Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Hey Buffer! I've got an idea!

The goal of any social media strategist is to to be as effective as possible, while simultaneously excelling at efficiency. This tends to lead to a posting strategy that consists of creating tweets that adhere to the 140 character limit, as well as following a twitter hashtag plan. That "Twitterfied" tweet content is then cross-posted to the other networks as-is.

This definitely accomplishes the "efficient" aspect of the goal, but does it really achieve a high level of effectiveness? Hashtags have made a valiant effort at infiltrating the Myspace and Google+ worlds; however the usage across the networks seems to be very sparse compared to Twitter.  While this may not be a big issue to a lot of folks out there, I see it a bit differently. To me, an entity that takes the time to individualize each network's version of a content post is one that is dedicated to attention to detail on a higher level than others. With brands this extends to better customer service, with content creators this showcases an innate need to provide the best content. Even if it's just something as simple as a few extra words or an extra sentence to follow up the main point, this can ultimately lead to much a deeper level social network interaction.

Wouldn't it be fantastic if Buffer included a way to help us with this? Sure, one could just copy and paste the content to a new post dialogue and do the edits there, but from what I can see Buffer is in the business of making social sharing as amazing as possible. That means making the Buffer posting tool as powerful and easy to use as possible. Being able to seamlessly tailor one content source across various networks could be the key to taking Buffer to the next level. I have created a few images to showcase what I am talking about:

Image 1: As you can see, this looks like the standard Buffer posting dialogue, with one small addition: the "Maximize Buff" button. In this example, I am posting a photo and text to both Twitter and my personal Facebook page. I would like to craft a more Facebook caliber post out of this Twitterfied content, so I go ahead and click on "Maximize Buff" and...

BAM! The content is now split into two dialogue boxes, each geared at one of the networks that was already selected in the original post box. From that point, I write out a few of the things in the FB post I had compressed for hashtag's sake in the Twitter post (I tend to get more complaints about hashtags on my FB posts than actual positive interactions, so I try to avoid using them as much as I can on my personal page). I also included a link to supplement the photo I posted as the main content.

This new posting tool is already beneficial to my cross-posting cause, but Buffer can make it even moreso: imagine if, when you click the "Maximize Buff" botton, you get the individual post boxes and then...

BAM! Buffer highlights the tags in the Twitterfied content, and provides a functionality similar to "Ctrl+Click any shortened link to unshorten it" where one can  Ctrl+Click any highlighted tag to unhastag it. That could be as simple as removing the hashtag, or in the case of multi-word tags recreating the separated phrase. This process could be automated as in the case of the unshorten link action, with the option to undo.

That's the main gist of my idea, I hope you Bufferites enjoy it! It may be simple, but I think it has the potential to allow your users to deliver the best content across their networks without having to sacrifice more of their time. Not to mention the fact that this could give the posting process a much smoother flow!

-The amount of dialogue boxes that open up after clicking on "Maximize Buff" is dependent on how many networks are selected in the original box
-In this instance, the individual dialogue boxes should allow for multiple networks within each box; the Facebook-specific content could be useful on Google+ as well, so instead of having to copy the content to a third box one could just click the G+ icon in that post box.
-The "Minimize Buff" button that comes up between the dialogue boxes works as a "cancel" button - the second or third dialogue boxes would collapse back into the original one (although the changes would be saved until posting, just in case one decides to Maximize again.
-I am not sure how deep the network API's let you go, but another neat trick would be the ability to change a brand's twitter name to their pages on other networks within the MaxBuff functionality (thinking towards the future - I am aware that Buffer only supports Twitter tags at the moment)
-Eventually, posts that are sent through the MaxBuff tool could serve as the basis for a more in-depth analytics tool within Buffer, one that can show how a post did across the various networks that it was posted to, which would further allow a poster to maximize the effectiveness of their posts.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to me! This was a fun little project. Thank you for your time =]

Hector A. Parayuelos

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