What Is Buffer and What Does It Do? - dummies

What Is Buffer and What Does It Do?

By James T. Cains

As you may know, using social media for business is quite different than using it for personal reasons. When you use Facebook or Twitter personally, you’re connecting and communicating with your personal friends, and your only agenda is to keep them up-to-date on what’s going on in your life, as well as to stay up-to-date on their lives. However, when you use social media for business reasons, your agenda is most likely related to marketing or promoting your business or products and connecting with your customers. So the strategy for using social media for business differs.

For example, if you’re promoting a new product release for your business, you would probably want to carefully plan out your social media announcements over weeks or even months. Rather than having to create posts the day you send them, you can use a tool like Buffer to load up your posts and schedule them to be released on certain days. Since using social media for personal reasons is mostly spur-of-the-moment posting, a tool like Buffer probably wouldn’t be of much value.

What accounts can you connect Buffer to

At the time of this writing, Buffer can connect only to the major social media channels listed below, with a few limitations depending on the channel. However, because these are the major players in social media, you might be mostly covered.

  • Facebook: You can connect to Facebook pages, profiles, and groups.

  • Twitter: You can connect to your Twitter profile.

  • LinkedIn: You can connect to your LinkedIn profile and company pages.

  • Google+: At this time, you can connect only to Google+ pages, but not to your Google+ profile.

  • Pinterest: You can connect to your Pinterest profile.

What are the Buffer free and paid plans?

Buffer has three plans. Here are the details for each:

  • Individual: This is the free plan, and with it, you can connect to only one profile in each kind of social media service — that is, one Twitter, one Facebook, one LinkedIn, and one Google+. However, Pinterest is available only as a free trial on the Individual plan; after seven days, you have to upgrade to the Awesome plan to keep using it. Also, with the Individual plan, you can store only up to 10 posts for each type of profile, which is likely not enough for your business purposes.

  • Awesome: This plan costs $10 per month and gives you up to 10 profiles for each kind of social media service (10 Facebook profiles, and so on). You can also store up to 100 posts for scheduled delivery.

  • Business: This plan costs $50, $100, or $250 per month, depending on the number of social accounts you need and the number of team members you have. The team collaboration feature enables you to add contributors to your social accounts. Also with the Business plan, you get Google Analytics integration and additional reporting features, as well as the ability to store an unlimited number of posts for later delivery.

If you work for a nonprofit organization, you can get 50% off your Business plan!