Let’s face it: It can be hard enough to keep up with one Twitter account throughout the day, much less several. Between posting, replying, monitoring and everything else you have going on during your day, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
Luckily, there’s a tool out there that can help you chop the workload in half and stay productive: Buffer.
Buffer works by queuing up all your tweets and publishing them at times of the day and week that you select. This allows you to tweet during optimal times, no matter where you are or what you’re doing, so you can focus on what you need to.
A couple disclaimers before we dive into the good stuff:
Buffer is not a “set it and forget it” tool. Maintaining your social media presence is like maintaining your yard: If your goal is to make it look kempt with as little effort as possible, you can go ahead and fill it in with a bunch of rocks – but people are going to notice. Buffer works best as a time-saver, not a way to cut corners.
Decide if scheduling is right for you. To schedule or not schedule social media posts is a whole other (hotly debated) topic itself. If you’ve decided it makes sense for you, read on; if not, you may want to consider other options.
Now that that’s out of the way, here’s how Buffer can help you get a handle on your accounts:
1. Set your times
One of the big advantages of Buffer is that it allows you to set specific times of day to update your accounts. You can come into work in the morning, load a bunch of posts into Buffer and rest assured knowing that those posts will publish at the best possible times.
You can also pick which days of the week you want it to post, so if your tweets tend to be less effective on, say, Saturdays and Sundays, you can strip those days out altogether.
Need help figuring out which times to set? Check out our post on How To Use Twitter Analytics To Find Your Best Times To Tweet.
2. Add some posts
When you start adding posts to Buffer, you’ll notice that at a certain point, they roll over to the next day. Buffer lets you set times throughout the day to queue posts, and once you’ve exceeded all those times, it will roll over to the next day or date that you’ve set it to post.
3. Monitor, monitor, monitor
Remember how we said Buffer isn’t a “set it and forget it” tool? Just because you’ve scheduled posts to publish to your Twitter account(s) doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. To maintain a healthy Twitter account, you’ll need to remember to check those posts to see what kind of feedback they’re getting, and to respond to comments when necessary. (Also: Be aware of what’s going on in the world. If you have a policy to not tweet during times of national tragedies or disasters, be ready to clear your Buffer queue.)
So there’s still work to do, but -- and this is the key point -- what Buffer has done is free you up to focus on monitoring and responses – the parts of your social presence that require a human being to be active and engaged.
4. Analyze and adjust
The last thing to note is that Buffer keeps track of interaction on your tweets: retweets, favorites, clicks, @ replies and potential reach. It’ll flag “top tweets” for you to call out which of your tweets have received the most interactions. That can be helpful when planning for future content.
Optional: Add other accounts
Buffer also supports Facebook and LinkedIn, and if you think scheduling might be right for those networks, experiment with posting to them, too. (Note: Be aware of the potential for third-party apps to decrease your Facebook reach.)