When is traffic a good thing? When it comes to the Internet and getting your message out to as many people as possible. Buffer is the easiest way I’ve found to get your tweets seen by your followers.
When you care enough to craft a tweet, you’re making a declaration to the world. Okay, maybe not the world, but the Twitterverse, which is an important part of the world. You’re sharing your thoughts, an article, a quote, a picture or some combination of these with your followers, and perhaps others if your tweet is re-tweeted. But the moment that you post your tweet may not be the time when a lot of your followers are on Twitter. Your important declaration may be missed by most of your followers, reducing the chances of your tweet being re-tweeted.
Buffer is a service that figures out the times when a lot of your followers are on Twitter and automagically posts your tweets at those times. Buffer spaces out the tweets so you aren’t posting too many tweets at once.
To sign up, go to Buffer and register your Twitter account. You can also link your Facebook and LinkedIn accounts to Buffer, allowing you to post at optimal times on those sites as well. Buffer has plans to add Google+ and Pinterest soon.
The service is free, but the free account is limited in the number of tweets you can buffer and the number of accounts you can link. You can upgrade to a Pro account or, like Dropbox, you can increase your buffer space by referring friends. You get one extra post in your buffer for each friend you invite who signs up using your link.
With the free account, Buffer gives you 10 posts in your buffer as well as one account from each social network. If you decide you want to upgrade to the Pro account, the cost is $10 per month, which gives you 50 tweets in your buffer, six social media accounts, and team posting for two team members. Buffer also offers a Premium account which gives you unlimited posts in your buffer, unlimited social accounts and team posting for two team members. Try the free account first to see whether you need the extra features of a paid account.
When you set up your Buffer account, it will suggest the best times to send your tweets, but you can adjust your times if you would prefer a different schedule. Here is my Buffer dashboard showing the recommended times Buffer will send out tweets to my @wonderoftech Twitter account:
I have my schedule set to post tweets every day at the times Buffer suggested, but you can manually schedule your tweets to post at different times during the day and on specific days of the week.
Ways to Use Buffer
Buffer makes it easy for you to use their service. You post your tweet in a Buffer box. The Buffer box gives you the name of the site, the title of the page and the link. You can add text and the box will show you how many characters you have left before you reach your 140 limit. You can either add the post to your Buffer or post the tweet immediately. Here’s a sample Buffer box:
Buffer gives you plenty of ways to access the Buffer box.
1. Buffer Website
You could go to the Buffer website each time you wanted to post using the service, but I almost never post that way because there are so many other, more convenient ways to use Buffer.
2. Browser Add-ons
If you use Chrome, Firefox, or Safari, download the Buffer add-on so you can click on the Buffer icon in your toolbar to open a Buffer box. This add-on is handy because it allows you to use Buffer with any website you visit. You can get the Buffer add-on for Chrome, Firefox and Safari.
3. Buffer Plugin
Some sites, including The Wonder of Tech, have a Buffer button (see the Buffer button at the end of this post). The Buffer button is the best way to use Buffer. The advantage of using the Buffer button on a website is that the Twitter ID of the website owner is automatically included in the Buffer box. Including the Twitter ID in your tweet is helpful for your followers to know the source of the article and alerts the author that you have tweeted the article.
Of course, not all sites have the Buffer button which is why it’s handy to have the Buffer add-on for your browser.
4. Buffer Apps
Buffer has apps for Android and iPhone that will let you use the service from your mobile devices. The app is free in the iTunes App Store and Google Play (formerly the Android Market).
5. Buffer Email
You can also add to your buffer using your email account. Buffer gives you a custom email address to use for adding to your buffer. After you’ve signed up for Buffer, go to Buffer email to find out what your Buffer email address is so you can try this feature.
To use Buffer email, put the text of the tweet in the subject line of the email and the link in the body of the email. Here is a sample showing you how to email a buffered tweet:
The email feature is especially helpful when using your mobile device. If you’re using an app such as Zite, Flipboard, Reeder and Instapaper, you can share content using Buffer through the email feature. Send the article to your Buffer email address from within these apps, using the format described above. Your tweets will be added to your buffer from your email.
One of the keys to a successful tweet is posting when people will see it. Using Buffer you can spread out your tweets, post them at optimal times and draft your posts efficiently.
Are you looking for ways to post your tweets effectively? Do you tweet from your mobile device? Have you tried Buffer? Have you been wondering what the Buffer button is? Let us know in the Comments section below!