Are you one of those business owners or entrepreneurs that wants to Automate Social Media Marketing?
Maybe you are sick of getting stuck in that rabbit hole of social media?
Are you looking for a way to actually put your social media marketing on autopilot and still get a very good result from doing it? I want to share with you exactly how I use one of my favorite tools to automate your social media marketing – Buffer.
I have created a video for those that want to watch along as I share my screen. For those that do now want to watch the video, then i have created a step by step guide below with screen shots for you.
Creating an account with Buffer
Buffer has a FREE account that lets you connect one profile. There’s both free accounts and also a pro account. The Awesome account, which is $10 a month, lets you connect 10 social media accounts per month, which is pretty good. You’ll want to at least get the Awesome account for individuals. I think that’s going to be well worth your time.
Once you have created an account, the first thing you’ll see is a series of accounts. I’ve already set up my accounts, but when you want to set up an account, this left-hand side here will be blank. What you want to do is hit the little plus button. That’s going to ask you to connect a social network.
You can connect a Twitter account. You can connect more than one Twitter account by the way, but you can connect a Twitter account. You can connect a Facebook profile, a Facebook page or even a Facebook group, which lets you post to groups automatically, which is also very cool. You can hook up your LinkedIn account, your personal profile and your business page, Google+ profile and your business page on Google+. You can also connect Pinterest and Instagram.
Instagram says it has reminders, so it actually doesn’t post to Instagram on your behalf. It does set it up so that it reminds you that you’re due to go and post a specific post on Instagram. It’s not the fully fledged integration that I’d love to see. I’ll talk about my favorite tool for Instagram on another video. Buffer is one of those tools that lets you hook up all these different platforms.
Inside the Buffer App
On the left-hand side of your page is where you will find all of the accounts that you have connected. Then if you look along the top, you’ve got a list for your content. You’ve got some analytics for your content. You’ve also got the ability to schedule at a certain time, a time frame that suits you or suits your listeners or your followers. Also, you have some other settings as well.
Right now, what I’ve done is I’ve scheduled my times as you can see here. For this particular account here, I have four posting times. I can add as many as I like, but these are the times that I’ve chosen to actually select for my followers.
Every day at 9:12 a.m. and 11:04 a.m. etc., you can see that my posts will go out. I can have that set every day the same time or I can go and change individual days and make sure that I’ve got different times going out for different posts on different days. I can also create a new posting schedule for when I want to change it up a bit.
The other cool thing with Buffer is that it actually lets you optimize your schedule. You can click on their optimal timing tool. What that does is it gives you the best times to schedule your posts. Here you can see I’ve picked my account.
How many times do I want to post? I select five. I calculate the times. You’ll see that it looks at all of my tweets and sees what gets the best reactions from my followers. It comes back and it says, “Here are the best times for you to be posting, between 12:00 and … We’re going to pick some times for you.”
There’s the five times it’s picked for money: 9:03, 2:24, 7:08, 9:14 and 9:53 p.m. I could click on replace that schedule. Then I’ll have a new schedule of posts going out.
Adding Content on Buffer to Automate Social Media Marketing
Adding content to Buffer is very simple and pretty straightforward, with a number of ways to do this. In the screen shot below, you can see that I have already got some existing content in my ‘Queue’. Buffer uses a queue system where the first piece of content in the queue is the first piece of content to be delivered to that social network you have selected.
What I like about this is that I’ve gone and posted this already through either an app on my phone or the Chrome extension that I have on my Chrome browser. You can see what time and what days these posts will be scheduled. You can see that I’ve got content covered for the next four or five days.
Now we are starting to see the power of how to Automate Social Media Marketing using Buffer.
You can also have things for review. If you’ve got a team member … Let’s say you’ve got a junior or a new person and you’re not sure if you want them to post content yet, then they can set up into the review column.
As soon as you’re happy, then you can actually start posting that to your account. You may need to have Buffer for business to get this done, but it just gives you that extra step of having somebody on your team to be doing things for you.
Then you’ve got content inbox. You can actually go and get a feed from certain apps or websites. For instance, let’s say you’re in the medical field and you want to get a feed from Mercola.com. Every time there’s a new article from Mercola.com, it would feed this into this particular page here. You can quickly look at the and say, “Yep, that’s a great piece of information. I’m going to post that to one of my profiles.” You click on the link and post it directly from here. It’s very, very cool. Just one more step closer to social media automation
Buffer Chrome Extension
Buffer also has a great chrome extension called the Buffer Chrome extension. Let’s say, for instance, I’m at a website that i think would be valuable to share with my audience or my followers. I can click on the little Buffer extension and as I click on it, it opens up Buffer and inserts that exact URL that I was just on into the dialogue box.
As you can see above, the text box has the “How to split test Facebook Ads -Social Media Examiner” and also puts the link in there for us, which is great because that’s the link I want to share.
So Buffer grabs the headline from the page and I want to share this particular image as well so I’m going to add that image as well.
You can also add a personal touch for Facebook. You can add your own additional comments and content if you wish.
Now what I’m going to do is I’m going to add this to my queue. Right now, I can click on queue. Before I do that, it lets me know how many characters I’ve got left. If I was to add a few extra letters, you would see that number dropping down. When it gets to zero, that means there no more space left for your tweet. In this case because I’m using Twitter, it only needs to tell me my letters for Twitter account.
I can add this to my Buffer queue, or I can go and share it next or I can share it right this minute or I can schedule it.
So if we take a look at my content queue inside buffer, you an see my piece of content.
There it is right there(with the blue image). You can see that it’s gone straight to my account. When 7:15 p.m. comes around on this particular day, this will be posted to this particular account. I will be out there sharing it with my friends, my followers and my fans… all automated.
Buffer Power Scheduler
The final other thing with the Buffer Chrome extension I wanted to share with you is the Power Scheduler. The Power Scheduler lets you post the same posts a number of times.
If I click on okay and click on Power Scheduler, what it does is it grabs that particular post for me, exactly the same one we just spoke about. It says, “When do you want to send it?” Maybe the next available post for my Twitter account there. I’m going to click on save. I can go back and say, “Two days time. Let’s go and post that again. Then maybe in seven days time, let’s go and remind people about that.”
This is okay if you’re doing other people’s content, but it’s super valuable when you’re trying to get your own content out there on a regular basis. If that was a post of mine that I was creating and I was sharing it with my network, then I’d go and use the Power Scheduler for all my own posts so I know that I’m not just posting it out once on my social media accounts.
I’m posting it out several times. In fact, you can go and add and add, keep adding different ones as much as you want. Once you’ve done that, you click on updates and that will update your queue at that particular time.
If we click on the update button right now, the page goes back to scheduling. It puts the new scheduled tweets into my queue for me.
So you can see that’s just an idea of how you can use the Power Scheduler as well. I really only use it with my own content because I want as many people as I can to see that.
So can you see how you can Automate Social Media Marketing using Buffer?
This is what I love about Buffer. It’s so easy to use and it’s a great way to get your social media automated, get your stuff out there and not have to worry about it.
What is your favorite tool that you like to use when you Automate Your Social Media Marketing?