Monday, December 3, 2012

Bufferin, Buffer, and You

Does social media give you a headache? There’s so much to do and so much to know. One example that may be causing you an aching feeling: When is the best time to post?

I’ve probably read about twenty different “expert” opinions on this. Some say noon. Great! Noon is what time zone? Your own time zone? What if you’re national, or worse yet, international? Okay, at any rate, what they are trying to say is to be out there when more people are out there on social networks, which is lunchtime somewhere. 

Other “experts” say to post or tweet when there are fewer folks around so that you’re more likely to cut through the clutter. Hey! Isn’t that the complete opposite of what’s being said in regards to time zones?

Even sillier, I’ve read these two pieces of advice within the same article; actually several articles. Contradictory? Yeah, just a little!

Now before you take those two Bufferin to ease that emerging pain, there’s a nifty tool that works better than peppermint oil strategically placed on your temples. It’s a web-app called Buffer. Basically, you give them the tweet or post (Facebook and LinkedIn; no Google+), and they choose the best time to schedule it. That’s it. Simple. 

First noticed it when a Facebook friend’s post said Buffer underneath them, revealing the source, though, at the time, I didn’t do much research on it. He was posting “fill in the blanks” such as:
Let's play _________________.
Often, I find myself ___________________.
To be productive, you must _____________________.

Apparently, one can get suggestions from Buffer. Or perhaps you could at one time. It appears that nowadays Buffer only gives you a suggestion for your first buffered post or tweet. So, if it’s one of those days when you can’t think up anything, you’re out of luck there!

Some business pages on Facebook now have a “buffer button” next to the “Post” button that you see when scheduling. Sadly, none of my pages have that feature…yet. Odd, since there is mention on the internet about it as far back as May of this year. 

Buffer is available for Twitter too. 

                                                There’s also a Bufferapp extension for Chrome and Firefox making it super easy to share information. That’s right on their website, under Apps & Extras.  

Note: If you plan on using Buffer via IE, don’t. Opening it there will yield this statement across the top: Sorry, Buffer is not great in Internet Explorer at the moment. To get a better experience right away try Google Chrome! 

Some helpful hints:

  • Remember that whatever you choose to use Buffer that what you need to say should not be time specific. If you need to say it NOW, post it NOW rather than have Buffer post it thirty-six hours from now when it’s old news.
  • Don’t overuse this tool. For example, seeing the same sort of posts (such as the examples above) as a Facebook user gets to be a drag after a while.
  • If you are posting or tweeting something that likely will start lively conversation, be there! Buffer does let you know when your tweets/posts are scheduled. Being absent, and therefore, non-responsive, isn’t going to gain you any points with your friends and followers and it probably won’t help with your Klout and Kred either.

Buffer offers a free service with a limit of ten tweets and posts that you can buffer, or an “awesome plan” that’s unlimited for $10 a month and allows an additional team member as well as up to twelve of your social media accounts. If you’d like to try it, click here and you’ll be able to schedule per day eleven buffered posts/tweets instead of ten. Note: While you can schedule a limited number per day, Buffer may choose to post/tweet them on that day or the next.

Back to the time zone issue: There’s an area in Buffer where you can adjust for your time zone (or perhaps another one, depending on who you want to reach) and Buffer were scheduled the best times relative to your specific settings. 

The Police had a Top Three tune about hurt in 1983. Well, now you can put that bottle of Bufferin back on the shelf! And we promise, it's painless to stop by the modlandUSA website, the Facebook page, Twitter, and/or Google+

1 comment:

Shannon Grissom said...

Cool! I'll check it out!