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Tool Time: Buffer

August 31st, 2011 by | 3 Comments

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To compel and to initiate interactions with your targeted Twitter-based demographic, they should, needless to say, be able to read your tweets first. It’s not like people will proactively seek you out on a daily basis; that mostly happens only to massively popular brands. And there are a lot of factors that can make your tweet a fleeting speck in the entire Twittersphere.

For starters, the general lifespan of a tweet is pretty short; the first hour being a critical period as that is when most retweets and @replies take place. After which, the Twitterstreams gets congested with pages and pages and pages of newer tweets, burying your own Twitter posts before a huge sum of people even get to see them. And then, there are a lot of distractions outside Twitter.

One way of alleviating this clustered problem is by scheduling your tweets ahead of time. Think of it like putting a delay on tweet-posting so they can be unleashed upon the Twittersphere at times that . This also works to take the load off your back should you foresee yourself being too busy to tweet, or heading off to some event or location where you’d be unable to find any access to Twitter.

Twitter hasn’t churned out this feature (and it seems that they have yet to express any intentions to develop it), but there are a handful of third-party apps and services that will allow you to set your tweets to sail at pre-specified times to ensure their visibility on the Twitterstream. One of them is Buffer.

Developed by Joel Gascoigne, Buffer offers quick and easy ways to schedule your tweets. Unlike the Tweetdecks and Hootsuites of the world, Buffer is a Web app that lives on the cloud, accessible via any browser, and serves only for posting current and pre-queued tweets. To expand its capabilities, further development churned out an expansion of sorts, spreading its DNA across the Web as a browser extension, a mobile app, and as a social button you can slap onto your Web site for easy use.

Signing up is free, requiring a quick registration that asks for your desired login credentials, and a Twitter account you’ll tie in. Completing this will let you jump right into the main dashboard where you can compose your tweets, put it up on a scheduled queue, or chose to tweet it out right away.

Here is where you’ll see the efficiency and convenience Buffer offers: based on your Twitter account, the app will set your timezone, and determine the best times (times with the most Twitter traffic) for your schedule. These time settings, of course, can be customized according to your needs.

As a bookmarklet, Buffer appears as a tiny button on the browser. Using it is pretty easy: just click on it while you’re on the Web page you’d like to tweet about and a tiny window will open with a text field containing, by default, the title and shortened URL of the page as processed through bit.ly.

Back on the dashboard, you’ll see two essential tabs: Pending and Analytics. Pending lists all the tweets you’ve queued to be posted, while your past tweets are under Analytics. As its title suggests, Analytics also gives the stats around the tweets you’ve sent out, including the time and date when you had scheduled it to be shipped out, the number of people on Twitter it reached, retweets, and the number of clicks it received since tweeting them out.

Buffer is a smart app that will definitely be a great tool in any kind of online marketing campaign. Online marketers and even serious social media enthusiasts will appreciate the simplicity and the convenience it brings. It can also be a great resource for analyzing, testing, and perfecting your Twitter-geared marketing strategies.




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