So, today I want to talk about a tool that I absolutely adore: Buffer. I can't even tell you how much it has changed my blogging life. Have you ever felt that there isn't enough time in a day? Between blogging, family, working full-time, I know I do. At times, I felt like I just couldn't keep up, especially with social media. I LOVE sharing on social media, but I had no idea how to find the time for it and stay consistent. Buffer is basically a magical time-saving fairy godmother that will save you loads of time so you can focus on creating and writing.
First things first, head over to Buffer's website and sign up for an account. If you click on the awesome plan at the bottom you can choose if you want a paid account ($10 per month) or a free account. I use a free account and I have no complaints. I however, don't use it with Pinterest, which is a paid only feature.
Start connecting your social media accounts. Again, Pinterest is a paid feature. You can connect one profile for each of the other social media networks with a free account.
Once you have all of your accounts connected, head over to the Schedule tab. From here you can make sure your timezone is correct in the Schedule Timezone field. You can also schedule your posts to be sent out.
From the Settings tab, you can choose to have your links shortened as well as which link shortening service you prefer. This feature is super awesome because as soon as you paste a link into the Content field it is automatically shortened. Space is super valuable, especially when it comes to Twitter, so I do shorten all of my links.
Now to start adding some content. Click on the content tab and then the Queue sub-tab. In the What do you want to share? field you can post your status. Choose one or more social networks you want to share the post to by clicking the circles. Click Add to Queue once you are ready to schedule.
This is your Queue. You can have up to 10 posts per social media account. There is nothing better than knowing you are sharing awesome content while you sleep!
Another really cool feature under the Content tab is Suggestions. It is an awesome content curation tool and helps keep your Buffer topped up with interesting content. Just click add next to the post you are interested in and it will automatically add it to your queue.
Now for my favorite part: browser extensions! Head on over to Buffer's extension site from the browser of your choice (I use Chrome, but you can use whatever you'd like) and install that extension.
At the top of your browser you'll see the Buffer logo. When you're surfing the web and see something you like click on that logo. A window will pop up that is very similar to the field where you add to your queue on the Buffer website. It will prepopulate with a description and the website address. Just click on the social media platform or platforms you want to share to and Add to Queue. Simple!
That's the gist of it! Pretty simple, right?
Set a time every day to schedule social media. I like doing it right after I get my kids to bed.
Don't forget to "manually" use social media! Your readers will appreciate all of the content you are sharing, but they also want to see "live" you!
You can add your blog's RSS feed to your Buffer account. Under the Content tab select Feeds and add the URL to your feed. This will update with all of your latest posts making it super simple to add them to your queue.
The Analytics tab keeps track of how many times a post was liked, shared, retweeted etc. If you hover over a specific post in the Analytics tab it will give you the option to rebuffer.
Don't be afraid to share a post multiple times. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that you should be spammy; but I know that I'm not constantly checking my social media streams and would hate to miss a killer post of someone I follow.
Be sure to share more than your own posts. I love when bloggers I follow are dedicated to sharing awesome, useful content and not just constantly self-promoting.
Do you use a content scheduling tool? How has it changed your business?