Buffer is one of those apps I use every single working day.
Coupled with Feedly, Buffer is why I seem to be “everywhere all the time,” even when I’m asleep or on vacation.
It’s an app that lets you schedule posts to different social networking accounts from a single dashboard. When you find online content you want to share in social media, you can use Buffer to put them in a queue to go out on a pre-determined schedule.
I use the free version of Buffer, which for most solo entrepreneurs, is enough. Recently, Buffer launched Buffer for Business.
Being the social media geek that I am, I drooled.
Buffer for Business is feature-rich and robust. It can really make a difference in your social media marketing. Depending on your needs, of course.
Read on to find out if it’s a good fit for you.
With my free Buffer, I can link up to one account for Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, and App.net.
But with Buffer for Business, you can have up to 150 social media accounts — including LinkedIn groups.
This would be great for social media managers and agencies who manage multiple accounts for several clients.
Or for people like me who actually have more than one account for various social networks (what can I say? I have multiple social media personality disorder).
No more maintaining separate Buffer accounts for each of your online personas, niches, or clients. Manage everything from a single dashboard.
With a Business plan, you can add as many as 25 team members to your Buffer account. And you can give them either a manager or contributor role. Managers can edit and delete updates. Contributors can only add to the queue, and these are published only after a manager approves them.
Know what’s even better? You can assign team members to specific accounts. This means, for Client A’s accounts, you can make Allan the manager and, Clara and Andrew contributors. For Client B’s accounts, Sarah is the manager, with Diane as contributor. All this in one single Buffer for Business account. Pretty cool, eh?
Finally, the third reason to love Buffer for Business is the more robust analytics. Buffer for Business can generate charts showing retweets, favorites, mentions, clicks and posts per day over a time period. You can compare two metrics of your choice on each chart.
Aside from the chart, Buffer for Business also shows you a table of posts, which you can sort based on different metrics. For example, you can sort by retweets to see your updates from highest to lowest number of retweets.
And you can export all this data into csv files, which you can turn into charts and tables for your own presentations and reports. (Hint: Use them to show what a great job you’ve been doing in social media)
So should you stop reading this post and sign up for your Buffer for Business account right now?
Not so fast! Do keep reading to see if there are reasons for you to pass up on Buffer for Business.
Judging from the comments on Buffer’s own blog, it seems the pricing of its business accounts does not sit too well with some social marketers. There are 3 levels Buffer for Business:
small – $50/month
medium – $100/month
large – $250/month
Frankly, I find this complaint a bit mystifying, especially coming from social media consultants or agencies who provide social media marketing services to clients. One client alone could easily pay for the price of a small business plan. If not, then you’re not charging enough, my friend.
Of course, there are Buffer users who want only some of the additional features of a business account. For example, some people who are already on the $5/month plan want the added analytics but are unwilling to shell out an additional $45 monthly for it.
The ability to add so many social media accounts and team members can make for an unwieldy Buffer dashboard. I imagine looking at 150 accounts all at once would be downright overwhelming. As far as I can tell, there’s no way to organize these accounts, for example, by grouping them by client.
Disclosure: I was unable to experiment with this in my free trial of Buffer for Business, simply because I don't have 25 social media accounts. So @Buffer, please correct me if I’m wrong about this.
Buffer analytics show post performance per day, but not in smaller time increments. The charts won't show you if you get more engagement in the morning than at night, for example. If you want to find out what’s the best time to share content with specific audiences, the raw data would be there, but you would have to manually encode and analyze the data yourself in a spreadsheet.
So what do you think of Buffer for Business? Are you lovin’ it or leavin’ it? Why?
*All screenshots on this post are from the Buffer blog
Lexi Rodrigo is a communication and marketing professional for multimillion-dollar businesses, co-author of Blog Post Ideas: 21 Proven Ways to Create Compelling Content and Kiss Writer's Block Goodbye, and host of "Marketing Insights LIVE!." Connect with Lexi on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
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Thanks for this great summary. I often shy away for any “For Business” type accounts and you laid it out nicely. If I were a social media consultant I agree with you. Why wouldn’t I spend a little extra on tools that help me reduce the time working for clients? Especially if you charge clients a package or monthly management fee. The less time you spend the more you earn.
@Lynette Chandler – Exactly what I was thinking, too! And aren’t we all about working smarter and not harder?
Lexi I really appreciate your thorough overview of Buffer. I’ve used the free version on and off and I do see its application for multiple clients. I currently use Hootsuite Pro and I’m happy with it but of course it is missing the “content” component that Buffer with Feedly could offer.
Can Feedly be incorporated into the dashboard in the pro version of Buffer?
@Sharon McMillan – Excellent question! You’ve inspired me to write a post on how I use Feedly and Buffer together. It’s actually the other way around. In the Feedly interface, you can click on the Buffer button and queue links into your Buffer account that way. It’s soooo handy!
@Sharon McMillan – I should add that the process I described above is available in the free versions of Feedly and Buffer 🙂
I have not heard of this app/program. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.
@Jendi – Try it, it’s super useful!
Alexis, I’m madly working to make sense of options as my boutique graphic design firm expands our services further into marketing. This was so helpful! Thank you!
From this analysis, I’ll stick to the “awesome Plan”. It’s now $10 though.