Buffer: The Twitter Tool You Should Be Using

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.

If you use this link to sign up for a Buffer account, you and I will each get an extra message in your Buffer account so you will start with 9 messages instead of eight.

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.

Bottom Line

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!

 

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Comments

  1. says

    Informative post Carolyn!

    I don’t think I have ever left my buffer really empty, though I am using the free version. :)

    I think there is so much you can really do with it and the best part being that you can schedule your tweets for the time when most of your followers are online. And lately, Leo and his team have even linked up Facebook and LinkedIn, which makes things much easier, though I am not really using those features as yet.

    Also, there is a small icon of a camera on the left hand corner where now you can even upload or share your pictures with everyone. However, I still need to see how that works too. :)

    Thanks for sharing. :)
    Harleena Singh recently published this awesome post..Why are Grandparents Parenting Grandchildren?My Profile

    • says

      Hi Harleena, Yes, Buffer was recently updated to include Facebook and LinkedIn and they plan to add Google+ and Pinterest soon. They have also added the photo feature so you can add an image by clicking on the camera icon. I admire services that continue to improve with added features.

      I let my buffer go empty when I’m on vacation. I don’t have a paid version because the free version fits my needs. Other than that, I always have tweets in my buffer.

      I’m glad you have made good use of Buffer, Harleena! :-)
      Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Kindle Experimental: Worldwide 3G Internet BrowserMy Profile

  2. Ruth Zive says

    Hmmm…have you compared your Twitter impact with and without Buffer Carolyn? I’ve heard of Buffer before, and in theory, it sounds great. But I worry that it’s the sort of thing that you can’t actually determine is working.

    • says

      Hi Ruth, Great question. I have a difficult time measuring my Twitter impact because of my reach through Triberr. But I can tell you that I often will read articles at times of day when I know not a lot of my followers are on Twitter. I want to share these article at busier times and Buffer helps me do that.

      I encourage you to give Buffer a try. It’s free and easy to use so it’s worth giving it a go!
      Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Do You Feel the Need for Speed?My Profile

  3. says

    I’ve looked at Buffer numerous times Carolyn but I’m not going to pay for a service I can get for free. I know, we are here to support each other with our businesses but I’m also a very budget conscious person and I don’t spend money I don’t need to.

    I did a blog post last year introducing a service that will tell you when your Twitter followers are online. I then will save those tweets and put them into SocialOomph to tweet out when I know they are online. I can set those tweets up for any day or time I want, all for free.

    Buffer is good for those who don’t want to take the time to do that. I get that so for those people I say go for it. It is a great service and I won’t deny that. I just prefer going the simpler route.

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recently published this awesome post..5 Easy Editing Techniques To Make Your YouTube Videos Less BoringMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Adrienne, I completely agree with you, which is why I use the free version of Buffer. It’s very easy to use and I find I don’t need more than 10 tweets in my Buffer. Buffer is very simple to use, so it helps me to use Twitter much more efficiently. For free!

      I predict that if you try Buffer, Adrienne, you will be hooked. The free version will probably be all that you need. :-)
      Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Kindle Experimental: Worldwide 3G Internet BrowserMy Profile

    • says

      I don’t solely use Buffer to tweet. But I use it when I’m reading Zite at 5:30 am and see articles I want to tweet. Best to scheule those for later so people actually see the tweets.

      I actually like that some tweets go out a few days later. What I will do is read an article t I like, such as one from your awesome blog, and tweet it right away. I will also add it to my buffer so in a few days, another tweet goes out about your article, increasing the chances that my followers will see my tweet.

      As a matter of fact, Adrienne, would you consider putting a Buffer button on your blog to make it easier to add your articles to your readers’ buffers? The more people who discover your informative and fun posts, the better!
      Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Buffer: The Twitter Tool You Should Be UsingMy Profile

      • says

        You can actually read things at 5:30 in the morning? I have to be wide awake to even comprehend what I’m reading. Wow Carolyn, I’m impressed.

        I never considered putting a buffer button on my blog since I don’t use it but thanks for that heads up. I will most definitely look into doing just that.

        Thanks Carolyn! If it will make it easier for you then absolutely.
        Adrienne recently published this awesome post..5 Easy Editing Techniques To Make Your YouTube Videos Less BoringMy Profile

        • says

          Yes, I’m an early riser. I have to get my girls up at 5:45 to make a 6:30 bus so I start my day early. But my 5:30 is your 4:30 so you can see why I like Buffer.

          Actually, I’m thinking others may use your Buffer button if you add it, Adrienne. I’m happy to add your Twitter ID to my tweets when I buffer your articles, as I do with your articles that appear on Zite. :-)

  4. says

    Great stuff, Carolyn, as usual! I’m using CrowdBooster, too. What do you think of it next to Buffer? I’m liking both, but Buffer seems to have interesting times for scheduled tweets.

    I do think Twitter has changed during the day, too. We may have rush hour around lunch and then 5 p.m. during commutes!
    Jayme Soulati recently published this awesome post..13 Tips To Create Remarkable ContentMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Jayme, I haven’t tried Crowdbooster yet, but it looks very interesting. I like how Buffer has a button that appears on a lot of websites, making it convenient to use. I also like the Chrome plugin for Buffer. But Crowdbooster would be very helpful to provide social media analytics.

      I like a 5 pm tweet time because those in the Northeast US could be getting ready for a train/subway/metro ride home and need some reading material. Those in Europe might want to have some bedtime reading material. And those on the West Coast in the US might need an afternoon break! :-)
      Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Do You Feel the Need for Speed?My Profile

    • says

      Hello Jack, It’s so great to hear from another satisfied Buffer user. They did a great job of making it easy to schedule your tweets. As with Dropbox, Buffer integrates with so many other services that they make Buffering seamless. There are other cloud services that offer more storage than Dropbox and there are other Twitter tools that offer scheduling of more tweets than Buffer. But having a hassle-free experience means you can use these services smoothly with other services and that counts for a lot in my mind.
      Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Poll: Is Your Camera Just a Camera?My Profile

  5. says

    I normally use Hoot Suite but if this one has more bells and whistles (which it sounds like does) then I might give it a go. I do see it everywhere, so this means at least that the owners are actively managing and promoting it. Always a good thing.

    Thanks for the good write up on it.

    Cheers!
    Missy recently published this awesome post..6 Good Stand Up Desks Priced Under $150My Profile

    • says

      Hi Missy, I’m glad you enjoyed this article. I use both Hoot Suite and Buffer. Buffer is so easy to use that I use it more than Hoot Suite. But when I went away on my vacation a few weeks ago, I used Hoot Suite to schedule the tweets for my upcoming posts ahead of time. I was able to schedule tweets and Facebook posts for 15 minutes after the publication of my posts, up to 10 days ahead of time. I didn’t want to mess with my Buffer account timing, plus I posted 12 times using Hoot Suite, which would have been over my Buffer limit for my free account.

      I agree, Buffer has done a great job of integrating their service with other services, which is a good sign. Another good sign is that they are continuing to enhance the service by including photos and other social media sites, LinkedIn and Facebook.

      I hope you enjoy Buffer, Missy!

  6. says

    I can depend on you to keep me updated with the latest stuff.
    I have heard about Buffer, but never had the opportunity to try it out. Seems like a great service. I do use the timed tweets (via Tweetdeck), but there is no analysis of when its the most effective etc.
    Question for you: Is it possible to schedule the same tweet to go out multiple times during the day? Twitter detects duplicate tweet and doesn’t allow that. Yet I see some twitter folks are able to tweet the same message multiple times. Do you know how?

    • says

      Hello iRewardChart, I think Buffer is a great service and I predict that you’ll enjoy using it too. It really is handy to schedule your tweets.

      If you want to schedule the same tweet at different times, use two different shortening services (bit.ly and su.pr, for example).
      Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Google Earth: Your Ticket to TitanicMy Profile

      • says

        Not sure if you are aware or not, a similar scheduling and reminder service for gmail is available. Boomerang for GMail? Have you used it (only works on Firefox and Chrome). I totally totally love the app. There is a free version I am using, its extremely handy and useful. Would love to see you do a post on that, and let your readers know. Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Bill, You should absolutely try the free version first, that probably will be plenty of buffering for you. I think you’ll like how you can edit the text in the tweets (as you do so cleverly).

      People use all sorts of services to spread out their tweet, including Triberr, Hoot Suite and Tweet Deck. Triberr is fantastic, but not everyone is able to join fantastic tribes. Hoot Suite and Tweet Deck are great, but Buffer is easier to use because of the Buffer button on websites and the Buffer add-on which puts a Buffer button on your toolbar.
      Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Kindle Experimental: Worldwide 3G Internet BrowserMy Profile

  7. says

    Hey Carolyn ! Most of my twitter followers are from abroad and time difference is a major problem for me to deliver my tweets to my them. But using this buffer service i will surely benefitted with the retweets and some traffic too. I was actually looking for some way that can automatically tweet my tweets and deliver it to the followers without any limitations. This will surely help me. thanx a ton for sharing this amazing post.
    Sunil prajapat recently published this awesome post..Best 5 Easy Recommended Tips for Creating Quality ContentMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Ashvini, Yes, I have been using Buffer for quite some time. I agree with you, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all of these services. But the fact that I am still using Buffer after all of these month shows that I really believe in it.

      I hope you give Buffer another look and also add a Buffer button to help people share the awesome articles on your blog, Ashvini! :-)
      Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Google Earth: Your Ticket to TitanicMy Profile

  8. Andrew says

    Hey Carolyn, great post once again i found it very interesting and i will try to get this for my twitter.Thank you for sharing this interesting post of yours with us. You are always very helpful with your posts.

  9. says

    Hi Carolyn,

    Awesome post about an awesome service. I’ve been a Buffer user on and off since the day it launched (or at least not many days after). The only reason why I’m not currently using it, is that I’m using HootSuite for most of the things related to Twitter (and Triberr). But Buffer is the best when it comes to scheduling tweets and especially when it comes to posting tweets about what you’re reading.

    Like you read in my latest post, I’ve been looking for a social media manager where I can add more features. And that’s mostly because I want to not only publish, but organize what I do as well. And Buffer is to me, more or less a perfect way to publish, but not to do conversations or analyze (even though they have some analytics integrated).

    I’ll probably have to test the new version of Buffer, it’s been a while since i last tried it :)
    Jens P. Berget recently published this awesome post..The Social Media Manager I WantMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Jens, So you’re using Hoot Suite for Triberr? How do you integrate the two services?

      I believe you have a brilliant idea in your post about your ideal social media manager. I hope that someone comes up with that service (and pays you a big royalty for your brilliant idea!).

      Yes, I hope you try Buffer again. I also humbly suggest that you add a Buffer button to your blog to help those readers who want to share the awesomeness of your blog more easily using Buffer. :-)
      Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Google Earth: Your Ticket to TitanicMy Profile

  10. says

    Buffer makes posting on twitter better and more efficient. It can be a problem when you post a tweet but some of your followers are not online. Thank goodness for this.

    • says

      Hi Richard, Welcome to The Wonder of Tech! I agree, Buffer enriches the Twitter experience not just for Buffer users, but for their followers too. Of course, you will never find all of your followers on Twitter at the same time, but it’s great to be able to optimize your times to tweet! :-)

  11. says

    Hi Carolyn
    Buffer is for sure one of my favorite apps. I use it almost every day. I love the plugin to Chrome where you can just mark a text and click on the buffer button to get the post added to your buffer. It does retweeting posts in a personally way much easier. The Buffer e-mail function is new to me. I was not aware of that feature.
    Thomas recently published this awesome post..Why don’t you mention yourself on Twitter?My Profile

  12. Aasma says

    I have been using Buffer for last few months and it really works wonder, It has drastically helped me to increase my following and engagement as well. Plus you don’t need to stay online every time just schedule your tweets at right time when most your followers are online and it’ll make the difference.

  13. Anneliz Hannan says

    Thanks Carolyn:

    You just shored up my commitment to Buffer. I have been using it for a while as well as trying other tools but always return for its ease of scheduling. I use the free version also and though limited to the # of tweets I can schedule at a time I do intersperse with Hootsuite. I especially like the ability to change times if I have been directly tweeting a number of items at one particular time during the day and the edit capabilities. The camera button has been a big plus. Of course with something that needs to go out immediately, I just tweet directly. When Google+ and Pinterest are added it will be complete.

    • says

      Hi Anneliz, Welcome to The Wonder of Tech! You’re right, the ease of use is what makes Buffer so effective. Having a Buffer button handy on your toolbar is a great way to schedule your tweets. I agree with you, combining this with Hoot Suite is a great way to keep the Buffer free account while maximizing your scheduled tweets.

      Thanks for your visit and helpful comment, Anneliz!
      Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Google Play: Your One-Stop Media SourceMy Profile

  14. says

    I have tried both Buffer and Crowdbooster, but somehow it hasn’t worked for me. But I know a lot of people who appreciate the services of such tools. Thanks for sharing your indepth review Carolyn. It always helps someone who’s on the fence trying to make up their minds.
    Adeline recently published this awesome post..Managing Household Chores in the FutureMy Profile

  15. says

    There are so many things we can really do with it and the best part being that we can set our tweets on the time where there is traffic, but still its hard to depend on it blindly, I’ll give a try, thanks for sharing this wonderful piece.

    • says

      Hi Jordan, Welcome to The Wonder of Tech! You’re right, there are a lot of tech tools out there and it’s hard to know which ones are worth using. I have been using Buffer for months so I know it’s a very effective tool. If it weren’t easy to use, I probably would have given up fairly quickly.

      I hope you enjoy using Buffer, Jordan!
      Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Karma: Your Gift Connection!My Profile

  16. says

    As a recent convert to Buffer, I came here to testify about its awesomeness.

    And the best part? You get some insight on how people react to what you’re sharing. I find that invaluable.

    Not that it would keep me from sharing something really, really interesting if I thought it wouldn’t get retweets, no.
    Still — it’s nice to learn more about what one’s friends and followers respond to.
    Bell recently published this awesome post..What can Sebastiao Salgado teach you about writing?My Profile

    • says

      Hi John, Wow, it sounds as if you’re a big fan of Buffer! You’re right, there are many reasons to use this helpful service, including how it gives you some analytics about your buffered tweets.

      Thanks for your awesome comment, John!
      Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Karma: Your Gift Connection!My Profile

  17. Cathy Taughinbaugh | Treatment Talk says

    Hi Carolyn,

    I’m a fan of Buffer as well and use the free version which works for me. I add in Timely if I need more than ten a day, both free and I’m covered. Thanks for sharing. I didn’t realize the benefit of having the Buffer add-on, so I will go and add that now. Thanks for sharing.

    • says

      Hi Cathy, Yes, definitely use the Buffer add-on. It would be great if all websites had the Buffer button (as I explained above, it helps them as well as us), but since they don’t, it’s very handy to have the Buffer add-on so you can buffer a tweet from any website.
      Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..Karma: Your Gift Connection!My Profile

  18. Sarah says

    This is brilliant. The perfect tool for twitter indeed. You never really know when your followers are tweeting due to time differences ect. Definitely need to share this . Thank you for sharing this gem with us.
    Sarah recently published this awesome post..If Microsoft is Patient, it Can WinMy Profile