Buffer is billed as a simple yet effective social media toolkit for small businesses. It’s just one of many different social media management options (opens in new tab) tools out there in the market, but the emphasis at Buffer is on affordability, which is always welcome given today’s trading challenges.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one social media management solution, Buffer should do it, even within the limits of the free version. However, to unleash its full potential, you need to invest more time and money to access the full suite of tools. The best example of this is with the Essentials package, but the Team edition is better suited for collaborative work.
Subscriptions and Prices
Buffer has kept a close eye on simplicity with its pricing plans. There is something for most if not all types of businesses and payment can be made on a monthly or annual basis. If you are just starting out and want to gain some experience with a social media management tool, the Free package (opens in new tab) makes a lot of sense. In fact, this comes with a zero price tag, which is ideal if you’re on a tight budget and can manage up to three channels.
The next is the Supplies package (opens in new tab)† This costs $6 per month / $5 per year per social channel. It’s easy to add additional channels as and when you need them, and paying annually will save you $12 off the total cost over a year. This 14-day free trial is suitable for professionals who need to rely on publishing, analytics and engagement tools as part of their day-to-day business.
a muscular agency package (opens in new tab) is also available, which is great for marketing agencies with 10 or more social channels on board. However, the price matches the potential of $120 per month for 10 social channels, although this drops from $1440 to $1200 per year if you choose to pay annually. You get all the features of the Team package plus customs access and permissions and more.
the beefier Team package (opens in new tab) is fully aimed at all companies that have more of a cooperation agreement. This offers much more user flexibility, costing $12 per month or you can cut $24 off the price by paying $120 per year for it. Additional channels can be added as and when they are needed, which means a lot of freedom.
As with any scalable social media management tool, Buffer can be used in its most basic form, which is suitable if you’re just starting out. You get a range of basic publishing tools and a handy landing page builder, but if you really want to boost your social media management potential, go for the Essentials pack and above.
By upgrading you immediately have the opportunity to do much more. For example, with the free edition, scheduled posts per channel are limited to just 10 per social channel. Get a paid subscription and that goes up to 2000 for starters. Of course, it’s easy to work with the obvious social channels, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, with any edition of Buffer.
Likewise, there are several scheduling options, a calendar view, plus useful day-to-day features, such as a link shortening option and a custom link customization option. But paid editions also offer features like custom video thumbnails, multi-channel campaign delivery, and lots of cool options for customizing Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook posts.
Essential ingredients for more efficient social media management are also in Buffer, such as its powerful tools from audience demographics auditing to machine learning insights. The latter is like a smart way to adjust and fine-tune your results to get the best out of messaging.
Buffer is also great for its tools that cover the range of analytics and reporting requests from business users. The ability to get a performance overview is vital and that’s packed into Essentials and later editions, along with more specific history details in individual posts, plus historical insights that help companies build a bigger picture scenario.
What makes Buffer even more attractive is the extensive range of reporting tools. After all, if you don’t have data to present at meetings, the validity of the purchase is quickly compromised. Buffer offers custom reporting tools, although you’ll need to invest in the more expensive editions to get exportable reports and reports that can be custom branded. However, business users will find these options invaluable and probably won’t mind the extra cost of getting them.
Interface and in use
One of the best things about Buffer is the way the designers have made the interface a pleasure to use. Much of this is due to the simplicity of the layout, with little standing in the way of increasing your social media management potential. This also applies to the more complex and versatile premium products, even those packaged in powerful reporting tools and extensive data analysis.
We are very impressed with the attention to detail shown in terms of buffer support. Like everyone else, there’s a great starting point through an online help center. This includes a searchable database of help topics, plus a whole host of tutorials and other insights on how to get the most out of your Buffer package.
Anyone who needs further assistance can contact the Buffer Support team on a one-to-one basis. This is very simple in that you simply unsubscribe using one of the many different subject area options to trigger a response. The Buffer community is another aspect of the support options found in this pack that allows for a wider range of contact options for users.
While users with fairly basic needs can use Buffer, this is a social media management suite that will really come into its own for larger business matters. So while Hootsuite, SocialPilot, Buffer, eClincher, Sendible, Statusbrew, Loomly, and Zoho Social are all competing products worth checking out, this package has a great deal of scalability.
Buffer is one of the best full service social media management (opens in new tab) suites that you can get and there is a package for all types of users. Of course, the free edition lacks some of the power that comes with the premium editions, so it’s worth spending some money if you really want to boost your social media management potential. Beyond the ease of use, there’s no doubting the power of Buffer, while the ability to expand its capabilities is also packed inside.
For example, there are over 30 different third-party integration options so you can use Buffer for Zapier, IFTTT, Quuu, Pocket, and Feedly. We’re also really excited about the ability to quickly and easily use Buffer in both the iOS and Android app editions, enabling greater efficiency when you can’t do those social media management tasks at your desk. Overall, it’s easy to see why Buffer continues to attract many new customers.