Organization name: Buffer
Industry: Social Media Management Application
The Buffer formation commenced in October of 2010 in Birmingham, United Kingdom by Sheffield born CEO and Co Founder, Joel Gascoigne in the comfort of his bedroom at the age of 23. Fed up with the lack of tools online that would help him manage his social media platforms the way he wanted, Gascoigne set off to create the tool that would not only alter the way he used social media: but the way thousands of others would a mere two years later.
Sometime after the initial launch, Austrian-native and classmate, Leo Widrich, joined the Buffer team as a co-founder and COO. The initial version of the application was developed within several weeks by Gascoigne with very limited features that linked the software only to Twitter. Four days after it’s launch, Buffer gained its first paying user. With opportunities for development acceleration, the duo left the United Kingdom behind and made their way to San Francisco, California: setting off on a journey that would change everything for the startup business venture. After making their North American plunge, the cofounders met with startup incubator company, AngelPad, which assisted in procuring their 18 investors due to financial hardship from the move from Birmingham to San Francisco. While 88% of the investors they had approached had declined the opportunity to invest with Buffer, 12% did; with a total of 18 investors they had secured – it assisted in enabling the growth of the Buffer team. AngelPad’s very own founder, Thomas Korte became an initial investor along with, Andy McLoughlin, co founder of Huddle, and Maneesh Arora, founder of MightyText. The investors helped them raise $450, 000.00 – but that time, Buffer had enabled additional features which included the usage of Facebook, LinkedIn, Google + in conjunction with Twitter.
Buffers Pitch to Investors
The company’s location moved to the Far East, settling in Hong Kong in January of 2012 due to visa issues. After incurring another round of visa issues, the team once again moved in August of 2012, this time to Tel Aviv, Israel. Finally, in May 2013, Buffer settled back in the US after their visa issues were resolved.
From it’s initial establishment back in 2010, the annual revenue of Buffer per year exceeded more than a $1 million dollars by January of 2013, and then crossed that hurdle 9 months later exceeding a total of $2 million dollars; with 16,000+ paying users and a whopping total of 87, 790, 000 million posts generated through the usage of the buffer application. As of December 2013, the organizations annual revenue is estimated to be close to $4 million dollars with a 38.3% increase in users. The total of both paying and free users is estimated to currently sit at approximately 71,770+ users worldwide.
With that many worldwide users, Buffers mission is to make it super easy to share great content. So, how does this work? Through the usage of timing, keywords/suggestions and the quality on multiple platforms – Buffer can not only simplify your social media management experience; it can increase views and increase your target audience.
What to Post:
It at starts with content. If you’re new to social media, or suffering from writer’s block, deciding on what to share may seem like a daunting challenge. Buffer enforces their mission, “make it super easy to share great content”, with their ‘Suggestions’ panel.
This gives the user a list of pre-populated posts of high traffic trending topics, articles, or images. These are sourced from numerous sources, internal and external. And they read everything they suggest internally, so you know you can trust the quality. The user can then select the post to be shared on their connected networks.
If that weren’t easy enough, their mobile app ‘Daily by Buffer’ , offers an endless amount of content that can be shared or skipped with just a swipe on an iPhone. It offers topics in Marketing, Lifehacking, Inspiration, Design, and Entrepreneurship.
Once a new user is comfortable with the process, Buffer offers dozens of articles on content curation that would help even an advanced socialite.
Where to Post:
The next step in the social media process is where to post. Buffer’s Awesome and Business plans (paid) offer an incredibly intuitive analytics platform that allows you to find your Most Clicked, Retweeted or Liked Posts. This is an easy way to assess which posts had the greatest impact, and over time, why they made that impact.
Since the medium is the message, it’s always important to consider where and how content is going to be viewed by your audience. The reason this is hard to measure is simply because everyone’s target demographic is different. Here is a very high-level analysis done by Edge Media and InfoGraphics.sg on choosing the effect social media platform for your business.
When to Post:
Before pulling the trigger on a posting, Buffer allows the user to schedule the post at a later time for optimal impact. This creates a ‘Queue’, which allows the user to schedule multiple posts on multiple platforms for later publishing. Buffer’s data scientists have done a lot of digging and comparing (https://blog.bufferapp.com/best-time-to-tweet-post-to-facebook-send-emails-publish-blogposts) and offer auto-timing on Queued posts. This allows for optimal impact given the platform for which the content is being shared. This can be more likes, views, clicks, retweets, shares, or comments.
Through their research Buffer has broken the myth and taboo that posting content multiple times hurts your following:
Buffer’s COO Leo Widrich offers a few tips and ideas to help get your content the promotion it deserves by sharing it multiple times in different formats:
You don’t always have to have the right things to say at the right time. With Buffer’s interactive and intelligent suggestion system, its users will be able to push the right content at the ideal time.
Submitted By: Amanda Pereira, Michael Racioppo
If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Programme Director, Social Media for Business Performance.