The following is part of a series on the Bufferapp twitter tool. This a general overview and review of the product. Bufferapp is a product which claims to take a lot of the frustration out of scheduling tweets–and it does. However, at the time of this review’s writing, it also has some serious limitations that you should be aware of.
First, let’s step you through how to use the product. After signing up for a 30 day free trial, you can download a browser extension or a bookmarklet. In most instances, the browser extension is the one you will probably want to use. Before you get started, you will want to authorize all the accounts you will want to use with bufferapp. This means you will have to sign in to bufferapp and then individually authorize each twitter profile. The highest subscription level ($30 a month) allows a maximum of 9 accounts; if you want to schedule across more than that, you are out of luck and will need more than one account.
Once that’s done, you will need to schedule the times you want the tweets to publish. You can schedule lots of tweets per day, but I would suggest limiting it to a manageable number. Bear in mind that it will fill an entire day before moving on to the next day. So, if you have 3 tweets per day, and you want to fill your buffer for a week, you will need 21 tweets (3 per day for 7 days).
The beauty of using this product comes from the time you save by using the auto scheduling. Send the tweet in, and it fills the next open slot. The down side of it is that, if you schedule 1:30 pm as your tweet time, it tweets out at 1:30. There is no randomization. Additionally, you can’t tell it to skip days or weekends (the developers say this might come down the road).
You can review the order of the tweets in the buffer and rearrange them as needed. For example, you may have a tweet that is more date sensitive and needs to tweet out first. However, you can’t change the time or add a one only extra per day: it only fills the pre-programmed times you have set.
Another interesting feature is the ability email tweets in. If you send an email to a special address, it will take the subject and make it the content. If there is a link in the body, it will add it to the tweet. This feature is a bit half baked currently. If you have more than one account there is no way to route it there: all of the emailed tweets dump into the main account. I’ve spoken to the developers, and they say this will be improving soon. Another issue is that the bookmarklet really doesn’t work correctly with the iPad. You can select additional accounts for the tweet, but you can’t turn off the default account. Again I hear this is something they will look at. However the lack of multi-account routing and lack of bookmarklet functionality make it a laptop/desktop app, not really a mobile one.
Currently the program has three levels: a basic level is free for one account and 10 tweets. A mid level is $5 for 3 accounts and 50 tweets. A premium level is $30 for up to 9 accounts and an unlimited number of tweets. While this does cost a lot more than Hootsuite, it can save you time by auto scheduling your tweets.
I like the idea of this product. I really think it has a lot of potential. However, at this point, I think there are several aspects that aren’t fully developed yet. The scheduling has some issues that could really use some improving. The email a tweet feature really needs to handle multiple accounts. The fact that there is no Facebook integration is huge downside.That’s not to say it’s a bad product, I just think it needs a little more development before it’s at the point where it’s ready to be used by people with more than one account. However, this a product I think is worth keeping an eye on. I’m going to use it for another month or so, hoping that these issues get resolved. Once these small issues are resolved, it could be a huge timesaver. Another thing that would be huge would be emailed reports similar to what Hootsuite does. This last point isn’t a deal breaker. It’s more of an icing on the cake type of thing.
To be clear, the BufferApp links in this post is are affiliate links. If you try or sign up to this service through my link I do get credit in the form of additional tweets, but you do too. If you want to give Bufferapp a try, you can. It’s free for 30 days.
photo credit: Photospin