How to Use the Buffer Browser Extension

By James T. Cains

Buffer comes with a browser extension for the Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Opera browsers (sorry, no Internet Explorer). With the browser extension, you can share pages directly from your browser, without having to log in to Buffer.com itself.

To install the browser extension, go to http://bufferapp.com/extensions. Depending on which browser you use, you see a button that says “Install the <Browser> Extension.” Click that and follow the prompts to add the extension to your browser. After the extension installs, you see a button with the Buffer logo on it at the top of your browser.

Here’s how to use the browser extension:

  1. Find a web page that you want to share in your social media accounts.

  2. Click the Buffer button at the top of your browser. You see the Composer/Scheduler pop up in your browser (see Figure 1).

  3. In the row of social media account icons, select the accounts you want to post to.

  4. Buffer automatically adds the page title and a shortened link in the content area below the account icons. This is the text that posts to your Twitter account. Click in that area and edit the content however you want.

    • The shortened link uses whichever link shortener you specified in Settings — either bit.ly, j.mp, or buff.ly.

    • Twitter allows only 140 characters per post. You can see how many characters you have left for your Twitter post at the bottom of the window next to the Add to Queue button.

  5. In the blue-gray content area below, Buffer automatically populates what your Facebook and LinkedIn posts will look like. Click in that area to modify the content appropriately.

    • Buffer picks an image to include with the post, unless the website specifies a particular image for it to grab in.

    • The title and description are pulled from the webpage’s title and meta-description tags.

  6. If you want to post to Pinterest, you have to add that manually. Follow these steps:

    1. Click the Pinterest icon and choose the Pinterest board you want to post to in the menu that appears.

    2. You have to post an image to Pinterest, so click the camera icon to select an image from your computer.

  7. When finished, click the Add to Queue button and your posts will be queued up for the next scheduled delivery. You can also click the down arrow next to the Add to Queue button to share immediately or set up a custom time to post.

Honestly, Pinterest integration with the browser extension isn’t that great. For one thing, when you add an image for Pinterest, that image is also added to your Twitter post. Another thing, the post that is automatically generated for Facebook and LinkedIn is replaced with the new image and the text of the Twitter post. The best thing to do is to post to Pinterest separately; in other words, post to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn first, and then click the Buffer button again to craft your Pinterest post.

Figure 1: Using the Buffer browser extension to post to social media.

Figure 1: Using the Buffer browser extension to post to social media.

Source: buffer.com

You can use the Power Scheduler to further customize the deliveries, if you’re posting to multiple social media accounts. Click the Power Scheduler tab and consider these options (see Figure 2):

  • Click the social media icons to either select or deselect the accounts to post to.

  • On the left, you can fully edit the delivery times; the times that are there are defaults — except for Now, which you can’t change. Just click the time and choose a new date and time from the calendar and time selector.

  • You can also add another time by clicking +Add Another and choosing a date and time from the calendar and time selector.

  • In the plus sign grid, click the plus sign for the time and social media account to enable the delivery. Click Save to enable the delivery.

    Figure 2: Using Buffer’s Power Scheduler.

    Figure 2: Using Buffer’s Power Scheduler.

Source: buffer.com