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My tool de jour: Buffer

 

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Most social folk tend to have their own special way of doing things. A suite of favourite platforms, a certain way of using them and the tools that tie it all together. I’m no different. A big part of my social strategy is to curate and share interesting content and I have a list of around 100 blogs I subscribe to in Google Reader, which I set aside time to trawl through daily to find the latest news on marketing, pr, social and digital. Any great content is then bookmarked using Delicious (for my own future reference, but also anyone that wants to subscribe to that feed) and then scheduled to be tweeted out using the internal scheduler in Hootsuite. However, that did take quite some time and I had to set the time myself to ensure the tweets were spaced out (well I don’t want to bombard people with content all in one go).

Then along came Buffer. So simple, yet so effective. What buffer does is with it’s handy little plugins is allow you to save the content to your Buffer account, kind of like a little bucket of content. In your settings you can then set when you want tweets to be sent out. Then Buffer will sent out that content, one by one, at the times you’ve set. You can also do this with Facebook (which is a brilliant way of ensuring your content is different on the two platforms … a personal bug bear of mine). If you use Bit.ly as your shortener in buffer, you can also make use of the stats, something I liked about the Hootsuite scheduler. You can earn more space on your free Buffer account by inviting more people and can add people to the account if you have a team that Tweet from a company profile (another reason I’m recommending this to my clients, who are also loving it).

Now I wouldn’t use this type of automation for engagement, that just wouldn’t work. But as a tool for curating content, it works brilliantly. So to the Buffer Boys, I thank you. Oh, and can we add Linked In and Google Plus soon please?

Do you have any fantastic tools you can’t live without? If so, please share …

 

7 Comments
  1. Robert Clay says:

    Hi Gemma, so glad to see you’ve embraced Buffer too. I also share a lot of curated content, and like you used Hootsuite and another tool. Fortunately I learned about Buffer just after its launch, just under a year ago, and immediately embraced it. More recently its integration with Facebook has revolutionised my ability to post content there … and I have a feeling that it was me who first suggested the tool to the developers.

    Speaking of the guys behind the product, I got to know Leo in particular, and we met last May. The moment we met I knew he was both investable and going places. Not long afterwards they both gave up their studies at Warwick University and headed off to Silicon Valley. Now, having run foul of visa limits in the US, they’ll be based in Hong Kong until June when the US issues its next batch of visas. Read about it here:

    http://leostartsup.com/2011/12/why-we-are-taking-our-startup-to-hong-kong-and-other-crazy-stories-of-2011/

    Anyway, the long and short of it is that they are great guys and they have a great product that quite literally allows me to keep my sanity and have a life while being, in my own small way, ubiquitous. I now just want to see Buffer embrace LinkedIn and Google+ (not that I really use it due to time and capacity constraints) … which the guys assure me is on the way. It is one of my favourite tools too.

    I probably won’t have another chance to say this before Xmas, Gemma, but I hope you have a great one and of course a brilliant new year.

  2. Gemma Went says:

    Hey Robert, I love it and can’t believe I hadn’t heard of it before last week. Thanks for sharing the story with me and a very merry christmas to you too x

  3. Wow, thanks so much for the awesome post Gemma, this is fabulous and big thanks to Robert Clay for the amazing support on here, this is incredible! 🙂

  4. Gemma Went says:

    No problem, credit where credit’s due.

  5. Thanks for this Gemma, I’m always on the look out for new tools that make life easier. I’ll be sure to check out Buffer.

    In answer to your question, I would highly recommend Topsy (http://topsy.com/). It’s great for tracking and searching for tweets. As well as giving you advanced search options it also shows the retweets and picks out the high influencers. You can then subscribe to your search via email/RSS and it gives you handy little graphs which are great for reports.

  6. Gemma Went says:

    Thanks Liv, yes I use Topsy, great little tool.

  7. Janet Bebb says:

    Wow – not come across Buffer before – just tried it & love it. Not so sure about Topsy but I’ll give it time……..Thanks for sharing!

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The Lead Engine Training Series

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