What is Buffer? Buffer is a social media scheduling tool. You can quickly and easily schedule posts for all of your social accounts and Buffer will publish them automatically according to the posting schedule you put in place. Buffer also provides built-in analytics so you can track engagement and interactions on the posts you’ve shared, meaning you can see how your content is performing and which resonates most with your followers.
This step-by-step guide is designed to help get you up and running on either the Individual Plan or the Awesome Plan. If you’re on one of our Business Plans, please hop over to this guide instead.
The first thing you might like to do is connect your social accounts. Currently, with Buffer, you can connect to the following types of accounts:
To connect a new account, click on Connect More button on the left hand side of your Buffer dashboard.
You can then select which type of social account you’d like to connect. Follow the on-screen instructions for each account. (Generally, if you’re already logged into that social account, you can just authorize Buffer to use your account. If you’re not already logged in, you'll be prompted to enter your login details.)
On the Individual Plan, you can connect 1 type of social account per network, e.g. 1 x Facebook, 1 x Twitter, 1 x LinkedIn, 1 x Google+, 1 x Instagram. On the Awesome Plan, you can connect up to 10 social accounts of any combination, including Pinterest.
If you connect all your social accounts here as you get set up, it’s easy to share to multiple platforms once you start adding posts.
Posts in your queue will be sent out automatically by Buffer, according to the posting schedule that you put in place. Select the social account you’d like to customize the posting schedule for and then select the Schedule tab at the top. The default times are automatically chosen based on historically successful times. From here, you can choose which timezone is best for this account and customize the days and times your posts should go out. Select the days you’d like to include and add the times you’d like your content to be shared.
If you're on the Awesome Plan, you're able to set up multiple posting schedules, allowing you to share posts at different times on different days. Create another posting schedule by clicking New Posting Schedule and repeat the steps.
Now it’s time to start scheduling content! To add a post to the queue, click inside the "what do you want to share?" box at the top of any of your queues. This will open up the composer, which is where you can craft your post. The first thing you might like to do is choose which of your social accounts you would like the post to be published to. Select or deselect the social accounts you'd like to include by clicking on the avatars at the top of the composer.
Enter the text you'd like to use for your update. Any links you paste into the composer will be automatically shortened, using the link shortener of your choice. Use the auto-generated link preview or upload your own image or video.
Once your post is ready, there are a few options for you to choose from:
Keen to speed up your sharing? Grab the Buffer Browser Extension here and start saving time today!
Whenever you come across a piece of content online that you'd like to share to your social media accounts, simply click on the Buffer icon that appears at the top of your browser and the composer will open up right on the page that you're viewing.
The title of the page along with a link to it will be automatically pulled into the composer for each of your social accounts (excluding Facebook), which you can then customise if you'd like to. You can then add the post to your queue, or choose from any of the other posting options.
We have a full guide here on using the browser extension!
On the Awesome Plan you’re able to add RSS feeds to any of your social accounts and share links directly from your favorite sites from right inside your Buffer dashboard. To get started, select one of your social accounts on the left hand side of your Buffer dashboard and head into the Content Inbox tab, under Content. Copy and paste the URL of the RSS feed you’d like to add, or just start searching for it.
Once you’ve added your feeds, we’ll pull in the 10 latest stories from those sites, and you can decide which links to add to your queue and share with your followers. If you see something that you would like to share to any of your social accounts, click on the Add button to the right of the post. From here, make any adjustments you’d like, such as choosing an image to go with your post, and then click Add to Queue or choose from any of the other options.
Setting up your Content Inbox is a super handy way of keeping your queue topped up with really great content.
Under the Analytics tab in your Buffer dashboard, you'll have access to the Posts tab. Here you’ll find a history of all of your posts that have been published over the past 30 days. As well as the posts themselves, you’ll also be able to see when the posts were shared and of course the key engagement metrics (e.g. clicks, likes, reach).
To re-share a post, simply drag it back into the queue on the left hand side of your dashboard, or click on the Re-Buffer button to modify the post before sharing it again. For more information and guidance on re-sharing posts, please head over to this FAQ.
Please note that the options to sort posts by popularity, filter by type, customise the timeframe and export to CSV, are only available on our Business Plans (starting from $99/month). For detailed information on Analytics and Reports available on our Business Plans, please head over to this FAQ.
If you’re keen to Buffer on-the-go, why not grab the Buffer mobile app from the Apple Store or Google Play. From connecting social accounts and customising your posting schedules to creating your posts and tracking engagement, Buffer’s mobile app is feature-rich, allowing you to do almost anything you’d do on the web version!
And if you’re planning to use Buffer’s Instagram Reminders feature, the mobile app is a must-have to complete the posting process. Feel free to check out our in-depth guide on Getting Started with Instagram Reminders.
We’re thrilled to integrate with 60+ different services and we’d love to share some ideas with you here!
Feel free to check out our full list of integrations here.
It would be awesome if you felt like subscribing to our Social Blog over here! Our Content Crafters regularly share tips and tricks for using Buffer, along with tons of great guides on increasing reach, creating social media content strategies, ways to save time on social media and loads more!
Feel free to sign up to Buffer's Social Media Academy here, for personalised articles and examples from today's social media marketers!
This email course is packed with the latest tips and strategies to help take your social media marketing to the next level — 25 daily lessons complete with video tutorials, data, examples, exercises, and more!