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How to Use Buffer for Social Media Teams: The Complete Guide

Jan 26, 2017 17 min readBuffer News

Having a team of people helping with your social media strategy can be a crucial asset in achieving your social media goals.

Not only can it help you tap into multiple points of view and perspectives to bring a fresh take to your social media content – having a team of people contributing content to your social accounts can help you save a ton of time with content curation. Oh, and having a second set of eyes for proofreading always help too ?

So how do you go about working with a team to execute your social media strategy?

There are so many things to consider: How do you divvy up responsibilities and track progress? What workflows do you need to keep things running smoothly? And what tool should you use?

In this post, I’d love to guide you through how Buffer can help your social media team save your team time, boost productivity and drive fantastic results.

Once you’ve researched all your options, we’d love to help you schedule, publish and analyze your posts on social media through Buffer for Business!

How to use Buffer to manage your social media team

If you’re thinking about exploring new social media tools for your team – or if you’re actively testing out potential solutions – then I think you’ll find this post interesting.

We’ll walk through how you can use Buffer step-by-step to streamline collaboration with your social media team and keep your profiles scheduled with great content.

If you have any questions or want to chat about potentially using Buffer for your team, feel free to reach out on in the comments below or on Twitter.

Now, let’s jump in!

To make it easier to find the answers you’re looking for, here’s where to find any info you might need:


Inviting new team members to Buffer

At Buffer, we have a team of people who share content on our social media profiles. In order to give everyone access to the profiles, as well as prevent over-sharing, we’ve added them as team members. And you can do the same thing! Here’s how:


Step 1: Go to ‘Admin’ → ‘Team Members’

When you’re ready to add a team member to your Buffer account, start by clicking the Admin link at the top of your Buffer dashboard, and then selecting Team Members.


Step 2: Click the ‘Invite a New Team Member’ button

From here, click on the blue Invite a New Team Member button on the top right-hand side of the screen.


Step 3: Enter their name and email address

Now you’ll need to type in your new team member’s name as well as the email address you’d like to send their invite to.


On this page, you’ll also notice there are three other fields to fill out and options to choose:

  1. Assigning which social accounts this team member has access to
  2. Setting the access level for each social account
  3. Granting admin access

We’ll dive into the details of each of these options in the following three steps ?

Step 4: Assign a social account

At this point, you’re able to decide which social media profiles your team member should have access to.

Just type in the name and select each social account to assign the team member to each of the profiles you’d like to give them access to.


Step 5: Set the access level for that account

Once you’ve selected a profile, you can set the level of access you’d like this team member to have:

  • Full Posting Access – If a team member is invited with Full Posting Access, they’ll be able to post directly to the queue, as well as help you with approvals and managing your posting schedule – saving you a ton of time in the process
  • Approval Required – If a team member is invited with the Approval Required access level, they’ll be able to suggest new content, which you (or anyone else with Full Posting Access) can then review and edit if needed, before approving it to be added to your queue of posts

You can then continue assigning your team member to as many social profiles as you’d like. And you can set a different access level for each account.

So for example, you can give someone full posting access to Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest, while also requiring their posts to be approved before posting to Instagram.


Step 6: Set Admin Access

If you’d like this team member to be able to connect social media profiles and manage other team members on your Buffer account, you can provide them with full Admin Access.

To do this, just flip the toggle to turn this option on or off.

Note: Be careful with the Admin Access option and only grant it if your team member is familiar with Buffer. As an admin, they’ll have full control over all the profiles you’ve already connected.

Step 7: Click the ‘Invite Team Member’ button

Once you’ve entered your team member’s name and email, given them access to all the appropriate social media accounts, and decided whether to make them an admin – click on the blue Invite Team Member button at the bottom of the page.

Step 8: Your team member will receive an invite email

Finally, once you’ve sent the invite, your team member will immediately receive an email prompting them to create a new Buffer account, get set up, and start posting.

Here’s what they’ll see:


And there you have it! Once they create their account they’ll be fully ready to start creating content for the social accounts you give them access to.

Note: Feel free to share this “Getting Started as  Team Member” guide with the folks you invite! It will walk them through everything they need to know to get started using Buffer.

Inviting your clients to Buffer

If you’re at an agency managing clients’ social accounts, did you know you can actually invite your clients to Buffer as team members? This can be amazing for transparency and ensures your clients feel part of the process.

When you invite a client, they’ll be able to:

  • Login and see their own social accounts
  • See what content is coming up in the queue
  • Suggest their own posts that you can review, edit and approve
  • See the social media calendar
  • And see how well their posts are performing in analytics

The beauty of Buffer is that you can pick and choose which social accounts you’d like to invite them to, and what level of access they should have.

Inviting clients to Buffer is the same as the process for inviting team members we outlined in the previous section. Click here to jump to the step-by-step instructions

Here’s a quick, high-level overview of how to invite your clients to Buffer:

  1. Click the ‘Admin’ link at the top of your Buffer dashboard, then click the ‘Team Members’ dropdown
  2. Click the ‘Invite a New Team Member’ button
  3. Enter the name and email address of your client
  4. Assign a social account you’d like to give them access to
  5. Set the access level they should have for that account
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for each social account you want to give them access to
  7. Decide whether you want to give them admin access or not (be careful about providing admin access to folks outside your agency, as admins will have access to every social profile connected to your Buffer account)
  8. Click the ‘Invite Team Member’ button
  9. Your client will receive an email inviting them to create a Buffer account

And like I mentioned above, for a thorough, step-by-step walkthrough for how to invite people to your Buffer account, click here to jump to the previous section.


Managing permission levels and account access

If you ever want to change which social profiles your team members can post to, or edit their access levels, this is a super handy feature. Here’s how to use it:

Step 1: Go to ‘Admin’ → ‘Team Members’

If you’d like to manage permission levels for any of your team members or update which social profiles they have access to, click on the Admin link at the top of your dashboard, and then select Team Members.


Step 2: Select a team member

Now select the team member you’d like to manage permissions or account access for. If you have a large team, you may find it easiest to search for their name.

Step 3: Edit permissions and assign accounts

Once you’ve selected a team member, you can do a few things:

  1. Edit the Access Level for the social media accounts this team member is currently assigned to
  2. Assign additional social accounts to them, and edit the access levels
  3. Remove social media accounts, so they no longer have access

Step 4: Edit admin access

If you’d like to edit their admin status, click the Edit Team Member button on the top right. From here you’ll be able to toggle their Admin Access on or off.

Note: Be careful with this option and only grant Admin Access if your team member is familiar with Buffer. As an admin, they’ll have full control over all the profiles you’ve already connected.

Scheduling your content in Buffer

Scheduling your content in Buffer is simple. Just add updates to your Buffer queue and it will be posted for you, well spaced out over the day – according to a posting schedule that you determine.

It’s like your social media assistant who’s ready to help anytime. Just drop off the content for your social media posts and you never have to worry about when it will be posted, it’s all taken care of by Buffer for you.

Once you’ve invited a team member to Buffer, they can start scheduling content right away. Here’s how:


Step 1: Creating your post

To add a post to the queue, all you have to do is click inside the “what do you want to share?” box at the top of one of the profiles you have access to and either type in or copy/paste your post.

You can also upload an image or video to accompany your post as well.


Step 2: Select which profiles to share the post to

Then choose which profiles you’d like to share the post to by selecting the avatars at the top.


Step 3: Add your post to the Buffer queue

Once your post is ready, the next step is to click Add to Queue at the bottom right of the composer.

Note: If you set up a team member’s account with “Approval Required” access, any posts they submit will appear in the ‘For Review’ tab within the ‘Content’ tab until you (or another team member with full posting access) approves them.

And if you’ve granted a team member “Full Posting” access, any posts they add will go straight into the queue at the next available time slot according to the posting schedule.

Additional scheduling options:

As you and your team members start adding posts to the queue, you’ll spot a few other options, including:

  • Share Next: This will bump the post to the top of the queue and it will be the next one to be shared. (Only available to team members with full posting access.)
  • Share Now: This will share your post on the selected social profiles right away. (Only available to team members with full posting access.)
  • Schedule Post: This allows you to choose a custom date and time for the post to be shared. (If a team member whose posts require approval chooses this option, their post will go into the ‘For Review’ tab pending approval. If the post is approved before the date and time they picked, it will be moved into the queue and sent accordingly. However, if the post gets approved after the date and time they’ve chosen, it will be placed into the queue at the next available time slot according to the posting schedule).

Reviewing and approving posts

Once you’ve invited your team to Buffer and your teammates start contributing posts, any posts from people who’ve been added with “Approval Required” access will show up in a review queue.

Anyone on your team with full posting access can review, edit, approve, or delete them before sharing to your social profiles.

Here’s how each option works:

1. Reviewing posts

Any posts submitted by your team members that require approval will appear in the ‘For Review’ tab under ‘Content.’


You and any team members who have full posting access will have the option to edit and approve posts before publishing – as well as delete those which you’d prefer not to share on your social media profiles. More on this below…

2. Approving posts

If you’d like to approve a post right away, click Approve. The post will be moved into the next available time slot in the queue.

Tip: If you’ve like to receive an email notification when a new contribution is submitted, click My Account at the top of your dashboard and select Email Settings from the drop down list. You’ll see a list of reminders that you can enable/disable. All you have to do is flip on the New Contributions option.


3. Editing posts

If you’d like adjustments to the post before adding it to the queue, hover over it and click Edit. From here you can change the text, link, or image – and then when you’re done, click Save and Approve.


4. Deleting posts

You also have the option to remove a post if it’s not one that you’d like to share to social media. Just click Delete to remove it from the list of suggested posts.


Customizing your posting schedules

Like we’ve talked about in previous sections, when you add posts to your Buffer queue, they’ll be sent out automatically – according to the posting schedule that you put in place for each social profile.

So how do you customize the dates and times for that posting schedule?

Step 1: Select a social media profile and click the ‘Schedule’ tab

Select the social account you’d like to customize the posting schedule for on the left-hand side of your dashboard.

Then select the Schedule tab at the top of the page.


Step 2: Customize the days and times your posts should go out

From here, you can do a few different things:

  1. Choose which timezone is best for this profile
  2. Customize the days and times you’d like your content to be shared
  3. Create a new posting schedule
Note: On our Awesome and Business Plans you’re able to create multiple posting schedules. This is handy if you want to be sharing posts at different time on different days of the week.

Bonus: Check out the ‘Optimal Timing Tool’

Feel free to check out the Optimal Timing Tool, by clicking the link at the bottom of the Schedule page.


As you post via Buffer more and more, the tool will gradually learn what the optimal posting times are for each profile.

We’ve found timing to have a great impact on engagement so we recommend you revisit it every few weeks, especially while you’re starting out with Buffer.


Analyzing how well your posts are performing

An important part of your social media strategy is analyzing how well your posts are performing. And Buffer offers analytics features that allow you to do just that!

Under the Analytics tab in your Buffer dashboard, you’ll find three options:

  • Posts
  • Analysis
  • Influencers

Here are the kinds of insights you’ll get from each of them:

1. Posts

Here you’ll find a history of all of the posts that have already been published via Buffer.

In addition to the date and time the posts were shared, you’ll also be able to see which team member shared the post and all of the key engagement metrics (e.g. clicks, likes, retweets, reach, and more).


You can also do a few other neat things on in the Posts tab:

  • Sorting and filtering – Sort your posts by most and least popular, filter them by type (images, videos, links, texts, retweets), and customize the time frame
  • Re-share popular posts – Posts can easily be re-shared by dragging them onto any profile on the left hand side of your dashboard, or by using the “Re-Buffer” option, which allows you to modify the post before sharing it again
  • Export your data – And, of course, you’re able to download unlimited CSV reports of all of your post performance data

2. Overview

Here you’ll find all of your engagement metrics, growth rates, and a great customizable chart where you can see the performance of your content over time.

You might also find it helpful to look at the past 7 days, 30 days, 90 days, or any custom timeframe.


3. Influencers (available for Twitter)

The Influencers report will show your most influential and engaged followers on Twitter.

You’ll be able to see who’s sharing your content, as well as searching for top influencers on the topics you care about.

And you can download this report as a PDF and share it with your team or other stakeholders.


Setting up 2-step login for your team

Your account’s security is a top priority. And to help keep your account even more secure, we provide a two-step verification option for every Buffer user ? ?

Here’s how it works: whenever you log into your Buffer account, after entering your username and password, you’ll be asked for a second authentication code that we send to your mobile phone via text.


Here’s how you can get this feature set up for your account:

Step 1: Go to ‘My Account’ → ‘Access & Password’

You can activate 2-step login on your account by heading over to the My Account link at the top right of your Buffer dashboard and selecting Access & Password from the drop-down menu.


Step 2: Click the ‘Enable’ button in the 2-Step Login section

From there, find the 2-Step Login section and click Enable.


Step 3: Complete the confirmation process

Enter your mobile number, complete the confirmation process, and you should be good to go!

Tip: On the Buffer marketing team, we ask all of our team members to set up 2-step login on their accounts – just to make sure our account is as safe and secure as possible! And we highly recommend having your team members do the same, if possible ?

Removing a team member from your Buffer account

Whether someone is leaving your team, changing roles, or switching up their responsibilities – there are a number of reasons why you might find yourself needed to remove a team member from your Buffer account.

Whatever the reason, here’s the quick and easy way to do it:

Step 1: Go to ‘Admin’ → ‘Team Members’

To remove a team member from your Buffer account, click on the Admin link at the top of your dashboard and then click on Team Members.


Step 2: Select the team member you’d like to remove → click ‘Edit Team Member’

Now that you’re looking at the list of team members on your Buffer account:

  • Click on the team member you’d like to remove
  • And then click on Edit Team Member

You should then see the option to Remove the team member from your Buffer account.


Now this team member will no longer have access to your company’s Buffer account or social profiles.


Transferring ownership of your Buffer account to someone else

If you’re the owner of your company’s Buffer account, you might end up needing to transfer ownership to another person on your team. And you can easily do this by changing the email address connected to the account.

Step 1: Go to ‘My Account’ → ‘Email Settings’

To do this, click My Account at the top right of your Buffer dashboard and then click on Email Settings from the drop down menu.


Step 2: Click the ‘Change Email’ button

Once you’re on the Email Settings page, click on the Change Email button.


Step 3: Enter your password

You’ll need to enter your password before you’re able to continue ?

Step 4: Enter a new email address

Then enter the email address of the team member you’d like to transfer ownership of your Buffer account to.

Note: Once you’ve changed the email address, let the new account owner know that they can reset the password at this link. Once this has been done, you’ll no longer have access to the Buffer account.

Over to you!

Phew! That was a long one. If you made it this far, thank you for reading ? I really hope this guide was helpful in learning a bit more about how to use Buffer with your social media team.

Once you’ve had a chance to research your options, if you feel like Buffer might be a good fit for your team, we’d love to help you schedule, publish and analyze your posts on social media!

Want simple team sharing and scheduling for social media?

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