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Inside Buffer

The Next Step in Buffer’s Social Media Journey

Can you remember where you were seven years ago?

I was in my apartment in Birmingham, UK, coding up the very first version of Buffer as a tool to schedule tweets.

So much has changed since then: the Buffer product has evolved, the social networks themselves have matured, and social media managers have grown exponentially in skills and influence.

Today, I’m excited to share an early look at what we believe these changes will mean for Buffer. The progression with the jobs of social media managers has led us toward an exciting new vision for what we plan to do with the Buffer product.

Over the next few months, we will align Buffer with the social media manager’s workflow by turning Buffer into a platform of social media products.

  • The original Buffer will become Buffer Publish.
  • Our audience engagement tool (formerly known as Respond) will become Buffer Reply.
  • We will launch Buffer Analyze for social media insights.

I’d love to share with you more about how we arrived at this vision, provide details of what we know so far, and hear your thoughts on this new direction for Buffer.

(Here’s a sneak preview of the future Buffer dashboard. Feel free to click in order to enlarge and explore.)

How we believe customers flow through social media jobs

After conducting a months-long research project into social media jobs and speaking with dozens of Buffer users, we began to form some hypotheses about the typical journey a Buffer customer takes. I’ve described it below and would love to hear if it resonates with you.

Overall, the journey begins with Publishing.

A customer will have a small business, maybe it’s even just them running their business alone. Perhaps they’re a coach, photographer, or personal trainer. The primary job at this stage is to have a consistent presence on social media.

Once the customer gets comfortable with Publishing, they begin to see results such as growing their following and receiving more mentions, replies, and interactions. This is when they look to handling this new Engagement that they are generating through publishing.

To begin with, they might make do using the social networks themselves or a single-network tool like Tweetdeck. Eventually, they’ll need a tool truly built for the task.

Once they have a fully running social media strategy with Publishing and Engagement, they will want to know how this strategy is performing. At this point, the customer has started to invest real funds into social media: both in terms of tools and with full-time salaries. This is the natural point at which they’ll start to seek an understanding of the performance of their strategy. As a result, they’ll need an Analytics solution that can help them understand what they’re doing on social and the results they’re obtaining.

Around a similar time as the need for Analytics, a customer will start to explore spending on Ads in order to gain a wider reach and to target specific audiences.

By far, the key reason we saw customers leaving Buffer over the last year was because we didn’t adequately fulfill jobs beyond publishing — specifically engagement and analytics.

With our new product vision, our goal is to enable our customers to grow with Buffer and help them execute their social media strategy from start to finish.

We know that social media has matured far beyond being a place to broadcast content, and we believe consistent and authentic engagement with people on social media is as important as ever. In 2016, we acquired Respond (now Buffer Reply) to help us down this path. However, until now, it has been kept mostly separate from our other social media tools.

We’ve also learned that the value of creating content on social media is greatly amplified if you can truly understand how people interact with it. While we have made some great strides with the social analytics we provide, there is much, much more we can do.

Thanks to conversations with our customers and the social media marketing community, we learned that our product vision needs to evolve, and we’re excited about our vision to do just that.

The Vision: A platform of products

The first step we are taking is evolving Buffer into a platform, with multiple products available in one centralized location. We’re thinking of it as a suite of tools, each sharing the characteristics that we hold dear at Buffer:

  • Simplicity: Carefully-chosen features and a refined, robust experience.
  • Empathy: Being accessible to all people, and offering real, human support.
  • Authenticity: Each tool should enable you to amplify your own, authentic voice on social media.

This is the family of tools we are working towards:

Buffer Publish
Create, schedule, and post your social media content with ease. This is the current version of Buffer you have come to know and love, and it will remain fully intact and as useful as ever. We will continue to include the current analytics.

Buffer Reply
Engage with your customers and audience from one streamlined inbox. Reply is available now, and you can start a trial here.

Buffer Analyze
Understand your performance on social with meaningful insights, beyond the analytics provided in Buffer Publish. Analyze is coming soon, and you can sign up for early access here.

At some point in the future, we’d also love to explore developing a Buffer Ads solution to help you manage your paid ads and sponsored content across the major social media platforms.

Here’s a bird’s-eye view of a potential way this could all function within the Buffer app in the future:

With this shift towards a suite of products, we also want to make it easier to pay only for what you need by allowing you to pick and choose the products that fit your stage of the social media journey. We haven’t made any changes to pricing yet and are eager to hear any thoughts or ideas you might have.

Thank you for the feedback so far

This is just the beginning, and we fully plan to keep evolving the functionality of these products as well as introducing new products to meet even more high-impact jobs for you.

Again, here’s a sneak preview of our new dashboard.

We would be thrilled if you’d like to help move us in the right direction. Feel free to comment below with any thoughts, or you can jump directly to our transparent product roadmap where we’re collecting feedback on these changes and more.

All thoughts are welcome. We couldn’t do this without you, and we’re as excited as ever to keep building, keep iterating, and keep making Buffer the very best it can be for social media marketers!

  • Vignesh Subramanyan

    Thanks for sharing this Kevan! As always – glad to be part of the Buffer community where we get to read about this kinda stuff so early. Can’t begin to tell you how excited I am for this approach and new offerings :)

    Question on the analytics front (Buffer Analyze) – will there be some core analytics insights available in Buffer Publish? Or a lite version of Buffer Analyze available for users early on? I like the progression through Buffer solutions you mentioned, but very interested in learning more about what those analytics look like and what the additional “buy-in” is to get the comprehensive analytics solution. (This question is accompanied with the caveat and understanding that the team may still be in early stages of addressing such details)

    The reason behind the question is to understand, as a Buffer customer, what additional mindshare or investment there would need to be (internally within the org) to maximize value from the Analyze product offering.

    Also just to share feedback on your final note on paid ads – that would be HUGE! I think you guys do a fantastic job of sharing best practices and thought leadership around “how to actually do” organic and paid social (there’s of course room to double down on some of that). But adding a core product offering would be very valuable!

    Assuming that’s a route the Buffer team takes, I’m very intrigued to understand how the team addresses some of the match rate/digital reach challenges caused by marketers trying to bridge the gap between CRM business profile data and social consumer profile data. But that’s a conversation unto itself :).

    Looking forward to reading more details from the team as they’re available!

    • Thanks so much for the comment, Vignesh! So happy to hear this approach resonates with you.

      To answer your questions: Yes, Buffer Publish will have core analytics; current Buffer users will not lose any of their existing analytics when we open up Buffer Analyze. We’d love to hear any thoughts or ideas about what you think Analyze could become! We’re in the ideas phase with a few general directions finalized at the moment, chief among them is reporting. :)

      Thanks for the mention about ads as well! There’s so much possibility there! Would love to chat more with you about that sometime. :)

      • Vignesh Subramanyan

        Great, thanks for the additional info! And, yea would love to learn more about it and help in anyway :)

  • Kris White

    The ONE thing that has prevented me from using Buffer for Business is the analytics reporting—meaning, the actual report. Sprout Social does a great job of compiling analytics into a comprehensive PDF report to share with teammates/bosses. Otherwise, it takes a lot of time to manually create a PDF of exported images (current Buffer solution) for every account, create a cover page, etc. As analytics are what the higher-ups are essentially looking for, creating an easy-to-read report is essential for any Social Media Manager. Right now, I use Buffer for all posting, but at the end of the month, switch back to Sprout and generate reports. It’s somewhat ridiculous, but VP’s love the reports and Sprout makes it really easy to generate, saving myself valuable time. I would highly recommend implementing a comprehensive report generator. And a bonus would be auto-generated reports at the end of a set time period, i.e. monthly/bi-weekly reports emailed directly to you. One thing Sprout hasn’t done and would save even more time.

    • Hi Kris!

      Thanks so much for sharing these thoughts. Wow, your workflow must be quite intense every month! We’d love to ease that burden for you. Reports is absolutely something we will tackle in Buffer Analyze. Thanks for the extra validation!

      • Count a second vote for pretty, auto-generated reports from me, too. We decided to switch to a business-level social media dashboard late last year and ended up going with Sprout Social instead of Buffer *only* because of the analytics reports. Sprout Social isn’t terrible, but I’d *much* rather be working in Buffer. :)

  • Socially Bonded

    This all looks great, and I do love Buffer, but the thing that made me move away is the fact that I have to manually reschedule evergreen content instead of it auto-recycling over a set period/number of posts. Until you bring in an evergreen feature I won’t be coming back because, as a SMM, this saves me hours and hours each week.

    • Totally agree. Exactly why I stopped paying for Buffer. If you retweet something in Buffer you just get error messages.

      • Thanks so much for the comments about automation and evergreen content. It’s very useful to know how vital this feature is to both of you in terms of whether or not you use / pay for Buffer. We’d love to find a solution that strikes a good balance between authentic and automatic — if you know of any good sources of inspiration, I’d be all ears!

        • Hi Kevan – chiming in here regarding sources of inspiration for evergreen content: I *really* like how Meet Edgar (https://meetedgar.com/) handles this. This is how I’d LOVE for Buffer to handle evergreen content:

          1. I put in a bit of evergreen media or content into Buffer (eg. a link)
          2. I tell Buffer: “republish this link X times, every Y days” or “republish this link X times, every time there’s a slot called ‘Y’ available” or “I want this link to republish once every other week, in a random slot, for 6 months”
          3. I tell Buffer: “Here’re the three different captions I want to associate with the link each time it publishes to Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn.”

          Basically, instead of scheduling evergreen content by hand, I want to declare the link once, define all the permutations, and set it to publish it on loop at a defined cadence.

          Does this make sense? Apologies if this is unclear – happy to rephrase and provide more context!

          • Makes perfect sense, Emmanuel! I think I might go start another Edgar trial to get a feel for it myself. They do great work with their product!

          • You should check out Smarter Queue over Meet Edgar. It’s does a much better job with evergreen content.

          • +1 for Smarter Queue! There’s a lot of hype around Meet Edgar. But after trying both, I feel Smarter Queue is a much better product. Their onboarding process is extremely impressive too.

          • Salil Sethi

            Adam – Smarter Queue is an impressive product, but have you checked you checked out https://www.SmartKai.com ? Full disclosure – I am the founder and it recycles evergreen content, but does it much more intelligently than existing products – including smarter queue. Not all your posts will do equally well. If one does better than others, it gets more “social media exposure” during recycling. But we don’t over do it and let everything shine ;) Check for more details – https://www.SmartKai.com… We are launching in public beta very soon!

          • Looks interesting – any word on what pricing will be when you launch? I’m always dubious about social media tools in beta. I try them, I like them, they launch and I don’t like the pricing. Then I go back to what I was using before because the pricing usually can’t be justified.

          • Salil Sethi

            Adam – For the people who request an invite during beta will have the tool for $35 per month for the first year. For the folks that sign up once we are out of beta will have it for $69 per month.

          • Thanks!

          • Socially Bonded

            And another Smarterqueue vote. If you’re looking for a product to compete against, that’s the one that has it sussed. In terms of pricing too.

          • Salil Sethi

            Emmanuel – Have you checked out https://www.SmartKai.com ? Full disclosure – I am the founder and it recycles evergreen content, but does it much more intelligently than existing products – including meetedgar. Not all your posts will do equally well. If one does better than others, it gets more “social media exposure” during recycling. But we don’t over do it and let everything shine ;) Check for more details – https://www.SmartKai.com

          • You are way behind the eight ball if you don’t have Pinterest. Pinterest is what drew us to Buffer initially. We were using another, very good, tool but their Pinterest tools were not Pinterest approved and we ran the risk of having our boards taken down.

          • Salil Sethi

            David – Thanks for the note. Pinterest is on our roadmap in the next few months.

        • aa0145

          It should be up to the user how they decide to use the tools.

    • Salil Sethi

      Have you checked out https://www.SmartKai.com? Full disclosure – I am the founder and it recycles evergreen content intelligently. Not all your posts will do equally well. If one does better than others, it gets priority during recycling. But we don’t over do it and let everything shine ;) Check for more details – https://www.SmartKai.com

      • aa0145

        Thanks for sharing. If Buffer won’t add these features, we’ll just use services that do instead.

      • Socially Bonded

        No I haven’t. Will do though. Currently on Smarterqueue but always keen to check out tools.

    • Jan

      They had that on their roadmap once I think and then decided against it. Wasn’t there even a beta test? I had really hoped for that feature because right now I organize this with a Google spreadsheet…

      • You’re right, Jan. We got pretty far into the development of this feature and then decided to move away from it. There were a few reasons for the change, like resource allotment and a renewed focus on other parts of the product. From a strategic standpoint, we also made the choice to lean more toward tools to support genuine engagement rather than full automation as we believe this is going to deliver the best results for people on social media long-term.

        Sorry, that’s probably more than you asked for with my reply! Just wanted to share some extra context in case it’s useful/interesting.

        I can totally sense your pain in using a spreadsheet for this kind of thing and can see how a Buffer solution would go a long ways toward helping. Evergreen/automation is definitely something we’re open to keep thinking about, so it’s really great to have this conversation here!

        • Troy Christmas

          I’m sure Buffer will eventually get back to this. Until then, we’ve built a Buffer add-on to recycle evergreen content within your Buffer profiles. We didn’t want to leave Buffer, so we made sure we (and you) don’t have to. repeatpost.com.

          • Socially Bonded

            Is this live yet? Or when will it be? And how does it work with Buffer? I still have my own accounts on Buffer but am about to close that to move away to a tool that recycles (currently have my client accounts elsewhere so I can recycle).

          • Troy Christmas

            Beta should be out by September. Works on the concept of playlists, each of which is a repeating schedule. Each post can be associated with multiple playlists. Posts in the playlist are randomly selected and sent to Buffer at the scheduled intervals. Posts can either be added to the Buffer queue or posted immediately. There’s more, but as an add-on for Buffer we’ve focused on keeping it simple and reasonably priced. We’ve been using a version we built for ourselves for about 2 years, but making it more flexible and user-friendly has been no small effort.

          • Empress

            Lol I JUST described the idea of being able to have content in sets and able to “play” the set like a playlist. Great minds, my friend!

          • Troy Christmas

            Repeatpost.com started as a way to recycle our evergreen blog posts. Once we started doing research, we found people set up different schedules for blog posts, offers, quotes etc. Some schedules went on indefinitely, while others had a defined end date. Our playlists focus on the schedule and you can add a post to as many playlists as you want. Destination profile is set at the post level so two posts on the same schedule could go to different profiles. Meets our needs and hopefully it will help others.

        • Jan

          Thank you for the insight and I totally understand that you have to make difficult decisions sometimes. Just to clarify: I personally wasn’t thinking about complete automation, but about a place to store tweets and posts to reuse them occasionally maybe via drag and drop. We basically do only evergreen content on our site and it is a pretty successful tactic for us to promote older articles. It’s not a big deal for me to use a spreadsheet. It would just be nice to have that directly in Buffer‘s backend and I was looking forward to it.

          • @jati:disqus Ah, thanks so much for clarifying! I see what you mean … I’ve done this myself by making a dummy account in Buffer where I can store favorite posts to reshare anytime by drag/drop. Sounds similar to your spreadsheet. I really appreciate the conversation here and all the ideas from you and others!

          • Empress

            Would you be willing to share the spreadsheet template? I’m doing a HUGE planning and setup week before I have back surgery mid August and am trying to find things to help me organize and keep track. I’m just now getting my business up and running so I haven’t decided on any programs and systems to do stuff for me just yet.

          • Jan

            It’s really simple, no spreadsheet magic involved. Four columns: Topic (to find something quickly), text (prepared text for a social media post), link (URL to the article) and the date when it was published the last time. It’s sorted by publishing date.

          • Empress

            Brilliantly simple. I think people, especially creative and business types and damn if we aren’t both lol, have a hard time with letting things work without a lot of fuss. We always want to do more, fix, improve. I needed a reminder to just do the damn thing and move on! 😺😺 thank you!

        • Socially Bonded

          I use Smarterqueue now though for my clients and while the recycling is all automatic (and personally I would like more options like having 3 versions of the copy that rotate with each reposting) my engagement isn’t! I still go to the channels several times a day and interact with anyone. I completely don’t see why auto-recycling content would result in less engagement. It’s exactly the opposite for me. Manually scheduling the same post 6 times took up so many hours I didn’t have any left to actually talk to people on the channels. Now I don’t need to do that I have time to check through lists, do hashtag searches, and properly engage.

          • That’s so great to hear about your engagement! This sounds like exactly the ideal scenario. Thanks for the validation that this mix of strategies does work!

        • Hi Kevan, I think I have to respectfully disagree in terms of engagement. I think it is more about the type of content (i.e.: evergreen, content schedule, curated content, etc.) and how it gets into the system/queue. Any of these could be completely automated with little to no real engagement (ex: Quuu feeding Buffer curated content 100% automated vs a great deal of effort spent on engagement with 100% automated evergreen ‘jukebox’).

          Automation can always be abused, or it can be used to actually enhance aspects of genuine interaction. (i.e.: Time spent not filling in Buffer from a spreadsheet could be used interacting in real social media engagement).

          I’m sure everyone has their own pet features, but this is THE feature I’ve wanted since day one of discovering Buffer (almost to the extent that I’ve been shocked it is missing).

          • Thanks for sharing this thought, Steve. I like how you’ve separated “abuse” from “automation.” I think we’re coming around to this idea as well — that there can be a way to use an automation tool to support an engaged, authentic social media presence. Would love to know if you have favorite other tools that help with this or if you’ve got any particular wish list items for what we could build!

          • Thanks Kevan, and sorry for the delayed response.

            I haven’t invested in any other tools yet, but I know there are a few independent and Buffer-connected ‘jukebox’ type tools. I just manually keep a list of ‘evergreen’ content and/or content I want to reappear for some amount of time, and copy/paste it into Buffer.

            As previously mentioned, my #1 feature request would be some way to make this better within Buffer. I’m sure it could be something quite complex…. or, as a start, it could be as simple as a separate buffer list of content with a setting about how often an entry is either sequentially or randomly inserted into the main queue. The way I’m doing it now is pretty crude… so anything would be an improvement. :)

    • I think this is a crucial feature for every website owner, let alone a SMM. We’re typically writing articles, often evergreen, and need an easy ‘jukebox’ way of keeping that content in our social media streams. Then, it’s also nice to be able to queue up, or schedule specific posts or often a stream of great content from others in our industry (manually, or with something like Quuu).

      But, they are kind of two separate workflows. Both are necessary. So, without that kind of feature, that means Buffer + (insert other product). Even a basic ‘evergreen rotation’ functionality would be better than having to manage two separate products.

      • Thanks for this thought, Steve! (Love the “jukebox” name, too, btw)

        • Note: I think there is a product on the market called Social Media Jukebox or something close to that. But, it’s certainly a good name for the concept. :)

      • Empress

        The Content Playlist!

      • The Jukebox idea is gold!

    • Monica Corwin

      Also why I left buffer. I love your product but couldn’t justify the time spent putting in the same content over and over.

      • César García

        That’s one of the reasons I am looking for alternatives to Buffer! Not having a library of content to republish makes it less useful. I don’t want to spend hours copying and pasting content for long term scheduling. I felt so disappointed after that feature was abandoned!

        • Thanks for these thoughts, Monica and Cesar! Super valuable to know, and I’ll be sure to surface them for the team. :)

    • Same, scheduling posts was too much of a chore compared to other options. I’ve moved over to SmarterQueue and it’s working better. Would consider moving back with evergreen scheduling and a better way of scheduling posts ACROSS channels. (Hate how segmented each platform is in Buffer… want an “at a glance” across channels)

      • Socially Bonded

        Yep that’s where I’ve gone too. Gone down from 10+ hours of scheduling a week to about 3!

      • The “across channels” ideas sounds super valuable, Kat! Thanks for sharing your experience. This is one we’re going to think more about!

    • I like the new product roadmap. But I agree that this failure to auto-recycle certain posts is the pothole that took me off the Buffer highway. — Doug Davidoff

      • Socially Bonded

        Such a shame isn’t it. As otherwise Buffer is awesome

    • Chad Fullerton

      I agree with this, I feel you lost a big customer base to evergreen recycling type services like Edgar which has blown up in popularity. Just adding in a simple option to have a buffer stream recycle and randomize would eliminate the need for those competitors.

    • Love Luxury Homes

      I agree, this is THE missing functionality…We are patiently waiting…

    • Agreed Buffer really needs this feature!

  • Hi Joel, Kevan – I’m cautiously excited by the vision laid out here. I was especially relieved to hear that some measure of analytics functionality would remain with Buffer Publish!

    Now, the part that I’m concerned about: at the current pricing for Buffer Reply, it would be extremely hard for me to make the argument to my senior leadership that the cost of the entire Buffer suite is worth the investment :(

    I’m already orchestrating my company’s migration to Help Scout, which is considered a best-in-class customer service tool. Unfortunately, Help Scout doesn’t integrate natively with social media, and the Help Scout team recommends Buffer Reply as an additional tool, but I must confess that my heart sunk and my eyes bugged out a bit as I played with the calculator of the Reply pricing page.

    Between our customer service tool, marketing automation system, and social media tools, I fear that small businesses and startups like mine are alredy stretching the dollar pretty far. I sincerely plead with you to review pricing such that Reply and Analytics don’t double or triple the cost of using Buffer. For mid-level managers like myself, it makes ALL the difference in being able to get sign-off on adding these important tools to our toolkit.

    Whatever the pricing, please please please think of them as premium add-ons versus entire separate products with an additional cost burden. I sincerely believe that the success of this new strategy revolvws around getting the pricing right such that it doesn’t price out exactly the kinds of folks who I assume (maybe wrongly) are Buffer’s core demographic.

    Sincere thanks for this opportunity to weigh in and provide feedback. I appreciate it 🙏

    • Jan

      I had a very similar experience: I looked at the pricing for Buffer Reply and saw that even the smallest plan is beyond my budget. But it’s okay. Maybe I am just not the target audience for a tool like that. I just hope that the ambiguous part in the article about future pricing models doesn’t mean that Buffer Publish will also be unaffordable to me soon. I’m a huge fan of Buffer and have been a paying customer for a while now. I love its simplicity. I love that it’s not only for big businesses. I love the company’s culture. But I’m just a one person company and I have to decide very very diligently where to spend my money…

      • Really well said, Jan! Yes, the current market for Reply definitely skews higher-end. We’ve talked about pricing in the sense that it’ll scale to suit the needs of a customer … so I’m quite optimistic there’ll be good solutions here for you!

        (Not sure how helpful these theories are at the moment. I imagine specifics will be more reassuring! Just want you to know we’re listening and taking your thoughts to heart)

    • Hi Emmanuel

      I really appreciate you sharing this. It’s so important to hear, and I can’t thank you enough for how open you’ve been with us. I think you’re exactly right about how vital it will be to get pricing correct. At the moment, Buffer (Publish) and Reply feel quite different in terms of price. We’re definitely considering all options there, and your opinion will go a long way!

      • Bent Oak Marketing

        Kevan, as an active Hootsuite user, both for my own needs, as well as on behalf of several clients, I have to say that I share the concerns on pricing. Quite frankly sir, the pricing I saw for Buffer Reply puts it completely out of the question for about 95% of my clients. That said, I have never been happy with Hootsuite and have always sought alternatives; however, this pricing is a non-starter, and does not allow me to consider the Buffer Suite as a practical alternative.

        • Totally agree. We do scheduling and community management on some pretty large profiles (CBS Home Entertainment, Hallmark Channel, etc.) and do it just fine from a Buffer Business account and a $10 per person monthly Hootsuite subscription. I’d be happy to pay a little more for Buffer Reply, but $110 for two profiles is a little silly, especially when Buffer Business is only $50 for 25 profiles.

          When you add up the Publish and Reply costs for the number of profiles we’re managing, we’re up to at least $300 per month. I say at least, because it says “call for price.” My guess would be closer to $500.

          • Thanks, Savannah & @bentoakmarketing:disqus! This is super useful to know, even down to the particulars of how much you pay exactly. Sounds like there is a lot of middle ground for us to explore between where Reply pricing is now and where we can take it in order to feel good to more customers! Thanks for shedding some light here. :)

  • Congrats! I think this redirection in the product development will increase a lot Buffer customers, specially if you are using data to give power to the marketers.

    I hope you have time to consider some of the suggestions I wrote in this blog:
    http://www.thepowerofbigdata.com/posts/buffering/

    • Thanks so much for this article! Gonna send it around to the team. :)

  • Love that Jobs focused direction.

    Did you guys consider pricing more as the social audience grows, rather than how many people use the tool in a team? Much like what Intercom did. And then you can have special packaged solution with a discount: 2 products – 10% off. 3 products – 20% off. Something like that could be interesting

    • Hi there Hugo! Ah wow, what a great idea. Thanks so much for thinking deeply on this with us! We’ve tossed around the idea of sliding scales for pricing, based on different factors: accounts, team members, etc. I love your suggestion for audience size, too!

      • Laura Roman

        Great idea.

    • Courtney

      I think this is a great idea. We only have one person managing our SM (me) but have a tiny following. I would love to be able to let others on my team access the platform as we try to grow our tiny following, but it doesn’t make sense to add access for others right now.

    • I want the exact opposite :) We’re a four-person team, but we manage some very large profiles. We won’t purchase any tool that charges us based on size of audience – after all, the tool doesn’t function any differently when the audience grows and there’s no increased server load. It’s just punishing us for success without reason.

      • Thanks, Savannah! So useful to hear opinion on the other side of the spectrum as well! Makes complete sense that this pricing might not work for you all. :)

  • LJD

    Love the developments as I am a huge Buffer supporter. However, concerned at the potential price hike that these developments will bring and also disappointed that there is still no evergreen / recycling function included – something that Buffer users are crying out for.

    • Thanks for the comment, LJD! It’s really useful to hear your take on the pain points you might experience / currently experience regarding pricing and evergreen. We’ll definitely take these into consideration!

      • This is something that I’m also concerned about. Currently, it seems you have three different platforms running under the Buffer brand, all with different pricing and subscriptions. The traditional Buffer that I currently use for scheduling is on the Awesome plan and I cannot justify the price hike to Buffer Business. I’d much rather switch all of the accounts I manage over to Later.com. They offer more bang for your buck and have been rolling out changes and improvements faster and on a larger scale while still maintaining high quality service.

        While all of these changes seem fantastic and I am genuinely looking forward to see them roll out and try them, I’m honestly not impressed. I feel that Buffer has fallen behind in the game of social media management and they’re working on catching up. I am a Buffer user and supporter and will continue to be one but if these changes include prices hikes that don’t justify the services in terms of where Buffer stands compared to other platforms at the time, I’ll have to make the decision on whether it’s worth it to stay or make a move.

        • Hi Christine! Thanks so much for sharing so honestly here. It’s so valuable to us and absolutely helps keep us accountable. I’m really glad you mentioned Later — it’s super useful to have sources of inspiration like this so we know what bar we can hit for you. I’m excited to keep getting your feedback on things as we roll them out!

      • Hi Kevan. Very exciting news! I’ve been on the Awesome plan for a while and really like it. As mentioned some of the steps forward with Buffer Reply and Analyze are geared toward social media managers/agencies who often have much bigger budgets. As a part-time small business owner, I’d like to advocate for keeping an affordable baseline offering for simple scheduled posting. Pricing based on audience size makes sense for analytics, but for simple post scheduling the audience size doesn’t have as much of an impact. I manage a couple of smallish accounts (between 20k – 50k) that I hope will grow, but that doesn’t always equate to business growth as IG keeps expanding. Thanks and looking forward to more success for Buffer!

        • Thanks, Sarah! I appreciate your sharing this perspective. We’ll definitely take it into account!

  • Rob Conway

    I remember the 7 years ago part! Sounds like smart forward planning Joel. I have a project in mind for the new Buffer package already.

  • Congratulations, Team Buffer. I love that you guys prioritize good design and user experience in your products. Looking forward to seeing the new offerings roll out! As part of a lean marketing team, I’d echo the sentiments below about wanting a tool that helps us re-purpose older posts (without having to manually re-schedule them). If you guys find a way to marry quality engagement with the ability to recycle pre-scheduled content, it would help change our lives for the better.

    • Mike Eckstein

      Thanks so much, Cameron! It’s definitely helpful to see such a common theme around recycling content. It’s something we’d love to revisit. :)

  • Congrats, Buffer team! It’s very cool to see the evolution of a great tool and a great company. :) Cheers!

    • Mike Eckstein

      Thanks, Lindsay! Your support means a lot and helps us keep going. :)

  • aa0145

    It would be interesting to hear the financial strategy behind these changes. What this means for users: fewer features in the basic plans and more expensive plans across the range. They’ll assure us nothing will change, but we’ll see in a year or so.

    • Mike Eckstein

      Hey there! Thanks for asking a good question here. I’m not too close to the financial side of things, but I think it is fair to say that yes, pricing will change as Buffer evolves. I think the ultimate goal is to try and better serve the diverse set of customers we have, and better align prices with our tools and features. We’ve had a lot of conversations with folks who are paying for features they don’t need, and conversely folks who want specific features without necessarily paying for a ‘total’ upgrade. We’ll definitely keep ya’ll posted as we figure this one out, and welcome any thoughts. :)

  • I like the idea of Buffer Engage, but I’d also just add my thoughts to the ones who mentioned the lack of evergreen posting automation. Our destination website has more than 6,000 articles on it, and at least 10% of those are evergreen content. It’s why I transitioned to a competitor. Buffer was taking me about 2 hours a week to find and schedule those posts for the coming week, but I’ve saved that time by moving, and it’s priceless to me. If you do add it as a feature in the future, I’ll come back, for sure.

    • ldills

      I totally agree with you Mike C J. One of our sites has several hundred evergreen posts and I am looking at transitioning to a competitor of Buffer’s for that same reason.

      • Mike Eckstein

        Thanks so much to you both for sharing your experiences here. Lots of food for thought for us (and thank you for letting us be part of your journey!).

    • Hi Mike, mind if I ask which product you transitioned to to handle evergreen reposting?

      • I don’t mind. Joel might hate me for it, though! :) Meetedgar.

  • Jennifer S.

    I won’t be getting excited about any sort of change until some basic things like pricing and evergreen options are directly addressed. I’ve been BEGGING for a more affordable option to the “business” option for over a year. I’m ThisClose to leaving for an option that ALREADY has everything I need… but I’ve been with buffer for over 5 years… so I’d hate to go. But I have to responsibly invest in my business and Buffer has quickly become a liability as opposed to an asset to my business as a VA and Media manager.

    • César García

      May I ask you about the other alternative you are looking for? I am quite disappointed about Buffer dropping evergreen library option

    • Mike Eckstein

      Thanks so much for the nudges to improve here, Jennifer. Really appreciate you being with us for so long and we’ll keep working at it!

  • Not really what I was hoping to read when I clicked through to this article. I signed up for Buffer for the Power Scheduler alone; It helps me schedule out promotion over a period of time and I thought it was amazing…until the last update. Now I’m forced to re-upload the image for each share on each platform before scheduling them out, which is time-consuming to say the least. That alone will keep me from renewing, so I was really hoping that Buffer would be working to fix the current services, or at least roll out a replacement service before you moved on to adding other services.

    • Thanks for the comment, Holly, and I’m sorry for the troubles we’ve caused with the current service! We definitely want to get Buffer (Publish) to a super strong place, so your feedback here is so useful for identifying where we can improve. Thank you!

  • Fernando Santos

    That´s a good new! Will be the 4 services integrated with the same plan? If the answer is Yes, Buffer will be the best social media platform

    Thank u

    • Thanks so much, Fernando! We’re exploring all options with the plans, and we’ll be sure to keep you informed on it!

      • Fernando Santos

        Thank u Kevan

  • MR. RK

    looks like a great and much needed update is coming!

    • Thanks for the kind words @mr_rk:disqus! :)

  • Sounds great to me. One thing that would be fab would be a white label version I could use with clients

    • Mike Eckstein

      Thanks for the inspiration here, Dan!

  • jugtree

    Congratulations Buffer Team! I like how you have managed to keep a solid design and user experience at top of mind, while you have been making small changes. As a I build my personal brand, engaging the world via Twitter, and drop updates/news to friends and family in Facebook, I truly appreciate having a world class tool like Buffer available as a free product. Sure there must be a trade off, as nothing in this world is free, but I am thrilled to be have access to Buffer (Publish), as a solid scheduling app. Keep up the good work, and know that you have deep appreciation even from the non SMM set of users.

    • Mike Eckstein

      Thanks so much for the kind words and for riding the wave with us. :)

  • I’ve been a huge Buffer fan since the start and am on the Awesome plan. I love the idea of better analytics. My only concern would be the eventual cost. As a mostly one-man band, the potential for me to increase my spend on Buffer is limited.

    • Mike Eckstein

      Thanks, Sharon! Your thoughts on costs are really appreciated, we’re thinking about it a lot.

  • Great job, Team Buffer. One concern I have is pricing (and an evergreen option).

    Looking forward to the bright future with Buffer!

    • Cheers! Thanks so much, Christian. Yes, we’re getting tons of good feedback here in the comments and in customer research. definitely excited to get these things right!

  • Andreas S.

    That really sounds nice and very useful. Would love to see this coming alive.
    As I am only using a free plan, it may sound a little bit rude to make a wish, but… I hope you don’t forget the folks not doing this as a professional job but as a voluntary for (small) non-profits – as I do. I am using buffer for a small non-profit youth orchestra. I am neither professional, nor is it possible for us to afford a tool costing 50 bucks a month or so.
    So my hope: Don’t forget people like me; at least offer some cheap plans in the future (afordable by small non-profits) and last but not least: don’t show the payed features for the free/cheap plans. I hat user interfaces showing 20 buttons and when clicking on 18 it says “sorry. not available. do you want to buy this feature?” ;-)

    Thanks so far for the great tool!

    • Hi @disqus_64xaJSsJos:disqus! Thank you so much for giving this a read. I totally get what you’re saying here and non profits do have a special place in our hearts. Did you know we have a 50% discount for non profits? Here’s a bit more on that: https://buffer.com/nonprofits Appreciate your kind words and happy to have you as a Buffer user. :)

  • Brian Bishop

    Love the direction this is going! For Publish, will you ever have have the ability to do content approvals within Buffer? (ie, for a client to approve a post, then have it auto schedule)

    • Hi @disqus_JGPV7D5DLK:disqus! Thanks so much for reading this over and for the super kind words of encouragement. :) Great one with content approvals! We have something similar starting on the Awesome plan, you can add another teammate and give them “Approval Required” access. Meaning that their content needs to be approved before it goes live. Does that help?

      • Brian Bishop

        Hi @HailleyGriffis:disqus! Not exactly – I work for an agency, so we have to get clients to approve content. We write it, then they review and approve or request changes. There are other tools on the market that offer this approval process. Can Buffer do that?

        • Ah, that makes sense! Thanks for elaborating, Brian. :) I’m happy to pass this suggestion along to our product team, that’s a great use case!

          • Brian Bishop

            Great, thank you @HailleyGriffis:disqus!

        • I second Brian’s request Here’s the typical agency flow:
          1. Junior agency person writes posts and adds images
          2. Senior person tweaks and makes corrections, or sends posts back for rewriting
          3. Senior person approves posts and sends to client
          4. Client junior person looks at posts and suggests edits
          5. Agency makes edits
          6. Client senior person looks at posts and makes edits and/or approves posts
          7. Posts are scheduled

  • Safi

    I’m still not truly affiliated/ landed on any scheduling platform – am getting close to it though, and am more than happy to see the collaboration and consideration to everything in the article and then down here in the comments. Certainly I anticipate wanting to recycle content in a smart way – with some understanding of efficiency and optimisation.

    • For sure, Safi! Thanks for sharing. I’m glad we’ve been able to have the conversation about all this! :)

  • James Tugend

    I agree with Socially Bonded (below) that I shouldn’t have to reenter every new post every month. I should have a choice to auto-recycling. I may look for a better solution to publish.
    As a former Sr tech writer and reviewer of computer products for major magazines, let me make two suggestions:
    1. The screenshot of your menu is virtually . It’s too small to read easily
    2. When you use a new term define it in plain English. Like “Method”. What’s that? Most computer scientists don’t like to use plain English, and I made a very good living by revolutionising that long ago..

    • Thanks for the feedback, James! Those are really good tips for improving this article. :)

      (And I hear you on the recycled content. Thanks for mentioning that, too!)

  • Katrina Fox

    I agree with others about having an auto recycle facility such as Meets Edgar. Also: the ability to be able to tag people and pages on Facebook like we can on Twitter – this is way overdue.

    • Thanks, Katrina! Yes, definitely, these are on our mind, and tagging is something we’re in the midst of currently! Excited to get this to you. :)

  • We desperately need an efficient way to recycle evergreen content. This is crucial, and it’s the key factor that keeps me subscribed to your competitor. We need a reliable way to quickly upload and schedule hundreds of pre-formatted messages. I understand there is a “BulkBuffer” tool, but this tool is from an unaffiliated source who relies on donations to stay afloat. I can’t rely on that, unfortunately, for my business needs.

  • TekCharlie

    If you can get me off of HootSuite, I will love you forever.

  • I can’t say that I’m a huge fan of this strategy. Buffer publish needs to get some serious improvements. Evergreen content and the scheduling functionality hasn’t improved much over the past 2 years.

    If you want a short term monetization strategy, then yes, create 3 products. But I think that’s short sighted. Why not create one killer platform that does everything? Every serious brand is going to need Buffer Publish… and certainly intends to reply and interact with customers …. and measure their success. So why hold back? You leave yourself vulnerable to other companies doing any one of these things better … and bleeding market share, instead of gobbling it all up. I see this as a short term gain, and a huge long term risk.

    • Mike Eckstein

      Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment here, Todd. Lots for us to consider (and to improve), for sure.

    • Chad Fullerton

      Great way of putting it Todd. My comment was very similar. One product with all the features and a solid workflow would keep Buffer ahead of the game.

      Evergreen content is a popular feature (and in some cases the ONLY feature) of some competing tools. Buffer can add it and completely dominate that, taking back market share.

    • While I agree with Todd in theory, I’ve seen many social media tools go this route and price themselves out of reach for small businesses and consultants in the process. The Awesome Plan truly is awesome – I’d hate to see Buffer abandon this market, too. A simple, bare-bones listening and reply tool (a la Hootsuite’s entry level dashboard) – integrated with Buffer publish for a reasonable additional fee – would be *huge.* The team features of Buffer Reply are overkill for many organizations, and the price point is prohibitive, so I think marketing a separate comprehensive Enterprise offering with all the bells and whistles – at a higher price point for those who have more money than time – would be a good way to go. Thanks for always listening!

  • Kristen Seeley

    So excited for this!! Signing up for the trial tomorrow. Thank you Buffer for knowing what we need as marketers and for answering the call!!

    • Yay! Thanks so much for the encouragement, Kristen!

  • Markus Freise

    This sounds very promising. I’m in!

    And to know the origins of Buffer were laid out in Birmingham make it even more adorable.

    • Mike Eckstein

      Thanks for your support, Markus! I think today is officially the seven year Bufferversary, as we like to call it :D

  • Exciting times Joel. Will there be a pricing option available for the whole suite of tools or will they continue to be separate entities?

    • Hi Kelly! Great question. We’re definitely exploring this as an option. Am I understanding correctly that you’d enjoy having this choice?

  • China Rodriguez

    Please include multi image posts for Instagram!!!!!

  • Lisa Pfeffer

    Joel,

    I’m loving the direction Buffer is going in, especially with engagement and analytics. I also like the new dashboard as it looks very clean, and not cluttered. I like the idea of Buffer Reply and Buffer Analyze since I gauge analytics heavily. And, I’ve been looking into some places like Buffer Reply, but I haven’t been able to find a place that isn’t expensive, and still requires multiple tools.

    Since everyone is chiming in ideas, I thought I’d write my two cents.

    1) Adding a feature like Smarter Queue. (All the features are what I’m looking for.)

    2) The ability to pick and choose specifics of a plan (Smarter Queue offers this), or offer an in-between plan for Awesome and Small Business. For example:

    I am one person that runs one website, and in the near future it will increase to two. The Awesome Plan limits me to schedule 100 posts and tweets which is even limited for one blog, and offers limited analytics. I’d have to move up to the Small Business plan to get more of those features I want, but I don’t want to pay $99/mo for all the other perks I’ll never use. Such as, being able to have up to 25 social media accounts, or 5 team members. And even now, I’d still have to sign up for other tools such as Smarter Que, Social Quant and Tailwind, for further scheduling and more in-depth analytics. Which at that point, price comes into play because I am already paying for those other tools.

    3) More analytics on Pinterest to include personal board and group boards. *I use Tailwind and Boardbooster, so unless Buffer offers more options and analytics like they have, then I’d never use this feature on Buffer*

    4) In-depth analytics reporting for us smaller bloggers where I don’t have to integrate Apps & Extras, or sign up for another company and pay another monthly fee. This would be worth it’s weight in gold if I didn’t have to use x-amount of websites, and can do it all on Buffer.

    Lisa

    • Thanks so much for these thoughts, Lisa! (Hope it’s okay I jump in for Joel)

      I’m jotting down SmarterQueue onto our inspiration list. Sounds like it has some great solutions for you! These thoughts on pricing and analytics are invaluable as we keep building out these products. Can’t thank you enough!

      • Lisa Pfeffer

        Kevan,

        No problem. Yes, something like Smarter Queue would be great!

        I wanted to go a bit further into Pinterest. If you could find a way to combine some the best features of Tailwind and Boardbooster, that would be awesome. A lot of bloggers use one or both of them in their strategies. You can actually find a lot of paid online courses where bloggers are using one or both of them. I’m actually working on a course myself. But, these are some of the features that are useful between the both of them:

        -Virality/Engagement scoring (Tailwind)

        -A “Smart Schedule” that detects the best time to pin to your boards (Tailwind + Boardbooster)

        -The ability to download spreadsheets of reports (Tailwind + Boardbooster)

        -Create secret boards to put pins in, and then have it recycle the pins into your group or personal boards. This means I no longer would have to schedule those pins again if I have it set. Perhaps, an ability to do this in Buffer? (Boardbooster)

        -Pins delete automatically if they do not meet certain repin amounts at a certain length of time, etc. (Boardbooster)

        -Can clean out broken links, missing source links, remove duplicate pins, remove pins that are too narrow or too short, etc. (Boardbooster)

        -The ability to review analytics by personal board and group boards (Tailwind + Boardbooster)

        -The ability to find pins with high engagement to add to your schedule (Tailwind)

        -A “tribe” feature like Tailwind Tribes where you can add members to pin into your tribe. (Tailwind)

        Okay, those are some of my thoughts on the Pinterest scheduler. Pinterest is a great feature added to Buffer, but the features currently as they are, are not useful for me. And, I have to assume the same for others.

        The only other features that would be neat, that none of them have, is the ability to split test pins. As it stands now, I create multiple pins, and then have to create a UTM to replace the link and then track in Google Analytics / Tailwind. It would be a neat addition to have in Buffer. Also, many bloggers that create pins use PicMonkey and/or Canva. It would be a great feature to import my images from my Canva account, so I don’t have to save all my images and import them. Canva would be an App I’d love to see added because with a click of a button, I can create all my social media images. But then, I’d also have to download them all and upload them into Buffer. It would save a lot of time and additional steps to have an integration.

        Hope that helps!

        Lisa

  • PIPoodle

    I came and never left. Here to stay! #BufferLove

  • This sounds like a great step forward in Buffer’s evolution! :-)
    A few points that are crucial for me:
    1) I’m a solopreneur…no team, no VA…just me! Pricing MUST be something I can really afford… I have a very small following, so pricing based on audience size sounds practical
    2) I agree with the comments re: re-posting evergreen content; to be able to enter it once & set up re-posting parameters would be essential and a huge time-saver, especially as a solo
    3) Analytics are important, but I don’t need all of the fancy reports… Just basic at-a glance data that lets me see what’s popular (topics) and the best times to post info is always useful…

    Thanks for always asking and listening! :-)

  • Chad Fullerton

    Hi Joel!

    I like this news, and I like your vision to become a suite of tools like hoot suite and others. This is a much needed change, and I think your path to combine the workflow makes complete sense. I think if you keep this mentality of highly integrated solutions with a single workflow for smm’s then you will stay on top.

    However, that vision seems to conflict a bit as I read your post. My problem with Buffer is that you still want to separate your “products” into different things with different pricing. You say in your post that you’re doing this to help people choose what they want to pay for.. but in the same post you explain how important the workflow is and how people essentially need all of the products to successfully manage their social media.

    As a longtime Buffer user, I have always thought it was strange that I’m restricted with the analytics and insights tab as a non-business user. You have best in class publishing tools.. but analytics are an ESSENTIAL part of social media management.

    The fact that I see limited analytics as a paid user.. and can only see 30 days and if I click to see a specific date period I get promoted to upgrade to Business and pay significantly more money makes no sense to me. Why not give all paid users access to all analytics features needed.. especially simple things like date range choice to track top posts from a daily or week view. What makes that feature only “business class”? Everyone needs that.

    I am also a paid hoot customer and that service gives all the features to their users, it truly is a “suite” of products working together. I like that it isn’t separate. Pricing tiers are based on usage and how many accounts you connect.

    I see this method of pricing to make way more sense for Buffer. To truly be a suite of products, make it a truly connected suite that all paid users get access to. Unrestricted completely except by the number of accounts. An agency plan for lots of client accounts to be grouped together. And a smaller solo plan for individuals with a handful of accounts but still wanting your new powerful analytics tools.

    Charging separately for each product makes everything disconnected feeling from each other. Keep them together and Buffer will become the ultimate seamless product suite :-)

    • Mike Eckstein

      Hey Chad, thanks so much for your great comment. I agree, I think there is a lot that we can do to make this a more ‘seamless’ suite of tools. We’ll definitely be working towards that and appreciate the encouragement! It’s also super helpful to read your thoughts on pricing tiers – thank you. :)

      • Chad Fullerton

        Thanks for the reply Mike! Buffer is the service that started it all. You are pioneers in the industry and I can’t wait to see the next evolution of Buffer 2.0!

  • Ben Carr

    I truly miss the scheduling aid that used to be provided. Having to pick times based on your own bit.ly link time engagements is very frustrating. I ‘m not sure I understand why an in production tool was torn down and replaced by… well nothing. If the add a time used the previous analytics in the background that would be great, instead we’re asked to sign up for Insights and the Business plan.

    The shortener identification and tracking has improved over the last year, I certainly sent in my share of reports, thanks for the help team, it’s nice when things like NYT don’t report 130000 clicks! Was so happy when that got fixed.

    I know you are trying to monetize your product, but it is frustrating when a super helpful tool disappears, and it when you realize content output and engagement has gone up you click add posting time and it generally picks `12:02`; where as I used to be able to add a posting time in various mediums and accounts based on engagement at those sites, not logging into bit.ly and looking at when people click my links as well.

    • Chad Fullerton

      I agree with this. Power scheduler was a very critical tool and one that I use daily. Features should be added not removed.

      Basing times on the insights analytics you already have on our accounts makes total sense. Other competitor services do this “auto scheduling” based on data is nothing new. It’s too bad buffer is forcing business account upgrades for basic features. I’m a paid customer but feel let down by the feature set.

  • Jasmina Kirsch

    I’m really worried that the payment system still won’t fit small business owners (as myself) needs.
    I’ve a small business I’m trying to build. But I don’t have enough steady income to pay for any fixed monthly costs, so i can only use the few free buffer applications so far. And since they’re not enough for all my accounts to manage at the same time AND the fact that you can’t schedule one post easily to all accounts (very time consuming) I seldom use buffer anymore.
    Since I have a lot of different profiles for all the different services I offer, as well as my wordpress-website (with blog) to regularly fill up. As it is now I can’t afford what I would need to do that with buffer as it is.

    The one thing I could really use is: Being able to add as many accounts/pages/etc as I want to, and pay just a little amount every month (like up to 5,-EUR) because everything else doesn’t make sense jet. And if the strategy is to let businesses grow into their full potential, being able to get their with an affordable support system would make me stay as a customer, who over time can use more of the products (analytics etc) and pay for that as soon as there is enough income generated to freely do so.

  • Chad Fullerton

    To add to the “evergreen” content discussion and comments below, I think this would be a solid move for Buffer to add this type of feature.

    Quuu just added this type of feature called “collections” where they show you the overall performance of each post you’ve previously shared and make it easy to share the top performing posts again, adding to a recycling queue.

    Buffer could easily add this as a separate buffer queue and use the new Buffer Analytics power to figure out which posts to suggest get recycled into evergreen funnels.

  • Aimee Tweedie

    Can’t wait to see these new ideas in action! BTW I also love the Jukebox idea ;)

  • Rin Laufeyson

    I love Buffer! I’ve used it for over a year. I recently ran the social media accounts for a large arts organization & had them buy Buffer for me. I do wish you would restore the Optimal Timing Tool. Having the manually go through each social account’s analytics to get that data is annoying. It was one of the reasons I upgraded to the Awesome Plan. I agree with the others and would also love to see an evergreen content solution. Currently I use a spreadsheet to copy/paste which is time consuming. However, I am an artist, a team of one. I know many hundreds of artists and talk about Buffer to all of them. Pricing is really the key. I pay $10 a month to Adobe & get full versions of both Photoshop & Lightroom. I pay $10 a month to Microsoft & get the FIVE licenses for the entire Office Suite PLUS 1 TB of cloud storage (per license) PLUS 60 Skype minutes. Asking for more than $10 / month for a program that just schedules things is asking way too much (even if it handled evergreen content too, that’s just not comparable to the much more complex software I get for $10/month).

    (To the shady CEO pushing competitor software here, I’m not paying $70/month to push evergreen content & I’m definitely not using a product marketed in such a sketchy manner).

  • Mathew

    As a previous Buffer user who ditched the platform due to pricing and limited feature set, I’m both excited but also worried about this transition, and I hope you guys make the right move to make Buffer an indispensable tool for SMM instead of getting greedy for short term gains.

    The nature of SMM requires you to Publish, Engage/Respond, and Analyze, it is ONE workflow. And I hope the Buffer team realizes that they are integral to each other instead of adding additional paywalls to each module, rendering them unattainable to your users. This will only send them running towards another platform. AKA you are shooting yourself in the foot and increasing your churn for maybe some short term gain.

    In terms of pricing, let’s be realistic, Buffer manages social media, there are tons of SMM tools out there, you are not an accounting system or ERP that requires a huge undertaking to switch. As soon as you introduce ANY slight frustration to your user, they can easily run to Google searching for the next best tool, just like we did. Switching an SMM tool takes a few hours at most, it’s not hard.

    My humble suggestions as a small business owner:

    1. Have a free basic plan as you do now for completely new businesses, newbies selling on Etsy, just setting up a Shopify store, just starting a SaaS business, 1 user.
    2. Have a mid-tier plan with full features – priced under $49-99 at most, at least 3 users. This is for small-mid size teams like us.
    3, Enterprise plan with more users, sophisticated requirements like user management and security, etc

    Having a mid-tier plan that allows us access to a comprehensive platform, which you’ve laid out in this blog post, we will switch back on an annual plan in a heart beat.

    • Mike Eckstein

      Really appreciate the thoughtful suggestions here @Limboistik:disqus :)

  • Hey Joel (and team)! Love the roadmap here and the clarity of purpose for your users.

    Curious if you used any “Jobs to be Done” frameworks in the cancellation or new user interviews? The way you described why people were leaving and the tasks a social media manager needed for their job was reminiscent of what I’ve been learning about jtbd. Thanks again for building a great product!

    • Mike Eckstein

      Hey @mattragland:disqus, just spotted your comment here! Thanks very much!

      JTBD is something our product and cx team has been exploring quite a bit, with things like switch interviews. I know Dave, our design lead and Roy, our customer researcher are big fans! They’re on Twitter at @OCallaghanDavid and @RoyBoss – I’m sure they’d love to hear from you. :)

  • For us, most of the previous pricing tiers were out of reach. It’s hard to complain though because Buffer is such a useful and stable product. I’m hoping we can take the leap and buy another option or two.
    Thank you for only charging people for what the need and use. Others could learn from this.

    • Mike Eckstein

      Thanks so much for the encouragement :)

      • By the way Mike, I was in my Buffer dashboard yesterday and could not find these add on features. Where are they?

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