Hosting Tutorial & Guide

How to Use Buffer to Schedule WordPress Posts for Social Media Sharing

updated on Nov 03, 2016
How to Use Buffer to Schedule WordPress Posts for Social Media Sharing Due to the great benefits in driving traffic and building up a community of loyal followers, social media marketing is very popular. However, sharing posts to multiple social media accounts manually is tiresome.

Fortunately, there have already been several tools available on the web that help to automate the sharing on the popular social networks like Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Buffer, then, is a widely used social media tool that provides a super easy and flexible way to schedule posts for auto-sharing. It is helpful in relieving you from the manual works, which allows you to focus on other works like the engagement with your target audience.

In below, we will present all the basic information about Buffer, and show how to use it and integrate it with a WordPress site.

What Is Buffer & Why Use It?

As a powerful social media sharing tool with millions of users, Buffer enables you to manage all social media updates at once. With this tool, you are able to prepare Twitter tweets, schedule or bookmark the Facebook updates, plan the LinkedIn updates, etc. All these tasks can be done with few efforts from you since you only need to spend a few minutes setting up Buffer and the rest things will be done automatically.

For you, a website owner who desire traffic and user engagement, a good schedule of the social media updates not only saves the time and drives traffic to your site, but also keeps the followers engaged throughout the day.

Other benefits of Buffer include the ease of use and the rich features such as URL shortening, link tracking, and social statistics. With the statistics, you can see how many people have clicked your content, and which posts have been re-shared.

Buffer

When using the basic version of Buffer, you don't have to pay, since all the features are free for life. However, if your business relies much on Pinterest, or you have large demands on the number of updates on each social network, you need to pay. The paid individual plan costs $10/mo. Besides, there are also plans for teams with multiple members, and these plans are priced from $99/mo.

Use Buffer to Schedule WordPress Posts for Social Media Sharing

Getting started with Buffer is quite easy. The setup and social media scheduling with this tool don't require any professional skill or much time. If you have decided to try Buffer, simply follow these steps.

Sign up for a free account

Assumed that you'd like to use the free plan offered by Buffer, you can get a completely free account by visiting this page and clicking on the "Get Started for Free" button.

Get Started with Buffer for Free

To your convenience, Buffer offers you several options for the creation of the account. You can either create an account with your existing Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook account, or by using an email address. The choice is open to you.

Create an Account with Buffer

Set up your social accounts with Buffer

As soon as your account is created, you will be redirected to a setup page on which Buffer asks you to connect your social media accounts with this app. In the first step, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are presented to you.

Set Up Social Accounts

When you click on any of the social networks, Buffer will ask you to log into your account. After logging in, you need to allow Buffer to link to your account.

Link to Your Social Account

For Facebook, you will be able to choose who can see the posts that are published by Buffer.

Select the Audience

Besides, you need to grant Buffer the permissions to access the certain parts of your account. If you are uncomfortable with some permissions that Buffer asks for, you can also disallow the capability as you want.

Grant Buffer Permissions

Depending on the social network you choose, you are faced with multiple options of the social media profile, including Facebook profile/page/group, Google+ page, LinkedIn profile/page, and your Twitter/Pinterest account.

Choose Profile

Set up your schedule

After adding your social media accounts, you can click on the following button to start setting up the schedule.

Set Up Schedule

The next step is to select the time zone that you want your schedule to use. This is important if there is a far distance between you and your target audience.

Select Time Zone

Here comes an important option – the selection of the best times for your post sharing. Buffer provides you with the freedom to post updates at any time, but if you don't have a clear plan now, we'd suggest you use the calculation tool built in Buffer.

Find Optimal Times

With the optimal scheduling tool offered in Buffer, you only need to select a social media account and enter the number of posts per day, and then the best times will be calculated for you.

Calculate Best Times

At last, you can choose whether to track the clicks of your posts. We'd suggest you turn this option on, so that you are able to calculate the achievements of your social media marketing strategy later.

Track Clicks

Schedule WordPress posts in Buffer for social media sharing

As soon as Buffer is set up, you can go to the dashboard to schedule your posts for each social network. If you have used the Optimal Timing tool in Buffer, you will see all the timing in a week/month for post sharing and an "add post" button for each selected time.

Add Post

In the dialog of post scheduling, you are able to add whatever content that you want to share. If you add a link to a post on your WordPress site, the link will be shortened automatically, and the preview appears, too. Besides, photos and videos are also allowed if there is a need. Also, for each new post, you can change the timing as you like.

Create Post Content

When posts are scheduled, they are put in a queue. You can edit them at any time, or publish any post immediately. Also, you are able to delete any of them and re-schedule a post for the time.

Review Posts

After the posts are scheduled, they will be published to your social media accounts automatically on the pre-defined time. You can then focus on other things without worrying about the social sharing.

What you need to pay attention is that you have to manually schedule all the posts for each social network. This may take some time, but the concentrated efforts make a difference as you can completely control which content to share. If you launch a promotion of your service and want to share the information with your followers on social networks, the control will benefit you a lot.

Integrate Buffer with WordPress by Using a Plugin

Buffer comes with an easy-to-use dashboard which allows you to schedule posts, view statistics and configure the settings. But some people may still want to do the scheduling from the WordPress dashboard. If you are one of them, you can install the WordPress to Buffer plugin after configuring your Buffer account.

When the plugin is set up, it sends scheduled posts to your Buffer account automatically after your posts or pages are published or updated. This means that you don't have to create each piece of content manually, which is quite different from the scheduling in the Buffer dashboard.

Authorize WordPress to Buffer

After installing the plugin, you will be asked to authorize the plugin to access your Buffer account. To complete the authentication, you need to copy the callback URL presented on the plugin's settings page, and then click the "Registering an Application" link.

Authorize WordPress to Buffer

On the new page, you need to fill out a form to create a Buffer app. The needed information is simple, such as the application name, description, your website address, and the callback URL which you copied before.

Create Buffer Application

When the application is created, you will get the credentials for it. Simply copy the access token and paste it to the plugin's settings.

Copy Access Token

As soon as the settings are saved, you will get the following message.

Successful Authentication

Set up post scheduling

Upon successful authentication, you can open the "Posts" and "Pages" tab and tick the checkbox for "On Publish". Doing so means each time a post or page is published, it will be scheduled to Buffer automatically and then shared to your social media accounts on the right time. Also, you need to choose which social network the new posts and pages will be shared to.

Auto Schedule Posts

By default, the plugin sends the post title and URL to your Buffer account, while you can customize the content by adding some other tags like the category, author, site name and excerpt. The available tags are listed under the "Help" tab, and the excerpt is highly recommended because it helps readers know what the post is about before they click the link.

Use Tags to Customize Content

After saving the changes, you can rest assured that your new posts and pages will be shared to your social media accounts automatically after they are published.