Blog Archives

Why You Should Schedule Your Updates With Buffer

Buffer has been a staple ingredient in my social media management workflow for a couple of years now. If you’ve not tried it yet, now’s the time!

One million Buffer users It’s a simple, free tool that allows users to schedule tweets and posts to other social networks including Facebook (pages and profiles), LinkedIn (profiles, groups and company pages), Google+ (pages only) and App.net. And with yesterday’s announcement that Buffer now has one million users, the future looks bright for the business that Joel started in Birmingham UK in October 2010.

Why would you want to schedule posts?

If you’re anything like me, you don’t spend all day monitoring social media channels. Every once in a while you get a few minutes to read some interesting articles and blogs. And if you see something you’d like to share you know how easy it is to post it to one of your social networks. But if you only send out posts there and then, there’s a risk you could be seen to be spamming your followers with lots of content in one go. And anyone who’s not online at that moment may miss the great content you’d love them to see. By scheduling your posts to drip feed out over the coming hours, you enable your followers to hear from you regularly and you increase the likelihood that they’ll engage with your content.

So, what does Buffer do and how does it work?

In a nutshell, Buffer acts as a holding bay for your social media posts. Rather than sending them out immediately, it puts them to one side and sends them at a later scheduled time. There are two ways to tell Buffer when to publish your posts: there’s an auto-schedule that you configure so posts go out at the times/days when your audience is most likely to be online and there’s a custom schedule which allows you to specify when each individual post should go live.

Unlike some tools like Hootsuite, which only schedules in five minute increments, you can specify the exact time (to the nearest minute) your posts should go out. Buffer also integrates with tools like SocialBro, allowing them to configure your auto-schedule based on audience data collected from the social web. It’s this sort of functionality that gives me confidence that Buffer will send my posts out at the right times of day.

Buffer also provides detailed analytics for each post it sends (with optional link shortening through buff.ly, bit.ly or j.mp) and allows you to reorder or edit scheduled posts if required. I also use the app extension for Buffer in the Chrome browser giving me one click access to schedule posts to any of my social networks.

It’s a freemium model, of course, so there’s also a paid for version of the tool. At $10 per month (or $8.50 on a yearly contract) the Awesome Plan adds extended support for unlimited posts, up to 12 social profiles and allows two team members to manage one Buffer profile.

Of course, there are many other tools that can help you schedule posts in the future, but the superb performance of Buffer and its great customer service means it remains a firm favourite here at Wild Orange Media Towers.

To get started with buffer, click over to http://www.bufferapp.com. I think you’ll like it.

Which UK Brands Are Winning On Facebook?

Socialbakers has released its latest report into top brand performance in the UK and, no surprise, big names like Amazon, Coca-Cola and iTunes lead the league when ranked on their number of followers.

But “as any fule kno” measuring the number of fans alone is a pretty pointless exercise. Having fans counts for nothing if they don’t engage with your content because Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm will help ensure that little more than 5% of your fans will ever see your posts.

So the chart that’s more insightful is actually the ‘Post Engagement Rate’ table which ranks brands by the number of fans who engage with the brand’s posts. And here we see brands like Blossom Hill, a winemaker, and Whiskas, a pet food brand, performing well:

Socialbakers August 2013 Facebook Engagement Rate Table

Take a note of those engagement levels. Of the brands that Socialbakers monitors, the top performer in August 2013 was Blossom Hill with 2.18% engagement, mostly derived from the summer image below that drove huge engagement (20.4%) towards the end of the month:

image

However, the average engagement level of all brands on Facebook was 0.18% in August. To put that into perspective, for every 10,000 fans you amass you can expect to get just 18 points of engagement (a ‘Like, comment, share etc.) for each post you make.

Blossom Hill seems to be focussing its Facebook marketing on a heavily visual, photo-based strategy and, for now, it seems to be working. It’s certainly quite distinctive and consistent, helping ensure that each first point of engagement with a fan should lead to repeat interactions. And it’s a world away from the lazy tactics used by brands like Play.com. It’s good to see a smart strategy, based on bringing entertainment and utility to people’s lives, paying dividends.

How do your results compare? Are you beating the 0.18% average, and what would it take to compete with brands like Blossom Hill and stretch to the dizzy heights of a 2% engagement level?

Notes:
You can download the Socialbakers tables from here.

The State of Friendship in a Social Media World

I’d love to attribute this image to someone, but I have no idea where it first appeared.

But it’s great and says a lot about the shifting meaning of ‘friendship’ and the inescapable shallowness of many of our daily interactions in a digital world:

Modern Friendship in a Social Media World

Many thanks to whoever created this. I’m sure we’d make great friends.

Happy Friday everyone!

Back To School – Time to Update Your Social Media Cover Photos

With the kids heading back to school in the UK today or very soon, now is the perfect time to polish up your social media profile pictures and cover photos. But knowing what size your images need to be has always been a time-consuming exercise.

But not anymore, thanks to this nifty guide from the team at Raidious.

Now, if only you could find a decent photo to start with…

Reasons to Unlike a Brand On Facebook

Why I unliked Play.com

(click image to enlarge)

Take a close look at the image above.

Need any more reasons why your brand should abandon its incessant pursuit for meaningless ‘Likes’ on Facebook?

Of course, you don’t have to stop. No-one will issue you a ‘cease and desist’ letter. That’s the beauty of the free-flowing social web.

But you should stop. You really should.

Thanks.

June 2013 – Top UK Facebook Performers Report

Michael-Ball-WinnerThe Socialbakers’ report for June is now out. In it we learn that Amazon UK is the UK’s leading brand page on Facebook with almost 3.5million local fans, ‘Up Your Viva’ is the leading media brand page despite losing fans since its peak in mid-May, Michael Ball gets more engagement on Facebook than George Michael, and EE responded to more questions on Facebook in June than Sky but took almost twice as long on average to do it.

Get the full report from Socialbakers. How does your brand page compare?

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