Whether you’re an individual with a blog, a startup or an established brand, having a strong social media strategy is essential for establishing a strong brand identity, encouraging engagement and building up a following. Sadly, for many implementing a social media strategy can often take a backhand due to lack of time, commitment or understanding of how influential it can be. As an agency, we often manage several clients’ social media accounts, so we understand the importance of juggling a quality schedule with other work commitments.
To manage several accounts, we use Buffer. Buffer is an online tool which allows you to set a social media schedule across various social profiles and accounts, and schedule posts in advance, as well as track valuable analytics which can help to constantly shape your social campaign. Every day, we put aside half an hour to update on trending topics, see what’s buzzing on social media and use this to schedule posts for the day, whether that’s our own anecdote or a share of the latest trending article.
Being such big Buffer fans, we wanted to get an insight from the startup itself on why brands and businesses should be using social media, and how Buffer can be used to it’s full potential. I spoke with Courtney, one of Buffer’s Content Crafters, to find out what Buffer has to offer.
Scheduling posts can be beneficial for brands and businesses that don’t have the time available to regularly update their social media. Do you believe there are other benefits of scheduling posts?
I really do! We’ve found scheduling to be great for a number of reasons, including:
- Having everything in one places leads to greater consistency in volume, topics, quality and voice
- Batching an activity like social media posting can create greater overall productivity in your day
- Avoiding “burstiness”, or posting a lot to social media in a short amount of time. Studies have shown that “burstiness” makes you more likely to be unfollowed on Twitter
When starting up a social media strategy, it can be confusing for brands or businesses without much experience to know when and how often to post. Do you have any recommendations on what times or days posts are more likely to be read
Ah, the million dollar question! We’ve explored this a lot and try to stay up on all the recent studies in this area. Some resources that might be helpful:
- Infographic: How Often Should You Post on Social Media? See the Most Popular Research and Tips
- How to Find Your Best Time to Tweet: The 4 Most Accurate Methods
- A Scientific Guide to Posting Tweets, Facebook Posts, Emails, and Blog Posts at the Best Time
Buffer customers can also check out our experimental optimal timing tool that will analyze your account and give you some personalized optimal times to try posting.
Buffer is most well-known for its ability to schedule posts in advance, but what other features do you have which can benefit brands?
Great question, I think our analytics are incredibly powerful for brands. Buffer for Business customers have access to some amazing insights, including the ability to look at specific time periods and sort by all kinds of different metrics. All Buffer accounts—Individual, Awesome, and Business—come with built-in analytics that track the all-important engagement metrics like clicks, shares, comments, and favorites. We even add a stat for your potential reach, which adds together the total of everyone who might see your post, including your followers and the followers of those who reshared your post. This is really powerful to fine-tune your strategy and messaging. Once you have an idea of what’s working, it’s that much easier to capture that again and move in a smart direction.
Even with a good social media output, brands can often find it difficult to build up a following or get good engagement. Is there any way Buffer can be used to help this, or do you have any advice in ways which brands can improve this?
We’ve done a lot of studying on this one – particularly the following element, because without an audience you can’t do too much!
Here are the Big 10 factors we’ve found can make a difference:
- Post great content
- Write a professional bio
- Use hashtags
- Place a widget on your blog
- Engage with others
- Make sure your content is shareable
- Reshare other people’s content
- Reach out to influencers
- Stay active
- Follow other users
As well as Twitter and Facebook, Buffer offers Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google +. Which sites do you believe are the most influential, and do you think that each site has a certain average user which brands can target specifically?
Oooh, that’s a tough one! I think each platform has its advantages; it depends quite a lot on who your audience is, what drives them, and where they go for news, information and fun. Twitter is Buffer’s top referring network, but for a storefront with a physical product it could be Pinterest, and a B2B business might have tons of success with LinkedIn. How people spend time on social media also varies by network: Oftentimes Twitter is for news and Facebook is for friends. Pinterest is definitely for planning, buying and brands. 🙂 So it’s important for us to tailor each message to our different audiences on all these platforms.
Many brands find that their Facebook posts often have much less interaction and reach than their Twitter posts. While this is mostly down to the algorithms Facebook uses when promoting businesses posts, do you believe there is anything that brands can do to get their messages seen?
Such a good question! We’ve discovered that video is doing really well on Facebook right now, so that might be a great one to try. I recently looked into a few tactics that can help get more views on Facebook even with the decrease many brands are seeing. Here’s a look: ‘What Should I Post on Facebook?’ 12 Facebook Tactics Working Right Now.
Finally, as you are a startup, do you have any exciting plans in the pipeline for updates to Buffer or the BufferApp?
Thanks for asking! We recently added support for Pinterest, which was a hugely requested feature and so much fun to work on.
A few other things we’ve got cooking right now:
- “Future Queue,” a project to allow users to add content to any schedule slot in the future of their queue.
- We have been working on allowing users to upload video to Buffer and share it natively on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
- We’ve started work to support the new “Retweet with Comment” feature that Twitter recently rolled out.
- We’ve put together a task force to keep working on Pablo and launch some validated features.
- We’re building in support for in-app subscriptions for iOS