Tag: Buffer News

New to Buffer: Twitter Threads Scheduling

New to Buffer: Twitter Threads Scheduling

Every year, more than 30 Million tweets are scheduled through Buffer, making it the number one channel where Buffer users are scheduling their social media posts. As of today, we’re helping Buffer users take their planning to the next level — we’ve just released scheduling for Twitter threads so that anyone can easily schedule their Twitter threads with Buffer for free!

You can now draft unlimited-length Twitter threads, preview how’ll they look, save them for later, and schedule them for the optimal time.

New to Buffer: Twitter Threads Scheduling

Scheduling for Twitter threads has been a most-requested feature from Buffer users ever since threads became available on the platform — and rightfully so. Since the launch of the feature in 2017, Twitter threads have become an everyday way to use Twitter and share content.

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How to schedule Twitter Threads in Buffer

Scheduling a thread is super simple, just follow these steps:

  1. Connect your Twitter account to Buffer
  2. Open up the Buffer composer and select your Twitter account
  3. Add some content and then select Start Thread
  4. Save your thread as a draft or schedule it for the time of your choice
  5. Watch the retweets and likes roll in!

And if you need more, head to this link to see step-by-step how to schedule Twitter threads.

Why you should schedule Twitter Threads

No one is happier about us adding thread scheduling to Buffer than our own social media manager, Mitra!

New to Buffer: Twitter Threads Scheduling

Here’s a thread she recently scheduled to Buffer’s twitter account about Twitter’s latest features. I love it because it highlights a few of the things that Buffer can help you with when it comes to threads.


1. Save threads for later

This thread had been in the works for a little while. Mitra was able to start writing it a few weeks ago, save it as a draft, and come back to it later after she had done some more research.

2. Quickly find and add images to your thread

Buffer lets you import media from Google, OneDrive, Dropbox. You can also grab content straight from Canva or Giphy.

3. Add links to your thread

The call to action on this thread includes a link to a blog post.

4. Use insights to schedule at the best time

Mitra scheduled this thread to go out at the optimal time, based on the insights generated by Buffer’s data analysis.

New to Buffer: Twitter Threads Scheduling

Start scheduling today!

Twitter threads scheduling is available now on all Buffer plans, including the Free plan.

For more about how to create engaging threads, check out these resources:

Happy thread scheduling!

https://buffer.com/resources/twitter-threads-buffer/

New from Start Page: Schedule Posts to your Link In Bio for Free

New from Start Page: Schedule Posts to your Link In Bio for Free

When we launched Start Page 12 months ago we set out to build a beautiful, mobile-friendly, link in bio site that’s easy to set up and even easier to update.

Over that time we’ve been adding heaps of small improvements and updates, but today is our biggest update to date…

As of today, you can schedule posts to appear on your Start Page whenever you’d like.

That means, you can schedule, links, images, text, and more to go live whenever you’d like. You can schedule content to both your social channels and your Start Page simultaneously with Buffer.

Head to your Start Page to get started

Since launching, our team has been hard at work adding a number of updates, including:

  • The GIF gallery: a collection of hand picked gifs to style your Start Page
  • Promote YouTube videos: a block to spotlight your latest YouTube upload
  • Image links grid: Upload images to a grid and link each image to a relevant webpage
  • Embed songs & podcasts with Spotify: listen to audio directly in Start Page
  • 16 new themes: style your Start Page your way with new themes

Now, over 25,150 Start Pages have been shared with the world since we launched last year.

We’ve seen photographers to plumbers, baking sites to gig nights, share their Start Page with the world.

However, the ultimate goal of Start Page was for it to act as a link in bio. A simple site to direct your social fans to to direct them to the links that matter most to you.

And there's one unique feature we've been excited to add to help with that.

New from Buffer — Start Page Posts

From today, anyone can schedule content to appear on their Start Page.

That means, you can schedule, links, images, text, and more to go live whenever you’d like. You can schedule content to both your social channels and your Start Page simultaneously with Buffer.  

On your Start Page, you can schedule:

️☕️ Information about your next event
🎶 Ticket details to your latest gig
📱 Release notes about your last update
✈️ Discounts for your customers
👆Updates on your product production
➕ And much, much more

New from Start Page: Schedule Posts to your Link In Bio for Free

Plus, all your scheduled Start Page updates can contain links.

One thing we heard from customers was that using links on social often limited the amount of reach a post could get.

We decided to look into this and found that using a link can reduce reach by up to 40 percent.

Start Page Posts can help. Rather than posting links directly on social, you can schedule these updates to your Start Page feed.

Direct your audience to your link in bio in your post rather than using the link directly. That should help you capture the reach you deserve.

And one more thing, it’s free!

Unlike most link in bio tools on the market, our scheduling feature comes at no extra cost.

Create your Start Page

Get started for free

https://buffer.com/resources/new-from-start-page-schedule-posts-to-your-link-in-bio-for-free/

Start Page Posts: Get the Reach you Deserve

Start Page Posts: Get the Reach you Deserve

Here’s a question that puzzles most social media users …

Why do some of my posts get more views than others?

It’s a difficult question to answer.

Each social network has a different algorithm. Each algorithm promotes and demotes posts in their own unique way.

Learning why some posts go viral while others don’t is nigh on impossible.

However, there was one thing I noticed with my posts.

It seemed that posts with links got less engagement and fewer views.

This was just an anecdotal feeling, nothing more than that. So, to test my hunch, I spent a few months researching.

I conducted a mix of third-party and first party research. All my third-party analysis is based on some great research conducted by others (which I’ve linked to below).

The first party analysis was conducted using Brandwatch, a consumer intelligence platform—thank you to Brandwatch for helping us out here.

So, do posts containing a link perform worse? Here’s what we found:

  • Tweets with a link achieve 7.2% fewer retweets (Buffer’s own analysis)
  • Tweets with a link garner 28.76% less reach (Buffer’s own analysis)
  • LinkedIn impressions decrease by 3x when posting a link (AgoraPulse)
  • Engagement rate for LinkedIn posts without a link is 70% higher (SocialInsider)
  • Plus, Instagram and TikTok actively discourage link sharing

We couldn’t find any conclusive findings on Facebook or Google Business Profiles, but we’d assume those algorithm’s act in a similar way. So the headline seems clear, posts on social media containing a link seem to perform worse.

To dig a little deeper, let’s dive into our analysis.

Thanks to our friends over at Brandwatch, we were able to analyze a huge number of tweets (174,525,132 tweets to be exact).

Specifically we looked for a statistically accurate sample of tweets published between July 15th, 2022 to August 16th, 2022 that either contained a link, or contained the phrase “link in bio.”

We decided to compare two styles of tweets:

  1. Tweets that contained a link
  2. Tweets containing the phrase “link in bio”

Both of these tweets are attempting to achieve the same thing. They’re both trying to drive people to external content. Except, link-based tweets do so directly in the tweet while, link in bio posts encourage people to click on the bio and access the content that way.

Start Page Posts: Get the Reach you Deserve

We compared the average number of retweets, the number of impressions and the average reach for both types of tweets. Please note, impressions refers to the sum of all followers of the authors who tweeted or retweeted the post, while reach is a number assigned to the tweet which attempts to estimate how many users actually saw the post.

Here are the results.

Tweets that refer to a “link in bio” generate:

  • 8.98% more retweets than tweets that include a link
  • 21.24% more impressions than tweets that include a link
  • 40.38% more reach than tweets that include a link

Why is this?

Well one hypothesis is that Twitter, and other social networks, simply don’t want users to leave the app. So they limit the amount of visibility link-based tweets get.

However, posts that refer to a link in bio seem to circumvents this limitation. Without an actual link in the text, the post achieves maximum visibility and gets more retweets because of it.

To achieve maximum visibility for your posts on social networks, you’ll want to avoid using links and instead direct your audience to your link in bio.

Which begs the question. Which  tool should you use?

You’ll need a tool that’s customizable to fit your brand. One that’s able to store lots of content and links to direct your audience to the right location.

But there are lots of tools that just this (including Buffer’s own—Start Page).

However, there’s one thing unique to Start Page that sets it apart.

As of today, Start Page users can schedule new posts to appear on their page at a specific time and date—all for free.

Find out more on our announcement blog here.

Get the reach you deserve

Start scheduling posts to your Start Page today

Get started for free

https://buffer.com/resources/start-page-posts-get-the-reach-you-deserve/

We Took a Week Off to Build Features That Weren’t on Our Roadmap

We Took a Week Off to Build Features That Weren’t on Our Roadmap

A few weeks back we did something a little different.

Everyone across the company dropped their work, canceled all meetings, and spent a week working on projects that weren’t on our roadmap.

We called it Build Week.


Why? Well, at Buffer, we know the best ideas don’t always come from of conventional styles of work.

We’ve experimented in the past with lots of different work-styles, including self-management, OKRs (and scrapping OKRs), and our 4-day work week.

A Build Week was something we’ve talked about doing at Buffer for years.

We’d previously run hackathons and paper-cut sessions where the engineering teams would put time aside to work on projects outside of their typical day-to-day work.

But with Build Week, we went bigger, encouraging everyone in the company to get involved.

Two weeks before Build Week, dozens of Bufferoos submitted their ideas to Build

Week. Ideas ranged from small improvements in the product, to new landing pages.

We Took a Week Off to Build Features That Weren’t on Our Roadmap
All of the ideas submitted for Build Week

Each of us voted on the ideas we liked best and then grouped into 16 small teams of 4-6 to get to work.

Throughout the week we shared short updates with the company to showcase our progress. The dedicated #build-week Slack channel was alive with Loom videos, and prototypes as teams shared their work.

And after 4 days, 32(ish) hours, and 80 teammates getting involved, we had created a whole host of new projects. Take a look 👇

10 Product Improvements

Most of our team worked on product improvements, some small, some much larger. Many of which haven’t been released yet (more on that later), but  have made it into the product. Here’s what we built:

Attach Google Photos to your posts

Adding a Google Photo to your post just got a whole lot easier. With just one click you can open up your Google Photos account and attach the image you want to your post!

We Took a Week Off to Build Features That Weren’t on Our Roadmap

See your teammates’ name next to their posts

Now you can see exactly which team member wrote each of the posts in your queue or drafts.

We Took a Week Off to Build Features That Weren’t on Our Roadmap

Gravatar profile pictures pulled into Buffer

Not only will you see your teammates’ name, you’ll see their faces too! Profile pictures (stored in Gravatar) will now be pulled directly into Buffer.

We Took a Week Off to Build Features That Weren’t on Our Roadmap

Analytics for Instagram Reels

This one will be music to the ears of many Instagram fans. Analytics (including impressions, reach, engagement, likes, and more) are now available for Instagram Reels.

We Took a Week Off to Build Features That Weren’t on Our Roadmap

Analytics for sent Instagram posts

We’ve made measuring your performance even simpler. See how your Instagram posts have performed straight from the sent posts page. Top-level analytics will appear right under the post helping you see if you hit, or missed the mark.

We Took a Week Off to Build Features That Weren’t on Our Roadmap

Empty your queue with bulk deletion

Got a bunch of failed posts stuck in your queue? Want to start afresh and remove all your queued posts? Now it takes just a click. Head to settings to clean or empty your queue.

We Took a Week Off to Build Features That Weren’t on Our Roadmap

Preview videos before you post

When uploading a video post to Buffer, you can now preview the video instead of just the thumbnail.

We Took a Week Off to Build Features That Weren’t on Our Roadmap

Default timezone based on your location

Previously when folks would set up Buffer, we’d assign them a London timezone by default. Not great for people posting from Portland, or tweeters tweeting from Tokyo. Now, Buffer uses your browsers timezone to determine the in-app timezone.

Twice as many colors in campaigns

Previously when folks would set up Buffer, we’d assign them a London timezone by default. Not great for people posting from Portland, or tweeters tweeting from Tokyo. Now, Buffer uses your browsers timezone to determine the in-app timezone.

We Took a Week Off to Build Features That Weren’t on Our Roadmap

Hashtag manager available on all channels

Previously, the hashtag manager (used to store all your groups of hashtags) was only available for Instagram posts. Now it’s available on every channel.

We Took a Week Off to Build Features That Weren’t on Our Roadmap

Seven updates we can’t release just yet

That’s just a taste of some of the things we built. There were seven other product updates worked on during Build Week, but they’re not ready to launch just yet. Keep your eye on our Changelog page or our Twitter account to see when they drop, but to wet your appetite, here’s some of the features on the cards 👇

  • Recipes: remove the guesswork & writers block from content planning
We Took a Week Off to Build Features That Weren’t on Our Roadmap
  • Streaks: Build a consistent posting habit with Buffer streaks. Send or schedule posts every day to keep your streak going and claim your reward.
We Took a Week Off to Build Features That Weren’t on Our Roadmap
  • Channel Wizard: A wizard that asks a few questions and then suggested a few channels that would be the most impactful when I’m starting social media for business.
We Took a Week Off to Build Features That Weren’t on Our Roadmap
  • Comments on Drafts: Different team members can comment on drafted posts.
We Took a Week Off to Build Features That Weren’t on Our Roadmap
  • Referral Codes: Refer Buffer to your friends to win prizes!
We Took a Week Off to Build Features That Weren’t on Our Roadmap
  • Weekly Report Card: A weekly email documenting how you’ve performed on social over the previous week.
We Took a Week Off to Build Features That Weren’t on Our Roadmap
  • Your Year in Review: Just liked Spotify Wrapped, but for Buffer. See how what you’ve achieved over the past year.
We Took a Week Off to Build Features That Weren’t on Our Roadmap

We hope to ship some of these extra features soon.

But Buffer’s Build Week wasn’t just about shipping product features. We wanted to work on other projects too. Most of these projects are designed to promote our culture and values, take a look. 👀

Five Culture & Values Projects

  • The Bufferoo Map: A live map on our site showing exactly where each Buffer employee works from 🔗 https://buffer.com/map
We Took a Week Off to Build Features That Weren’t on Our Roadmap

We Took a Week Off to Build Features That Weren’t on Our Roadmap
We Took a Week Off to Build Features That Weren’t on Our Roadmap

  • A Time Off Dashboard: At Buffer, we offer unlimited holiday. Want to know exactly how much time we take off? Now you can! 🔗  https://buffer.com/timeoff
We Took a Week Off to Build Features That Weren’t on Our Roadmap

  • What Buffer is Reading: Every Buffer employee can expense any book they’re reading. For this (final) project, we built a page that showcases what we’re reading right now. 🔗 https://buffer.com/books
We Took a Week Off to Build Features That Weren’t on Our Roadmap

Well that’s a wrap!

In just four days we managed to produce a pretty mind-blowing number of projects.

We were thrilled by our progress. But what do you think? Have you tried a Build Week before with similar results? Tweet us to let us know.

Oh, do you want to suggest some ideas for us to work on next time? Drop them here.

https://buffer.com/resources/we-took-a-week-off-to-build-features-that-werent-on-our-roadmap/

Grow Your Traffic Organically: Introducing Google Business Profiles

💡
We're hosting an exclusive webinar where we walk through 10 ways to gain customers with your Google Business Profile. Only 500 seats available. Save your seat here. 👈

Grow Your Traffic Organically: Introducing Google Business Profiles

There’s a way to organically grow your reach, your engagement, and your traffic—all without spending a cent.

Yet, 79 percent of brands ignore it.

What is it? Publishing regularly on your Google Business Profile.

Now, you’re probably thinking ‘what the heck is that?’ or ‘since when could you post on Google?’.

So, let’s start with a bit of background.

A Google Business Profile is the listing that appears when your search for a brand on Google. You’ve almost certainly seen these listings before.

Grow Your Traffic Organically: Introducing Google Business Profiles
The Google Business Profiles for popular locations in London.

But, you might not know that businesses can publish posts on these profiles.

Posting regularly on your Google Business Profile helps grow your reach, your engagement, and your traffic.

And yet, 79 percent of brands don’t publish consistently.

We asked our customers why and they said: “it takes too much time”.

Today, that’s changing.

Introducing Google Business Profiles with Buffer

From today, you can draft, publish, and schedule Google Business Profile posts with Buffer.

Google Business Profiles comes available on the Buffer free plan. You can schedule up to 10 posts at any one time. Need more? All our paid plans let you schedule up to 2,000 posts.

Grow Your Traffic Organically: Introducing Google Business Profiles

But, before we get into how Google Business Posts can grow your brand, let’s first cover what they are.

Google Business posts are just like any other social post. Posts contain text, an image, and other information depending on what type of post you pick.

There are four types of posts:

  1. What’s New: a standard text or image post to share an update.
  2. Offer: similar to a What’s New post but with a Start and End date and the option to add a coupon code.
  3. Event: similar to an Offer, but specifically for events.
  4. Covid-19 update: identical to the What’s New post, but specifically for updates related to Covid-19.
Grow Your Traffic Organically: Introducing Google Business Profiles
The four types of Google Business posts

Making customers 50% more likely to buy

If you haven’t published on Google Business before, then you’re missing out.
There’s no shortage of evidence out there that proves publishing posts on Google Business Profiles is good for your business.

  • Google says keeping your profile up to date makes customers 50 percent more likely to make a purchase.
  • Google Business expert, Joy Hawkins, has run tests to show that posting consistently boosts your traffic, engagement, and reach.
  • And even though posts might not boost your rankings directly, they do drive traffic and visibility, both of which do ultimately help you rank higher.

Organic growth can be hard to crack, but Google Business posts offer a solution. Consistent posting helps you capture attention without spending a penny.

But how often should you post?

We suggest publishing at least once a week on your Google Business Profile for the following reasons:

  1. After six months, posts disappear from a profile, so publish regularly to keep updates visible.
  2. Google will only pull justifications from posts published within 60 days.
  3. Only posts published within seven days appear on the Explore section of Google Maps.
  4. 79 percent of top brands on Google don’t publish regularly, so there’s an easy opportunity to stand out from your competition.

Only 1 out of 5 top profiles post regularly

Despite reams of reasons why brands should publish regularly, it appears that very few do.

While working on our integration, we analyzed 500 business profiles across five cities; London, Sydney, Delhi, Paris, and Toronto. (Note this research was inspired by Ben Fisher’s analysis. He focused his research in the USA so we purposefully chose cities outside of the States.)

After at looking 50 different sectors including mortgage providers, real estate agents, dentists, plumbers, injury lawyers, and more, we found that very few profiles posted regularly:

  • Only 20.4 percent had posted within the previous 30 days
  • Only 43 percent had posted in the last year

79.6 percent of profiles didn’t post regularly. This surprised all of us.
We wondered if it was one city region bringing down the average, so we broke it down.

Grow Your Traffic Organically: Introducing Google Business Profiles

But consistently, in cities across the globe, the majority of top profiles haven’t posted within the previous 30 days:

  • 🇦🇺 Sydney = 73 percent of businesses didn’t post regularly 🇦
  • 🇨🇦 Toronto = 78 percent of businesses didn’t post regularly
  • 🇮🇳 Delhi = 79 percent of businesses didn’t post regularly
  • 🇫🇷 Paris = 81 percent of businesses didn’t post regularly
  • 🇬🇧 London = 87 percent of businesses didn’t post regularly

This got us thinking, perhaps these businesses simply didn’t use Google Business Profiles. Would that explain the lack of posting?

So, we took a look at whether these same businesses also respond to Google reviews.

Turns out they do. The vast majority of businesses, respond to Google reviews via their business profile.

  • 🇮🇳 Delhi = 55 percent of businesses respond to Google reviews
  • 🇬🇧 London = 61 percent of businesses respond to Google reviews
  • 🇨🇦 Toronto = 66 percent of businesses respond to Google reviews
  • 🇫🇷 Paris = 68 percent of businesses respond to Google reviews
  • 🇦🇺 Sydney = 72 percent of businesses respond to Google reviews

On average, 64.4 percent of businesses use Google Business Profiles to respond to reviews, yet only 20.4 percent publish posts consistently.

Take a look at the raw data here.

So, how come so few businesses post?

We asked our customers.

Dawn Stanyon, President at Professionality Consulting, said it’s just too time-consuming to switch between multiple social channels. “I haven't posted to Google Business Profiles as often because I have to go do it separately.”

Nial Philimore, Director at Imexpert, said the same, “sharing content across multiple social media channels and Google Business Profiles takes a lot of time.”

Grow Your Traffic Organically: Introducing Google Business Profiles

It’s not easy managing multiple different channels at once. Jumping between tabs to publish content across all of your networks just isn’t easy.

What’s more, publishing on Google is outside of a marketer's typical workflow. Marketers are already swamped—publishing on social, sending out newsletters, and updating our own blogs—we don’t have time to manage something else.

That’s why we’ve built a Google integration.

Now you can draft, publish, and schedule posts to your Google Business Profile using Buffer.

Get started for free today, and start scheduling your posts on Google.

https://buffer.com/resources/introducing-google-business-profiles/

Introducing Instagram Reels Auto-Publishing in Buffer

Introducing Instagram Reels Auto-Publishing in Buffer

It’s finally here. Yesterday, after two years of waiting, Instagram unveiled its Reels API to all social media management platforms.

We were so excited we started building immediately and now …

Today, drafting, scheduling, and auto-publishing Instagram Reels are now available in Buffer.

Want to try it out? Connect your Instagram account to Buffer, for free. It works like any other post in Buffer. You can create drafts, publish immediately, or add them to your queue and they’ll be sent out when you need.

At the moment, Reels scheduling is available on our web app. We're adding it to our mobile apps very soon!

10 reasons to start scheduling Reels

We can’t lie, we’re pretty excited to start scheduling Reels. There’s heaps of evidence out there that says Reels dramatically boost your engagement, reach, and following.

But is all of it true? Well, we decided to do our own analysis.

We looked back at all of the Instagram posts we’ve published this year to determine how important video content really is. And we scoured the web for reliable evidence. Here’s what we found. 👇

1) Reels generate 22% more engagement than regular Instagram posts (source)

Instagram actively promotes Reels across the app. They pop up all over Instagram (more on that later) to capture the attention of users. It’s no wonder they gain so much engagement.

2) 68% of marketers plan on increasing video activity on Instagram (source)

Marketing Charts asked 2,897 marketers (most of whom work for small businesses) if they plan to increase the number of videos they’ll publish.

For Instagram, a whopping 68 percent said they would increase the number of videos they’d publish (compared to a 43 percent increase on TikTok and just eight percent on Snapchat). Only two percent of marketers said they would decrease the amount of Instagram videos they’d publish.

Introducing Instagram Reels Auto-Publishing in Buffer

3) Reels get more engagement than traditional Instagram videos (source)

Conviva analyzed the Instagram accounts of professional clubs in the NFL league and found that Instagram Reels get 67 percent more engagement than traditional IG videos.  

Despite that, one in five NFL clubs still doesn’t publish Reels on the platform.

4) Reels are the most discoverable content on Instagram

The main reason why Reels get so much engagement, impressions, and reach, is because they appear all over Instagram.

You’ll find Reels in the Explore tab, after doing a Hashtag Search, in the Reels feed, and via an audio search (when you click on any piece of music).

Introducing Instagram Reels Auto-Publishing in Buffer

5) Instagram prioritizes videos over photos (source)

Back in 2021, the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, came out and said that Instagram “is no longer a photo-sharing app.” Instagram, instead, sees itself as a short-form video platform and will prioritize those videos ahead of images.

To figure out if what Adam said came true, we decided to analyze the performance of videos posted on our Buffer Instagram account over the past year. 👇

6) Videos generated 5.63% more comments than regular posts (source)

We’ve found that our audience is far more likely to join in the conversation if we post video content. Reels get our followers chatting and boosted comments by 5.63 percent in 2022.

7) Reels are 25% more likely to get saved (source)

This is one we weren’t expecting. Sure Reels drive more engagement, but we didn’t expect users to save them for later.

But perhaps we shouldn’t be shocked. With video content generating far more impressions, it’s not surprising that those posts get more saves. But how many more eyeballs do Reels attract? That’s what we looked at next.

Introducing Instagram Reels Auto-Publishing in Buffer

8) Buffer’s video content drew in 83% more impressions (source)

That’s right, we almost doubled our impressions after posting a video. This clearly validates what Adam Mosseri said about Instagram becoming a video-first platform. The algorithm prefers video content and will look to showcase it to fans ahead of any regular posts.

Want to boost your visibility, start sharing Reels. But what about likes?

9) Videos get 2.1x as many likes as regular posts (source)

On average, videos we published on our Instagram account drew in 209 likes per post. Meanwhile, regular image posts garnered just 101 likes.

Introducing Instagram Reels Auto-Publishing in Buffer

10) You can always schedule up to 10 Reels with Buffer (for free)

It’s fast to get started with Buffer, and with a free account, you can schedule 10 Reels at any one time.

Why wait? Grow your reach, boost your engagement, drive more likes, all without spending a cent on ads (or on Buffer).

Try Reels in Buffer today!

https://buffer.com/resources/introducing-instagram-reels-auto-publishing-in-buffer/

New to Buffer: Schedule Videos Straight to TikTok

New to Buffer: Schedule Videos Straight to TikTok

Newsflash! We have a brand-new integration that enables you to publish content directly from Buffer to TikTok. Read on for more details.

You might have noticed that we’ve started talking about TikTok more on our blog, in our emails, and on social media. It’s arguably the most exciting platform for any creator or brand looking to build an audience organically, and fast. You don’t need a big budget or fancy visuals either. Take this small landscaping business in Ohio for example. It has nearly half a million followers!

We’ve also been thinking deeply about TikTok from a Buffer customer’s perspective. How can we help our customers build a consistent presence on TikTok?

Back in February, we launched TikTok Reminders, a mobile-only feature to plan videos ahead of time. This was our first foray into supporting TikTok marketing, and one of our goals was to learn more about the needs of our customers. When we asked for feedback, the overwhelming response was:

  1. We should provide scheduling options from desktop, too.
  2. We should add an integration to publish videos directly to TikTok (if possible).
New to Buffer: Schedule Videos Straight to TikTok

After reviewing all the replies to our call for feedback, we immediately started looking into expanding our TikTok capabilities. Today, we’re excited to introduce a brand-new integration that enables you to upload content directly from Buffer to TikTok.

Scheduling TikTok content with Buffer

The top reasons why people use Buffer are to manage all social content in one place and plan posts ahead of time. This new integration enables you to connect your TikTok account to Buffer so that you can plan and share content directly from Buffer to TikTok, alongside all your other channels. You won’t need to manage any reminders; Buffer will automatically publish your scheduled videos on your behalf.

Here’s how it works in three simple steps:

Step 1 – Connect your TikTok account to Buffer. You'll need a TikTok business account. If you have a personal TikTok account, it's easy to switch to a business account. Learn how in this help center article.

New to Buffer: Schedule Videos Straight to TikTok

Step 2 – Create and schedule TikTok content. Use the Buffer composer to create TikTok content and schedule it for your preferred time.

New to Buffer: Schedule Videos Straight to TikTok

Step 3 – Review and edit your scheduled post if necessary. You can make changes to drafts and scheduled posts any time before it’s due to be published.

New to Buffer: Schedule Videos Straight to TikTok

You can also connect, schedule, and edit TikTok content using our iOS and Android apps.

Need help? Check out our help center guide.

Available on all plans

You can connect TikTok as a channel on any Buffer plan, including our free plan. We also have a bunch of handy TikTok marketing resources, especially if you’re just getting started on the platform.

Over to you

What other TikTok features would you like to see in Buffer? What are your favorite TikTok strategies and tips? Send us a tweet or tag us in a TikTok!

https://buffer.com/resources/tiktok-scheduling/

5 Start Page Updates to Help You Grow Your Brand

5 Start Page Updates to Help You Grow Your Brand

When we launched Start Page back in October 2021, we weren’t quite sure who would use it.

We had a hunch, but it turns out we weren’t imaginative enough.

Start Page has been used more widely than we could have possible imagined. From photographers to plumbers, baking sites to gig nights, seeing hundreds of new and different pages each day has warmed our hearts. (Scroll down to see our six favorite Start Pages).

But, it’s also filled our inboxes, as heaps of you have been kind enough to reach out and provide feedback. That’s kept our team busy, building lots of new features and tools to improve Start Page.

Five Start Page improvements

Rather than work through a lengthy list of features, we thought customers might want, we decided to focus on specific features customers asked us to build. (This is among the many lessons we learned building a new product.)

Fueled by your feedback, we’ve concentrated on building five new features we hope you all will love!

1. The GIF gallery

Catch the eye by adding a GIF to your background. You can pick one of the 15 we pre-selected or browse thousands of different GIFs in Giphy’s library. From relaxing beach scenes to memorable memes, you can style your Start Page however you like.

Our hand-picked GIFs were selected because they meet Accessibility Best Practices meaning they look great, while containing subtle motion, and no flashing animations.

5 Start Page Updates to Help You Grow Your Brand
Create an eye-catching Start Page with GIFs.

2. Promote latest YouTube uploads

Many of us who publish regularly on YouTube struggle with one thing—gaining views for new videos.

The algorithm is great at promoting old content that viewers like, but newer content often gets missed. We think Start Page can help.

With the new YouTube Video block, you can link to your recent YouTube uploads. Now, every time you upload a new video, it’ll be showcased automatically on your Start Page. It’s a fantastic way to ensure your audience won’t miss your latest work.

5 Start Page Updates to Help You Grow Your Brand
Displaying the latest Buffer YouTube uploads on my Start Page.

3. Showcase links to products or content

Ever wanted a simple landing page to link to your most-loved products, or best-performing content? Well, now Start Page can do just that.

With the Image Links Grid, you can upload images to a grid and link them to the relevant web page. Personally, I might use this to link to some recent book reviews, but I can’t wait to see how else it’s used. Here are a few ideas. 💡

  • Cinemas promoting tickets to the latest films. 🍿
  • Yoga instructors showcasing a range of classes. 🧘‍♀️
  • Fashion brands unveiling a new range of t-shirts. 👕
  • Local builders revealing the services it offers. 🧱
  • Taxi companies promoting discount deals. 🚕
  • Cafes linking to upcoming events. ☕️
5 Start Page Updates to Help You Grow Your Brand
Using the new Image Links Grid to link to recent book reviews.

4. Embed songs & podcasts with Spotify

Last year, Spotify broke the 300 million users mark for the first time, cementing its position as the world’s biggest music streaming platform. So, working on a Spotify embed feature was a no-brainer for us.

There are a few obvious use cases, like musicians looking to promote their songs, but also for creators needing to showcase a podcast. Perhaps you create a new Start Page to list your favorite new artists!

5 Start Page Updates to Help You Grow Your Brand
Embedding four popular podcast episodes to my Start Page.

5. Style your Start Page your way

Picking a style that’s right for your brand can be tough, so we’ve developed 16 different themes to match your look.

Each theme is styled with a unique background color, button color, and font to make the page stand out. Want even more control? No problem, use the hex code color picker to find the right shade for you.

5 Start Page Updates to Help You Grow Your Brand
Selecting one of 16 themes for my Start Page.

Six stand-out Start Pages

Six months since launching, over 12,500 Start Pages have been created. Here are some of our favorites.

Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon share their updated weekly menu with mouth-watering pictures.

5 Start Page Updates to Help You Grow Your Brand

Forever Duke keep alumni connected with recent posts, a Spotify Playlist, plus relevant YouTube videos.

5 Start Page Updates to Help You Grow Your Brand
Forever Duke Start Page

Waka Bahule shares her latest music with fans.

5 Start Page Updates to Help You Grow Your Brand

Non-GMO Project share latest news, collect donations, and grow newsletter subscribers.

5 Start Page Updates to Help You Grow Your Brand

Dinnerly attract new customers with their latest dishes.

5 Start Page Updates to Help You Grow Your Brand

Plumber Parts links to his latest YouTube videos.

5 Start Page Updates to Help You Grow Your Brand

We want to promote your Start Page!

At Buffer, we’re in the businesses of helping small businesses and creators succeed. That’s why we want to promote your Start Page on our site.

Each month, we’ll be showcasing 10 of our favorite Start Pages in the carousel, helping you attract more visitors and boost your SEO.

Want us to feature your Start Page? Fill out our 60 second survey.

Create your own Start Page, for free, in three minutes(or less)!

https://buffer.com/resources/grow-your-brand/

Do Instagram Carousels Get More Engagement? (Yes, but it’s Complex)

Do Instagram Carousels Get More Engagement? (Yes, but it’s Complex)

We recently launched direct Instagram carousels scheduling in Buffer. Now you can scheduled carousel posts to be published automatically in Instagram—no need for reminders.

Buffer customers have been asking for carousel direct scheduling for a while (it was the most requested feature in our last customer survey), and we’re not surprised! There’s lots of evidence suggesting that carousel posts generate more engagements than image or video posts.

But is this really the case?

To find out, we analyzed the 184 posts @Buffer published on Instagram over the past year.

TL;DR, here are the results:

  • Engagement rate for carousels was 2.37% higher than other posts.
  • Our best performing post of the year was a carousel post.
  • That’s despite only 1/4 of posts featuring carousels.
  • Carousel posts were also saved 2x more than other posts.

Looks great, right? Well, it’s a little more complex than that.

On average, our carousel posts received fewer comments and likes. But that’s likely due to our posting schedule rather than the carousel itself. Read on to learn more. 👇

Focus on engagement rate, not average engagement

The engagement rate for our carousel posts was 2.37% higher than other posts.

  • Engagement rate for carousels: 3.45%
  • Engagement rate for other posts: 3.37%

And yet, on average, carousel posts received fewer likes and comments.

  • Average likes for image posts: 129
  • Average likes for video posts: 128
  • Average likes for carousel posts: 87

How can this be?

Well, it’s important to look at impressions when analyzing engagements. Your audience can only like and comment on your posts if they see the post in the first place. If your audience can’t see it, they can’t engage.

But, why might someone miss your post? Well the Instagram algorithm won’t show every post, to every follower. Instead they’ll show a custom feed based on when posts were published and how posts perform.

This means our audience might miss our carousel posts if we don’t publish consistently, or if we publish at the wrong time of day. That’ll reduce the impressions, and the engagements.

So, instead of measuring average engagements, we measure engagement rate:

  • Engagement rate = (comments + clicks + likes + reactions) ÷ impressions

Because the engagement rate takes into account impressions we can see how our audience acts once they’ve seen the post.

Now we know that if our audience sees a carousel post (vs. a video or image), they’re more likely to engage with it.

Do Instagram Carousels Get More Engagement? (Yes, but it’s Complex)

Consistently creating carousels

Before Instagram carousel direct scheduling was available in Buffer, we had to set reminders to schedule carousels on Instagram—opening up the Instagram app every time we wanted to publish.

Rather than making carousels a core component of our social media calendar, we had to shoehorn them in when we found time.

With this infrequent posting schedule, we think our carousels weren’t always published at the optimum time. Meaning they didn’t get the impressions they deserved.

Do Instagram Carousels Get More Engagement? (Yes, but it’s Complex)

Today, we can directly schedule Instagram carousels.

We can add them to our Buffer queue to make sure they are published at the optimal time for engagement. Rather than publishing whenever we are online and available, we can let Buffer take care of the scheduling and publish at a time that’s right for our audience.

We’d love your feedback

Do Instagram carousels perform better for your account? Will you use add carousels to your queue? Do you have any suggestions for what we should build next?

Let us know by sending us a tweet @buffer or by dropping us a note, using our feature request form.

https://buffer.com/resources/do-instagram-carousels-get-more-engagement/

A Better Way to Save Your Social Posts for Later

A Better Way to Save Your Social Posts for Later

Ideas for social content can strike at any time (does anyone else think of them right before going to sleep?) but they’re rarely fully formed or immediately ready to share.

You might need to create a new video, flesh out some copy, or run your idea past another person. Plus, there are just about a hundred ways to save posts for later: spreadsheets, word documents, notes apps, post-it-notes, written on your hand — we’ve seen it all.

When the content is polished up and ready to go, you would then copy it over to a social media management tool or directly to your social accounts.

There are two problems here:

  1. You have to download and upload media from one place to another, which is annoying and time-consuming.
  2. There’s room for error when you’re copying things over. Did it copy over correctly? Did you schedule it for the correct time?

At Buffer we’re on a mission to make this process easier for you, starting with some major improvements to our drafts feature.

The new drafts experience in Buffer

With the new-and-improved drafts experience, you’ll be able to:

  • Plan and save content ideas for later across your devices. You can create drafts on mobile or desktop, and they’ll be synced together.
  • Add drafts to specific time slots in your calendar, so that you can plan out your social schedule ahead of time.
  • Save and schedule drafts with any Buffer plan, including our free plan.

Our goal is to help you jot down your ideas, revisit them, refine them, and schedule them — all in one place — in your own time.

Read on for more details about how it works!

Create drafts from anywhere

It doesn’t matter whether you’re using the Buffer mobile app, the calendar view on desktop, or the traditional queue view – if you’re composing a post, you’ll have the option to save it as a draft or add it to your queue.

A Better Way to Save Your Social Posts for Later
Create drafts from anywhere

Save or schedule drafts

Sometimes you may want to add a draft for a specific time in your calendar, and other times you may want to save a draft to a backlog of ideas instead. Scheduling drafts works the same way as scheduling posts. You can click on a slot in your queue or calendar to create a draft for that time, or you can create a custom time for your draft. Drafts with scheduled times act as “placeholders”; they will never be published until they’re added to the queue as a finished post.

Turning a draft into a finished post

You can review your drafts for a channel by going to the queue and opening the Drafts tab. Once you’re feeling good about a draft and it’s ready to be scheduled as a post, simply add it to the queue. This will “confirm” the draft as a finished post, and it will be published at your chosen time.

A Better Way to Save Your Social Posts for Later
Turning a draft into a finished post

Collaborating on drafts as a team

If you have a Team or Agency plan, you can set up permissions for your team members so that they can submit drafts for approval before they’re published. Account owners and team members with full posting access can edit all drafts, delete all drafts, and move all drafts to the queue. Team members with restricted access are can edit their own drafts, delete their own drafts, and request approval for their own drafts.

Drafts are free

While collaboration workflows are available for Team and Agency customers, if you’re a “team-of-one” and use our Free or Essentials plan, you’ll still be able to save, edit, and schedule drafts.

A Better Way to Save Your Social Posts for Later
Drafts are free

More to come

Content creation is THE hardest part of a winning social media strategy, and drafting content is just one small step in that process. Helping you create quality content is going to be a big focus for us this year, so stay tuned for more features and updates.

Do you have any questions or thoughts about the new draft experience? Tag us in a tweet – we'd love to hear from you.

Happy drafting! ✏️

https://buffer.com/resources/draft-social-content/

TikTok Reminders: Plan and Schedule TikToks in Advance

TikTok Reminders: Plan and Schedule TikToks in Advance

TikTok was the most downloaded app of 2021. It now has more than one billion users.

Did any of us at Buffer predict such a rapid rise when TikTok first landed on our radar?

For fun, I did a quick search of our Slack archives to see if I could find out. The first mention of TikTok was by Ash Read, our former Head of Content, in August of 2018. TikTok had just acquired Musical.ly as an entry point into the U.S. market.

TikTok Reminders: Plan and Schedule TikToks in Advance
A screenshot of the first mention of TikTok in our marketing Slack channel.

The next mention was in November 2018, when another former teammate of mine, Alfred Lua, was working on a blog post about the 21 Top Social Media Sites to Consider for Your Brand. At that point, TikTok was number ten on the list with 500 million monthly active users, just behind Tumblr and just ahead of Twitter.

TikTok Reminders: Plan and Schedule TikToks in Advance
A screenshot of the next mention of TikTok, a couple of months later.
TikTok Reminders: Plan and Schedule TikToks in Advance
The only response to whether anyone was using TikTok.

Fast forward back to today and TikTok is nipping at the heels of incumbent platforms like Facebook and Instagram and has grown in a way that I would never have imagined. It’s also now the most visited domain on the internet, ending Google’s fifteen-year reign.

It doesn’t seem to be slowing down either. With the rise of short-form videos, powerful creator tools, and features that drive virality inside and outside of the platform, TikTok achieved more than forty percent growth last year.

It’s not only content creators and influencers that are sharing TikToks every day. Businesses of all kinds are taking advantage of TikTok’s capacity to deliver a vast amount of organic reach in a short space of time. With the right plan and creative execution, there are opportunities abound to build a massive audience (without the need for a massive budget).

I’ve been learning this first hand from Buffer customers, thanks to a steady stream of feature requests, asking for an integration with TikTok. And, of course, it makes sense. Like every other social platform, you get the best results if you plan your content ahead of time and post consistently.

TikTok Reminders: Plan and Schedule TikToks in Advance
A few of the feature requests we've received for TikTok scheduling.

People were so keen for us to integrate with TikTok, they even started sharing product mockups to inspire our designers.

TikTok Reminders: Plan and Schedule TikToks in Advance
A "mock-up" that was sent to us by a customer.

So, we started thinking. What is the fastest and most valuable way that we can help marketers plan and schedule their TikTok videos, today?

Using reminders to help with TikTok planning

Two of our product principles are to keep things simple and to add value incrementally (we don’t wait to add everything at once).

With that in mind, we looked at how we currently support Instagram Stories scheduling. Perhaps we could replicate a similar workflow.

The way it works is:

  1. You upload your video content to Buffer.
  2. Then choose a date and time you’d like to publish the post.
  3. When that time comes, Buffer sends a reminder notification to your phone, with everything ready for you to finish the post in the app.

This “reminder” workflow is already very familiar for social media marketers and in the graph below you can see how it has grown in popularity among our customers. About 19,000 Instagram Story reminders are created and scheduled through Buffer every month.

TikTok Reminders: Plan and Schedule TikToks in Advance
Instagram Story Reminders have been trending upwards

Given the success of Instagram Story reminders, creating something similar seemed like a natural first foray into the world of TikTok.

Moving fast with mobile

TikTok is a mobile-first platform, with the vast majority of content coming straight from the creator's phone. So when it comes to scheduling, we decided to build TikTok Reminders into our mobile apps, to begin with. We considered adding to our web platform too, but in the spirit of building quickly and adding value incrementally, we’re excited to release it on mobile and then add it to web once we have more feedback and advice from our customers.

Andy, one of our iOS engineers, was able to whip up the first prototype in less than two hours.

TikTok Reminders: Plan and Schedule TikToks in Advance
Julia, one of our customer advocates, was excited to see the prototype!

From there, we fleshed out the prototype over the course of about a month, tested the finished product internally, and submitted it to the Apple app store and Google Play store for review.

How TikTok Reminders work

With Buffer’s mobile app you can plan and schedule your TikTok videos in advance, alongside the rest of your social content. It’s pretty simple; upload your video, add a caption, and schedule a posting time. When the time comes, we’ll send you a notification to publish the video on TikTok.

Step 1: Load your TikTok content into Buffer.

Select TikTok under the Reminders section of the navigation panel. From there you can create your TikTok post by adding media and a caption.

TikTok Reminders: Plan and Schedule TikToks in Advance
TikTok Reminders are now in the navigation drawer of the Buffer mobile app
TikTok Reminders: Plan and Schedule TikToks in Advance
Add your media and your caption to the post in Buffer.

Step 2: Schedule a time to post to TikTok.

Choose the date and time to receive a reminder to post.

TikTok Reminders: Plan and Schedule TikToks in Advance
Choose a date and time to get a reminder notification.

Step 3: Finish the post in TikTok.

When it’s time to post your TikTok, Buffer will send you a push notification that will guide you to the TikTok app to publish your content.

TikTok Reminders: Plan and Schedule TikToks in Advance
Buffer will prepare the post and prompt you to open TikTok to finish the post.

Getting started with TikTok

TikTok can be a little daunting if you’re not familiar with the platform. But don’t worry, you don’t need to be a great dancer or video genius to kickstart your TikTok presence. I’ve compiled some of my favorite TikTok marketing resources below. I hope you find them useful!

  1. TikTok Creative Playbook for Small Businesses [PDF] – TikTok
  2. Small Wins: How small businesses are unlocking the magic of TikTok – TikTok
  3. 41 TikTok Video Ideas For Small Businesses – Lightricks
  4. How to Use TikTok Marketing to Make Your Business Go Viral [Youtube Video] – Shopify
  5. A Guide to TikTok for Ecommerce Businesses – ReferralCandy

We’d love your feedback

TikTok is a new area for Buffer and we’d love to understand more about how we can help you save time and grow your TikTok presence. Would you like to schedule reminders through our web dashboard, too? Are we missing anything from our mobile app? What sort of advice and resources would you like to see from us?

Let us know by sending us a tweet @buffer or by dropping us a note (or mockup!) using our feature request form.

https://buffer.com/resources/tiktok-reminders/

New: Access Dropbox, Google Drive, and One Drive From Right Within Buffer

New: Access Dropbox, Google Drive, and One Drive From Right Within Buffer

Everyone has their own workflow for creating social media content. In writing, authors who plan out their plot in advance are called “plotters,” while others who fly by the seat of their pants are called “pantsers.” No matter your style when it comes to social media content — personally, I’m more of a plotter, but I love the pantsers I know —  we want to support you.

Now, with just a few clicks, you can import content directly into Buffer from Dropbox, Google Drive, and One Drive. Alongside our recent Canva integration — it has become easier than ever to create and publish social media posts without having to leave Buffer.

More about this new integration with Dropbox, Google Drive, and One Drive

This integration is rolled out to every Buffer plan, meaning it’s also available if you’re on our Free plan.

To get started uploading content to Buffer from any of these integrations, simply log in to your Buffer account and create a new post. You’ll see the buttons for Dropbox, Google Drive, and One Drive right next to Canva.

New: Access Dropbox, Google Drive, and One Drive From Right Within Buffer
Here's what it looks like to bring in content from Google Drive, right from our composer.

For more information about setting up this connection, check out this Help Center article.

What’s next

We’re keen to continue helping small business owners save time while uploading, creating, and publishing content, which is why we’re planning on adding more value with new features.

Over the next few months, our team will continue iterating on this integration as well as working on native image editing functionality, such as cropping, rotating, sharpening, and more. Have a request? Reach out and share it!

Other resources:

So what kind of social media content creator are you — a plotter or a pantser? Send us a tweet to let us know. We hope this new integration makes your workflow easier either way! 👖

https://buffer.com/resources/content-integrations/

New from Buffer: Start Page

New from Buffer: Start Page

The past year and a half has shown many of us that small businesses are too often the unsung heroes of our world. For almost 11 years now, we’ve remained committed to serving small businesses at Buffer. Earlier this year, we decided to make an expanded effort to help small businesses by making something even more accessible for people starting out and going broader in the types of problems we help solve.  

Today, we’re launching Start Page by Buffer for anyone who wants to create a beautiful, mobile-friendly landing page in minutes and update it in seconds, and it’s free.

We’ve built Buffer’s publishing, analytics, and engagement features with small businesses in mind. Now, we’re exploring something adjacent to social media to help with another big challenge we know small businesses face — properly leveraging that one key link that we all get on our social media profiles.  

There are a large number of link-in-bio tools available but we wanted to build something different, something that gives small businesses and individual creators the flexibility and power to create a beautiful page to showcase their brand through products, content, events, or announcements, all from one link.  

Start Page lets you quickly generate a landing page and URL for your business, no matter what type of business you have. Combined with our social media tools, Start Page creates a powerful toolset to start marketing your business.

How Start Page works

Simply go to buffer.com/start-page to begin building your Start Page, if you don’t yet have a Buffer account, you can set one up for free.  

You can start adding boxes for text, images, videos, social links, and more, right into our editor to create the layout you want, or you can choose from one of our pre-made templates. From there, you can customize page colors and style as well as add your own images, GIFs, and logos.

Once you’ve created and customized your page simply hit publish to claim your unique URL and start sharing it in your social profiles, email signatures, and marketing campaigns.

What’s next for Start Page

We’ve already heard from several businesses and individuals that they love Start Page, and we’re thrilled to continue evolving Start Page as more and more people use it as the home for their business. On our radar is custom domains, adding analytics for page views, and making even more themes.

We’d love to hear from you! If you’ve given Start Page a try, how’s it going? What would you like to see us add to it? Get in touch with us on Twitter to share your thoughts and feedback.

https://buffer.com/resources/start-page/

Introducing a New Social Media Calendar

Introducing a New Social Media Calendar

Back in 2015, we launched our first social media calendar. We were so excited to bring a new way of planning and scheduling to Buffer, and it proved to be a favorite feature among customers.

Since then, Buffer has changed a lot. We’ve re-designed our interface and added new planning features, like Stories Scheduling, Campaigns, and Hashtag Manager. Inevitably, our calendar started to feel a little dated and out-of-sync with the rest of Buffer. It even began living on a completely separate codebase, which made it difficult for engineers to make updates and fixes.

What started as a quiet call for improvements became a chorus of feedback from customers. In fact, the word “calendar” has appeared a whopping 247 times in our feature request form since the start of 2020.

The most common theme? Having all social media channels visible in one global calendar view. Here are a few examples:

Introducing a New Social Media Calendar

So, our design team got to work; interviewing customers, looking at existing usage patterns, and digging deeper into the ideal experience. This is how we summed it up in our design brief:

Introducing a New Social Media Calendar

Which brings us to today, many prototypes later, launching a brand new calendar experience that's available on free and paid Buffer plans.

Let's take a closer look!

Total planning visibility

The new calendar sits within your publishing dashboard and you can access it from the menu on the left-hand side of the dashboard. You can choose between a weekly or monthly view.

The weekly view shows you the key details of each post you’ve scheduled for the week; the channel to which it is scheduled, a preview of the text, and a thumbnail of your image.

Introducing a New Social Media Calendar

The monthly view gives you a higher-level snapshot of the month with timestamps for every scheduled post. It’s a great way to spot and fill gaps in your strategy.

Introducing a New Social Media Calendar

If you want to exclude certain channels from the calendar, you can use the Channels dropdown to choose which channels are shown.

Introducing a New Social Media Calendar

To add a new post to your calendar use the Create Post button. This will pop open the composer, where you can choose the scheduled time.

Note: we're currently exploring other ways to add and rearrange posts; for example by clicking on a timeslot and dragging and dropping. We'd love to hear whether this is important to you!

Check your calendar anywhere, anytime

The new calendar is built into our iOS and Android apps. It’s the quickest way to stay in sync with everything you have scheduled and add content on the go.

Introducing a New Social Media Calendar

Much more to come

We’re excited to hear your feedback and to add more power to the new calendar. What should we add next? How can we make it twice as good? We have some ideas, including:

  • Dragging and dropping posts around the calendar.
  • Creating a post by clicking on a timeslot.
  • Viewing and filtering Campaigns.

Share your thoughts

Excited about the new calendar? Have some ideas for us? Send us a tweet @buffer or use the Share Feedback button we’ve added right above the new calendar in your Buffer dashboard.

Introducing a New Social Media Calendar

https://buffer.com/resources/new-social-media-calendar/

Introducing Our Canva Integration: Design and Share Visual Content Instantly

Introducing Our Canva Integration: Design and Share Visual Content Instantly

If you’re building your own business or work in social media, chances are you’ve heard of Canva. It’s the do-it-yourself design platform that has taken the world by storm, with more than 50 million people using it every month to create graphics and other visuals.

Today, we’re excited to share that you can now use Canva and Buffer together to create and publish social media posts, without having to leave Buffer. You get the best of Canva’s design features and the best of Buffer’s social publishing features in one place. Hooray!

Before I dive into how the integration works, I’d love to share a little bit more about why we love Canva and why it made sense for us to add this integration.

Making it faster to share great content

Buffer customers are already using Canva to design images and graphics for their social channels, taking advantage of the 14,000+ social post templates that Canva offers. Why not make it quicker to bring those designs into Buffer? With this integration, you’ll no longer have to download images from Canva and then upload them to Buffer. You can now add them directly to a post in Buffer with just a few clicks.

Keeping it user friendly and accessible

Canva’s mission is to empower anyone to design, no matter how much actual design experience you have. When we speak to our customers, we often hear that they love using both Buffer and Canva because both tools are easy-to-use, intuitive, and affordable. We’re excited to bring these tools together to create a streamlined process for everyone, no matter your skill level.

Growth and innovation

Canva is growing fast and adding lots of incredible new features to its design platform. We’re thrilled to bring those features to Buffer through this new integration.

Creating content is one of the hardest and most time-consuming parts of any marketer's life, especially if you’re wearing many hats while trying to grow your business. Canva is a life-saver for spinning up visual content without the help of a designer. We couldn’t be more excited to add Canva to Buffer.

A closer look at Buffer’s new Canva integration

Canva is available on all plans, including our Free plan, and it’s super easy to get started. If you don’t have a Canva account, you’ll need to create one at Canva.com first. If you have a Canva account, you’ll just need to make sure you’re logged in while you’re using Buffer.

Creating a new Canva design in Buffer
The new Canva integration is built into the publishing experience in Buffer. When you open the Buffer composer to create a new post and use the Add Image button, you’ll now see a new dropdown menu with the option to add an image from Canva. Selecting this option opens up the Canva editor, where you can create your image and add it directly to Buffer.

Introducing Our Canva Integration: Design and Share Visual Content Instantly

Buffer will automatically detect the appropriate image dimensions for you, based on the channel you have selected in the composer.

These are default sizes:

  • Facebook: 940 x 788
  • Instagram Post: 1080 x 1080
  • Instagram Story: 1080 x 1920
  • Twitter: 1600 x 900
  • LinkedIn: 1200 x 627
  • Pinterest: 1000 x 1500

If you’re composing a post for multiple social platforms at once, for example, Instagram and Twitter, the image dimensions default to a 1080 x 1080 square. This is the most compatible size across all social platforms.

Importing an existing Canva design into Buffer
If you have pre-existing designs in your Canva library, you can add those to Buffer too. The first time you use the integration, you’ll need to click on Folders in the menu on the left-hand side, and then All your designs. This will add it to the menu for future use.

Introducing Our Canva Integration: Design and Share Visual Content Instantly

For more details on getting set up, feel free to read our help center guide.

Tips and resources for designing with Canva

One of the best things about Canva is that it’s easy to pick up and use right away. You don’t need any formal design training; it’s made for non-designers. That said, if you’re looking for some help getting started, Canva offers excellent tutorials in their design school.

They also offer courses specifically about creating social media content. Social media mastery is a popular one, with more than 140,000 students already.

Other resources

We’d love your feedback!

Canva is available on all Buffer plans today and we’d love to know what you think. Share your thoughts with us on social and don’t forget to tag @buffer!

https://buffer.com/resources/canva-integration/

Introducing a Better Way to Engage With Your Instagram Audience

Introducing a Better Way to Engage With Your Instagram Audience

What if I told you engaging with your customers on Instagram can double or triple your revenue?

That’s exactly what happened to Southern Elegance Candle Co. as its founder and CEO D’Shawn Russell told us:

“Our social media makes us a lot of money… We went from doing maybe $20,000-30,000 a month just posting pretty images to well over a $100,000 a month now simply by engaging people more.”

Russel and Southern Elegance Candle Co aren’t alone. Brands like Glossier (which attributes 70% of its growth to owned, earned, peer-to-peer, or organic channels), MadHappy, and Sass & Belle, focus on responding to almost every customer on Instagram.

So it can be incredibly powerful to focus on engagement. But how do you actually stay on top of every comment?

After working and testing with thousands of customers, we have developed a solution that is truly focused on enabling you to build better relationships and a stronger brand on Instagram.

We are excited to share it’s available to all Buffer customers today!

(If you are not a Buffer customer yet, you can get started at just $15 per month.)

Introducing Instagram engagement in Buffer

Every time an Instagram comment goes unanswered, an opportunity to create a lifelong customer is lost.

The problem?

Staying on top of these interactions is really hard.

Notifications from Instagram quickly disappear and important comments slip through the cracks. And we get why — no one has the time to hang out on Instagram 24/7. Your time is precious, and we’re here to help you win it back.

With this latest addition, you’ll be able to reply to more comments, stay on top of important interactions, and turn your followers into fans. All from the comfort of your Buffer dashboard.

Introducing a Better Way to Engage With Your Instagram Audience

Never miss a comment

It’s really easy to miss new comments among the likes, follows, and mention notifications on Instagram. For most small business owners and marketers, this means checking Instagram regularly to keep a close eye on important comments.

We have experienced this ourselves with our own Instagram account and have heard the same from many customers. And that’s why our engagement features are built specifically to help you stay on top of all your comments.

There are all the benefits of community building and engagement but it’s also a huge time saver for me. I can’t tell you how helpful it has been.

Introducing a Better Way to Engage With Your Instagram Audience

Right at the top, you can immediately see how many unanswered comments you have. The familiar grid view make it super easy and quick for you to jump to the respective Instagram posts to respond to a comment.

You can quickly reply to as many comments as possible, and if there’s a comment that doesn’t need a respose you can easily dismiss it by clicking on the checkmark beside the comment, and it will be considered as “answered”.

Course creator and artist Tamer Ghoneim shared with us, “it’s really important to me to try to reply to every comment but finding them was impossible, notifications expire, and I just didn’t have a good way to manage comments on Instagram. I can’t begin to tell you how happy I was when saw the engagement features in Buffer. I literally spent hours if not days looking for something like this. There are all the benefits of community building and engagement but it’s also a huge time saver for me. I can’t tell you how helpful it has been.”

Prioritize important conversations

Notifications in Instagram are shown in a reverse-chronological order. So for most people you’ll see the latest notifications first and likely work your way through in the order they are displayed.

But the latest notification might not be the most important or urgent one to respond to. There could be a comment about a major issue with an order or a comment from an influencer asking about your products—hidden somehow in the middle of all your notifications. These are the comments you might want to prioritize.

With Buffer, you can do just that. We use a mix of filtering and machine learning to identify three types of comments that you might want to check out first:

  1. Negative comments
  2. Comments about an order
  3. Comments with a question
Introducing a Better Way to Engage With Your Instagram Audience

Posts with one or more of these comment types will have a label so that you can spot it right away. No more scrolling and searching. Just click on the post and jump right over to answer the comment.

“We use the Engage tool on a daily basis to ensure we never miss a comment or question from our community. I really like how it flags out comments that may be an issue or that is potentially an important question that we may have missed,” said Stephanie Kaluza, the social media manager of Sass & Belle.

The fastest way to engage on Instagram

Time is one of the most important assets for small businesses. There are always so many things to do and so little time. We want to help small business owners and marketers take back their time so that they can work on other parts of their business and also contribute back to their communities.

First, being able to reply to comments on a laptop and desktop allows you to get through the comments much faster than doing so on a mobile app—without compromising on the quality and thoughtfulness of the response.

“It is difficult to stay on top of Instagram, especially since as a full-time marketer, I’m on a laptop/desktop most of the time and IG is so mobile device oriented. You can’t do everything on the platform from a desktop. Bravo for Buffer’s ingenuity!” Beverly McLean, CTC, Director of Social Media at Covington Travel told us.

Second, there are hotkeys to help speed up your engagement:

  • Use the Up and Down arrow keys to navigate your comments
  • Hit CTRL + D to dismiss comments
  • Hit ENTER to send a reply (and you’ll automatically be brought to the next comment)
Introducing a Better Way to Engage With Your Instagram Audience

Finally, sometimes you might just want to respond with a quick emoji (especially when responding to an emoji comment). Buffer studies the emojis you use most often and suggests them to you when you are responding to a comment.

Build a lifetime audience

For many years, businesses have simply focused on publishing lots and lots of content. The ones that have been able to build a community of loyal following are those that understand our human instinct to connect and socialize.

While many businesses are not being super responsive on social media, this is an easy way to stand out from the crowd, impress your fans, and build a relationship.

If you have a Buffer (Publish) subscription, this has been added to your account for free! Simply click “Engagement” in the upper-left corner to start engaging your fans on Instagram—right within Buffer.

Otherwise, we would love for you to try Buffer for free for 14 days.  


FAQs

Do I have to pay extra for this feature?

Nope. If you have a Buffer (Publish) subscription, this has been added to your subscription for free. If you are not a Buffer customer yet, you can get started here at just $15/month.

Can I use this for Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn?

We are working on integrating with Facebook right now, so that you’ll be able to reply to comments on your Facebook Page. We do not have a timeline for Twitter and LinkedIn yet.

Does this work for all Instagram profiles?

This only works for Instagram business profiles. If you are using an Instagram personal profile for your business, you could consider converting to a business profile to take advantage of this feature (and our publishing and analytics features).

https://buffer.com/resources/buffer-engagement/

More Data, Better Results: Introducing LinkedIn Analytics and More

More Data, Better Results: Introducing LinkedIn Analytics and More

Success on social media can often feel like a secret science. Something that only the few can achieve. But creating a successful social media strategy is a skill that can be learned. Mastered, even.

And you don’t need a flashy brand or a big budget.

What you need is a deep understanding of what your audience cares about, and how to get your content in front of them in the right places at the right times.

That’s why analytics are so important. Analytics help you to make better decisions and get better results. And today, I’m excited to announce our latest feature:

Analytics for LinkedIn Pages!

Together with our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter integrations, this makes Buffer’s analytics an all-in-one solution for these four popular social networks for businesses.

Want to see what’s new and why 3,000 customers use our analytics to boost their social media strategy?

Let’s take a look.


Buffer’s social media analytics and reporting solution

If you have been using Buffer for your social media planning and scheduling but not measurement and reporting, I think you’ll be thrilled to try our analytics. The analytics in Buffer lets you track your performance, analyze your posts, and report your results. Ultimately, we want to give you more data and help you get better results.

More Data, Better Results: Introducing LinkedIn Analytics and More

Let’s talk about the new feature first.

How to analyze and report your LinkedIn performance

We intentionally designed our analytics to be simple so that you can easily get what you need and create reports in a few clicks. For this feature, we managed to work with the LinkedIn team as we built it.

“I’m excited about this new feature by Buffer because we have seen many small businesses leverage their LinkedIn Page to build thought leadership and recruit new teammates. This new feature will help them understand what’s working so that they can get better results on LinkedIn,” said Ting Ba, the Group Product Marketing Manager of LinkedIn Pages.

Here’s a quick 2-min video walkthrough of using Buffer to analyze your LinkedIn posts and showcase your results. If you prefer a more in-depth explanation, feel free to read on.

This new feature will help [small businesses] understand what’s working so that they can get better results on LinkedIn.

– Ting Ba, Group Product Marketing Manager, LinkedIn Pages

1. Know what’s working to optimize your LinkedIn strategy

If you know what content resonates with your followers, you can create more of those content to engage your followers and grow your following.

But how do you know what’s connecting with your followers?

Buffer allows you to easily see your top-performing posts sorted by your most important metric: impressions, likes, comments, shares, or engagement rate.

More Data, Better Results: Introducing LinkedIn Analytics and More

I like to sort my posts by engagement rate because it tells me how often people engaged with a post after seeing it. To me, a high engagement rate is a sign that the content resonated with my followers. But you can also sort your posts by other metrics, depending on the goals of your strategy. There is no one-size-fits-all answer here.

Once you have sorted your posts, you can immediately see which posts have performed the best (according to your chosen metric). Next, analyze the top posts to see if there’s a clear recipe for success. Think about:

  • What’s special about these posts?
  • Is there a post type (e.g. video, image, article, text) that my audience seems to prefer?
  • Is there a topic that my audience seems to like?
  • When were the posts published? Is there a trend?

To make things even easier for you, Buffer analyzes your posts for you to tell you which day, post type, and posting frequency gave you the highest engagement rate. This lets you experiment with different posting strategies without the hassle of analyzing your posts yourself.

More Data, Better Results: Introducing LinkedIn Analytics and More

2. Understand your LinkedIn growth and results

After you have analyzed your posts and come up with more content, you would also want to know if the new posts are bringing in better results.

  • Are we getting more followers?
  • Is the number of impressions growing month-on-month?
  • Or simply, did all the metrics increase?

There are several ways to do this in Buffer, depending on what you want to achieve:

First, if you want a quick overview of your LinkedIn Page performance, you can this at a glance under the Overview tab. This is a summary of your Page’s key metrics and how they have changed compared with the previous period.

More Data, Better Results: Introducing LinkedIn Analytics and More

Second, if you want to see how these metrics have changed over time, you can look at the metrics insights chart under the Overview tab. This is one of our customers’ favorites because they can visually see the growth of the metrics. It is also a great chart to show others in your reports.

More Data, Better Results: Introducing LinkedIn Analytics and More

Finally, if you want to see how your posts have performed on aggregate, you can look at the post summary table under the Posts tab. It tells you the number of impressions, likes, etc. received by your posts and how those metrics have changed compared with the previous period.

More Data, Better Results: Introducing LinkedIn Analytics and More

3. Showcase the value of your work

After all your hard work, you would also want to put together monthly reports to share your results with your team, your manager, or your clients. It is also a great way to show that you understand your numbers.

Every table and chart can be easily added to a social media report in a few clicks.

First, click on the plus button in the upper-right corner of the table or chart.

More Data, Better Results: Introducing LinkedIn Analytics and More

Then, if you want to create a new report, enter the title of the report. If you want to add the chart to an existing report, select the respective report.

More Data, Better Results: Introducing LinkedIn Analytics and More

And there you have it—your social media report! (And not a spreadsheet in sight.)

To make your report more comprehensive, I recommend adding a description of the report and notes for the charts in your report. This will help people who view your report make sense of the data and understand your work.

More Data, Better Results: Introducing LinkedIn Analytics and More

Once the report is ready, you can export it as a PDF file and share it.

Here’s a pro tip: Instead of creating new reports every month, you can simply change the date period of your report to get the updated data.

Everything that I have described above is also available for your Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter channels. You can create multi-channel reports by adding charts from various social channels into the same report. You no longer have to go to each social network to download the data and compile them in a spreadsheet!


A recap of our latest analytics features and improvements

Besides analytics for LinkedIn Pages, we have also added several other analytics features this year, which I thought you might be interested in:

Campaigns

More Data, Better Results: Introducing LinkedIn Analytics and More

Social media is not just about posting X times a day. Top brands plan campaigns that span multiple social networks. You can now plan your social media campaigns and get automated campaign reports in Buffer.

Boosted post insights

More Data, Better Results: Introducing LinkedIn Analytics and More

If you boost your Facebook and Instagram posts, you would want to know how they are performing. How does it compare with your organic results? You can do this comparison right inside Buffer.

Best time to post on Instagram

More Data, Better Results: Introducing LinkedIn Analytics and More

The age-old question: when is the best time to post? Our team developed an in-house statistical model to predict your reach potential on Instagram according to your previous posts and your follower activity. This is personalized to your brand specifically. To save you time, we also suggest the top three dates and times to maximize your reach on Instagram.

Hashtag analytics for first comments

More Data, Better Results: Introducing LinkedIn Analytics and More

While we had hashtag analytics for Instagram posts for a long time, we were not able to analyze the hashtags in the comments. Many customers put their hashtags in the first comment to keep the caption tidy. To ensure that they can also benefit from the hashtag analytics, we made it possible to track and analyze hashtags in the comments.

New date period options for faster reporting

More Data, Better Results: Introducing LinkedIn Analytics and More

Here’s a small improvement that saves lots of time. Previously, the date period options available were “Last 7 days”, “Last 28 days”, “Last 30 days”, and “Last 90 days”. We realized they were not that helpful because what customers really wanted was to look at their data for the week or the month. So we updated the options to “This month”, “Last month”, “This week”, and “Last week”. This has made weekly reviews and monthly reporting much simpler.

Get more data. Make better decisions.

Doing social media without analytics is like running with your eyes closed. You will get somewhere but probably not where you want to go. We want to equip you with the data you need in a simple and accessible way so that you can make better decisions. Better decisions on what content to post to grow your reach and engagement.

If you already have analytics in your Buffer subscription, the new LinkedIn integration is already available to you.

Otherwise, feel free to grab a 14-day trial of Buffer and start making better decisions.


FAQs

Where can I find the analytics in my Buffer account?

If you already have the analytics in your Buffer subscription, click on “Analyze” in the upper-left corner to see your analytics.

I have a Buffer subscription but why do I not have access to the analytics?

It might be because you do not have the analytics in your Buffer subscription. You can try the analytics for free for 14 days before you decide whether you want to keep it.

Can I connect my LinkedIn personal profiles?

It’s currently not possible to connect your LinkedIn personal profiles to Buffer’s analytics. If you need this, would you be up for sharing your feedback with us?

https://buffer.com/resources/linkedin-page-analytics/

Introducing boosted post insights: Compare organic and paid results at a glance

Introducing boosted post insights: Compare organic and paid results at a glance

In just three simple steps, you can boost a post on Facebook and Instagram.

  1. Choose a post
  2. Select an audience
  3. Set your budget

That’s how easy it is.

As organic reach on social media continues to fall, businesses have started to invest more in social media advertising. For some businesses, that’s creating ads. For smaller businesses, the easier approach is often to boost Facebook posts or promote Instagram posts. Here’s why this works so well:

By putting some money behind our organic posts, we can get more results from the same amount of work.

(And if you aren’t advertising yet, boosting your Facebook and Instagram posts is a quick way to get started with advertising on those platforms—before you move into more sophisticated advertising.)

But simply throwing $5 here and $10 there isn’t enough. You need to have a strategy behind your boosted posts, and you also need a way to measure your results to ensure you get the most return on your investment.

That’s why today we’re introducing boosted post insights to Buffer.

(If you are paying for the analytics solution in Buffer, you should have this in your account already!)

How to get the best results from boosting posts

Before we get to analyzing your results, here’s a tip for choosing the best posts to boost:

Choose the posts with the highest engagement rate.

Boosting your posts is essentially paying Facebook and Instagram to show your posts to more people, according to what you have specified as the audience.

So you would want to pick the posts that will most likely generate the most engagement (or clicks depending on your goals). Posts with the highest engagement rate are proven posts. They have generated the most engagement, given the number of times people have seen it.

By boosting a post with a high engagement rate, here’s a higher chance that people who see it off the back of your ad spend will also engage with it.

Here’s a quick way to find your most engaging posts in Buffer to boost:

1. Head over to your analytics by clicking on “Analyze” at the top navigation in your Buffer account

Introducing boosted post insights: Compare organic and paid results at a glance

2. Navigate to the “Posts” tab of your desired Facebook Page or Instagram account

Introducing boosted post insights: Compare organic and paid results at a glance

3. Sort your posts in the “Post insights” table by “Eng. Rate”

Introducing boosted post insights: Compare organic and paid results at a glance

The top few posts on the list will be great candidates for boosting. You should, however, bear in mind what you want to achieve with the boosted post and consider whether the organic post suits that purpose. For example, it will be timelier to boost a post that is meant for a marketing campaign during the campaign than after the campaign.

How to optimize your ad spend

You don’t want to just dump your money on boosted posts and forget about it. You should pay attention to the results of your boosted posts and compare the organic and paid results of your boosted posts to see how your investment has fared.

Why? By understanding the difference in your organic and paid results, you can adjust your ad spend according to the results you want to achieve. For instance, as your organic reach grows, you might want to cut back on boosting posts to a baseline so that most of your reach is from organic posts rather than boosted posts. That’s because building a brand solely through paid advertising isn’t sustainable.

With boosted post insights, there are now a few new ways to monitor your results in Buffer. Let’s run through them!

1. Overview performance

The simplest way is to see how boosting your posts has impacted your overall results. When you visit the Overview tab of a Facebook Page or Instagram account with boosted posts, you can immediately see a breakdown of organic vs paid for key metrics such as impressions and reach.

You can hover over the bar to see the exact breakdown between organic and paid.

Introducing boosted post insights: Compare organic and paid results at a glance

2. Metrics growth

The next way is to track how your key metrics, such as impressions, have grown over time, especially with your boosted posts.

Introducing boosted post insights: Compare organic and paid results at a glance

Are your impressions growing because of more organic impressions or paid impressions? Does that align with your strategy?

3. Post insights

The final way, and the most actionable approach, is to compare the organic and paid results of each boosted post in the “Post insights” table.

Introducing boosted post insights: Compare organic and paid results at a glance

You can also click on the image to see more details of the post.

Introducing boosted post insights: Compare organic and paid results at a glance

Here are a few questions you can think about while you look at these data:

  • How are the paid results relative to the amount spent boosting the posts?
  • Are there any boosted posts with exceptional paid results? Was it the media or the copy that might have caused more people to engage with the post? Or was it the audience setting for the boost? (You might also want to consider boosting such posts again if they are still relevant.)
  • Am I getting the results I want? Should I spend more money boosting posts next month?

If you create monthly or weekly reports, you might also want to include these data. You can simply add them to a new or existing report by clicking on the “plus” button in the upper-right corner of the table or chart.

Make better decisions

There are so many different things to do as a small business. You should be able to have your data at your fingertips so that you can make swift, high-quality decisions. By comparing your organic and paid results in Buffer, you can make better decisions on investing your advertising budget and get more results.

If you value the money you spend boosting your Facebook and Instagram posts, you might enjoy our latest improvement. Try Buffer for free for 14 days and let us know what you think.

To learn more, feel free to check out our help article or join us for our upcoming webinar.


Frequently asked questions

Are ads created through Facebook Ads Manager included?

Not at the moment. After you let Buffer access your ad data, you will only see data for your boosted Facebook and Instagram posts in Buffer. If you would like to see data for your ads created through Facebook Ads Manager in Buffer, let us know!

How often are the data in Buffer updated?

The data for your Facebook Pages and Instagram accounts are updated about every six hours. We are working to improve this so that you get the most updated data whenever you visit Buffer. Also, the data you see in Buffer excludes today’s data.

I’m paying for Buffer. Why do I not see this in my Buffer account?

There are two possible reasons. First, you might not be subscribed to our analytics solution. To get boosted post insights and other analytics and reporting features, you’ll need to add this to your Buffer subscription.

Second, if you are already paying for our analytics solution, you might need to grant Buffer permission to access your ad data. You can do so under settings.

For more specific questions about the feature, see our help article.

https://buffer.com/resources/boosted-post-insights/

Announcing Hashtag Manager: A New Tool to Help You Save and Organize Hashtags for Instagram

Today we’re launching Hashtag Manager to help you save and organize hashtags for Instagram. Get started with Buffer for Instagram here.


Over the years, hashtags have become an important part of any Instagram marketing strategy. By adding hashtags to your content you can help your posts to reach new audiences, boost engagement, and pick up new followers. 

But there’s a problem.

One thing we’ve heard from customers time and time again is how difficult it can be to organize, group and save hashtags.

Some people have groups of hashtags saved on their phone ready to copy and paste to each post before publishing. While others manually re-type hashtags every time they schedule a post. This isn’t a smooth process, and, as many people have told us, it can be time consuming. 

We’ve experienced this first hand while growing our own Instagram account too. So we thought it was high time we created a better way to save and manage hashtags.


Create and save groups of hashtags to use in your Instagram posts

With Hashtag Manager Buffer Premium and Business customers will now be able to create and save groups of hashtags directly within the Buffer composer. 

“Since we could see that customers were primarily using our Instagram first comment feature for hashtags, I wanted Hashtag Manager to feel like a natural extension of that experience,” explains Lauren Chilcote, Senior Product Designer here at Buffer.

The ability to create groups means you can have numerous sets of hashtags based on different segments of your audience or the target audience of your posts. For example, a sports clothing and sneaker brand could have groups for various audience segments: 

  • Runners
  • Gym enthusiasts
  • Sneaker fans 

Experimenting with different hashtag variations could be a great way to unlock additional growth on your Instagram account, and mixing up your hashtags also helps you to stick to Instagram’s best practices (of not using exactly the same hashtags on every single post). 

Whatever your approach, Hashtag Manager helps you build a library of options and get more reach for every post. Not to mention you can now retire your old hashtag docs and notes. 

“We’re hoping to lift the burden of managing many sets of hashtags from a scattered approach with notes and Excel Sheets to a space that lives right next to where you create your posts,” says Suprasanna Mishra, Product Manager here at Buffer.

Schedule hashtags to appear in the first comment to keep your post captions tidy

Not only does Hashtag Manager enable you to streamline your Instagram posting strategy, it also allows you to keep your captions tidy and place hashtags in your first comment. 

This is a hugely popular strategy across Instagram: 

With Buffer Publish, you can now directly schedule your Instagram photo and video posts, including hashtags in the first comment to enhance the potential reach of everything you publish. 

“With the release of Instagram first comment, we saw that nearly every comment was a group of hashtags. This aligned with what we heard through research — that customers were saving groups of hashtags in notes and documents to copy and paste into the composer. I was chomping at the bit to streamline that workflow,” says Lauren. 

“My hope is that Hashtag Manager will help our customers focus their efforts on crafting great content and maximize the number of people they reach with each and every post.”

Lauren Chilcote
Senior Product Designer, Buffer

How to get started with Hashtag Manager

Hashtag Manager is now available to all Buffer Premium and Business customers. To get started, simply open up the Buffer composer, select your Instagram account and click the hashtag symbol in the top right corner. Clicking on this symbol will open Hashtag Manager.

Bonus: Use Shop Grid to add a product page link to your post, and your shoppable page will automatically update with the latest content.

Creating a new hashtag group

You can create a new hashtag group in just a few clicks. To get started, click the ‘Create Hashtag Group’ button:

Enter a name for your group and add the hashtags you’d like to include. Towards the bottom of the content area, you’ll be able to see how many hashtags you have remaining, so that you don’t exceed Instagram’s limit of 30 hashtags per post. Once you’re happy with your hashtags, click Save Hashtag Group.

Adding a hashtag group to your first comment

All of your created hashtag groups will appear within Hashtag Manager as you open it up. To add a group of hashtags to your first comment, hover over the group and click Insert. 

You are able to insert multiple groups, but keep an eye on the hashtag counter to make sure you don’t exceed Instagram’s limit of 30 per post. 

“We want to let customers spend more time creating and serving their valuable content and less time managing the processes around it.”

Suprasanna Mishra
Product Manager, Buffer

Coming soon: A lighter-weight version will also be coming soon to the Publish mobile apps enabling you to insert saved hashtag groups on mobile.


If your business is using Instagram, I’m sure you’ll be familiar with the burden of grouping relevant hashtags, and then pasting or re-typing them into every post manually. With Hashtag Manager, you can de-clutter your processes, and have confidence that every post you publish to Instagram will have the best chance of breaking through. 

To get started streamlining your Instagram hashtag strategy, head this way.

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/bufferapp/~3/xJx8x5ao-9A/hashtag-manager

Introducing SocialChat by Buffer, the Easiest Way to Start Conversations With Website Visitors

Today, we’re excited to launch, SocialChat by Buffer, a simple, free tool that enables visitors to start social media conversations on your website.

Each and every day, people visit your website to learn more about your business.

The problem is a large percentage of websites don’t really support visitors in helping them to find what they want. In reality, most website visits are simply ignored — that was excusable a couple of years back, but not so much now.

People in 2018 don’t want to have to search your website for a contact form or spend ages crafting an email request. In fact, they don’t really want to use traditional social media channels for communication.

Now, it’s all about private, 1:1 messages.

But don’t just take our word for it: Gartner forecasts that by 2019, requests for customer support through consumer mobile messaging apps will exceed requests for customer support through traditional social media.

This is why we built SocialChat.

SocialChat lets your customers start conversations with you on your website, and continue them privately, right where they feel comfortable, via Messenger and Twitter DMs. It can be enabled with just a couple of lines of code. No software or other tools needed!

We’ve been experimenting with SocialChat for a while and are excited about to share this tool with you for a few reasons:

1. The conversation doesn’t have to end when the visitor leaves your site. With SocialChat your website visitors can then easily send you a Facebook message or Twitter DM, and you can turn each visit into an ongoing relationship on social media.

2. It’s human and authentic. Chatbots are pretty awesome, but you just can’t replace the feeling of talking to another person. Chatting through Messenger and Twitter feels super personal as it’s a method used by billions across the globe to chat with friends, and family. A Conversocial study found that over half (59 percent) of people considered interacting with a human agent to be more important than being serviced by a bot or AI-driven resolution.

3. Business has always been social. As Facebook’s David Marcus told USA Today, commerce has always been social: “For so long, doing business was always conversational. Web (e-commerce) is truly an anomaly. It feels good to have a more human relationship when you’re buying things.”

P.S. Check out SocialChat and get started for free here.

Why social messaging is the new normal for customer engagement

When customers started turning to social media for support, it happened on Facebook Pages and public tweets. Now, however, for many brands, the majority of questions and conversations have shifted to private messaging channels.

Here are a couple of reasons for that change:

1. Messaging is convenient, familiar, and fast

Businesses tend to use communication channels that are familiar to consumers.

When a phone call was the number one way to keep in touch, businesses offered phone support and sales. When email took over as the default communication channel, businesses followed. Now that the majority or peer-to-peer communication happens over social messaging apps and products, businesses have again followed suit.

Social messaging is fast becoming the new normal for customer support and engagement. According to a Facebook-commissioned study by Nielsen, 56 percent of people surveyed would rather message a business than call customer service, and 67 percent expect to message businesses even more over the next two years.

By using channels that feel familiar, businesses are able to engage with customers and prospects in channels they feel comfortable with.

Messaging is also quick. Most consumers use a form of messaging app every day — multiple times per day, even — so replying to a thread with a business feels much more natural than heading to their email account.

2. Platforms are embracing private communication

On Messenger alone, there are more than eight billion messages exchanged between consumers and businesses every month.

And platforms are constantly taking steps to make it easier for consumers to connect with brands through direct messages. For example, it’s now very simple to add Messenger buttons to your Facebook Page and Twitter DM direct links to your profile, making it easier than ever for consumers to reach out and talk with your business privately:

And with SocialChat, you can take this one step further and add direct message links directly to your website:

We made it easy and 100 percent free to get started with SocialChat

We built SocialChat because we wanted a free and easy way for businesses to help start conversations with prospects and customers and turn those conversations into ongoing relationships on social media.

Here’s how to get up and running with SocialChat in three simple steps:

Step 1: Customize Your Widget

Go to buffer.com/reply/socialchat and customize the appearance and copy that will display within your widget. 🖱

Step 2: Add the code to your site

Copy your custom embed code to your clipboard and paste it into your website before the closing tag (or ask your website developer to do it for you.) If you’re using WordPress, check out this plugin to easily add your embed code to your website instead. 📝

Step 3: You’re all set

You’re ready to chat with website visitors through Facebook Messenger or Twitter DMs. It’s that easy! 🎉

Here’s how the widget looks on this blog (it’s live on this page too so you can test it for yourself):

We believe that social messaging is the next frontier of customer support and engagement.

Agree with us?

We hope SocialChat will make it easier for you to reap the benefits of social messaging too, and we’d love for you to give it a try.

If you have any thoughts on feedback on SocialChat, please let us know in the comments. We’d love to hear from you.

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/bufferapp/~3/yWOEd4dp-Sg/introducing-socialchat-by-buffer