Surge Review: Social Media Management with Buffer

UPDATED 1 JANUARY 2019

Stuart Goulden

@StuGoulden

Your shortcut to effortless editing and cross-posting of your social media content, across all the major platforms. Buffer is a must-have tool for many social media managers.

  • Rating 9/10
  • Price FREE+
BUY NOW
  • LOVED
  • Generous free plan. Easy to master.
  • Great for teams. Grows followings.
  • LOATHED
  • Held back by platform T&Cs.
  • Strict stance on reposting.

What is Buffer?

Buffer makes it easy for marketing teams to power all their social media activity, across all their accounts, in one place. Its beauty is in this simplicity.

Its Publish tool is a hassle-free shortcut to tailor and post social content to multiple platforms, eliminating the need to log into multiple platforms. From its simple interface, you can also schedule posts and analyse your most popular content across Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and more.

This review will predominantly focus on Publish as the most popular and powerful tool in the Buffer armoury, however its Reply product is worth exploring if you aim to keep on top of correspondence with customers across social media as a team.


Buffer Features.

Tailored Posts Composer

Buffer's posting hub. The Composer is a small box that sits at the heart of Publish, allowing you to select your social accounts, craft your post, and send or schedule it for the future. The interface also allows you to mention others and add hashtags and emojis.

Made for teams

Multiple team members managing multiple accounts can quickly become messy. Buffer solves this problem by allowing you to create profiles for up to 25 team members, manage their access levels and collaborate as one. If an agency or junior staffer’s posts need approval, here’s the place to do it.

Content sourcing

Pull in great content wherever you are on the web via the Buffer Chrome and Firefox extension. Share links, images, videos and tweets in only a couple of clicks. Simply click the Buffer button on any website to add content to your queue.

Helpful analytics

Discover which content works best and ditch the rest. With each post, Buffer give you analytics about clicks, retweets, mentions, shares, likes and more. Buffer's “buff.ly” shortener must be switched on to see the stats.

Integrations overload

The vast number of plugins mean your feeds will never run dry. Easily and automatically share content from your mobile, WordPress blog and favourite round-up apps, such as Feedly, Pocket and Instapaper. Plus you can concoct your own content recipes with IFTTT and Zapier.

Bulk uploads

Good news for the super-organised amongst you. Bulk Buffer is a free third party app, allowing you to bulk import posts from a CSV file. It’s limited to text-only posts but is a useful feature nonetheless.


Things to consider.

Generous entry-level plans

Most small businesses can survive on the Free and Pro Plans –  personally, I’m a Pro subscriber due to my multiple side-project accounts. You’ll know when the time is right to upgrade to a Business Plan, however unless you’re overseeing a supersized content team or are an agency handling the social accounts of multiple clients you may never need to.

Not ideal for evergreen content

There are workarounds to schedule repeat posts of the same/similar content, however you might want to take out a seperate Recurpost subscription for this. Why not make it easier? Buffer HQ cite potential spamming as the primary reason, however most of their subscribers will value their followers enough not to compromise the relationship.

Does a few things very well

A lot of Buffer competitors are bloated with unnecessary features. Not Buffer. Its core features focus on what’s meaningful and have been refined over time. The result is an intuitive tool that anybody can pick up and use straight away and keep updated on the go. Spending only an hour a week populating Buffer will work wonders for your social profiles.

Smart group posting

To further speed up your workflow, Buffer allow you to bundle accounts together for quick posting. With the click of a button, you can select all of the social accounts that belong to a particular Posting Group and schedule content in one go. Only available on Business Plans.

Emojis FTW

A handy new update enables you to add emojis to your posts directly from the Tailored Posts Composer. Great for grabbing attention and boosting engagement. However, you can’t (yet) search for them, meaning finding your emoji involves a long scroll through the entire selection.


Buffer Publish pricing.

Starter

Forever Free
free-
  • Up to 3 social accounts
  • 1 user
  • 10 scheduled posts per social account
  • Most other features

Pro

7 day trial then
$15per month
  • Up to 8 social accounts
  • 1 user
  • 100 scheduled posts per social account
  • + Post to Pinterest
  • + RSS feeds
  • + Calendar
  • + Analytics

Business

14 day trial then
$99+per month
  • 25+ accounts
  • 5+ additional team members
  • 2000 scheduled posts per social account
  • + Advanced social analytics

Registered non-profits receive a 50% discount on Buffer Publish Plans. A nice touch.


Verdict.

Buffer Publish helps you to effortlessly up your social media game.

Its intuitive interface and content editor are your shortcuts to becoming a power user across all the major social media platforms, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest. Dedicate a few hours a week to Buffer on the back of setting-up its integrations and you’ll be posting more often and to more platforms, hitting the mark with content that reasonates and be rewarded with bigger, more engaged followings – the key ingredients to any successful social media strategy!

Social media professionals will find it useful too. If multiple people contribute to your social accounts or if you’re an agency managing accounts on behalf of clients, it’ll allow you to do so with clarity, teamwork and speed. Price-wise, it is more than competitive. Subscriptions are based on the number of users and accounts rather than the size of your followings, so there’s a lot of value to be had for brands and businesses punching above their weight.

And that’s it. Buffer purposely doesn’t try to do it all. The service focuses on a few meaningful features, makes sure it does them better than anybody else, and frees up lots of your time for your other marketing activity in the process.

BUFFER.COM

Founder of future-led marketing agency and start-up studio, Like No Other.