How and Why I Use Buffer

One of the services I believe marketers should provide their followers and community members these days is that of filtering and aggregating good, relevant content.

Buffer AppI subscribe to over 100 blogs and I hear over and over again how much some of the folks that choose to follow me on Twitter and Facebook appreciate that I share what I think some of the best reads from each day.

I share other things in those platforms as well, but I generally find 8-10 blog posts daily that I think people will appreciate.

The problem is that when I scan through my RSS Reader, something I do before most of my readers have had breakfast, I don’t want to Tweet all 8-10 at one time because it kind of overwhelms a handful of people and leaves little for those that get on social networks at other times of the day.

To solve this problem I started using a free app called Buffer and not only am I hooked, I’ve seen its use by many other publishers skyrocket of late as well. (The free version only allows you to have 10 updates in the buffer and is limited to one user.)

Why I use it

The Buffer app is a tool that allows me to easily bookmark and schedule Tweets or Facebook updates from any browser or mobile device. This way I can effectively spread my Tweets out over the course of a day, whether I find something in my morning reading or as I surf around throughout the day.

The times that Buffer posts the updates are preset by me so I simply fill up the Buffer and it does the rest. You can hit the post now option to immediately post and you have total control over when it posts. I have a pretty good feel for the best times to post for my readership but you might want to use a tool like SocialBro to gather some research into the best times for you.

Buffer also produces statistics so you can see how many people clicked on links you shared, the estimated reach and the number of Retweets.

There are some other tools that can accomplish much of what Buffer does, for example TweetDeck allows scheduled Tweets, but Buffer just works much better with the way I work and makes it much easier for me to be more active in sharing.

How I use it

While there is an iPhone app for Buffer the way I choose to use it is a little different than some I suspect.

I do most of my feed reading using the Reeder app on my iPhone. (Note this is different than Google Reader) The reason I love this app is that it allows me tap into my Google Reader account and have all my feeds that I organize there. (You can install Buffer as an option in Google Reader too)

The real feature I love though is that it gives me a handful of options for sharing and handling the posts right from the within the app. I can bookmark and tag it to Delicious or Pinboard, add to Facebook or Twitter, paste to Evernote, copy the link or email the title and link.

To use this app with Buffer I use the fact that Buffer gives every account holder a unique email address that will post items to the their Buffer account. So, as I read my posts I simply hit the “mail link” function in Reeder and it sends the title and link to Buffer. Anything that I put in the subject of the email will be posted as the body of the Tweet.

Buffer then puts all my emailed updates in the queue based on the times I’ve picked and viola – nice bit of posting scheduled throughout the day. Buffer also allows me to connect my branded linked shortener that set up with so my Buffered links are shown as – a nice bonus in the scheme of things.

Look around and you’ll see a number of blogs adding the Buffer button to their posts to make it even easier for people who use this tool to share.

You should also grab the Buffer extension for your browser of choice or drag the Buffer bookmarket to your toolbar so that you can add items to Buffer as you surf throughout the day. I use the extension for Firefox and it puts a little Buffer icon at the bottom of the page and gives my one click posting to Buffer.

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John Jantsch

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and author of Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network.
  • Christine Green

    I just recently found out about Buffer and wanted to check it out. This article has been very helpful. Do you use other posting tools like Hootsuite or Social Oomph? And if so how does Buffer compare? Thanks so much!

    • ducttape

      I use TweetDeck but Buffer is taking over a great deal of the load

  • Jim

    Very cool John.  I am adding that to my weapons arsenal. 

    • ducttape

      Can’t ever have too many :)

  • Ray Hiltz

    I agree. I’ve been using Buffer for awhile and just recently began using SocialBro. 
    As a fairly heavy iPad user, I was frustrated at not being able to schedule links to posts without emailing them to myself then “buffering” them when I got back on my computer.
    But recently, I came across a method of adding the Buffer toolbar app to my Safari browser on iPad. This has helped my productivity enormously.
    Here’s the link to the “how to” site:

    • LeoWid

      Hey Ray, that’s an awesome tip, thanks for sharing it here! 

    • ducttape

      Ray you can also just email them to buffer – that’s what I do on my mobile device, but it certainly would work on iPad as well.

  • LeoWid

    Hey John, thanks so much for the amazing and in-depth post here! And so glad you are using it from Reeder, we might just have a special surprise for you here in the coming weeks! :)

    I have Buffered this post for sure – twice.

    Leo, Co-Founder Buffer

    • Christine Green

      Perhaps you can give me a quick comparison between Buffer and Hootsuite, and why I should choose Buffer? Thanks!

      • LeoWid

        Hey Christine, great to see you here and fantastic question, I will try my best.

        I believe HootSuite is a fantastic solution and Buffer complements it well, instead of being a competitor. In fact, I am using HootSuite myself – mostly for monitoring my stream and replying. With Buffer, we aim to make it super easy to post Tweets frequently, so your followers are up to date. As John pointed out above, you can do it from anywhere, including Google Reader, Reeder, Flipboard and others. As well as with the Buffer button from any blog.

        More on the posting aspect: we have analysed loads of Tweets from our users and found that they get on average 200% more clicks, double retweets and an increase in Klout, purely as they Tweet more frequently and at better times.  

        So I think using the two together might just make for a very powerful Social Media combo! :) 

        Let me know what you think, would love to hear any ideas you have.

        • Christine Green

          Thanks, so much! This is very helpful! I will be trying Buffer any minute! :-)

        • Matt Hamilton

          Those are great points, I agree that they are not in competition. Hootsuite has schedule capabilities but they aren’t optimized for the ‘best tweeting’ times by default and you have to manually do the work. Hootsuite is great for monitoring multiple Twitter accounts and responding to messages and Buffer is great to share content that matters and at the right time.

    • ducttape

      Looking forward to hearing from you on that Leo

  • Adi

    I’m a big fan of BufferApp as well and have been using it for a few month now.  I haven’t upgraded to the pro version yet though, just the free version.

  • Ryan Hanley

    I haven’t gone any farther than the Chrome extension with Buffer but even that I love and use on a daily basis to schedule my Tweets.

    Thanks John.

  • Josh Johnson

    Hey John, great post.

    I just wanted to write really quickly to agree with Ray Hiltz – use SocialBro with Buffer and you have an extremely powerful platform. I just started using both together a few weeks ago and I have to say that SocialBro’s “Export to Buffer” feature for best post times is fantastic.

    Keep up the great articles.

    • ducttape

      Thanks Josh – yep, it makes the entire thing down right scientific I think!

  • Rosie Taylor

    Thanks for the tip on SocialBro!  Bufferapp definitely saves me time and the bonus of more followers on Twitter when my stream became more steady and consistent.  Plus you get the buffer button within Twitter for retweets on Chrome. Great tool that really works.

  • Ben Lobenstein

    Buffer posts to FB PAGES do not get a share button like a normal post, which is unfortunate and less than helpful. There has to be a reason for this…other than that I love BufferApp (for personal, non FB page use)

    • ducttape

      Agree that’s a bit of an issue – let’s ask Leo about that since he’s been posting here today

      • LeoWid

        Hi John and Ben,

        Yes, you raise a great point, unfortunately, the fact that the “share” disappears is a slight bug on the FB API that we are dealing with right now, but hope to have resolved real soon. We have filed a few reports (alongside hundreds of other developers) to allow the “share” function in.

        Unfortunately, all other Apps have the same problem. One thing that we could do is add a “fake” share function, which HootSuite does. It then pops open a new window, but doesn’t add a “share” to the original post, it is just a link to post to your own wall. We are pondering this right now, but it doesn’t seem to be a great solution for us.

        I will get in touch with Facebook again right now and see if there is a way we can get this sorted out, thanks a lot for bringing it up! :)

        Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions, it is really amazing which tight community your site has John!

        • ducttape

          Thanks Leo – look forward to the update when you know something more – I know FB can be a bit slow with this type of thing

        • Ben Lobenstein

          Thanks for the update, I kind of figured it wasn’t isolated to Buffer or an issue Buffer has/had control over.

  • Matt Hamilton

    I just discovered Buffer today actually, a friend recommended it. In just one day I’m already so impressed that I’ll probably use it for all of my clients. I think it’s great that you’re spreading the word, this can help so many new marketers and regular Twitter users reach people at the optimum times.

    • ducttape

      Thanks Matt, I think it’s the way Twitter works now!

  • Kate M

    Great point and I’m excited to check Buffer out.  I am always busy and this is a great help for me to manage my day better.

  • Stephen Hamilton

    Buffer looks like one of the next tools I’ll be adding to my marketing toolbox. Thanks!

  • Allen Fuller

    I’m a huge fan of Buffer and love that it does exactly as you describe in the article. The one downside I’ve noticed is on Facebook, where the reach for page posts seems to drop when using an external tool. It seems to happen across the board, not just with Buffer, but that is one downside of automating posts.

    Thanks for the article!

  • Ethan Wilson

    Awesome, this is going to be abused by me to make it look like I take care of my followers. I know some websites that should be using this, instead of 20 tweets when their Social Media expert clocks in every morning.

  • Kelly Marsh

    Never heard of buffer before but I have been looking for an app like this so timely share

  • Courtney Ramirez

    Love Buffer! I use it constantly and it was one of my favorite finds in 2011. What is really nice too is that SocialBro will analyze your followers and create a custom Buffer schedule based on your followers. 

  • Paul Alan Clifford

    I actually use which does the same thing.  I used to use twuffer, but it required you to decide when to post and you needed to copy and paste the link.  Timely is much easier than twuffer.  Haven’t tried buffer.  I think the key is to schedule evergreen content (like links, etc.), but still interact.

  • Sarah Kolb-Williams

    Now this is a great idea! I too find myself with chunks of articles at once I’d love to share, and I find myself scribbling post-its with times on them to keep from bombarding my followers all at once. This sounds like a much more, uh, elegant solution, and I look forward to giving it a shot. Thanks for the hot tip!

  • Jill T

    One of my coworkers introduced me to Buffer a few weeks ago and I love it (she also scored an interview with one of the founders, Leo, who’s a heck of a nice guy)! I’m in the same boat — I usually find 8-10 shareable articles in the morning but don’t want to share all of them at once and annoy my followers. But with this service, I can schedule them throughout the day, shuffle them around, and still have time to reply to @ mentions in between. It’s truly a convenience! :)

  • AJ

    Great post John.
    I love using Buffer. I just use the free version at this point, it lets me get 3-days worth of Tweets scheduled.

  • Carrie

    Thanks for the great post. I’ve been using Buffer for several months now, and find it much easier then Hootsuite or Tweetdeck for scheduling, since I’m not a huge fan of busy columns. What’s missing, though, is the ability to attach images, which you can do with programs such as Sendible, and I think Posterous. I posted on their FB, and the Buffer folks hinted they are working on this, hope so!

    ps I like the inspired quotes they provide you with if you’re stuck, but more variety would be good.