I’ve been scheduling my social media posts for a long time. I discovered Hootsuite about a year and a half ago and have used it to promote my blog posts ever since. My process for social media used to go like this:
- Write blog post
- Copy permalink
- Write some tweets for the day the post goes up
- Write a Facebook post for the day the post goes up
- Schedule with Hootsuite
- Occasionally check Twitter
- Allow Facebook page to collect dust
Not very strategic. I’ve been working really hard this year to grow my Instagram account and I’m starting to see real results. And it got me thinking about my other social media outlets. Mainly Twitter. I feel like Twitter is where the majority of the book blogging crowd hangs out. Everyone is ALWAYS on Twitter. But I have a confession:
I suck at Twitter.
I’ve just never been good at it. My problem with Twitter is that it’s such a fast-paced social media outlet. I don’t have the time to keep up. I don’t have a job that allows me to frequently check Twitter. I’m normally completely slammed throughout the day. By the end of the day when I finally open Twitter, I feel like I’ve missed so much that it’s overwhelming for me to go through.
Which is why I’m a huge fan of Twitter’s “while you were away” section they added. I feel like that gives me the highlights that I missed and I’ve gotten much better about flipping through those quickly at the end of the day or if I get five seconds to breathe at work.
But that still didn’t help me with posting more. One of the ways I’ve grown my Instagram account is posting 1-2 pictures a day. The more you post, the bigger your account will get. No one is going to follow someone who is silent on social media.
To grow any social media account, you need to have a strong social media presence.
The number of times you post per day varies depending on the social media outlet. 1-2 times a day for IG is perfect. Instagram is more visual. The posts take longer to put together. The captions are much longer. So you only really need to post once or twice a day to establish a really good social media presence. But Twitter is much different. Because it’s such a fast-paced social media outlet, you need to be posting way more often. I shoot for five times a day. That’s a lot!! I don’t have time to stop what I’m doing five different times during the day to find an article to share or craft a perfect tweet. I don’t think anybody does. And Hootsuite didn’t make it easy enough for me to schedule.
Enter Buffer. The social media scheduling tool that changed the way I manage my social media accounts. But before I tell you about how Buffer changed my social media management, download my social media checklist for book bloggers to help you kick social media ass!
Optimized Posting Times
My favorite feature of Buffer is the automatic posting time optimization. Here’s how it works. You choose how many times a day you want to post for both Twitter & Facebook (this can be different for each account). Then Buffer automatically analyzes your social media accounts and figures out your optimal posting schedule. Meaning the times the majority of your audience is online.
Buffer helps your posts get the most exposure by optimizing your posting times for you.
Now when I find an article I want to share I just copy the link, type up my post, paste and click add to queue. It automatically adds it my queue at the next optimal posting time. Boom. It’s that freaking easy.
Now let’s say I don’t want to post at those optimal times, I want to choose my own schedule. No problem! You can do that too! Just click that down arrow and select schedule post. This comes in handy when I’m scheduling promo for new blog posts.
My next favorite Buffer feature has to be the analytics. In your dashboard you can click analytics and see what tweets and FB posts are performing the best. See how many people liked your post, how many retweets you got, how many clicks and how many potential people have seen it. It’s pretty freaking cool. I love looking at which posts are performing best on social media. It helps me figure out what you guys are liking and what you’re not. Because obviously I want to give you more posts that you like!
Yes, there is a Buffer Chrome extension!! If you don’t know what a Chrome extension is, they are these fun buttons you can add to your Chrome navigation bar. I have one for Pinterest and now one for Buffer. Now if I’m browsing through my blog feed or maybe through Pinterest and see a post I want to share, all I have to do is click that Buffer symbol and it automatically pops up a box, lets me edit my Tweet and FB post and add it to the queue. I don’t even have to go to the Buffer website to share.
With Buffer’s Chrome extension, all posts I read now have increased shareability.
So what has Buffer done for me?
- It’s helped me increase my social media presence on Twitter and Facebook
- It’s increased my social interaction on both platforms, but especially Twitter
- It’s allowed me to continue sharing my own blog posts beyond the day the post goes up (which is so, so important)
- It’s allowed me to share more of your amazing posts
- It’s saved me time spent scheduling and the stress over having nothing to say on Twitter
- I’ve already made new friends through increased social interaction
- I’ve seen my social media following really start to grow since I made the switch
You’re sold right? I really think it’s the way to go when it comes to social media management. But I know you have more questions. I’m going to attempt to guess them.
Is it free?
Yes, Buffer is free. There are paid plans, but you can use the free version. The free one will let you have up to 10 posts scheduled on each social media account at a time. So since I post 5 times a day on Twitter I can get ahead 2 days. I may eventually want to upgrade to their Awesome plan, which lets you schedule 100 posts per account, but for now I’m good with the 10. The Twitter posts go up so fast that I can pretty much constantly add to my queue. Facebook I tend to max out because I only post twice a day on there, but I’m not as concerned about FB as I am with Twitter as it accounts for majority of my blog traffic.
Is it easy to use?
So freaking easy. I love how clean and simple the dashboard is. One of my issues with Hootsuite was the layout. Hootsuite allowed you to have different “streams” up on your dashboard. So I could have a stream for a particular hashtag. A stream for mentions. A stream with just my normal feed. It was distracting and I ended up scrolling through streams instead of scheduling posts like I should have been doing.
I also love that I don’t have to set a time manually on Buffer. Post, paste & save. It’s that simple.
Can I upload images?
Yes you can! You can add images to your social media posts which I really recommend you do because posts with images get a much higher number of clicks than posts without. It can get tricky with character count on Twitter, but I always do my best to make it work.
What social media accounts can I connect to?
Right now you can connect Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. If you’re looking for an Instagram scheduler, as many people are these days, try Later! There are schedulers for Pinterest (like Tailwind or Board Booster) as well, but no free ones that I’m aware of as of yet.
If you haven’t tried out Buffer yet, I highly recommend it! It’s allowed me to become more present on my social media accounts even in the middle of my extremely busy life. It’s help increase my interaction and drive more traffic to my blog. And as a bonus, I’ve made you guys a social media checklist to make sure you’re making the most of your accounts!
What do you use to manage your social media presence? Have you ever tried Buffer? What’s your favorite tool you use to keep up with all your social media accounts?