What Is Buffer & Why Do I Need It?
The short answer, it's a tool that allows you to schedule your social media updates at the perfect time - getting them the most exposure.
The long answer...
In an early blog post from 2011, Buffer's CEO describes his idea for the platform as follows:
"It was a tiny idea. I wanted to take the scheduling feature of many Twitter clients and apps and make that single feature awesome. I believed that single feature was worthy of its own application. The aim was to create something genuinely useful with a delightful experience. The fundamental idea was to create a way to queue up tweets without scheduling each tweet individually. This is an idea I had after using other Twitter scheduling applications for the purpose of ensuring I didn’t flood people with 5 tweets at once whilst reading my tech & startup news in the morning. I couldn’t get it out of my head, and I’d suggested it to existing apps and they hadn’t implemented it. It was time to build it myself"
Fast forward 7 years. Buffer now has over 70,000 active users. The platform supports scheduling and sending updates to Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest & LinkedIn...and, of course, Twitter. Buffer customers use the platform to schedule and send hundreds of thousands of social media updates each day.
They started the company as part of a Hacker News challenge called “November Startup Sprint” in 2011. Basically, many people with ideas for a great online product entered with the goal of getting something launched by the end of November.
In short, they went from an idea to having paying customers in 7 weeks.
Their first website was about as simple as it gets... They were just testing how the idea would resonate with potential customers:
They had me at hello. I was lucky to discover them at that time and remember entering my email address into that form pictured above. From that point, it didn't take long for Buffer to become...
A True Social Media Partner
No, the staff at buffer doesn't write my social media updates for me, but I do know a few of them by name through various support interactions. Most of them maintain a healthy social media following that you can become a part of as well. One of them has even gone on to create a really cool community on slack for remote workers, but that's for another blog post.
The support staff at buffer is absolutely incredible. I've submitted several support requests through the years and received responses within an hour. Talk about fanatical support! It's comforting to know that, if I have an issue, it will be addressed & solved quickly. This is invaluable to anyone's social media endeavors.
They respond everywhere. I updated my review for their app recently, which already had a reply from them from a previous review in the Google Play store. They updated their response to my updated review. So many app developers fail to do this, and it makes such a huge impact to know a company is listening everywhere.
They give actionable tips for success on social media. It's great that they have an awesome social media tool, but they also care about their clients' success. The buffer blog is a wonderful resource for getting tips on improving every aspect of your social media management. There's so much information that their blog is actually divided up into 4 sections:
In their blog, Buffer takes some deep dives into some very complicated social media topics & they know everything going on in that space. When twitter upped their max character count for updates to 280 characters, I found out via Buffer's blog first:
Full Transparency via Baremetrics...Including Employee Salaries
Do you want to know how much their CEO makes? It's there.
Want to know how much the last person to sign up for Buffer paid? No problem.
The average revenue per user? Sure.
Buffer uses Baremetrics. The best way to describe Baremetrics is the financial "heartbeat" of the organization. Even as a customer or complete outsider, it can be accessed anytime to check on Buffer's financial status.
Sounds crazy, right? It's all public and very accessible.
If I want up to the minute access to Buffer's monthly revenue numbers, it's a click away at: https://buffer.baremetrics.com... - ...and, yes, their monthly recurring revenue is over 1 million dollars. They have been profitable pretty much since day 1. Many tech companies don't even begin to compare.
On the dashboard, you can see the company's information along with a live stream of their customer behavior: who has signed up, who has downgraded, who has cancelled, etc. It's actually fun to watch.
All This is Great...How Much Does Buffer Cost?
It depends on your needs. It has always been free (forever) with a basic plan that's good for most light social media use. Enterprise accounts for large teams can be in excess of $399 per month. They have price points that work for all budgets: https://buffer.com/pricing
I hope you enjoyed reading a little more about this great social media tool - which our my opinion is a must-have. If you can't already tell, we're huge fans. Is Buffer right for you? What do you like and/or dislike about it? What other tools do you prefer for your social updates?
Let us know in the comments & THANK YOU for reading!