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Buffer in Q1 2017: 4 Million Blog Sessions, Responding to Customers in 13 Seconds, and our 8th retreat in Madrid

Apr 20, 2017 5 min readReports
Photo of Joel Gascoigne
Joel Gascoigne

CEO and co-founder @ Buffer

Editor’s Note: We’ve switched our Investor’s Reports from monthly to quarterly.We’re excited to keep publishing them in full for our Buffer Open audience in keeping with our value of transparency.






1.9% from Q4 2016

Paying customers

70,012 +7.86%


293,910 +7.20%


186,201 +10.71%

Cash in bank: $2.6m (+27%) 75 team members across the world 

Perhaps the biggest and most exciting event in the first quarter of the year was getting together our entire 75-person remote team in Madrid, Spain for our 8th team retreat. This year the retreat was filled with team-building activities like Buffer Jeopardy and bubble soccer.

This retreat felt important to us after what has been a year filled with ups and downs since our last retreat in Hawaii. With the layoffs in June and having both Leo and Sunil move on from Buffer in January, we were grateful to spend time together as a team.

Leaving the retreat we felt like a stronger and more energized team. We’re also in a great position financially with over $2.4m in cash reserves and having just reached over $30m in gross volume for Buffer and just crossing $14m ARR.

The retreat and the first quarter have me pumped for the rest of 2017, and I am confident we’re going to achieve some great things together. If there’s any single takeaway for me from the retreat, it is the reminder that I get to work with the best team on Earth.

Marketing: Four Million Blog Sessions

Buffer signups

386,750 -17.6%

Buffer for Business trials

16,291 +327%

Social blog sessions

4,176,504 +18.6%


47 +14.6%

One of our Marketing Team’s goals for Q1 was to reach four million visits to our blog. Not only did they reach it, they surpassed it! Reaching four million five days before the end of the quarter, and ending the quarter at 4,177,422!

Our Editor Ash has put in an incredible amount of time and energy to unlock growth on the Social blog and we’re all inspired by his visionary thinking, work ethic, and drive.

Product: Three New Powerful Buffer Features

Weekly active Awesome + Individual plan users

215,348 +38.9%

Weekly active
Buffer for Business users

5,141 +11.9%

Buffer for Business

Monthly Recurring Revenue

$568,409 +8.4%

Social updates sent by

Buffer for Business


9,993,818 -8.2%

Users starting

Buffer for Business

trials in Q1

20,693 +21.4%


Buffer for Business


1,121 +15.3%

This quarter our product team has made big strides in three areas in particular: Buffer Composer, Instagram Grid Preview and Twitter Overview Analytics.

  • Buffer Composer: Beginning to be rolled out now, the new Buffer Composer in the extension lets users customize their message by various social networks, all in the same composer.
  • Instagram Grid Preview: Live on web and iOS for Buffer for Business users to easily see what the posts they are adding to Buffer will look like when it’s fit into their current grid on Instagram.
  • Twitter Overview Analytics: Live for Buffer for Business customers, Twitter Overview Analytics is a more actionable tool for customers to view their analytics.

Engineering: Focusing on Open Source Contributions

Requests for

552 m -7.6%

Avg. response time for

258 ms -3%

Requests for

523 m -70.5%

Avg. response for

256.6 +36.7%

  • 7 S1 (severity 1) bugs: 37 opened, 34 closed.
  • 28 S2 (severity 2) bugs: 95 opened, 88 closed

*You’ll notice large swings in traffic and requests for the Buffer AWS environment as we move traffic to and from our Kubernetes cluster.

Transparency is one of our core Buffer values, and 2017 is shaping up to be the year the Engineering team takes this to heart in how they ship code, too.

At the retreat, all 27 engineers came together as a team and put out a new page to highlight open source contributions – check it out here!

Currently, one of the biggest projects on the Engineering team, the push to build with component architecture, is being built in the open; feel free to check out or use the components here, or take a quick tour of our React storybook!

Happiness: Responding Live to Customers in 13 Seconds

Responses within 1 hour

36.97% -9.8%

Customer satisfaction score


Email conversations

27,755 -22.8%

Twitter conversations

18,378 +18.3%

Hour avg. Twitter response time


Onboarding Webinars hosted


Entering the new year the Happiness team re-opened live chat for our business customers. This has been powerful for us for a few reasons:

  • We can offer immediate support to our customers
  • Our availability builds trust with our customers
  • We gain valuable customer insights in real time

We’ve been replying to customers in an average response time of 13 seconds and our average customer satisfaction rate over the last three months is now 4.87/5. This is compared to our average email response time of 7 hours and 19 min (35% within 1 hour) in Q1.

People: Planning Our 8th Retreat For Under $300,000

Team members


Revenue in cash receipts

$3.47 m


$252 k

Bimonthly team NPS score


Our People team was a huge part of Q1 feeling so great for the whole team because of their immense work on our 8th retreat in late February.

Planning a retreat for a 75-person team is already a huge task, but this time around we also had several goals (and some restraints) in place. The two most important for us were:

  1. Focusing on team-bonding (it had been 12 months since the last retreat); and
  2. Keeping the retreat within our budget of $300,000

The great news is, we managed to do both. Here’s a deeper look into the activities we had at our 8th retreat.

Respond: Facebook Comments are Here!



Paying customers


Our Respond team kicked off 2017 in high-gear with a bunch of great new improvements, most exciting for us is that Facebook comments are here!

The team rolled out Facebook comments to all Respond 2 customers in January of this year. Now all customers can respond to Facebook comments right in Respond 2, where they are already responding to Tweets. The great thing about this feature is that it also works for responding to comments on Ads.

Our Respond team has also been adding some incredible customers like Basecamp, Digital Ocean, and Typeform.

We’ve all been excited about this strong start to Q1 and we can’t wait to see what Q2 holds.

One change we’re making internally for Q2 is moving away from OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) and instead considering WIGs (Wildly Important Goals.) I’m excited to report back on our new system!

If you have any suggestions for the goal setting frameworks that inspire you, I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

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