The following video and instructions are excerpts from the WOW Webinar: How to Schedule Social Media Posts Using Free Online Tools. That webinar is now available for purchase as a recording. I highly recommend it so that you can also learn how to use other tools such as HootSuite, PostPlanner and GoPixelMe, among others. Save time and stop overwhelming your social media connections by pacing out your posts in advance.
WOW Words to the Wise:
- Scheduling posts is something you should do occasionally, not every day, all day. Your followers can tell when you’ve checked out. Some might argue that scheduling everything is better than not posting at all. I disagree. To develop an engaged and loyal following, use scheduling tools sparingly. For example you may want to schedule all of your 6am posts, or all of your 8pm posts if you find those are good times for your readers. But do not also schedule the others, and never check back in “live.” Or perhaps schedule your weekend posts, but not your weekday posts.
- Always always always reply to comments directed to you. Even if you are away for a while and scheduled posts during a trip, check back in on the past posts and address any comments or replies. If you schedule an early morning post, go back in later in the day to check for things to reply to.
- Be ready to cancel any scheduled posts across the networks if there is a nationwide or global tragedy or other crisis. For example, when the Boston Marathon bombing occurred many businesses were still posting “happy” regular social media posts, as if nothing happened, even though the rest of the Internet was grieving. You MUST go back and cancel everything in such a case.
- You CAN use Buffer with Facebook, but since I use Post Planner (and I think it works better) I use it for Twitter, Google+ and occasionally I add LinkedIn.
- If you need to post to a Facebook GROUP, Buffer can do that. You only get 1 Facebook place to post though so you would not then be able to use it for a Page or Profile. It works well for Groups if you are an admin of one and regularly use it to post a couple times per day or more.
- Buffer’s FAQ: https://bufferapp.com/faq
- Sign in or sign up – I usually sign in with my Twitter.
- Click on the Schedule tab at the top to set up your schedule queue. Depending on how often you find things to Tweet, set up 4 or more times a day to post. Note that in the free version Buffer only “stores” 10 posts to go out in the future so keep that in mind.
- Click on the + plus sign next to Accounts at the top to add your social networks. You will need to authorize Buffer to have access to your posts/profiles. For the free version you can only add ONE account for each type of social media network.
- Add a browser extension so that you can easily click a Buffer button to add something to your queue as you are out and about on the web. Find them here on the left: https://bufferapp.com/guides
- When you have your Buffer account online, any time you choose to tweet or post to one of the connected accounts, next to the post or share or tweet button you will now see a green Buffer button. So instead of posting immediately, you can send it to your Buffer queue to post later, whenever the next open slot is. This way you are not overloading your followers if you find lots of great content at the same time.
- Alternately you can simply go into your Buffer account on their website and set up your posts.
- Occasionally check your Analytics and see how your Buffered posts are doing. This is a nice feature.
Do yo use Buffer? Which accounts do you use it with? Do you find it as helpful as I do? Post in the comments, I would love to hear from you!