Tuesday

Does Your Tweeting Need a Buffer?

Article first published as Does Your Tweeting Need A Buffer? on Technorati.

Have you heard about Buffer? Buffer is an application that makes tweeting easier. If you’ve used apps like CoTweet or Hootsuite, you’re used to publishing services that allow you to schedule Tweets to be posted on different days and at different times.

Buffer is different, though, in a few important ways. For starters, it gives users a Chrome extension (or Firefox bookmark add on) that allows users to save links that the find while surfing to Tweet then or at a later time. As a browser who views hundreds of pages in a week, I like the idea of simplifying my tweeting process and not having to open Twitter to post a link.

The second is that the tweets are randomly scheduled so that your followers don’t get overly annoyed with your super-sharing. When you install Buffer, it sets four random times and then allocates your Tweets over them. Users can set them and tailor them as they wish.

And the third is a smaller feature that suggests Tweets that you might want to post. The engine currently populates your stream with inspirational quotes from the likes of Steve Jobs.

There are also nice options to add multiple accounts, some good analytics and Bit.ly incorporation. In my first 24 hours using the application, it’s been incredibly simple, intuitive and helpful.

Joel Gascoigne, one of the founders, took a few minutes to answer five of my questions about Buffer after using it for 24 hours. Here are his responses:

In 140 characters or less, why should a Twitter user start using Buffer?
'With Buffer, you can Tweet more without annoying your followers. Add great content you find to Buffer and we share it on an ideal schedule.'

Buffer makes it incredibly easy to store, schedule and share Tweets and unlike other publishing platforms (CoTweet as an example), the scheduling has been taken care of with random times to Tweet. Are these times based on data that you've collected (i.e. optimized based on best time to Tweet) or simply random?
'Our current times are based on data we've researched, with an element of our own experiences. What matters most to us is to leave our users in control. We therefore keep it is super simple for them to go ahead and adjust the timing to their needs.'

Suggest a Tweet is an interesting feature. Right now it currently provides the user with great quotes. How do you see this evolving in the future?
'We're delighted that many people are finding the quotes interesting and are Tweeting them. What we are really excited about is that these suggestions are now submitted by our users. So it is a crowdsourced project, and has been a great way to involve our community. We plan to push this further and build more tools for our community to help us shape the product.'

Describe the thinking behind your Pro and Premium accounts. For example, you can have multiple team members. Can these members be categorized and given different publishing privileges?
'The main reason people upgrade is for extra Tweets in their Buffer, or for the ability to manage multiple Twitter accounts. Additionally, they can allow team members to help them keep the Buffer topped up. Currently we've kept it simple, but there is definitely potential for different publishing privileges and ways to measure the impact each team member has had on the quality and quantity of Tweets published.'

Global brands are setting up Twitter streams en mass and experimenting with a slew of publishing platforms. Why should community managers and marketers consider using Buffer for their accounts? Are any brands using the service right now?
'We aim to be more than just a tool, and we're always delighted to talk to brands and help them succeed with their efforts on Twitter. We have many community managers using Buffer as a tool in their arsenal to manage Twitter. One community manager said the reason she chose is that Buffer is "The human way to schedule tweets to your community. My new favorite tool for myself and my clients." We have a number of medium sized brands using Buffer and we're reaching more brands each and every day.'

The potential for the twitter suggestion feature for brands is huge. Like Twitter promoted tweets, Buffer could allow brands to insert specific suggestions or links so that users can find content and Tweets to talk about when they're stuck.

Simply put, Buffer is worth a download. Test it out and tweet easier.

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