A week ago I was reading a blog post by Michael Hyatt on his daily reading list. Scanning the list, I saw a new service mentioned – Buffer. This is a simple-to-use little app that allows you to create tweets on the fly as you read RSS feeds, your Twitter stream, or just about anything else that may enter through your web browser.
Old news, right? Well, Buffer adds a new twist in that it allows you to spread your tweets throughout the day without preplanning your release schedule. Moreover, as I read the some of the articles on Buffer’s blog, I saw how using Buffer could increase my Twitter clicks by 200 percent.
How Buffer Works
Buffer installs as an extension within Chrome. The developers also provide extensions for most other popular browsers and platforms.
When you come across something of interest and you want to add it to your Twitter stream, simply click on the Buffer extension and it opens a familiar Twitter message box.
You are given two options: Tweet now or Add to Buffer. Buffer provides the initial text and link, or you can edit the text to add your own flair. When you are finished, simply click the Add to Buffer button and a little ball bounces for a second or two before Buffer gives you a little affirmation: “Awesome! One more Tweet in your Buffer. Keep it topped up!” (Wow, I’ve never felt so good about Tweeting!)
Take a look at your Buffer, and you will see all of your Tweets lined up and ready to go.
The Killer Feature
Now, for the killer feature as far as I am concerned: the schedule.
Buffer let’s you automatically create a simple schedule, instructing the app when to send your Tweets. On Buffer’s official blog, the developers recommend Tweeting between 1-4 times per hour.
Finally, to help you measure your success and make adjustments as necessary, Buffer provides you with basic analytical statistics showing the number of retweets, clicks, and reads your Tweets are receiving.
Setting up your account is free. With the free account you can buffer a maximum of 10 tweets. Also, with a free account you are limited in your scheduling ability. In order to give the app a true test, I upgraded to the “Pro” account, which allows me to buffer up to 50 Tweets and to customize my schedule.
How does it work? We’ll find out. Currently, I have 140 followers on Twitter. I am going to use Buffer for a month and see if I can track any improvement in my clicks or in the number of followers.
What do I like so far?
- Tweet, schedule, and forget it. I love it.
- Simple interface.
- Positive “atta-boy” affirmations after each Tweet.
- Simple analytics to help track your Twitter efforts.
Are there any negatives? Sure, the price ($10 per month) seems high for what Buffer offers. (You can save a little by purchasing an annual plan.) Consider, for comparison, that HootSuite is only $5.99 per month, and it provides a broader selection of tools.
So, watch my Twitter feed and you should see a lot more activity courtesy of Buffer.