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Facebook Scheduling Solution

Last week I was disappointed that my Facebook Post Scheduling fell apart over my holiday, and I asked if anyone had any of their own favorite tools.

Initially people mainly mentioned the ones I’d already tried, so I asked in a support group I belong to. Click here to learn more or take a trial. As usual, someone came up with answers and I hopped off to try them out. In the end I chose one that was recommended in the support group AND in a comment to my original blog post, by Jan Kearney.

The application I chose to take forward is Buffer. Before I tell you a little about it, let me remind you that Facebook dislikes automated posts, so do use with caution. However, I’m not sending too many automatic posts, and I spend more time on the site interacting. So hope they’ll be a little forgiving of a one-woman-band’s time pressures.

How To Use Buffer

With Buffer I can easily share great pictures, videos and links across my Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, Pinterest and other networks on my computer or mobile phone.

For my own particular requirement I am able to set up scheduled posts for times when I’m away or busy on other projects.

Below is a screenshot of the Buffer Dashboard. Down the left hand side are my social accounts, and across the horizontal are the functions.

buffer-q

Having added your social accounts down the left hand side you select the account you want to work on, then select the required functions from the top of the wide pane. (Some are only accessible to higher monthly cost plans.)

Each social account has a “Queue” of posts waiting to be made, and also a tab of Suggestions – interesting posts you may, or may not, wish to share. When you click on the Add for any displayed Suggestion it will be added to the queue for that account and shared according to the schedule which you define on the schedule tab. You can just add posts one after the other and then, if you wish, Shuffle the queue randomly – for instance to mix up posts that you added sequentially from separate sources.

Buffer Weekly Report

My “weekly” report (below) was emailed to me showing me the stats below – which aren’t at all bad considering my “week” only consisted of a couple of days. There were also more detailed stats which I won’t include for fear of making the image too big. However those stats showed that ONE of my 13 Tweets got 499 of those ReTweets.

buffer-report

 

Buffer Across The Web

The fun really starts outside the application. I have added a “Bufffer” tool to my Firefox browser, so when browsing the web, if I see a post that’s of interest, I click the Buffer tool and can add it to the queue to be posted when more convenient. No more trying to remember where I saw an interesting post – I can just store it in my queue for later viewing or posting.

The free version would probably be adequate for most small businesses, but it only allows one Facebook page, I have two – one of which is rather neglected. So I upgraded to the lowest priced paid version – about $10 a month. This gives me additional social accounts and a longer queue for each. The paid version also lets you add your favorite feeds (up to 15) onto each account. There are also “Business” versions that give access to more accounts and team members, plus more detailed analytics.

Finding Targeted Content

One slight criticism is that – with only a little use so far – the daily Suggestions put forward by the application seem slanted towards social media and marketing blog posts, which is fine for my “online business” Facebook page, but not for my complementary therapy page. This is a minor gripe, because I come across enough pages in my general web and Facebook browsing to be able to add them to my queue for posting or scheduling when I choose.

However, not long after I started using Buffer I came across an excellent blog post that introduces the content discovery tool Swayy. Read the blog post > Finding Buffer Content. The improvement of Swayy over Buffer is that you can request topics matched to your audience

Remember – it’s best to just store posts in your buffer queue then post them manually to Facebook.

New Floating Social Bar Plugin

Finding Buffer also helped me to locate the new floating social bar that you’ll now see on my blog. You’ll note that it has a Buffer icon. Feel free to click it and see what happens ๐Ÿ™‚

This is social sharing bar I’d envied from a distance for a while, so it’s been a bonus to find that it’s from Buffer. (It’s called Digg Digg and it’s free if you prefer it to whatever you are currently using.)

When I click my (or anyone’s) Buffer icon on the social sharing bar, I can add the post to my queue for later sharing on whichever social account I choose.

Buffer’s Support Desk

Out of interest I was introduced to Digg Digg by Buffer’s help-desk which turned out to be one of the best support experiences I’ve had in a long time. Fast, friendly and answered all my questions, even as a free member. That may not sound a lot to ask for, but it’s surprising how few deliver on any of the three, let along all of them. This was a big influence in my decision to upgrade to the paid version. Click here to try out Buffer.

Facebook Scheduling Solution

And those, for the moment, will be my Content Discovery and Facebook Scheduling tools.ย  At the moment there is no affiliate program, but if anyone joins from a free account (which has a limited queue – 20 I think), you get extra space in your queue. This doesn’t help paid members like me, but it’s a useful tool and I’m pleased to introduce it to you. I hope this has been useful and do let me know in the comments below if you try either of these tools.

Please share
Joy
 

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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 16 comments
Edward Thorpe - August 18, 2014

Hi Joy,

Have a Buffer account. After looking it over was afraid to use it.

Posting manually on FB is a good idea. Maybe I’ll give it a spin…

Reply
    Joy Healey - August 19, 2014

    Hi Edward, I’m still learning, but I think it’s a useful fill-in solution for holidays and to collect interesting posts I bump into, not to replace your live interaction on these platforms.

    Hope it goes well for you, please let me know your thoughts in these comments. Joy

    Reply
Adrienne - August 19, 2014

Hey Joy,

I LOVE Buffer and have been using it for a few years now. I upgraded over a year ago to their paid version.

Anyway, I only post to Facebook using Buffer when I know I’m going to be gone but I want to keep with my schedule. I think though that if your friends and fans know that you’re pretty active there 99.9% of the time then they’re not going to get upset with an occasional auto post.

Now if that’s all you ever did then they probably would totally ignore you but we all get busy and we all need to do some things automatically from time to time so I think it’s all good.

You did a great job of explaining this and I’m glad you like Buffer as well. Now I wish that Google+ would lighten up and let us auto post to our personal pages. Right now I’m sure you’ve already learned that we can only post to our business page which I do not have. Oh well, such is life.

~Adrienne

Reply
    Joy Healey - August 20, 2014

    Hi Adrienne

    Yes, I’m really pleased with Buffer and although I won’t let it take over Facebook etc completely it’ll be one less thing to worry about next time I go away.

    I noticed I couldn’t post automatically to my G+ page but didn’t realize that was a G+ restriction, thought it was Buffer! It’s a shame but perhaps some day….

    I’m glad you find that Buffer a useful tool too, sometimes I’ve tried things when I would have done better to see what others like yourself are doing. I live and learn ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

    Joy

    Reply
mvenkat K - August 20, 2014

Hi joy this is my first visit of your blog, posting manually on Facebok it is good idea, I have buffer account but it is not upgraded

Reply
    Joy Healey - August 20, 2014

    Hi Mvenkat

    I hope Buffer works out for you. By the way you may like to find out about getting a Gravatar (free) as some blogs don’t accept comments from people with no Gravatar.

    Good luck with your Facebook posting, Joy

    Reply
Angela McCall - August 21, 2014

Hi Joy,

Is that the real reason why Buffer couldn’t post to Google+? Bummer. I *love* Buffer better than Hootsuite. Sometimes I used it but not all the time. The ones I’ve been using a lot to post automatic on my social media is Friends+Me (https://friendsplus.me).

I don’t think Facebook minds Friends+Me coz some of my stuff on there gets posted and/or reshared either on business page or main profile.

I’ve added this post in my Pocket. So just in case I decided to get their paid version. If my Social Media Management increase, I will definitely get their paid version. Anyhoo, I hope you have a great weekend. See you later.

xoxo
Angela

Reply
    Joy Healey - August 21, 2014

    Hi Angela,

    Ah – I found this comment AFTER your other one, and wonder if this is your own answer to the problem you were having. Yes, I read on Buffer’s own site that Google (at the moment) won’t allow it.

    Thanks for reminding me about Friends+Me. I’d heard of it, but never tried it, so will have a look at that one too.

    Have a good weekend too. xx

    Reply
Angela McCall - August 21, 2014

Joy, your sharing buttons is frustrating! It is NOT allowing me to share your post. UGH. Anyway, I have the AddThis share plugin in my Chrome and I’m using that now.

Reply
    Joy Healey - August 21, 2014

    Hi Angela, Which particular network? Google +? I did some shares myself and thought it seemed OK. Will have to try again!

    A blogger’s work is never done ๐Ÿ™

    Thanks for warning me. Joy

    Reply
Swapnadip Chakraborty - August 23, 2014

Hey Joy,

I am happy that you have finally got your solution. And also I would like to thanks for sharing this solution with us. I have buffer button on my blog sharing page. But I did not know about its utilization. Thanks to you for letting us know about its function here. It is very interesting to know that with the help of buffer, I can post on Facebook while I am not available.From now I will also take the advantage of buffer.

All the best Joy. Have a Wonderful Weekend.

Regards,
Swapnadip…..

Reply
    Joy Healey - August 23, 2014

    Hi Swapnadip,

    I’m glad I cleared that up for you. I know I had wondered what it was for a long time too.

    Just remember to use it sparingly on Facebook and does as much of your Facebook sharing as you can manually.

    Have a good weekend,
    Joy

    Reply
Harleena Singh - August 30, 2014

Hi Joy,

That surely was an informative post ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh yes…I use the free Buffer and have been doing so for the past 2 years, though I use it just for twitter, and as I prefer doing the rest manually, as Facebook doesn’t like too much of automation, and have just one account, it works well with it.

I’ve used DiggDigg earlier and then the share bar too, but sometimes some of the buttons didn’t load well, so I switched to the default one I use now, with no counts. Been there, done that – as I used to have several counts because of the numerous shares, and suddenly decided one day that I wanted just no counts to show. Well, kind of an experiment I am doing to just see if it really matters ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for sharing. Have a nice weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

Reply
    Joy Healey - August 30, 2014

    Hi Harleena

    Glad you thought it useful, and even happier to know that you, as a more experienced blogger, use the same tool. It reassures me I’m on the right track !!

    Yes, my share buttons and the numbers are rather tripping over each other and as the numbers aren’t that exciting I’ll probably give it a try without and see what I think. Trial and error all the time ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for your comment and have a good weekend.

    Joy

    Reply
Bidyut Bikash Dhar - August 10, 2016

Hey,Joy
I also have a buffer account, but was pretty afraid to use it. Actually, the concept was not that much clear to me then, but now after reading your blog, I got the whole thing clear. Thanks for sharing this informative post. Please share Facebook stuffs so that we will use it for some cause not only for fun stuffs, though I like the fun part. ๐Ÿ™‚

Reply
    Joy - August 12, 2016

    Hi Bidyut,

    I am working through a Facebook Mastermind at the moment and will write more about it when I see the results. But it’s looking promising so far.

    Please you liked the info about Buffer. It’s my favorite social media sharing too ๐Ÿ™‚

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

    Reply

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