Staying active and consistent on social media can be a struggle for photographers who lack the time and resources necessary to maintain a steady stream of content. Using the right tools helps keep things organized and saves a lot time.
There are a lot of social media apps that will help automate your social media publishing, however none that make it as easy as Buffer.
It’s hands down one of my favorite apps. It’s the social media manager I recommend to anyone wanting to not only save time, but to take advantage of the marketing power of social media that Buffer gives you.
Here are some easy tips for getting the most out of Buffer and your social media marketing.
What is Buffer
Buffer lets you easily manage all your social accounts and share updates on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus Pages and LinkedIn at set times. Simply click “Buffer” and your update is added to the queue. You can also scheduled for a specific time.
Variety of ways to work with Buffer
There are a variety of ways to create updates with Buffer and I love how seamlessly it works with all of my existing tools. You can add updates with the browser extensions (Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari), the iPhone or iPad mobile app, email or directly from the Buffer dashboard. Buffer also integrates with services like Feedly, IFTTT and Get Pocket.
The mobile Safari bookmarklet makes it super simple to share articles from your iPhone. Setup for the bookmarklet is easy. In the Buffer App, go to ‘settings’ and select ‘Safari’ which opens up a guide with instructions.
Once it’s set up, you can Buffer web items by selecting the bookmark option in the Safari mobile browser and then ‘Add to Buffer.’
Buffer by Email is another nice feature that comes in handy for scheduling tweets from your iPhone (see below).
Buffer is very easy to use, and the dashboard is clean and simple.
I had Buffer setup and connected to all my social media profiles, set custom urls, and I had a schedule set in less than an hour.
It’s also very easy to edit or update any posts in your Queue or check your analytics for your Top Posts.
The scheduling feature is both time-saving and flexible. In the Schedule tab, you can set the days and times you would like your posts to go out. Buffer will automatically post at the specific times you set. If you use the Tweriod service it will post at optimal times (see below).
Use the custom scheduling feature for updates that have to go on a specific date and Buffer the rest.
The scheduling feature also allows you to pause your posting for Holidays
Optimized Scheduling at it’s best
Tweriod syncs with Buffer to automatically post Tweets at Optimal times. Tweriod analyses your Twitter followers, your past Tweets, and people you follow and then gives you the best times to Tweet. It creates a report with optimal times for different days of the week. You can download the report, or one-click sync to your Buffer account. Doing this automatically generates a schedule with optimal posting times for you and Buffer will send at those times.
No thinking on your part – it’s done for you.
Buffer Retweets from desktop or mobile
Retweeting from the Twitter app is easy, but what if you want to Retweet with Buffer so it’s posted at an optimal time? Or maybe you don’t want all your Retweets to go out at once. For mobile, the Buffer to Email feature makes this easy. Your Buffer account has a secret email address that you can save to your contacts for Buffering by email.
Now when you are browsing Twitter on your iPhone, simply select “Mail Tweet,” email to your secret Buffer email address and it will be added to your Buffer Queue.
Buffering Retweets from the web is easy as well. When you are logged in to Buffer while browsing Twitter, you will see a Buffer link under each tweet.
When selected you can easily schedule a Retweet from that account or any of your accounts in Buffer.
When you hover over the Tweet there is an option to ‘change to quote’ and add your own text to the Retweet.
Then simply add it to the queue or ‘Share Now.’
Bit.ly Intregration and Branded URL’s
Being able to use branded short links is an awesome feature and it’s one of the reasons that I initially tried Buffer. Buffer integrates with Bit.ly, which allows me to use my branded short url’s.
Buffer will automatically shorten any links I share with the custom url that I specify.
I manage a number of social media accounts that each have their own unique branded short url, and Buffer allows me to set one FOR each account.
Automatically Publish Blog Posts
If you have a WordPress blog, you can automatically have new posts sent to Buffer using the WP to Buffer App. I still prefer to create updates using the Buffer App rather than the plugin because that allows for more control, and let’s me schedule multiple updates for the same post all at once.
I love the way Buffer handles media, and the photo sharing feature is awesome. Images are the most engaged type of content on social media, and especially for photographers, sharing images is a big part of what we do.
I like to Tweet a lot of images, especially from the Seniors Ignite site and using the Buffer Browser App makes this easy. Simply right click on any image and the full size image will be added to Buffer.
An example of an image posted to Twitter
Posting from the Mobile App
Posting images to the web from a mobile social app isn’t always the most flexible. Most apps only allow you to post in “real time” which means you’ll end up flooding news feeds with everything at once. Plus, Instagram doesn’t allow you to post to both a Facebook Page and Profile at the same time, you can only post to one.
If I want to post an image to one of my Facebook Pages, I can easily do this with Buffer, and I can create the posts all at one time and have them scheduled to go out at different times.
Simply Buffer an image from the iPhone app and it will automatically be posted at a pre-determined time that has already been set up.
I like the control and as an added bonus it will be posted with a branded link. It also lets you add a call to action back to your website.
Buffer from Facebook
This is a nice feature for Buffering Facebook shares. Doing this allows you to schedule posts so they aren’t all posted at once. When you select the ‘share’ option the Buffer button is displayed in the share update window.
Quickly copy updates to other social media accounts
Copying an update from one social account to another is simple. Just hover over any post and drag it to the account you want to copy it too. It updates the branded URL’s automatically as well.
You can also copy past updates as well.
IFTTT (If This Then That) is a service that lets you connect channels and services, like Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox, Twitter etc) with “recipes” that automate tasks across those channels. Buffer is one of those channels, and there are a series of recipes for automating Buffer even more with Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and your WordPress site.
Here are few IFTTT recipes for automating Buffer even more with Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and your WordPress site.
Price – Go Awesome
Buffer has both a free and paid option. With the free plan you are limited to one social profile and a limited number of posts. Plus you miss out on some cool features. I use the Awesome Plan, which is the paid version for $10 a month. The plan allows for up to 12 social media profiles and access to all premium features. There are business plans as well if more than 12 accounts are needed.
It’s a no-brainer for what you get. Just the custom url’s alone would cost about $40-$50 additional a month per url with other services like Hootsuite.
I highly recommend Buffer App for anyone looking for a simple and effective way to automate social media. Check out Buffer here.