Buffer has been around for a while now, as a great tool to publish updates to social media, which I enjoy using frequently on my Twitter account. Recently, the Buffer team announced Buffer for Business, with some great improvements to existing features and a few exciting new ones.
I thought of taking the whole product for a spin and see what I like or don’t like about it.
Here are some of my thoughts and suggestions for improvements on Buffer’s new product:
1. Admin rights for members of your team: You can approve first
When you start adding more team members to your Buffer account, your social media profiles can get a bit messy with everyone jumping in. The Buffer for Business plans introduced much-needed approval features for team member contributions.
Now, if a team member is set to contribute only, their posts will be added to a queue for approval before being published.
2. Integration with Google Analytics
We all use Google Analytics, so it’s even more useful when it integrates with another product we use. Buffer’s Business analytics now offer integration with Google Analytics, letting you set your own UTM tracking parameters for buffered posts. This will make it so much easier to track and report on your specific marketing campaigns, or those of your clients.
3. Adding a large number of social accounts
With Buffer’s Business accounts, you can now add even more social media profiles. Currently the product supports Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and App.net. With LinkedIn groups and Facebook and Google+ Pages, there are so many places to keep up with your brand’s social media presence that the extra account options will certainly come in handy.
4. Options for more team members
You can also add up to 25 team members to manage your social media profiles now. If you’re managing an agency or a marketing team, this will be really useful for spreading the workload.
5. Brand new analytics: tracking of clicks, retweets and more
The new, improved analytics of Buffer is one of the parts I’m most excited about. The team has pushed for more flexibility and reliability in reporting, and it shows. They’ve added graphs so you can visualize your stats and you can choose different elements to compare, like posts per day and clicks or retweets.
6. See how fast your fans and followers are growing
One thing that I’ve always used other tools for is visualizing my follower growth. Now, I don’t have to. Buffer’s Business analytics include the option to see a graph of your follower growth compared with your account’s activity and engagement.
7. Custom date ranges for analytics
Unlike previous version of Buffer, where you had to scroll through your updates chronologically, you can now choose a custom date range to view your analytics plotted on a graph. There are some built-in date ranges as well, just to make things easy. But if 7 days, 30 days or 90 days don’t suit you, you can choose to view 6 months or a year’s worth of stats, or even choose specific dates based on your marketing campaigns.
8. Reorder your analytics
One thing I’ve been wanting to do for a long time is understand the trends in which of my posts get more clicks and which get more engagement. In the new Buffer analytics grid, this is easy to do by clicking on a heading to reorder the stats.
9. Export your data
Lastly, I’m really excited that I can export my analytics now. This means I’m not tied-in to Buffer and I can use my own analysis or just save the stats to come back to later. I can also send them as a report to other people in my team or to clients.
My wishlist for Buffer
The Buffer team have done a great job with Buffer for Business, and I’m excited to see where it goes in the future. There’s always room for improvement, of course, so here are a few things on my wishlist for the team at Buffer:
- Continued improvement for analytics: The current improvements are great, but I think this is an important area for Buffer to focus on. I’d love to see even more options to control how the data is presented and to really drill down into useful insights about my social media marketing.
- Grouping of accounts based: When you’re using Buffer to manage social media for multiple clients, it can get quite unwieldy with a lot of social media profiles in your account. A way to group these profiles by client would make it much more manageable.
- support for Facebook groups and tagging (and Pinterest!): I’m keen to see more social networks added to Buffer like Instagram and Pinterest, but first I’d like to see better support for Facebook. Being able to post to specific groups and tag other Facebook users will make Buffer a much better marketing tool.
If you’re looking to make a few changes in 2014 to your Social Media marketing and getting it up to date, I think the new Buffer product might be worth taking a look.
Of course, I’d love your take on the pros and cons here. Have you tried it out before? If so, what’s your thinking? Hit me in the comments below.