9 Ways to Improve Your Social Media in 2014 with the new Buffer for Business

9 Ways to Improve Your Social Media in 2014 with the new Buffer for Business

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.

business

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.

Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 10.44.22 AM

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.

date range

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.

  • I agree with the Facebook User-tagging! This is a feature I really miss but love the way it works for Twitter. I’m currently on my business trial and I must say it really looks good 😉

  • Clément Delangue

    That’s an awesome review of the new Buffer for business. Analytics will probably help us becoming more ROI driven when it comes to social media. And with the slick integration into our product ( mention.net/buffer ), i’m just starting to use buffer for every link I’m sharing.

  • Good summary Francisco. Many of these features have been features of Post Planner for some time! Posting to Facebook groups will likely not happen with Buffer. We at Post Planner removed that ability after Facebook forced the issue. I see Facebook stopping all apps from posting to groups due to spam. And I don’t foresee Facebook’s API allowing tagging of other users. The spam implications are just too great.

  • Boot Camp Digital

    Big fan of the buffer scheduling system. I use hootsuite for the workweek and leave buffer scheduled out for the weekend to re-post some of our best content.

  • Thanks for your input Scott, that helps.

  • This is the first time I ‘ve heard of buffer for businesses. Something new for me to try out

  • That sounds like a good system.

  • Yes, I think Mention’s integration with Buffer was a great idea.

  • Francisco – I’m giving Buffer for Business a try and I can’t figure out how to integrate it with Google Analytics. I don’t see anything about it on the Buffer blog either. Can you tell me where I can find that? Thanks!

  • Hello Laura, I’m looking into it…

  • LeoWid

    Hi Laura and Francisco, that’s a great question! So with Buffer for Business, you can now track all your Buffered links in Google Analytics, by super easily setting up UTM parameters inside Buffer. Here is more on how this works: http://blog.bufferapp.com/introducing-google-analytics-integration-for-buffer-and-3-more-features

  • Thanks, Leo! I had been on that page, I just didn’t scroll down far enough to catch the setting. Turns out, I had it turned on anyway. 🙂

    Just curious – how does this set up differ from what we were already getting through the Awesome plan? I believe I’ve already been seeing Buffer showing up as a separate traffic source and campaign in analytics already. Does this add something new?

  • LeoWid

    Hi Laura, ah yes, great question! Yes, so with the Business plan, you now have the option to adjust these UTM parameters (say, you have a launch campaign, you can change it to “launch” or something else). So that way you can more accurately see how social is affecting traffic for your sites (or other people’s!)

  • I haven’t been using all of the features of Buffer, thanks for the tips.

  • They’ve been doing a great job moving forward, I’m sure you agree. Thanks for stopping by Lee!

  • Junaid Ahmed

    That’s great to read the post. Every business wants to become visible in social media, and these tips are much useful for this purpose and to follow where your business stands. I haven’t give a try to it but after reading your blog I am definitely going to work on it. Thank you for sharing the great post.

  • Melissa

    This was super helpful! I’m desperately working to find the best option for managing social media for my clients. This was quite clarifying. Thanks.