorite social media tools. I’m still using the free version but it’s just a matter of time before I upgrade. The scheduling feature is so cool and the stats are great too. I’m off to share this post. I’d like to see more people using this great tool!

    • Thanks Sherryl
      Indeed they do a great job on the platform. I did not go into the analytics as that is a whole other post! But they are very helpful and allow me to see what people like to read and react to.
      The scheduling is possible on other platforms of course, but I love the integration with best times from followerwonk amongst others. It really helps me tweak my tweets.
      Thanks for sharing too
      ashley

  16. Joanne says:

    I have just started using scheduled posts. This amazing concept rocks. I am getting a lot more engagement on Facebook than I have in the past.

  17. Diana says:

    Great review, Ashley! with different clients i have used so many tools – hootsuite, socialbro, socialoomph, tweetdeck, even buffer, and many more – doing the same or different things.

    I am confused and to be honest, i always prefer monitoring things hands-on right on Twitter. But scheduling is a time savior, no doubt about it. Your review convinced me it’s time to give another shot at buffer.

    I saw the comments about limit of tweets – what’s that limit? The monthly fee could be worth the convenience, of course – but i sure hope i will have enough time (say number of tweets to buffer) to discover that t’s really worth the shot before i hit that limit LOL

    thanks for the review!