Buffer for iOS, Android Lets You Schedule Social-Media Updates

Buffer, a social-media dashboard app for iOS and Android, now lets you schedule Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn updates to post at specific times. CIO.com blogger James A. Martin says Buffer won't replace his favorite social-dashboard app, but it's still worth a look.

Buffer, a Web-based, social-media dashboard, just updated its Android app. The new software lets you easily schedule Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn updates. And the Buffer iOS app should also get the new features in the near future.

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Scheduling your social-media updates for a specific date and time is useful. For instance, you can write a bunch of updates for your business Facebook page before leaving for vacation, so they post while you’re sipping a margarita on the beach. I’ve been using the scheduling feature in HootSuite, a similar social-media dashboard, for several years and love it.

Like HootSuite, Buffer can automatically space out your social-media posts. (You can also elect to post updates immediately.) You’re much more likely to increase viewership and engagement if your updates are spaced out through the day, rather than posted all at once.

Using the Android app, you can easily create posts based on content you discover in Flipboard, Zite, Feedly, Google Currents, your Web browser and other installed apps. Buffer also shows you analytics for each post. For example, you can see the number of retweets, favorites, replies and views for each tweet, along with the potential audience--your total Twitter following. Buffer’s analytics are slightly more detailed than what you get with HootSuite. (I didn’t test Buffer on iOS.)

Buffer has a clean, simple interface that's easy on the eyes thanks to lots of clean white space. The free version isn’t as generous as HootSuite’s free option, however. I use HootSuite to monitor five social-media profiles, including two Facebook accounts, for free. Buffer’s free plan only lets you add one profile per network. Buffer’s paid plan costs $10 per month and lets you add up to 12 social media profiles.

If you’re trying to boost your social media profile, and you’re often on your Android or iOS device, give Buffer a try. Personally, I prefer HootSuite, and I appreciate the ability to monitor multiple streams (say, my Twitter retweets and mentions) at a glance. 

(Screen shot by Buffer, Inc.)

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