Automate Your Social Media Automation with WP to Buffer

Automate Your Social Media Automation with WP to BufferLast month I got all warm and fuzzy about the social media sharing app Buffer.

And with good reason — in my humble opinion, it is the best of its kind. Not only does it offer awesome functionality, but it is constantly being developed and improved upon. And the guys at Buffer love WordPress. They purchased the popular social sharing plugin Digg Digg and have been updating it regularly ever since.

But they’re not the only ones at it. A chap called Tim Carr has gone to the trouble of developing a free WordPress plugin that goes a long way towards integrating Buffer with WordPress.

Let’s take a closer look!

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WP to Buffer

There’s nothing quite like automation — the concept of setting something up once, and it doing its job perpetually with no further input required. You have to be careful with automation when it comes to social media though, as it can come across as a bit ‘lifeless’ or even spammy.

Buffer has managed to circumvent that by offering up a tool that benefits the user (in terms of allowing them to publish social media updates at optimum times) and the follower (as the updates are presented to them at optimum times). WP to Buffer has sought to capitalize upon that by offering a means of automating the ‘buffering’ of new WordPress posts.

The concept is simple — you finish a post, hit publish, and WP to Buffer pushes the post to your Buffer account, where it will be published at the optimum time:

WP to Buffer

As you can see from the above screenshot, you can also set WP to Buffer to re-buffer a post whenever you update it.

Settings

The plugin’s settings screen is unnecessarily accessible via its own sidebar menu (dear plugin developers — single page settings screens do not deserve their own top-level menu).

The authentication process is pretty simple — whilst you do have to set up an app within Buffer (this will be familiar if you’ve ever connected Facebook to your WordPress site), the plugin offers all the instructions you need.

Once connected, WP to Buffer’s full functionality will be revealed. The first thing you will want to make note of is the different fields you can display in your tweets:

WP to Buffer

As you can see, just about every piece of information you would want to include is made available. You can also add any custom text as you see fit. Here’s the template I use for my blog:

WP to Buffer

Simple! I publish my post, and its promotion via Twitter is taken care of for me.

Potential Improvements

There is a good argument that you should keep a plugin like this as simple as possible, but I do have a few thoughts on how this plugin could be improved:

  1. The ability to create different templates for your different social media accounts
  2. The ability to buffer a post multiple times, with different messages
  3. The ability customize the template on a per-post/page basis

Having said that, for people who are looking to streamline their post promotion process even more, WP to Buffer is a great option.

Download WP to Buffer here.

 

Comments (2)

  1. Hi Tom,

    Great post… Buffer’s brilliant, and integration with WP is very much welcome.

    I agree with two out of three of your proposed improvements. However, I don’t agree with your suggestion to allow a post to be buffered multiple times.

    One of the things Buffer does that’s brilliant is help people not wanting to spam from seeming as if they are spamming. What allowing people to Buffer the same post multiple times does is allow those that want to spam not appear to spam is spam. This will then cause a negative view by both Twitter and followers of people using Buffer for the right reasons.

    • Hi Iain,

      I may not have made myself clear — I am NOT proposing that people spam, nor am I suggesting that people send out identical tweets.

      However, I personally tweet out new posts of mine at three different times over the course of two days, in order to catch different time zones. I don’t see this as spamming — I am sure that if someone is following me, they want to read my new posts.

      Cheers,

      Tom

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