- Simple to set up, add accounts, and get started. The barrier to entry for social media users/managers at all levels is fairly low, leading to greater adoption within the organization. I've had experience with other tools with many more bells and whistles but required a fair amount of training to take advantage of them. This boils things down to what we really need to keep our social media activity consistent.
- Takes the guesswork out of scheduling. Figuring out when to share content, and how often, can take significant time. I like the Buffer queue feature that enables you to set a schedule once for each of your accounts, and then just drop new content in and not worry about whether there are holes in your calendar.
- Adding content for multiple profiles at once. It's nice to be able to compose a message and quickly schedule it to go out on multiple profiles with a couple of clicks/minor adaptations. I use this feature regularly and it saves a lot of time vs. having to schedule for profiles individually.
- Custom tracking. When sharing to multiple profiles, it's nice to be able to include different tracked links for each profile. By default, Buffer doesn't make this very easy - the standard campaign is just set to 'buffer', which can make traffic difficult to differentiate if you forget to create a unique link.
- Media editing. Images and videos are simple to upload and edit, but I do wish there was some more customization available to ensure that you select the right size for a given network. I've also run into cases where an image I thought I'd uploaded wasn't actually shared along with the post.
- Account management. We ran into an issue within our organization where we realized that not all our accounts were actually included within the Pro plan (vs. the free plan) because of it was required that our account administrator add the accounts. This may make sense in general, but was an issue for our organization with several distinct business units. Enabling more flexibility/permission levels for users would be nice.
- Account disconnection. Buffer seems to 'lose' its connection to LinkedIn often, which may be more of a problem with the LinkedIn API than with the software, but it's a pain to have to re-verify the page and in some cases re-schedule updates.
- Multiple Platforms - Buffer was one of the first schedulers that allowed to post to Pinterest, which was extremely helpful.
- Time saver - by not having to individually log in and post on each platform, our team saved a lot of time scheduling social media
- Easy interface - very easy-to-use interface for beginners
- Analytics - no analytics on posts or pages
- Two-Way communication - on similar platforms, you can communicate/respond to your audience on the site, this is NOT the case with Buffer
- No team access - Buffer doesn't allow permissions or different roles for team members
My first impressions were good - it offers a generous 'free' version which meant that I was able to get it set up and then train staff on how to use it, without making a financial commitment. We were very quickly able to attach social profiles and begin scheduling content which meant that the social media element of the job took a lot less time and became more productive.
- Simple straight-forward interface. The GUI is so much more straight-forward than competitors like Hootsuite and SproutSocial. Their interfaces can easily be overwhelming and take some getting used to whereas with Buffer you can be up and running very quickly.
- The 'free' element is very generous and enables you to become familiar with the software in as short or long a period as you need, across multiple social accounts.
- The integration with Feedly means that content curation is an incredibly simple job for anyone to perform, enabling you to schedule content as you come across it on the web.
- They used to have a fantastic feature that optimised posting times based on previous times' reach and engagement. Sadly this feature was removed which is a shame as it was one of my favourites.
- The reporting functionality is limited and I would like to see a greater ability to report across all platforms, creating white label reports.
- You have to purchase separate tools in order to access an influencer module and an image design module - in many tools these are included.
"Buffer is a great tool for scheduling social media postings and organizing overall SMM strategy. Highly recommended!"
It helps us save a lot of time on social media accounts management and also have a better organized SMM strategy.
- Scheduling social media posts is great, it just works and you don't have to worry about it.
- Providing analytics for each post is very useful.
- Overall experience and UI of the tool is very intuitive and easy to use compared to some other competitors.
- Being able to schedule social media posts based on time zone is a great feature.
- Would be great to see some of the paid plan features in the free plan as well, e.g. social media calendar feature.
- Sometimes LinkedIn account automatically disconnects from the Buffer account and the posts aren't published and you need to re-connect the account again. Happened to me a couple of times, but not a big deal actually.
- Nothing else to mention.
Also, they have a separate tool called Pablo, which helps create beautiful images for social media postings. You can create a beautiful image with a quote on it in under 1 minute and then post it via Buffer.
- Social media scheduling just works. Buffer does it perfectly. I usually connect several social media accounts to my Buffer account and it helps me a lot in organizing the posts for upcoming days or sometimes weeks.
- The interface is very user-friendly and simple.
- I used Buffer's mobile app a lot when I was out of the office. It's very helpful and keeps you on track so you can see which posts were posted and how they perform.
- Sometimes my accounts get disconnected and I don't know why. But it happens very rarely.
- Posting on Instagram was kind of hard, as it required to open the Buffer app, then open the Instagram app, copy-paste the content to Instagram and then post. As far as I know, it's because of Instagram's policy, not Buffer. Hopefully one day it will be solved.
- Adding accounts is easy
- Posting is quick and easy to understand
- The interface is simple and easy to navigate
- The power scheduler needs improvement, especially with images
- The content inbox has a limited number of feeds, so I have to use a 3rd party
- I wish the analytics section came standard instead of an upcharge
- Buffer's ability to schedule social shares ahead of time was HUGE for our organization - it allowed us to break up our content without having to manually login and re-tweet things real-time.
- Buffer has a really clean interface.
- I wish Buffer would expand the creative constraints on Pablo. Right now there aren't that many fonts or creative liberties we can take, so it makes it difficult to stay on brand.
- User Interface for sharing: Buffer makes it super simple to share content. (1) Cut and past the text + hyperlink that you want to share, (2) Select the accounts you want to share it to, (3) Add an image if necessary (Twitter)., (4) Select time frame for sharing. Buffer automatically shortens the link and displays a draft for your review. Super simple. Better overall interface and experience than both Hootsuite and TweetDeck.
- Direct Access to RSS Feeds: One of the nicest features of this app is that they've found a way to give you direct access to RSS feeds of content -- right in the app itself! Obviously we find the majority of our content as we browse the Internet in the course of our workday but this is a great way to save time when you're focusing on filling up Buffer with great content. You simply type a keyword in and it displays a variety of RSS Feed results for you to choose from -- for each social media account! More than I could ever use.
- Pablo Image Tool: Image preparation is one of the most challenging and time consuming areas of social media marketing. Buffer has found a way to simplify and integrate that process as well with 'Pablo'. Pablo is an integrated tool that allows you identify or upload relevant images and then customize them. Once they're ready for action you can either download them or share then right from the interface. It's intuitive and the most efficient web-based social media tool I've ever seen for images. Bravo!
- Google Chrome Extension: This is another feature that we used all day long. In the course of the day I'll run across excellent content and I can easily drop it into my Buffer account without having to stop what I'm doing in that browser by using the Chrome extension. Another great tool that I don't know what I would do without.
- Scheduling: Buffer gives us at least three ways to schedule our posts: (A) Manually (by date & time), (B) Automated Scheduling - I set up a schedule in advance and then can just mindlessly submit posts into my Buffer account and know that it will shoot them out in the order and frequency that I set up in the schedule, (C) Optimal Scheduling - Buffer now includes a tool that when activated automatically optimizes the times that you're posts will be published. I LOVE THIS! I want the most visibility and re-sharing of our content. With Optimal Scheduling I don't even have to worry about that and this frees me up to just focus on finding compelling content. WOOHOO!
- Customer Service: Buffer's customer service department is RADICAL! They're known as 'The Happiness Team' and they really mean it. They will not stop serving you until you are completely satisfied and happy. Buffer is not the easiest app to wrap your mind around and the integration aspects when you add team members can be hairy, nut they're always there for you and unlike most CSRs they'll be the first to admit when they have a feature that needs improvement or isn't working right. I had an issue pop up this weekend and a representative named Darcy took the time to provide support by screencast, direct message chats on Twitter and even a Google Hangout where we were face to face. I can't remember another time where I felt like a support representative understood my pain and bent over backwards to make things right. Well done Darcy!
- FAQs - Buffer is kind of like riding a bike. Once you get the hang of it - it's easy, But until you've got the training wheels off it can be a pretty wobbly experience. The FAQ's are written in simple, straightforward language but no matter how tech-savvy and experienced you are with apps it can be a bit frustrating and overwhelming to get it set up and to troubleshoot. In my opinion, it needs to be more visual. More screenshots, videos, and perhaps even interactive, real-time workshops or introductory classes for new users.
- Account Management - I had some issues with integration of our free account into the master account. One day my partner logged into her account using a social login instead of her email and all of the sudden all of her default settings were gone. We could not figure it out ourselves using the HELP section and ended up having to request support from the 'Happiness Team'. It turns out that content managers must login via email in order for the platform to identify that they're logging into the master account as a content manager, It was confusing -- but we got it all straightened out with the support team. (Thanks Darcy!)
- Two-step processes - Unfortunately, no matter how hard I tried, I could find no truly 100% efficient way to share images and hyperlinks simultaneously. If you want to share an image across all platforms you can do that but then your FB / LI / G+ posts are identified as images ("Kevin shared an image") when in fact I was sharing an article with an image attached. Likewise if I share an article to FB / LI / G+ and the hyperlink is appended in the post then an image isn't attached to the Twitter post. Unfortunately, Twitter is inherently different from other social platforms so you just can't 'have your cake and eat it too!'. This is especially problematic when you're working in the mobile interface. After struggling with this shortfall for a year I've come to accept that I have to share in two steps if I want to optimize my posts for the various platforms. I do this by setting my defaults to FB page, LI and G+ profiles and after I share a post to those three platforms (which automatically append the hyperlink with image), I come right back and share to Twitter (which allows me to select and attach a relevant image as opposed to appending a hyperlink). I'm sure everyone's different but that's how we optimize our posts on the two different types of platforms.
- Schedule by time and by day.
- Schedule across plaforms.
- Reports on engagement with the content.
- Occasionally posts fail - though you do get a notification.
- You have to be careful that you don't simply add a post without double checking which platform is selected - the app keeps the last platform you used and nothing is as amateur as using hashtags for your LinkedIn post!
- I'd like to see a trended analysis of engagement by post time.
- Allows you to right-click and choose to post with Buffer. Puts the image in there for you too!
- Sends a weekly feedback report.
- Allows easy scheduling of posts. You can set up a predetermined posting schedule which is great when you know the times you plan to post.
- I wish Instagram was a connected social network.
- They used to provide suggestions of what to tweet if you did not have anything in the queue. It was great and I'd love for them to bring it back!
It's a tool that allows cross promotion on multiple levels, time zones, content and is easy to navigate. What more could an agency, a client and a team want.
- Scheduling: In social media it is critical to post regular updates but not become that annoying person or business that posts the days or even weeks updates back to back and appears spammy. Buffer allows users to pre-set times and dates in advance or on the spot for posts that are being placed in the feeder. For example: I have a new company blog I want to share. I open buffer queue and enter my status update. Then I can chose where I want to post it (FB, Twitter, G+ page, LI) and next I can pick a time and date. I can also change it up and schedule the Twitter update for noon today, the FB update for 4pm tomorrow and the LI update for Monday at 9am based on my audience behavior. In the remaining time I can schedule generic posts to appear engaged.
- Reporting: The weekly and monthly report is awesome. It is very detailed, easy to understand. The free version has a report as well but it is not as detailed as obviously the paid version.
- Price: You cannot beat the price from a company or honestly even a personal standpoint. It is extremely affordable for the service you receive in addition to their amazing customer service.
- Customer Service: They are by far some of the best in the world when it comes to customer service and appreciation. Even if you use their free app they still answer your questions or concerns with lightning speed and such a friendliness that you can't possibly leave upset. Their mission is to provide the best and more and they achieved it.
- I personally wish they would integrate Tumblr and Google profiles. I understand there are limitations but I have hope they will overcome whatever is holding them back.
- Facebook suggestions is another hope I have. Currently they only offer content suggestions that can be posted for Twitter and LinkedIn.
The biggest questions to ask are - Does it cover everything we need and does it make our day to day lives easier? Are we okay with pre-scheduling and monitoring as we go? How much do we want to spend? Do we need to pay for everyone?
To us, Buffer has provided us with extra value and time. It was a no-brainer.
UPDATE: Still use and LOVE Buffer. But have re-subscribed to Sprout Social (just myself, not the entire team) for their Social Media "Inbox." Just can't live without it. Total cost is just $109 per month (Nonprofit rate for Buffer Team, plus one Sprout account for myself.) Bottom line: Get both!
- Clean, intuitive interface.
- AWESOME mobile app for iPhone and Android!
- Customer service that's too good to be true, but is.
- Generous non-profit pricing.
- Ability to queue posts across multiple platforms at different times.
- Would love to see a unified social media inbox, similar to Sprout Social (all comments, @replies, etc. in one newsfeed with the ability to reply back from the feed)
- Wish I could respond to Facebook comments via the mobile app.
- Wish canceling a queued message on one platform would cancel them all (versus having to go back and delete them individually).
- Wish the system suggested ideal posting times.
- Integration is excellent. You can link all your social media accounts in Buffer, and can use the Chrome extension from any webpage.
- Flexibility in scheduling content, so you can schedule posts throughout the day.
- Analytics, Buffer gives you instant data on RTs, mentions, and post engagements so you can determine what's working and what's not.
- With all that data and analytics, Buffer should offer you the best times to post based on past audience behaviour.
- It needs more integrations with tools like Nimble, you need it to work everywhere.
- Buffer should also recommend people on social media that you should engage with based on your content topics and subjects.
- Scheduling Tweets
- Giving you samples of Tweets that could work for you based on what you have Tweeted in the past
- Organized and easy to use dashboard
- Can only share on two different platforms on the free version of the program, you have to upgrade to "Awesome" in order to use it for more scheduling
- Can't add feeds to the dashboard unless you have a paid plan
- Can't do much on the free app except schedule for two different social media platforms
- Scheduling out new content from our blog and company announcements across multiple social channels has never been easier.
- The browser plug-in makes it super easy to add content from other sources into the buffer queue to share later.
- As the company has grown, they've added new features, the best of which has been the content suggestion. They'll suggest content for you to share and they make it easy to schedule.
- Figuring out their content recommendation engine is critical for them. It's a newer feature so there's plenty of room to grow.
- Buffer lets you schedule posts across various different social networking services, including Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and App.net.
- You just add webpages to your Buffer account that you would like to share across your various social networking sites. Buffer gives you a simple button that installs in your browser that allows you to easily schedule posts to be shared across your social networking sites.
- Buffer has a free and a paid version, so you can access all of Buffer's features for free and if you decide to upgrade you can do that too.
- Buffer currently does not support sharing to Google+ accounts, but you can share to Google+ pages.
- It would be nice to have even more social networking sites available to share to, such as Tumblr.
- Incredibly easy to use; very intuitive
- Awesome mobile app
- Browser plug-in makes for easy sharing
- Ability to post to multiple social networks
- Would love for Buffer to set up my schedule automatically, based on prior posts popularity. I know there is a plug in/partner to help with this, but I'd rather Buffer do it for me
- Integration w/ Tweetbot
- Makes it really easy to schedule curated content updates on the fly. Click the applet, and it will add it to your social update pipeline based on timing you determine beforehand.
- Great for helping companies provide valuable third-party content to their networks with optimized timing.
- I really have not experienced any persistent weaknesses.
Buffer Scorecard Summary
Feature Scorecard Summary
Here are the prices of our various plans: Pro: $15/month Small Business: $99/month Medium Business: $199/month Large Business: $399/month Enterprise: Feel free to get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. All plans can be paid on either a monthly or yearly basis. If you choose to pay yearly, you would receive a 15% discount, which works out to be approximately two months free per year.
Buffer Customer Size Distribution
|Small Businesses (1-50 employees)||25%|
|Mid-Size Companies (51-500 employees)||19%|
|Enterprises (> 500 employees)||1%|
Buffer Support Options
|Free Version||Paid Version|
|Video Tutorials / Webinar|
Buffer Technical Details
|Mobile Application:||Apple iOS, Android|
|Supported Languages: ||English, Spanish|