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Tools to Create An Effective Social Media Strategy - Part 1 - Buffer

If you are leading (or part of) an organization, be it a business, nonprofit organization, at an institution, or a club, I’m guessing social media is a core responsibility and in the front of your mind daily. Am I right? However, I’m sure if you are like me you have questions like these:

  • Are we using the right tools?
  • Am I dedicating enough time?
  • Am I dedicating too much time?
  • How can I tell our story better while being more efficiently while remaining real and authentic?
First off, it’s common and ok to not have answers to these questions. Even though I eat, sleep, breathe social media and help organizations find the best way to tell their story, I battle with making sure I tell my own story and my company's story while juggling multiple platforms (and responsibilities). Sound relatable? So, I decided to share the tools I use day in and day out that can help you. This is part one in five-part series to help you level up your social media game. As a professional digital storyteller and content creator, I understand how social media allows organizations to connect more effectively with their customers. And with a good social media strategy, these connections can turn into lasting relationships that turn into real marketing value. Especially long term, patience and trusting the process is key. But a good strategy certainly does not have to be a difficult one. Therefore, in this series, I am going to introduce five apps that help – the organizations I work with, as well as my own professional brand – create a flawless social media strategy. In this post, however, I will first present Buffer because it does such a good job creating and curating content – the key to a good social media strategy. You can learn why I switched from Hootsuite to Buffer back in 2011 in this post I wrote two years ago. *This post is not sponsored. I truly believe in Buffer, their team, and how they are evolving their platform. It has been one tool that has stuck with me since I switched in 2011 and I have witness several organizations benefit from using it because of it's customer service and fast learning curve.  What It Does: Ever wonder how large organizations such as Humans of New York, TED-Ed, and Forbes are always present on your News Feed with a different post every hour? This is probably what you have in mind: socialmedia.washingtondc                 However, no one would or even should be manning the computer all day and clicking the share and submit button whenever the clock strikes. That’s exactly what Buffer can help with. Simply put, Buffer is a social media scheduler which allows users to schedule (with several variations) ahead when a specific content should be released on their desired social media platform(s) (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn,...). How It Helps: With Buffer, all you need to do is create a custom schedule of promoting content, and Buffer will automatically release each content according to your ideal Buffer Schedule. In a one-day interval, Buffer permits users to create up to 25 time slots —enough to share one content every hour! Especially useful on Twitter considering the speed and “shelf-life” content has. But be careful, make sure you read the new Twitter algorithm update and how it will affect users timelines. Buffer.schedule                       If your goal is to maximize post views, the Optimal Timing Tool available on Buffer can identify when the audience in your targeted geographic destination is more likely to engage with the content, thereby helps you to come up with a better schedule. The Analytics option in Buffer also shows how many clicks, retweets, reach, and potential reach each post receives. These charts and graphs can easily be exported, providing great data for your business or your boss/client. What’s best is that having Buffer, all these tasks don’t have to be a one-person job. Buffer Schedule can be shared among users which makes the work more collaborative. Members of a team can directly add content and change schedule anytime. This function eliminates sending emails back and forth between co-workers and provides a separate platform focusing solely on creating and curating content. There is also one added convenience where users can save Buffer on their toolbar to bookmark pages and posts they come across elsewhere--without opening a separate browser for Buffer. These contents will then be added directly to the app. And on Buffer Feed (my favorite), users can automatically see new posts from the websites they’re interested in which cuts down the time searching for content considerably. My Personal #ProTip: You want to get the most life out of your content whether it be an article, video, or image. Therefore, if a piece of content is especially important, sharing it multiple times throughout the week (on Twitter), the month (on Facebook & Linkedin) preferably with different imagery, will target more viewers. Remember though, just because you can automate your content distribution, don't become a robot. Spend the extra few minutes on creative - try using a different image, quote, and especially mix up the post copy. A good rule of thumb I use is that no more than 60-75% of content should be automated. This is especially true on Twitter and Instagram because posting in real-time is key. Creating and curating content connects with your audience and helps paint the picture about your organization. Therefore, a tool like Buffer is so important; it keeps the task clean and efficient with more cost effective and much less time consuming. Stay tuned in the next few weeks for part two-five in this series to help you develop a consistent and effective social media strategy that works. About me: I am entrepreneur, digital storyteller, and founder of The Niche Movement a community of young professionals helping others find the work they love. I currently run my own digital storytelling agency helping organizations who are passionate about what they do tell their story. We are based out of Washington, DC helping clients big and small from every corner of the world. Previously to taking a leap of faith and launching two businesses full-time, I spent 8+ years working in several student affairs functions from student leadership to marketing and before I took the leap of faith to go out on my own I worked at Rutgers University as the Marketing and Social Media Director for the recreation department. Follow me on Snapcaht, Instagram, and Twitter at @koco83.