Every growth-conscious brand in today’s world knows that a solid social media presence is non-negotiable. Thankfully, there are numerous social media management apps that can help such brands achieve their growth goals. Buffer is one such app that many popular brands trust with managing their social media accounts. In this Buffer review, we'll go over everything you need to know about Buffer, including its key features, how it works, its pricing, pros and cons. Hopefully, our buffer review gives you the information you need to decide if it’s what you need or not.
About the Buffer brand
Buffer has a story that we found captivating, one that deserves a mention in this Buffer review. The application was the idea of the company co-founder, Joel Gascoigne. He began developing it in October 2010 and by the next month, the first version, with its very limited – compared to the more recent ones – features, was launched. Four days post-launch, Buffer landed its first paying client; that number has grown to over 160,000 today.
The culture at Buffer is one of transparency and deliberate promotion of positivity. This is seen in how it makes its salary calculation algorithm (along with the salaries determined for its 85 employees) public.
How does the Buffer app work?
Buffer is a straightforward service at its core. You connect your social media accounts and then schedule posts for each of them. You add an item to your “buffer” whenever you find anything you want to share, and the software publishes it on your behalf at a predetermined time.
Unlike most social media management apps that may only support a couple of platforms, Buffer supports Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google.
Related: Build your career on social media with this comprehensive guide.
Buffer is a useful tool for creating posts, scheduling them, and uploading them with a single click. It’s available as a browser extension for Chrome, Safari and Firefox browsers. It’s also available as a mobile app for Android and iOS devices. In addition to creating and scheduling posts for social media, Buffer also helps you research and create content for blog posts.
Buffer’s social media management solutions fall under three categories, namely: Buffer Publish, Buffer Engage and Buffer Analyze. Buffer Publish is the main app, where you can create and schedule your posts.
Before we go into details, we first have to sign up with Buffer. We’ll look at how that works in the next part of our Buffer review.
Getting Started with BufferApp – Buffer signup
The Buffer sign up process is as easy as it gets. By clicking on the “Get started now” button at the top-right corner, you’ll be taken to the Buffer pricing page. Click on the “Start my free plan” button at the top-right corner and it’ll take you to the Buffer sign-up page. Fill out your email address, create a password, check the CAPTCHA box and you’re good to go.
The next steps include setting up your social accounts by connecting them to Buffer. It’s quite easy to complete and you’ll find helpful prompts explaining most of the process as you go.
Buffer offers a 14-day free trial of its paid features so you can get a feel for the product and decide whether it's right for you. You don't even need to whip out your credit card. Simply enter your name, email address, and company information to get started right away. You can tell that this saved us time as we tested the application for our Buffer review.
What we like about the Buffer sign-up process
- It’s simple and pretty straightforward.
- There’s no credit card required.
- There are helpful prompts that guide you through the sign-up process.
What we don’t like about the Buffer sign up process
- At the password creation part of the form, it says that the password must include an uppercase and a special symbol. However, we were able to create our password without the special symbol. It would be nice to have that inconsistency cleared up.
Buffer App Features
Buffer is one social media management tool that offers a lot of functionality for business growth at pocket-friendly rates (more on this in Buffer pricing). In this part of our buffer review, we take a look at some of its key features which include:
- Customized scheduling: This is at the core of Buffer’s service. With its drag-and-drop editor, you can create, edit and schedule your content for posting at your preferred time. Buffer will do the rest. Buffer also suggests the best times of the day to post so that your content reaches more people and get more engagements.
- Multiple posts across multiple platforms: You can schedule multiple posts to be automatically published on your different social accounts over a period of time.
- Content creation tool: With Buffer, you can create original content or share great content from other people on the web. You can create your original content from your Buffer dashboard and thanks to the Buffer browser extension, you can share amazing stuff you come across on the web with your audience.
- Multi-media format sharing: Adding media in multiple formats to your posts can increase engagements. Statistics show that posts with images get 2.3 times more engagement than those without. If you’re having trouble sourcing nice images for your content, Buffer helps you by providing the best images, in any format, for your posts. With integrations with software like Pablo and Canva, Buffer allows you to add pictures, gifs and videos to your posts.
- RSS feeds connectivity: This feature allows you to see and share posts from your favourite blogs or websites. Up until May 2020, users could access this feature directly from their Buffer dashboard. Not to worry, the RSS feed connectivity feature is still available on Buffer with Feedly or Zapier integrations.
- Analytics and insights: The free Buffer plan will show you basic performance reports, such as likes, comments, reach, and shares from your posts. You can already see all of these from your social media accounts but it's useful to have them in the app to keep things more organized.
- Team collaboration: It takes collaborative effort to manage a business social media account successfully. This often means a team of committed designers, content writers and marketers are all working together to produce the best posts possible. You can add extra users to your Buffer account depending on whatever plan you choose.
When you click on “Invite a New Team Member,” Buffer will send out an invitation to collaborate. You may assign projects to complete full workflows, assign approval capabilities and more.
What we like about the Buffer app features
- Compared to similar tools, Buffer makes it easier to post to more social media accounts – and even blogs – at the same time.
- It allows you to customise settings for each account you’re managing. For instance, you can set times zones for each of the 3 channels you’re managing.
- Buffer’s integrations – particularly the Zapier feature – makes it possible to do so much with the quality of your social media content.
- It allows for automating workflows, assigning team members to channels, reviewing and approving posts when you’re collaborating. It sends email notifications when changes are made to content or posts fail to publish.
What we don’t like about the Buffer app features
- It cannot schedule multi-image or video posts to Instagram. This is more of an Instagram problem though. Buffer’s workaround is to automatically load these posts for you in IG and notify you to manually publish them.
- We found a number of complaints about the data reported in analytics being different from what other analytic tools reported.
This part of our Buffer review talks about its pricing. Buffer has 2 plans: Free and Essentials. The Essentials plan costs an unbelievable $5 per month – a reasonable rate, considering its rich features and competitions’ rates. You can choose to pay monthly or annually. You can pay $60 and save $12 when you choose to be billed annually.
On the free plan, you have access to all of Buffer’s basic features but if you want to enjoy Buffer’s best features, signing up for the Essentials plan is the way to go. For an extra $5/month per add-on, you can add more features like additional channels and the team pack add-on.
What we like about Buffer’s pricing
- It’s easily one of the most affordable social media management tools on the market.
- The option of getting add-ons make it possible to customise your plan and only pay for what you use.
What we don’t like about Buffer’s pricing
- The free plan is great at scheduling and publishing posts but it’s quite limited in functionality.
Our Buffer review bottom line
To conclude our Buffer review, we'd like to say that the Buffer app delivers on its promise to provide businesses with a more affordable, authentic and intuitive way to connect and grow their brands on social media. It's easy to use and has enough features to make the monthly subscription charge worthwhile. Buffer is a useful addition to your marketing tool belt whether you're an agency or a solopreneur that wants to improve your social media presence.
On the other hand, in spite of all its awesome features, it isn't the best social media management solution for businesses or agencies that are heavy on data reports and analysis. We do hope that this Buffer review helps you decide if Buffer is the best fit for your needs.