Keeping your tweets under control can sometimes feel like a workout. If you are managing a Twitter account for your business and a personal Twitter account, you have a lot to do. You have to keep track of what you tweet on both accounts, when you tweet, people who add you on Twitter, people who you want to add to a specific Twitter account, etc. For this reason, many people use Twitter dashboards such as TweetDeck or Hootsuite to help keep all of their accounts organized side by side. One of the greatest features of a social media dashboard is the scheduling.
Social media dashboards allow people to tweet right there on the dashboard and schedule the tweet if necessary. However, the user has to decide when they want to schedule a tweet. They have no idea how many people will see the tweet, so they have to blindly guess when most people will be using Twitter and remember which tweets they have scheduled at which times so that they don’t overlap tweets. This can get a bit daunting, so tweeters Leo Widrich and Joel Gascoigne decided to focus on the scheduling aspect of Twitter and create one of my favorite social media tools—Buffer.
Top 4 Buffer Features to Help Get Your Tweeting Schedule under Control
Buffer is a new tool that helps Twitter users schedule their tweets easier and quicker. Many blogs and websites are even adding a Buffer sharing icon (like the one on the right) to their pages to encourage users to add an article to their Buffer. Since not all websites have added the Buffer icon, many download the free add-on so that it pops up as a browser extension for easy access (I use the Firefox extension). Below highlights some of the features Buffer has to offer:
- 1. Adding tweets to your Buffer works the same way as Twitter sharing
Once you have your Buffer extension ready to go, all you have to do is click the little icon and a window will pop up (exactly the way Twitter works). The window looks something like this:
All you have to then do is click “Add to Buffer” to add this tweet into the lineup of tweets you’d like to share. The “add” button is where you have the ability to add more than one Twitter account.
- 2. You only have to set the time you want to tweet once.
This is where Buffer really differs from social networking dashboards. Instead of having to pick a time you’d like to tweet a certain message, your buffer will automatically tweet your messages at times you specified when Buffer was installed. You simply go to your settings, and choose the times you’d like to tweet (shown right). Your tweets will then be placed into a lineup and tweeting at the times you have scheduled. This is a great way to make sure you don’t schedule two tweets at the same time.
- 3. You can create unique tweets as opposed to Twitter generated messages.
When people share an article, they typically click the “tweet” button and share the generated message. You of course have the option to change this message, but for the sake of convenience many don’t both. Buffer makes it very easy to create custom messages when tweeting by allowing users to highlight a section of the text that interests them. For example, let’s say I really liked when I said “Buffer makes it very easy to create custom messages.” All I would need to do is highlight the text, click the buffer icon, click “add to Buffer,” and then I would have an original tweet set to go when scheduled.
- 4. Buffer can help you find the absolute best times to tweet based on your followers.
Buffer works closely with SocialBro to find the most optimal times for you to tweet. If you sign up for a free account with SocialBro, you will see an icon that says “best time to tweet.” The icon is shown below:
Once you click this icon, the service will spend some time discovering when most of your followers are using Twitter and then generate the best times for you to tweet. You can configure this with Buffer, and then you will know for sure that your tweets are really being seen.
How to Use Buffer and Social Media Dashboards Successfully
I think many people get nervous about using Buffer because they are so accustomed to their social media dashboard. I am always skeptical of new social media tools (everyone seems to want in on the action), but Buffer really isn’t another step in your day. It really does make things easier.
Most people find that Buffer and social media dashboards work well together. The dashboards are a great way to lie all of your accounts side by side and actually use Twitter as a tool for receiving information. You can see everything that others are tweeting, find some links to some interesting articles, and retweet if you find something you’d like to share. Buffer is great for the sharing end of the spectrum. Once you start using the tool, I think you will find that tweeting doesn’t have to feel like a workout.
Photo Credit: web.appstorm.net
Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer on topics ranging from social media to starting a small business. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including document software to small businesses and entrepreneurs for the leading business directory, Business.com.