The Free Social Media Tool Everyone Should Use

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You’ve probably already heard people proclaiming the usefulness of Facebook and Twitter for earning more money and building a business.

There are tons of apps, widgets, and thing-a-ma-jigs that claim to get you more followers and fans on social media. I’m not a fan of all that hype.

But I’m telling you right now: there is one social media tool that you have to check out.

I use it to automate 99% of what I do on social media and it has not only saved me time, but also increased the number of followers I have and resulted in more exposure for my work and my business.

Want to know what it is and how I use it? Keep reading…

What I Use and How I Use It

The tool I use is called Buffer.

When you combine it with a nifty publicity strategy, which I’ll share below, it is hands down the best app I’ve found for managing and sharing over social media.

Buffer allows you to set a specific time for your tweets or Facebook posts and then schedules them for you. Then, you simply add your updates to Buffer and it handles the rest without you lifting a finger.

For example, you could set up your account to post new content at 10am, 1pm, and 4pm each day. If you add 9 pieces of content to your Buffer, it will post 3 today (at 10am, 1pm, and 4pm), and then 3 tomorrow, and finally 3 more the day after.

This gives you the ability to always be on the social networks at the right time without actually having to be there. And it gets even better when you use the following strategy to gain maximum exposure.

Here’s how it works…

How to Use Buffer for Maximum Exposure

There is a free online service called Tweriod that tells you when your Twitter followers are most active.

I use Tweriod to tell me what the most popular times of the day are for my followers. In other words, Tweriod tells me when people are most likely to retweet, share, and like my content. (Note: you only have to get these times once and then set them up in Buffer.)

Once I know the times of day that my followers are most likely to retweet and share content, I use those times as a guideline to set my scheduled times in Buffer. That way, when I add new content to Buffer it’s automatically scheduled to post at the best times.

Presto! Maximum exposure for your thoughts, your business, and your work.

The best news? This entire strategy is totally free. That’s why I think it’s one of the best ways to bring valuable fans, followers, and leads into your business.

Note: Buffer does have a paid option, but you can sign up for the free version of Buffer here.

p.s. Another good idea is to browse your recent posts and tweets to see if there are any trends. For example, do your posts in the morning tend to get more likes than in the afternoon? These insights can offer a good idea for which times to schedule posts in your Buffer as well.

56 Responses to The Free Social Media Tool Everyone Should Use

  1. James – Keep hearing Buffer mentioned by several folks, most recently Laura Roeder and now you. Curious is there an advantage of using Buffer or does it offer anything different than like a Hootesuite or other social management tools? Love tools that make things easier and will surely check out Tweriod also.

    Just added Rapportive which is awesome for connecting/following socially right from my Gmail.

    • James Clear says:

      Rapportive is a great one. Thanks for mentioning it.

      As for what makes Buffer different: I think it’s just easier. I used Hootsuite to schedule everything for awhile, but you have to manually enter the time and date for each update. That’s tedious. (Unless they recently changed this, I haven’t checked.)

      In any case, I would recommended trying it out for a bit and seeing what you like. It is free, after all.

  2. Thanks for this great post! I agree, Buffer is a fantastic tool and I’ve been using it for quite some time. I especially love how it integrates with Facebook and Twitter, however I wish they would add a Google+ option too so I don’t have to manually post updates there as well.

    I also use SocialBro http://www.socialbro.com to sync my schedule weekly for when most of my followers are online. Both tools really are invaluable!

  3. Iain Robson says:

    Have you tried hootsuite’s new auto-scheduler?

    It is a new feature that they brought out. I still use buffer for now, but I will have to see more research on it.

  4. Marvin says:

    This is absolute genius! Thank you for this. I am always worried about waking up on time in order to send out updates now I can sleep in ;-)

  5. Janet says:

    hadn’t heard of buffer. i use hootsuite and they do have a scheduling function but for some reason, i haven’t really gotten into scheduling much.. i love how you write about the exact strategy to use buffer and i’ve just joined tweriod!

  6. Martin Kang says:

    There are so many optimal scheduler tools out there now a days! Personally, I use the SocialMotus (http://www.socialmotus.com) Optimal Scheduler.

    I prefer this over other tools since I can actually select the day of the week it is posted. This means I can send more time specific tweets at optimal times, rather than general tweets.

  7. April says:

    I’m using Hootsuite too and I haven’t tried Buffer. I know some people who use it. Thanks for sharing, James! Any great tool that makes the work easier – will definitely try it out! :)

    • arobe binta says:

      I’m a professional freelancer and want to run a small business where I want to work for local area and offshore marketing. That’s why I learning some materials which help me to run my business. I reading some blog where authors share their idea, information and data. I found this article by searching in yahoo and thanking for write down such a quality information.

  8. Emma says:

    I am always looking for public networking resources. Are there any no cost public networking management resources that you suggest? Currently I like the following no cost versions of nutshell mail, bit.ly.

  9. Santosh says:

    As always, excellent article! You’re dead-on. People will benefit from using the pieces of wisdom in this article!

  10. Jeremy R says:

    I like that Buffer sends content at specific times. You just have to add content, and not preschedule each one by one. A great tool for social marketers.

  11. Zouras says:

    Hello James!

    I totally agree with you! Automated tools are great opportunities for internet marketers! Especially when you have a lot of work and for example you are blogger you need more than 24 hours to handle all of the stuff! So this is extremely important for any entrepreneur and taking advantage of such a tool will increase your chance to make more money online.

    Thank you,
    Zouras

  12. Carey-Lee Dixon says:

    After learning about Buffer, I started using it and it has proven its worth. But it is the first time that I am hearing about Tweriod. Its really great when platforms like these are created for us busy people who have a full-time job plus a part-time job which depends entirely on the internet and interacting, informing others. Thanks a million for this post! I will be utilising Buffer more effectively !

  13. Nisha says:

    Excellent post. Thanks so much for the post. As a new member to the world of social media, blogging, and twitter, your tips were quite helpful. Your links to other sites were very helpful as I didn’t even realize such sites were available. These tips are great for anyone who uses social media. Large businesses or small or someone using social media for personal reasons can all benefit from these 8 tips.

  14. Daniel says:

    Excellent tips .. got a lots of tips here! keep posting great tips often.. Good job!

  15. eSparkInfo says:

    James, another glorious post that creates ME consider another one to feature to your list. Be a giver! most of what happens in social media is folks giving to every different. I believe the thought is also buried in a number of the items on your list, however i believe it wants its own place on the list. You and then several others I even have bump into on social media provide of their data, wisdom, compassion, support. That is large from my perspective.

  16. Robert West says:

    Thanks for the tip. I am using hootsuite need to try Buffer.

  17. Scott says:

    James,

    I consider you to be one of the successful and honest bloggers and I am curious, how much of your traffic comes from Social Media versus articles? I would guess articles and guest posts are probably 75% of your traffic but I would like to know where you put the most effort. Thanks for the heads up on Buffer!

    Thanks,
    Scott

    • James Clear says:

      Scott — thanks for the compliment. I try to be honest (and successful, of course).

      I just checked my stats. In 2012, about 25% of my traffic came from “referral sources” which includes social media, mentions on other blogs, interviews, and guest posts. Of that group, social media directly accounted for 10% … which makes it about 2 to 3% of overall site traffic. However, that doesn’t tell the full story. Many of the mentions on other blogs, interviews with media outlets, and even mentions in major outlets (Lifehacker, US News, etc.) originate because of social media.

      As a rough estimate, I’d pin the effects of social media between 5 to 10% of traffic. In case you’re wondering, the largest chunk (52%) was from search engines.

      Final note: I like the idea of checking to see where the maximum impact is coming from, but I don’t worry too much about stats. My goal is to be in as many quality places as possible.

      • Scott says:

        James,

        Thanks for such a through reply, I appreciate it! I am currently building out the backend of my website with articles delivered through my email list. I need to spend more time creating pillar content (and revisit your post on How to get 283 leads via articles). I actually found your website quite awhile ago through an article ranked on Google, probably no surprise:)

        Have a great Christmas and New Year and thanks for all you do!

        Scott

  18. Annu says:

    That’s sort of silly, considering Klout can be so easily manipulated. But maybe that’s why they want you to have a high Klout score… to show that you know your stuff enough to manipulate it.

  19. Brett says:

    Great post! I had never heard of buffer before. That looks like a very useful tool. Have a great new year.

  20. David Shih says:

    Hi James,

    Just chanced upon your website. Nice informative posts. Just a heads up, I wanted to subscribe to your newsletter, but looks like the option is not available on the Google Chrome browser (Internet Explorer works fine).

    thanks,
    DS

  21. christina says:

    Wow. Thanks for the insights and links. I’ve been using some of these things already, but there are several I didn’t know about

  22. Jeremy says:

    James,

    I’ve used dlvr.it for my social network marketing for over a year. However, several weeks ago, I noticed my Facebook exposure dropped dramatically. My theory was that Facebook was suppressing auto-posts in favor of manual ones. Have you seen the same results with Buffer? If not, I think I’m going to switch. Thanks for your time.

  23. Thanks for posting high quality content James and sharing an effective FREE strategy that actually works.

  24. Alex says:

    Buffer is awesome I use it all the time to schedule my days posts in the morning and then I can make sure I;m not distracted by it for the rest of the day and I can then just grab sometime in the afternoon to interact with my followers!! I like the look of Social Bro mentioned by Jennifer, might have to check that out!! Great tips James.

  25. Disha Sharma says:

    I’m using some another tools for social media, I never try this tweriod & Buffer tools now I would like to use these tools to explore more for Social Media

  26. Daniel says:

    Who wouldn’t want to win a luxury vacation? I recently heard someone recommend a 1 week vacation every 6 weeks to help with intense focus.

    Your point about dreams reminded me of a phrase that was popular on sports shirts awhile back – “Go big or go home.” It’s hard to take that first step.

  27. I have been using buffer for quite some time. But haven’t used tweeteroid. Will have to try it out. Another tool I use is followerwonk. It has been pretty helpful in coming up with timing for scheduled tweets and logging my tweets in excel to analyze the data.
    -Steven

  28. John says:

    It is true that I haven’t heard about buffer before.At the moment I use it daily.Moreover,I feel that it is an extraordinary tool!!

  29. christina says:

    Just discovered your blog courtesy of Problogger. I have over 20 years running my own restaurant. Just sold it, but I think I was doing a lot of the things you are talking about, without really realizing it.

  30. Kyle says:

    I knew about tools like this for email – I use the Boomerang tool on my gmail account all the time – but was completely unaware that this stuff existed for social media. I’m always amazed by the breadth of productivity tools available these days.

  31. Lisa says:

    A lot of commenters have suggested other tools like Rapportive and SocialBro; would you be able to do a comparison of these if you’re familiar with them?

  32. christina says:

    Would be interesting to see how much people are materialist in this kind of place, or on the contrary if they have some kind of spirit.

  33. Dewan Sohan says:

    I’m searching for this kind of article from about 2 hours in bing and after a long time I get it here which really helpful for me to make one of my assignment. I read out this article very carefully and perceived the information and logic you mentioned. I will try to use this in my career. Hope, you continue you writing. Waiting to get more for awesome informative article from you.

  34. Claudia says:

    Nice post, great round up of tools. I’m very excited to use social media tools.

  35. Great tips are mentioned here. I heard first time about buffer it looks like very helpful.

  36. Chris says:

    I’ve just checked out tweriod and I think it’s going to completely re structure my twitter marketing tactics! I’ve been tweeting when my followers are asleep!

  37. Ai Lan says:

    I have had a look at Buffer in the past but prefer Rapportive as I can do social media whilst checking out gmail account. Saves having to go to another website.

    However, Tweriod sounds interesting so will have to give that a go. Thanks

  38. Ansh says:

    I also used buffer but then switched on to postrocket as buffer doesn’t tell the best time to share content on fb while the later on does..

  39. Jessica says:

    This is absolute genius! Thank you for this. I am always worried about waking up on time in order to send out updates now I can sleep in

  40. Shawn Ryan says:

    I am new to social media! thanks for the info. I am definitely going to check this out!

  41. Steve Brain says:

    Great post! I’m using some another social media tools, I never try tweriod & Buffer tools now I would like to use these tools. Thanks for sharing.

  42. Sandeep says:

    I especially love how it integrates with Facebook and Twitter, however I wish they would add a Google+ option too so I don’t have to manually post updates there as well.

  43. John says:

    Awesome post! Any other social media tool that works like Buffer? Thanks!

  44. Lauren says:

    Basically I use chrome & I have added some valuable apps in chrome to use Social media. I get benefit of social media apps while adding in Chrome.

  45. Edwin says:

    Informative post and very interesting to read all the comments and suggestion. This social media tools are very useful especially for bloggers who don’t have the same time zone with their targeted readers.

  46. Cameron says:

    Great shot, I’m very appreciate your tips, Thanks for sharing this post

  47. Joseph says:

    Great article, I am appreciate with your tips. I liked the way of your explanation about social media tools. thanks

  48. Thank you, James, for referring to Tweriod. I haven’t heard of it before. I’m excited to learn more about my followers.

    I learned about your site from the interview at ThinkTraffic. You’ve done so well! Congratulations!

    Today I landed accidentally on your video through Google and decided to check your site again. Glad that I did – I’ll be back again.

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