Mondays on my blog are going to be dedicated to my reviews of social network management tools and blogging software I come across or have used. A number of our missionaries, churches, and pastors are active in the social space so I want to provide them with quick tips and reviews of the things I come across.
Today’s review is on Buffer.
I heard about Buffer on Twitter — like I hear about almost everything else — and decided to take it for a spin. I’m a huge HootSuite fan mainly because of its scheduling feature and mission control-like dashboard for updates on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, so it’s not going to be easy to win me over to anything else.
What I love about Buffer:
You can tweet without actually tweeting. You can choose the times you want your content to publish on Twitter in the settings and then add them to your queue, Buffer does the actual scheduling. I don’t have to calculate and manually schedule tweets to post every two to three hours; I do this once in the settings and just add tweets to Buffer… to buffer. I can go about my day and just add posts for Buffer to queue even in my sleep.
When I check my stream in real-time from the web and come across something I want to retweet and comment on, I can buffer that, too.
You can manage multiple accounts! Well, for a price that is. Ten dollars a month will let you add three Twitter accounts and one additional team member, plus you can add up to 50 tweets per day. For $30, you can have unlimited Twitter accounts, unlimited tweets, and up to four team members per account. Each plan offers browser extensions and if you have your own bit.ly address, you can use that too. If you just want to give it a try, the free version is all you need. You can send up to ten tweets per day from one Twitter account.
You can use Buffer from its website, from your phone by emailing posts to add[at]to.bufferapp.com, from any webpage you want to share by installing the Buffer browser extension, to name a few ways. (I’m still trying to figure out if/how I can install it here on my WP.com…)
Where Buffer App can improve:
- Integration with Facebook would be nice. It looks like it’s coming soon and in the development stage.
- An iPad app would be awesome or at least, integration with the Twitter mobile site similar to its interface on the web.
- An improved Android app that integrates with Pulse. So far, I’ve learned that you need to be on a website before you can share an article on Buffer from my Droid Incredible. Cumbersome because I access my reads through Pulse. It might work with other readers though. And then there’s the whole emailing my update option…
- A more sophisticated interface that combines multiple accounts and their respective homes in one view. (One of the things I love about HootSuite.)
All in all, Buffer is pretty straightforward. It’s a very basic tool for those who have a social media strategy and want to tweet on or with a purpose. And for those who simply don’t want to spam their followers whether it’s intentional or unintentional. Think spread-out updates versus posting updates one after the other.
Do you have a favorite social management tool?