If you manage the Twitter or Facebook presence for an organization, it takes discipline to remember to tweet out updates and news stories on a regular basis. Also, perhaps you're on vacation or going to be out of pocket for a period of time. What if there was an application that let you schedule your tweets or Facebook updates ahead of time?
Such a web app does exist and it's called Buffer. Let's dig in.
Scheduling Social Updates
Part of keeping a Facebook or Twitter feed interesting is putting out information that is timely, engaging and compelling. Currently, if social media managers find interesting information and use the typical model, they have to Tweet out the updates manually. With Buffer, you can schedule the updates from any page on a pre-planned schedule.
Here's how it works: either through the Buffer site or by utilizing a browser plug-in, you can send a URL to Buffer and have Buffer put them out when you schedule them. Upon set up, Buffer senses your time zone and lets you create a schedule accordingly.
Buffer's website is a freemium service, meaning there is a free option with pricing models based on how many tweets or messages you want to load into the system. Up to 10 tweets is free, 50 tweets is US$ 5 a month (with three Twitter accounts and two team members per account) and unlimited is US$ 30 a month (with nine accounts and four members per account).
Easy as 1,2,3 Chrome or Google Reader
The Buffer website is clean, organized and easily grasped. For those who use Chrome, there's a very good Chrome extension that allows you to send a page to Buffer with one click. Also, for those who use Google Reader, you can utilize Reader's Send-To capability to send articles straight to Buffer from Google Reader. To set this up, see Buffer's blog post about this capability.
Scheduling tweets is nothing new -- HootSuite and TweetDeck can do this utility, but Buffer's usability puts it above the competition. Plus, with multiple account users, entities such as newsrooms or social media management teams with multiple authors can utilize Buffer to schedule messages for their audience.