It’s 2013, and by now most of us know that a powerful social media presence is essential to building your brand on the internet. To make that responsibility a little easier, a number of social media management applications have emerged to coordinate your presence through time and across social media platforms.
One of the applications that seems to be picking up a lot of steam is Buffer, an application that started life managing twitter feeds but has expanded its focus to include Facebook, LinkedIn, and many other platforms and features.
The basic idea behind social media management software is that you’re able to make updates to your various social media accounts in a single convenient location. And best of all, you’re able to schedule your updates so you’re able to prepare your posts and tweets beforehand. Most applications also offer various analytics to determine your social media impact and help you to refine your strategies for maximum reach.
In this respect, Buffer behaves a lot like its competitors, which include HootSuite, perhaps the most popular of these applications, and others such as TweetDeck, and SocialFlow.
Buffer really distinguishes itself when it comes to ease of use. The scheduler is often singled out for approval: you’re able to set up default posting times so you don’t have to specify for each new post, which is the case for most other social media management software. This is especially useful as you can schedule your posts to correspond to peak usage time for each different networks, set it, and forget it.
Besides scheduling posts, generating and sharing content online is also a snap. Buffer provides you with browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari to make sharing content from the web a snap. Just find something you like, click on the Buffer button in your browser, and you’re all set to either share immediately or to put it in your buffer and share at your previously scheduled times.
Of course, Buffer also offers mobile apps to help you manage content on the go: while you can’t change your buffer schedule directly through the app, you are able to view your schedule, scheduled posts, and add content just as easy as through your browser. Besides that, Buffer is closely integrated with apps like InstaPaper, IFTTT, Feedly, and more to make sharing content from those apps just as easy.
You can also update Buffer directly from Facebook and Twitter, sharing tweets, links, status updates, pictures, and the rest with buttons integrated directly into the platform.
Users also rave about the blog, which is helpful and funny, and customer service, which, by all accounts, is fun, friendly, informative, and attentive. Buffer is free with some limitations: you can have 10 items in your buffer at once, and you’re only able to manage three social media accounts. The professional version costs only $10/month and will give you an unlimited buffer queue and up to 12 social media accounts to monitor. You’re also able to add multiple managers to your profiles.
Which social media management software you use is ultimately a manner of taste—you should pick the one that is easiest for you and best matches your needs. (Some people even use multiple ones, taking advantage of the unique features of each.) But Buffer is definitely worth a try. Put it in your app queue and let us know what you think!