Hello, my name is Dan McDonnell and I am a Community Manager for the American Evaluation Association. Twitter, and social media in general, can be quite the rabbit hole, into which minutes and hours have the odd habit of just disappearing. Luckily, there are plenty of social media tools that can help you organize, prioritize and schedule your Twitter posts, saving that ever more precious resource – your spare time!
Buffer is both a simple and effective social media tool whose automated scheduling feature can help evaluators share articles and resources with their networks at times when they are more likely to be read. Say you’ve found a couple of blog posts that you’d like to share with some of your fellow Tweeters who use the #eval hashtag. Normally, you’d have to manually write up the full language for each Tweet and schedule each one to go out on a tool like Hootsuite or TweetDeck. With Buffer, you’ll just need to click a button, add your thoughts, and you’re done. Here’s how to get started.
Hot Tip – Set Up Your Buffer Account
Set up a a Buffer account, and sync it with your personal Twitter profile. Once you’ve done that, navigate to the ‘Schedule’ tab. From here, you can designate times at which you want Buffer to automatically send our your Tweets. Pick times that coincide with when you normally see your community active on Twitter (or, use a tool like Twitonomy to analyze user or hashtag activity to find the best times). That’s all for setup!
As you’re browsing the internet, and come across an interesting article, blog post or resource, keep an eye out for the Buffer logo or button. You’ll often see it alongside other social media sharing buttons, usually in the footer of a page or in a sidebar. Click the Buffer button, and it will pre-populate a Tweet with the name of the page/post and credit the author automatically. You can edit the Tweet as you please, and add your recommendation or other comments as well. Once you’re pleased with how it reads, click ‘Add to Queue,’ and it will be automatically scheduled at the next available window of time you had identified.
Hot Tip – Chrome Extension
I also recommend getting the Google Chrome extension for Buffer – it’s a very useful feature that adds a Buffer icon to your Chrome toolbar. This icon will automatically queue up a Tweet to share the webpage you are currently on, meaning you won’t even have to look for Share buttons or icons!
Hot Tip – Buffer Content From Your RSS Feeds
If you use Feed.ly, I’m happy to report that Buffer pairs quite well with it! If you come across an article in your RSS feed that you’d like to share on Twitter, click the Buffer icon and you’re good to go! It doesn’t get any easier than this.
What is your experience with Buffer? Do you prefer using Buffer, or other social media scheduling tools? Leave a comment and let us know!
Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.