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Our Latest Experiments With Medium, Instagram, and More: Buffer’s Social Media Report for May

Jun 12, 2015 8 min readAnalytics
Photo of Kevan Lee
Kevan Lee

Former VP of Marketing @ Buffer

It’s been an amazing month at Buffer working on some fun social media strategies and thinking ahead to some big new ideas.

What’s a good Medium strategy?

How can we gain more followers on Instagram?

What might a Buffer podcast look like?

I’d love to share with you what’s been on our plates recently, along with all the social media stats from our Buffer accounts. It’d be great to hear your thoughts also on the content we can write that would be most helpful for you!

Buffer social media report

Inside Buffer’s social media marketing stats

Here’re our complete stats from May for each of Buffer’s five major social media profiles. We’re hopeful that the context and background is helpful as you build and analyze your social media strategies. Feel free to shout with any questions!

(All stats cover a 28-day period from last month, and comparisons are made to the 28 days prior.)


We gained 9,424 new followers for a total of 323,715 followers. (Last month, we gained 11,532 new followers.)

We shared 292 tweets (not including #bufferchat and customer happiness) that earned a total of 70,369 total interactions. This was an increase of about 35 interactions per tweet compared to last month.

Out of everyone who saw a tweet, 1.6 percent of users engaged with the tweet by clicking, retweeting, replying, favoriting, or following the Buffer account.

  • Engagement rate – 1.6% (1.4% last month)
  • Average impressions per tweet – 15,963 (16,046 last month)
  • Average total engagement per tweet – 263 (clicks, retweets, replies, follows, and favorites) (239 last month)
  • Average clicks per tweet – 182 (148 last month)
  • Average retweets per tweet – 21 (23 last month)

If you’re interested in digging deeper into any of these stats, I’m happy to share our .csv of exported Twitter analytics.

Top tweet from May

Buffer top tweet

The #talkpay movement and this tweet garnered such a huge response we wrote a whole post about it.


We gained 802 new page Likes for a total of 36,779 Likes. (We gained 835 new page Likes last month.)

We shared 69 posts that earned 4,304 interactions. This was an decrease of 7 interactions per post compared to last month.

An average Facebook post reached 1,256 (1,549 last month). Of these, 819 people were fans of our page (1,030 last month), so each post reached an average of 2.2 percent of our total number of fans (was 2.8 percent last month).

  • Average clicks per post – 52 (-10 from last month)
  • Average likes per post – 7 (-3 from last month)
  • Average comments per post – 1 (no change from last month)

If you’re interested in digging deeper into any of these stats, I’m happy to share our .csv of exported Facebook analytics.

Top Facebook post from May

Buffer top post


We gained 355 new followers for a total of 4,742 followers. (We gained 283 new followers last month.)

We shared 20 posts that earned a total of 313 interactions.

  • Engagement rate – 1.7%
  • Interactions per post – 15 (+8 from last month)


We gained 32,722 new followers for a total of 817,052 followers. (We gained 34,644 new followers last month.)

We shared 40 posts that earned a total of 1,032 interactions.

  • Interactions per post – 25 (25 last month)
  • Clicks per post – 3 (3 last month)
  • Reshares per post – 4 (same)
  • Plus Ones per post – 16 (17 last month)


We gained 212 new followers for a total of 4,756 followers.

We shared 179 posts that earned a total of 440 interactions.

  • Interactions per post – 2.5
  • Repins per post – 2
  • Likes per post – 1
  • Comments per post – 0

Referral traffic to the Buffer blog

Social referral traffic Buffer blog - May 2015

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

Referral traffic to the Buffer app

Social referral traffic Buffer app - May 2015

The above chart shows the top five social referrers to the Buffer app itself. Numbers six through ten were Blogger, Quora, Google+,, and WordPress.

Inside Buffer’s social media strategies

Along with the stats, I’d love to share a bit about the strategies we’re testing on different social networks. It’d be awesome if you find this helpful or if this sparks any ideas for you. And it’d be great to get your thoughts in the comments on ways we could improve or grow, too!

1. Exploring a new strategy on Medium

We’ve been inspired by the great work of the team at Medium and excited to try out some new strategies for connecting with the audience there. A couple of ideas (I’d love to know your thoughts!):

  1. Short-form content
  2. Buffer publications

For short-form content, we were thinking it might be a great opportunity to provide a unique type of article compared to the longform content we publish here on the blog.

On Medium, our thought is to republish a popular Buffer blog article by turning it into three or four Medium articles.

Is Your Audience on Snapchat, Ello, or Vine?

Or to simply share a tip or strategy that’s been on our minds.

So You Want to Write a Catchy Twitter Bio …

Or we’ve also thought to go the route of writing responses to popular Medium articles on social media, business culture, and transparency, or to pull these types of stories from others into our Medium publication itself.

In terms of the Buffer publications, we’ve currently started one for all of our social media content, and we’re considering starting new ones perhaps for transparency, remote work, or culture as well.

(If you have any ideas for Buffer collections you’d like to see, I’d love to hear your thoughts!)

We’re quite early with things, though I’m happy to share some stats from the experiment so far. Here’s a look at all the views, recommends, and read ratios of our Medium content.

Medium stats overall
Medium stats per post

The one thing we noticed with our most successful Medium article so far (the Don Draper one, which went live on a Saturday) is that there could be quite an opportunity to publish and share this content on the weekends when Medium’s volume is a bit lower and there’s more opportunity to stand out in the Medium feed.

2. Building a presence on Instagram

We’ve also been ramping up our presence on Buffer’s Instagram account, sharing more often and working on some new Instagram strategies and tips to grow our following. We’re excited to share what has worked best for us so far!

A couple of things we’re trying so far:

  1. Consistent posting schedule – We’ve been averaging one post per day on Instagram recently
  2. Reposting photos from teammates – It’s been fun to share a bit behind-the-scenes from the lives of those we work with
  3. Announcing #bufferchat topics
  4. Sharing quotes and created images

As for the tools we’re using, a couple of helpful ones so far have been:

  1. Repost – Super useful for reposting photos from teammates
  2. Iconosquare – Helpful for getting benchmarks and stats on how our content is performing

3. The 1-pixel Pinterest tip

A few weeks back, we shared a post on the Buffer blog about creating Pinterest content no matter how visually inclined your brand is. One of the questions we had while writing the post:

How do you insert a tall, vertical Pinterest image into a blog post without taking up a whole lot of room?

super interesting tip that lets you include a Pinterest-optimized image without using up much real estate in the post itself.

Here’s the video from Hugh:


  1. Upload your tall Pinterest image to the post
  2. Change the height and width to 1-pixel each
  3. Done!

We tried this on our social media templates post, adding a 1-pixel image above the first picture of the post. Now, when you click the Pinterest “Pin It” button or use the Buffer extension to schedule a Pin, our secret, optimized Pinterest image comes up automatically.

Pinterest image options

And if you’re curious what the 1-pixel image looks like within a post, here’s a sample. (It’s on the line right below this. Pretty hard to see, right?)

social report

New visions and ideas for social media marketing

We feel grateful for the chance to work on so many amazing and fun social media strategies, and we’ve got even more that we’d love to try out. Here are a few that we’re thinking over.

1. What might a Buffer podcast look like?

We’re very grateful for the encouragement and interest from the community for a possible Buffer podcast. It’s something we’re thinking about here on the team (we’re also looking for new teammates to join us, if you might be interested!), and I’d love to learn from you:

What would be most valuable for you with a Buffer podcast?

A few ideas:


  • A podcast A podcast about Buffer’s values and culture
  • A podcast about remote work
  • A podcast about startups and entrepreneurism
  • A podcast about Buffer culture


  • Buffer folks (me, Courtney, Nicole, Leo, others) talking with each other about a given topic
  • Interviews with Buffer users on how they get the most from Buffer
  • Interviews with social media marketers on what they’re testing and trying
  • Interviews with influencers in the industry
  • 1:1 chats with Buffer teammates

If any of these catch your eye (or if you have any other ideas to share), please do let us know in the comments! We’d love to make any future podcast as helpful and useful to you as possible.

2. Hangout on Air – Office Hours

Another idea we’ve been toying with is making time to share with you all in an office hours format, kind of an open Q-and-A where we can chat with one another and learn from each other.

The thought is that Google’s Hangouts on Air could be quite great for this. Hangouts on Air offer live video streaming that you can watch on YouTube or replay later on, complete with chat functionality during the broadcast. It’s one of the smoothest ways to record a Hangout, and we’d love for the content to be accessible to anyone, any time whether you’re able to hang out live with us or not.

Hangout on Air screenshot

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

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

  1. Social Media for Non-Profits
  2. How to Choose the Right Stock Photo for Any Project
  3. The Top 10 Social Media Research Studies (and What You Can Learn From Them)
  4. 35 Unique Social Media Conversations That Every Small Business Should Be Prepared For
  5. The Secret Psychology of Instagram
  6. The 7 Hidden Factors of the Most Effective Social Media Ads

Over to you

What’s been working for you these past few weeks with your social media marketing?

Do you have any advice for us on the topics we’ve listed above?

It’d be really great to hear your input. Feel free to leave us a note here in the comments or catch us on social media. Thanks!

Image sources: Pablo, Unsplash

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