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Snapchat, Launching a Podcast, Social Ads, and More: Behind-the-Scenes of Social Media at Buffer in May

Jun 3, 2016 10 min readAnalytics

It’s been an exciting month at Buffer – Tons of fun social media initiatives, experiments, and thinking ahead on innovative ideas to continue to grow on all of our channels. Ideas like:

  • How can we best market our new Buffer CultureLab podcast?
  • What does our audience enjoy on Snapchat? How can we grow and stand out?
  • Are we spending too little or too much on social media advertising? What’s the ROI?

These are a few of the awesome things that keep the experiments and learnings churning. But it’s always good to take a step back to evaluate and discuss strategies and goals. I’d love to go behind-the-scenes with you and share all things social media from May.

Here we go!


In this post, we’ll be hosting our first ever “Blog AMA” (Ask Marketing Anything) where you can ask our marketing team anything you would like!

Want to run a marketing idea by us? Sure! Want to know more about the strategies or stats below? You got it! Wondering how to set up specific reports in Google Analytics? We can help!

Simply drop your question or idea in the comments below and a member from our marketing team will jump in and answer as best as we can.



A look at Buffer social media marketing stats

Let’s start off with a complete rundown of our social media stats from May for each of Buffer’s 5 primary social channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Snapchat. It’s always fun to dive into social data and we’re hoping that this will help build a bit of context around your own social strategies.

(All stats cover a 28-day period)


We gained 3,810 new page Likes for a total of 59,661 Likes.

We shared 71 posts (50 links, 19 photos, and 2 statuses) that earned us 40,176 interactions with a total of 707,242 people reached (both organic and paid combined).

  • Organic Reach: 374,366
  • Paid Reach: 332,876
  • Boosted Posts: 15
  • Average organic post reach: 6,685
  • Average paid post reach: 22,191

Fun fact: 9 out of 10 of our top posts were links to our blog posts.

If you’re interested in digging deeper into any of these stats, I’m happy to share our Buffer Facebook Stats from May 2016 (download).

Top Facebook post from May

Buffer Top Facebook Post May, Facebook Marketing


We gained 36,565 new followers for a total of 561,636 Followers.

We shared 223 tweets that earned us 76,440 interactions with a total of 6,258,140 impressions (both organic and paid combined).

  • Organic impressions: 6,190,854
  • Paid impressions: 67,286
  • Promoted Tweets: 32
  • Average organic Tweet impressions: 32,412
  • Average paid Tweet impressions: 2,102

(This data did not include Tweets from our #bufferchat sessions or direct replies to our users.)

Fun fact: Our top tweet from May was a curated piece of content from Business Insider. This shows the true power of curating content on your own social media channels.

Top Tweet from May

Buffer Top Tweet May 2016, Twitter Strategy, Twitter Marketing

If you’re interested in digging deeper into any of these stats, I’m happy to share our Buffer Twitter Stats from May 2016 (download).


We gained 1,191 new followers for a total of 10,492 Followers (12% growth increase vs. April)

We shared 27 posts that earned us 5,520 interactions with an average engagement rate per photo of 2.078%. We did not run any Instagram advertisements in the month of May – all posts were organic.

  • Average likes per post: 188.7
  • Average comments per post: 15.7
  • Top hashtag used: #BufferLove
  • Most engaging filter: Rise

Fun fact: Our top post (218 likes and 118 comments) was a Buffer Swag giveaway. We continue to see success with giveaways on our Instagram account.

Top Instagram post from May

Buffer Instagram Post from May, Instagram Marketing

If you’re interested in digging deeper into any of these stats, I’m happy to share our Buffer Instagram Report for May 2016 (download) which we exported using Iconosquare.


We gained 410 new followers for a total of 10,300 followers.

We shared 60 posts (38 links and 22 photos) that earned us 2,196 interactions with a total of 276,342 impressions. We did not run any LinkedIn Sponsored posts in May – all posts were organic.

  • Average likes per post: 36.6
  • Average comments per post: 3.4
  • Average clicks per post: 58.5
  • Average reach per post: 4,733
  • Average engagement rate per post: 0.775%

Fun fact: Image posts received, on average, a 2.7% higher engagement rate than did link posts. A good indication that visuals are an important part of our LinkedIn strategy.

Top LinkedIn post for May

Top Buffer LinedIn Post for May - Leo Widrich

If you’re interested in digging deeper into any of these stats, I’m happy to share our Buffer LinkedIn Report for May 2016 (download).


Measuring our performance and growth on Snapchat has been a fun challenge to tackle. Currently, there aren’t any automated ways to get analytics or data from a Snapchat account. We pulled the following data manually using a few great tips from marketing superstar, Everette Taylor.

  • Snapchat Score: 948 (based on the number of snaps sent and received)
  • Number of Snaps sent: 64
  • Number of Snaps received: 117
  • Avg. number of views per Snap: 475

Fun fact: We’ll be rolling out a whole new set of awesome Buffer Snapchat stories over the next few weeks. More details below!

If you’re interested in digging into the big spreadsheet we use to keep track of all of our social media data, I’d love to share our nifty Buffer Social Media Metrics Dashboard (download).

Quick Note: You may have noticed that we did not include Pinterest or Google+ in the stats above. We are still marketing on these channels, but they account for less than 1% of our overall website traffic and so we thought we would focus on the more prominent channels in this report. Feel free to ask us any questions about either of those channels in the comments below!


Referral traffic to the Buffer Social blog

Total traffic from social media

Buffer Socia Media Traffic May 2016

The above chart shows the top five social referrers to the Buffer Social blog. Numbers six through ten were Google+, StumbleUpon,, Pocket, and Reddit.

Total traffic from all sources

Buffer Total Traffic May 2016

The above chart shows the top seven overall referrers to the Buffer Social blog.


Inside Buffer’s social media strategies

Now that our social media stats are taken care of, I’d love to share a bit about the strategies that we’re working on for some of our larger Buffer projects. It would be fantastic if any of these resonate with you or help to spark any ideas.

It would also be great to hear your thoughts and questions as part of our Buffer AMA (ask marketing anything) in the comments below!

1. Marketing our new Buffer CultureLab Podcast

We launched a new Buffer podcast, CultureLab, in mid-May and it has been a wonderful and challenging experience in both setbacks and growth.

Exploring the ins and outs of launching a new podcast – where to feature it, how to boost it with ratings and reviews, spreading the word, reaching out to potential guests, creating a compelling intro – has opened our mind to fun new social media marketing opportunities.

CultureLab Podcast by Buffer

We’re accompanying some episodes with a blog post

For the launch, episode 4 “Hello I Know Your Salary” and episode 5 “Skinny Jeans and Snake People” we’ve included a blog post to go along with the actual episode release. This opens up a nice avenue for promotion across all social media channels and allows us to provide a bit more context to our audience.

It also makes it so the reader or listener can quickly browse through the episode and see what he or she will learn before committing to listening.

What are your thoughts on this strategy? Do you enjoy podcasts that have accompanying blog posts, or do you prefer to dive right into the episode?

We’re looking at experimenting with Facebook Live and Snapchat

As podcasting continues to grow in popularity and become more of a mainstream channel, we feel it’s important to find new and exciting ways to market CultureLab. Facebook Live and Snapchat may be two great ways to help us accomplish our goals.

Facebook Live and Snapchat are both mediums that cater well to video and audio and so they follow a similar format to podcasting. They also provide an opportunity for us to “tease” topics that we’ll be chatting about in our podcast as well as answer any questions that our podcast audience may have for us.

2. A new Snapchat strategy

One of the most exciting projects that I had the pleasure of working on in May and will continue to explore in the coming months is our Snapchat strategy. Up until this point, the only thing we have been really been consistent with on Snapchat is our “Bufferoo Takeovers” on Fridays. Each Friday a new member of our team takes over the Buffer Snapchat (@buffersnaps) for the day.

What I think we may be missing out on is the opportunity to provide real social media value and knowledge to our audience through an emerging platform in Snapchat. That’s why we’re creating a plan to implement what we like to call Buffer Snap Channels. Here’s a quick overview of what this may look like:

Monday: Buffer Social Hour

  • Topics: Social media and marketing education, thought leadership, blog post promotion
  • Host(s): Ex. Kevan, Leo, Ash, Brian, Hailley, Marcus, Vatsal, Kirsten, Adam, Tia, Juliet

Wednesday: Buffer Culture Hour

  • Topics: Work culture, Buffer Open blog discussion, chat about a new podcast episode
  • Host(s): Ex. Courtney, Caro, Mary, Arielle, Kelly, Joel, Nicole, Bonnie, Darcy

Friday: Buffer Team Member Takeover

  • Topics: A day in the life of a Buffer employee
  • Host(s): Any Buffer employee who would love to get involved

Tuesday (Optional): Buffer Engineering & Design

  • Topics: An inside look at Buffer’s product, development and design tips
  • Host(s): Ex. Lorenz, Marc Anthony, Roy, Tyler, Dan, Neil, Katie, Emily, Tom, Steve

Thursday (Optional): Buffer Happiness Hour

  • Topics: Great stuff happening on the people team, Buffer employees, remote working,
  • Host(s): Ex. Mary, Julia, Paul, Stephanie, Rodo, Christina, Maria, Octa, Danny, Kelly, Ross

Buffer Snap Channels are in the beginning stages and so we would love to hear how these may initially feel to you. Did we forget a topic or theme? What else would you like to see on our Snapchat? Please feel free to Snap us directly using this Snapcode or leave a comment below!


3. Social media paid advertising

In May of last year, we shared our strategy for boosting posts on Facebook and some of the results we were seeing with our efforts. One year later, we’re still boosting posts on Facebook and continue to see compelling results for social media paid advertising.

Finding new and creative ways to target our audience on Facebook

Based on the Facebook data we shared above, just about half of our overall Reach in May was from boosted posts. Plus, on average, boosted posts reached 3.3x the amount of people than did organic posts. We spend about $50 per day on boosted posts and around $1,500 per month.

One initiative that I worked to hone in on in May was our targeting efforts with Facebook advertising. It’s important for me, with the amount of advertisers now on Facebook, to begin to drill down into the specifics and get our posts to people who are most likely to click on them.

To do so, I analyzed the data in Facebook Audience Insights and Google Analytics and added (or removed) targeting options from our various Facebook ad campaigns.

Facebook Pixel Traffic, Buffer Facebook Pixels, Pixels

What sort of results are you seeing with your Facebook ads? We’d love to hear below!

Evaluating the effectiveness of our Twitter ad campaigns

Another initiative that we’re keen to understand on a deeper level is the effectiveness of our Twitter ad campaigns and if they are truly driving results that are worth our investment.

Unlike Facebook boosted posts, Twitter’s “Promoted Tweets” aren’t quite as effective in terms of paid reach and engagement. The month of May was a great learning experience for us with Twitter advertising and we’re excited to continue to perfect our technique and drive better results on Twitter.

Have you seen some great results with Twitter advertising? We’re keen on learning from you below!


Social media content we’d love to write about (any thoughts?)

Finally, I’d love to share a few of the upcoming social media blog post ideas we’re considering. If any of these topics jump out at you, I’d love to hear your votes!

  • How to Successfully Run a Social Media Campaign from Start to Finish
  • The 10 Golden Rules Successful Social Media Managers Live By
  • 53 Design Terms Explained for Marketers
  • Creating The Perfect Facebook Ad: 50 Examples To Help You Get it Right
  • 37 People Doing Amazing Things in Marketing and Social Media

Any other topics or blog posts on your mind? We’d love to hear from you.


Over to you for AMA (Ask Marketing Anything)

Thanks so much for following along with us until this point! Now we’d love to hand the reigns over to you ?.

Please feel free to drop any questions you have for our marketing team below and one of our teammates will jump in and answer.

We’re all super excited to hear from you. Thanks so much!

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