The common misperception of managing social media is that it’s simple, easy and anybody can do it. The reality of social media management is that it is resource intensive and time consuming. Over the years, several tools have come into the social sphere to help social media managers with their daily tasks. Utilized properly, these tools can help structure your day-to-day social media operations and deliver a positive impact on this vital business investment.
At Springboard, we work with clients to support their social media initiatives as well as our own. We have used an array of tools from Hootsuite to TweetDeck to manage social media activities. We recently evaluated Buffer, and have found it to be very useful. Like other social media management tools, Buffer allows you to schedule posts, view analytics and centralize multiple platforms. However, Buffer enhances these features for better organization and proficiency. Currently, we use Buffer to manage posts for Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. Here are some of our favorite features:
A user can select times to schedule posts throughout the day. Scheduling becomes easier when you don’t have to individually select times for each post. You create a post, add it to your queue (your scheduled content) and that post will socialize at the next available schedule time. Buffer created this feature so that social media managers (particularly on Twitter) don’t post 5 articles at one time. Now, those top articles in your morning email can be shared throughout the day providing valuable content to your followers.
When posting, Buffer gives you the option to ‘share now’, ‘share next’ or ‘schedule post.’ The ‘share now’ option allows you to create a post to socialize immediately. The ‘share next’ choice adds the post to your next scheduled time and move all your previously scheduled posts down one time slot. The ‘schedule post’ preference lets you add a custom time for that content. Additionally, once your social media accounts are connected with Buffer, you have the option to add posts to your queue from your Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn accounts.
All analytics are included in all of Buffers packages. A user can analyze a specific date range, compare custom sets of detailed analytics and export the data.