It seems the developers at Buffer have been busy lately, so I thought I would cover a couple of their recent feature additions: RSS Feeds and Content Suggestions.
Both of these features are outstanding time savers for social media marketers and make scheduling updates a breeze!
RSS Feeds Give Access to Content within Buffer
The new RSS Feeds feature allows you to schedule updates from your favorite blogs directly from within the Buffer Dashboard.
While Buffer is already well-integrated with Feedly, the new Feeds feature does cut out a few clicks in the scheduling process, as updates are pre-written, links shortened, and all you have to do to add an item to your Buffer is click the Add button.
Users on these plans can add up to 15 feeds per social network — this is handy, as it allows you to add different groups of feeds to different accounts (e.g. add home maintenance feeds if you manage social media for an electrician company and gardening feeds if you manage a landscaping company).
Adding an RSS Feed to Buffer
Adding a feed to Buffer is as simple as doing a quick search and clicking a result.
- Navigate to the Feeds tab in your Buffer Dashboard.
- In the search box, type the URL of the blog you want to add.
- Buffer will give suggested results. Click one of those dropdown results and that’s it!
One of the cool things about this feature is the ability to filter your RSS feeds after they’ve been added. In the example below, I’ve added Buffer and Social Media Examiner feeds and I now have the option to filter between those feeds.
Overall, the RSS Feeds feature is a great addition to an already great social media management tool and I’m sure the Feeds feature will expand with more perks going forward.
With that out of the way, let’s talk about the next big feature addition!
Content Suggestions Galore
Early in 2014, Buffer added a new tab in the dashboard for Suggestions, in which they provided users with pre-written social media updates.
This feature has recently been expanded to multiple categories of suggestions and I only see it growing from here. Each category has about five pre-written updates ready to be scheduled and, from what I’ve seen so far, the content suggestions are very high quality.
One recommendation I might make is altering the headline a bit or adding a personal touch to the message before you send it out. I say this only because tons and tons of Buffer users are going to be using these suggestions and most aren’t going to alter the headline at all when scheduling.
Break through that noise a little by adding your own short comment in front of the update! And also, don’t forget to check the source and mention the person or blog who published the content.
Social media management is labor intensive and incredibly time consuming, regardless of how many tools you have.
While that’s a fact of life for us digital marketers, Buffer is definitely taking some of the labor out of the equation and I have a feeling they’re just getting started.
I know there are still plenty of Hootsuite lovers out there. That’s understandable if you have a working system already running and you’re engaged in substantial amounts of social listening. For now, Hootsuite may be your best option.
However, if you’re new to social media management or you’re managing a smaller number of accounts, Buffer is the way to go, in my opinion.
I’ve said it many times before: Buffer’s user interface and customer support beat every social media management tool I’ve used. While they may not yet have all the features or flexibility of Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and others, I’m putting my money on them getting there in the near future.