The next tool we are going to look at is Buffer. According to their site, Buffer allows you to “easily post to multiple social media accounts.” There are other tools out there that allow you to auto schedule to multiple platforms at the same time (such as HootSuite, Social Frog, and a host of others); Buffer is so simple to use and once you have it set up, it schedules for you based on a predetermined schedule. It’s very fluid and effective. Trust me–it will save you tons of time and mental energy!
- First you need to set up your Buffer account. To do this, you will need your credentials for the social accounts you want to add to Buffer. As of this writing, Buffer interfaces with Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and Linked In. And for most leaders, this is sufficient for what we are trying to accomplish.
- With credentials at the ready, go to Bufferapp.com. It will ask you to login with one of your social media accounts. I would recommend doing this so you don’t have one more password to remember. (If you are like me this is a great time savings!)
- Once you have logged in, vicit the Account page to add the other social accounts you want to Buffer to. TALK ABOUT FREE ACCOUNT & LIMITATIONS.
- Then you need to choose your schedule. The default schedule is predetermined, but you can go in and adjust the time and frequency of your posts.
- Next, save the your Buffer home page to your toolbar. Each browser is different. For Chrome (which is what I use) I simply click the Star in the URL window and it will add it automatically to my Toolbar. This allows you to add content to Buffer whenever you come across it, but for now, let’s focus on using Buffer with Feedly.
If you jump back to your Feedly page, remember we already set up the blogs and sites we wanted to watch for content? (If you haven’t done this yet, refer to my previous post, Make Feedly Work for You.) Select the content you want to share. Then click the Buffer Icon at the top of the article. You should see a Buffer window open with everything you just set up! (Slick, huh?)
Now you can edit the headline, add a thought or a question geared to your audience, or post as is. This is also where you choose the platform you want this content posted to.
You have two options when you are finished with your post. You can “Share Now” or you can “Add to Buffer.” I usually Add to Buffer, but sometimes I feel something is more timely and I want to post right away. I’ll tell you more about the other reason I use Share Now in a minute.
Once you click Add to Buffer the window will close (and you’ll get a nice affirming word from Buffer!) and you can move on to set up your next post. Once you get the hang on this system you will be able to fly through the process without much thought at all, except to what awesome content you are going to share with your followers this week! You can visit your Buffer page at any time to see what you have in the buffer, to tweak any posts or delete them
I know you are raring to go, but before you do, I want to share a couple of coaching notes I’ve learned from experience. (And by the way, if you need any help with this process, send me an email. I can answer a quick question or two or we can set up a 30-minute coaching call to help get you started!)
When setting up posts using Feedly, I like to…
- Alternate categories. I always alternate between categories when loading my Buffer posts. I don’t want to send 10 nonprofit updates in a row, then 10 writing posts, and so on. So I jump back and forth selecting content willy-nilly or so it would seem! But this system works for me and keep my content coming out varied and more interesting to all of my audience. As you get more familiar with the process, you will find a system of posting that works for you and your audience. If I did send a stream of similar content, I might lose someone’s attention if they aren’t interested in that topic.
- Pay attention to the calendar. Also, I try to watch my time/day for scheduling. For example, if I am posting on a Saturday or Sunday, I try to keep my posts lighthearted, fun, and uplifting. (Not that I am heavy and negative the rest of the time!) I also choose Share Now instead of Add to Buffer. This way the more “work-related” posts will be pushed back to not the weekend. I do this because I want to add value to my followers right where they are…and on Saturday afternoon I don’t want them thinking about work.
More on Buffer. Buffer has built-in analytics right on your dashboard, so you can go back and see how your content is doing. Try not to focus on this or be discouraged. It takes a while to see any traction, but gradually you will see people connect with you and your content. You’ll also learn what topics get attention and response which you can use to tweak your content as you go.
Have fun with the process knowing you now have the tools to do what 80% of leaders wish they could do on a consistent basis. You rock!