It’s been an exciting month at Buffer – Tons of fun social media initiatives, experiments, and thinking ahead on innovative ideas to continue to grow on all of our channels. Ideas like:

  • How can we best market our new Buffer CultureLab podcast?
  • What does our audience enjoy on Snapchat? How can we grow and stand out?
  • Are we spending too little or too much on social media advertising? What’s the ROI?

These are a few of the awesome things that keep the experiments and learnings churning. But it’s always good to take a step back to evaluate and discuss strategies and goals. I’d love to go behind-the-scenes with you and share all things social media from May.

Here we go!

report-title

In this post, we’ll be hosting our first ever “Blog AMA” (Ask Marketing Anything) where you can ask our marketing team anything you would like!

Want to run a marketing idea by us? Sure! Want to know more about the strategies or stats below? You got it! Wondering how to set up specific reports in Google Analytics? We can help!

Simply drop your question or idea in the comments below and a member from our marketing team will jump in and answer as best as we can.

ama-banner

line

A look at Buffer social media marketing stats

Let’s start off with a complete rundown of our social media stats from May for each of Buffer’s 5 primary social channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Snapchat. It’s always fun to dive into social data and we’re hoping that this will help build a bit of context around your own social strategies.

(All stats cover a 28-day period)

Facebook

We gained 3,810 new page Likes for a total of 59,661 Likes.

We shared 71 posts (50 links, 19 photos, and 2 statuses) that earned us 40,176 interactions with a total of 707,242 people reached (both organic and paid combined).

  • Organic Reach: 374,366
  • Paid Reach: 332,876
  • Boosted Posts: 15
  • Average organic post reach: 6,685
  • Average paid post reach: 22,191

Fun fact: 9 out of 10 of our top posts were links to our blog posts.

If you’re interested in digging deeper into any of these stats, I’m happy to share our Buffer Facebook Stats from May 2016 (download)

Top Facebook post from May

Buffer Top Facebook Post May, Facebook Marketing

Twitter

We gained 36,565 new followers for a total of 561,636 Followers.

We shared 223 tweets that earned us 76,440 interactions with a total of 6,258,140 impressions (both organic and paid combined).

  • Organic impressions: 6,190,854
  • Paid impressions: 67,286
  • Promoted Tweets: 32
  • Average organic Tweet impressions: 32,412
  • Average paid Tweet impressions: 2,102

(This data did not include Tweets from our #bufferchat sessions or direct replies to our users.)

Fun fact: Our top tweet from May was a curated piece of content from Business Insider. This shows the true power of curating content on your own social media channels.

Top Tweet from May

Buffer Top Tweet May 2016, Twitter Strategy, Twitter Marketing

If you’re interested in digging deeper into any of these stats, I’m happy to share our Buffer Twitter Stats from May 2016 (download).

Instagram

We gained 1,191 new followers for a total of 10,492 Followers (12% growth increase vs. April)

We shared 27 posts that earned us 5,520 interactions with an average engagement rate per photo of 2.078%. We did not run any Instagram advertisements in the month of May – all posts were organic.

  • Average likes per post: 188.7
  • Average comments per post: 15.7
  • Top hashtag used: #BufferLove
  • Most engaging filter: Rise

Fun fact: Our top post (218 likes and 118 comments) was a Buffer Swag giveaway. We continue to see success with giveaways on our Instagram account.

Top Instagram post from May

Buffer Instagram Post from May, Instagram Marketing

If you’re interested in digging deeper into any of these stats, I’m happy to share our Buffer Instagram Report for May 2016 (download) which we exported using Iconosquare

LinkedIn

We gained 410 new followers for a total of 10,300 followers.

We shared 60 posts (38 links and 22 photos) that earned us 2,196 interactions with a total of 276,342 impressions. We did not run any LinkedIn Sponsored posts in May – all posts were organic.

  • Average likes per post: 36.6
  • Average comments per post: 3.4
  • Average clicks per post: 58.5
  • Average reach per post: 4,733
  • Average engagement rate per post: 0.775%

Fun fact: Image posts received, on average, a 2.7% higher engagement rate than did link posts. A good indication that visuals are an important part of our LinkedIn strategy.

Top LinkedIn post for May

Top Buffer LinedIn Post for May - Leo Widrich

If you’re interested in digging deeper into any of these stats, I’m happy to share our Buffer LinkedIn Report for May 2016 (download).

Snapchat

Measuring our performance and growth on Snapchat has been a fun challenge to tackle. Currently, there aren’t any automated ways to get analytics or data from a Snapchat account. We pulled the following data manually using a few great tips from marketing superstar, Everette Taylor.

  • Snapchat Score: 948 (based on the number of snaps sent and received)
  • Number of Snaps sent: 64
  • Number of Snaps received: 117
  • Avg. number of views per Snap: 475

Fun fact: We’ll be rolling out a whole new set of awesome Buffer Snapchat stories over the next few weeks. More details below!

If you’re interested in digging into the big spreadsheet we use to keep track of all of our social media data, I’d love to share our nifty Buffer Social Media Metrics Dashboard (download).

Quick Note: You may have noticed that we did not include Pinterest or Google+ in the stats above. We are still marketing on these channels, but they account for less than 1% of our overall website traffic and so we thought we would focus on the more prominent channels in this report. Feel free to ask us any questions about either of those channels in the comments below!

line-section

Referral traffic to the Buffer Social blog

Total traffic from social media

Buffer Socia Media Traffic May 2016

The above chart shows the top five social referrers to the Buffer Social blog. Numbers six through ten were Google+, StumbleUpon, Scoop.it, Pocket, and Reddit.

Total traffic from all sources

Buffer Total Traffic May 2016

The above chart shows the top seven overall referrers to the Buffer Social blog.

line-section

Inside Buffer’s social media strategies

Now that our social media stats are taken care of, I’d love to share a bit about the strategies that we’re working on for some of our larger Buffer projects. It would be fantastic if any of these resonate with you or help to spark any ideas.

It would also be great to hear your thoughts and questions as part of our Buffer AMA (ask marketing anything) in the comments below!

1. Marketing our new Buffer CultureLab Podcast

We launched a new Buffer podcast, CultureLab, in mid-May and it has been a wonderful and challenging experience in both setbacks and growth.

Exploring the ins and outs of launching a new podcast – where to feature it, how to boost it with ratings and reviews, spreading the word, reaching out to potential guests, creating a compelling intro – has opened our mind to fun new social media marketing opportunities.

CultureLab Podcast by BufferWe’re accompanying some episodes with a blog post

For the launch, episode 4 “Hello I Know Your Salary” and episode 5 “Skinny Jeans and Snake People” we’ve included a blog post to go along with the actual episode release. This opens up a nice avenue for promotion across all social media channels and allows us to provide a bit more context to our audience.

It also makes it so the reader or listener can quickly browse through the episode and see what he or she will learn before committing to listening.

What are your thoughts on this strategy? Do you enjoy podcasts that have accompanying blog posts, or do you prefer to dive right into the episode?

We’re looking at experimenting with Facebook Live and Snapchat

As podcasting continues to grow in popularity and become more of a mainstream channel, we feel it’s important to find new and exciting ways to market CultureLab. Facebook Live and Snapchat may be two great ways to help us accomplish our goals.

Facebook Live and Snapchat are both mediums that cater well to video and audio and so they follow a similar format to podcasting. They also provide an opportunity for us to “tease” topics that we’ll be chatting about in our podcast as well as answer any questions that our podcast audience may have for us.

2. A new Snapchat strategy

One of the most exciting projects that I had the pleasure of working on in May and will continue to explore in the coming months is our Snapchat strategy. Up until this point, the only thing we have been really been consistent with on Snapchat is our “Bufferoo Takeovers” on Fridays. Each Friday a new member of our team takes over the Buffer Snapchat (@buffersnaps) for the day.

What I think we may be missing out on is the opportunity to provide real social media value and knowledge to our audience through an emerging platform in Snapchat. That’s why we’re creating a plan to implement what we like to call Buffer Snap Channels. Here’s a quick overview of what this may look like:

Monday: Buffer Social Hour

  • Topics: Social media and marketing education, thought leadership, blog post promotion
  • Host(s): Ex. Kevan, Leo, Ash, Brian, Hailley, Marcus, Vatsal, Kirsten, Adam, Tia, Juliet

Wednesday: Buffer Culture Hour

  • Topics: Work culture, Buffer Open blog discussion, chat about a new podcast episode
  • Host(s): Ex. Courtney, Caro, Mary, Arielle, Kelly, Joel, Nicole, Bonnie, Darcy

Friday: Buffer Team Member Takeover

  • Topics: A day in the life of a Buffer employee 
  • Host(s): Any Buffer employee who would love to get involved

Tuesday (Optional): Buffer Engineering & Design 

  • Topics: An inside look at Buffer’s product, development and design tips
  • Host(s): Ex. Lorenz, Marc Anthony, Roy, Tyler, Dan, Neil, Katie, Emily, Tom, Steve

Thursday (Optional): Buffer Happiness Hour

  • Topics: Great stuff happening on the people team, Buffer employees, remote working, 
  • Host(s): Ex. Mary, Julia, Paul, Stephanie, Rodo, Christina, Maria, Octa, Danny, Kelly, Ross

Buffer Snap Channels are in the beginning stages and so we would love to hear how these may initially feel to you. Did we forget a topic or theme? What else would you like to see on our Snapchat? Please feel free to Snap us directly using this Snapcode or leave a comment below!

buffer-snapchat

3. Social media paid advertising

In May of last year, we shared our strategy for boosting posts on Facebook and some of the results we were seeing with our efforts. One year later, we’re still boosting posts on Facebook and continue to see compelling results for social media paid advertising.

Finding new and creative ways to target our audience on Facebook

Based on the Facebook data we shared above, just about half of our overall Reach in May was from boosted posts. Plus, on average, boosted posts reached 3.3x the amount of people than did organic posts. We spend about $50 per day on boosted posts and around $1,500 per month.

One initiative that I worked to hone in on in May was our targeting efforts with Facebook advertising. It’s important for me, with the amount of advertisers now on Facebook, to begin to drill down into the specifics and get our posts to people who are most likely to click on them.

To do so, I analyzed the data in Facebook Audience Insights and Google Analytics and added (or removed) targeting options from our various Facebook ad campaigns.

Facebook Pixel Traffic, Buffer Facebook Pixels, Pixels

What sort of results are you seeing with your Facebook ads? We’d love to hear below!

Evaluating the effectiveness of our Twitter ad campaigns

Another initiative that we’re keen to understand on a deeper level is the effectiveness of our Twitter ad campaigns and if they are truly driving results that are worth our investment.

Unlike Facebook boosted posts, Twitter’s “Promoted Tweets” aren’t quite as effective in terms of paid reach and engagement. The month of May was a great learning experience for us with Twitter advertising and we’re excited to continue to perfect our technique and drive better results on Twitter.

Have you seen some great results with Twitter advertising? We’re keen on learning from you below!

line-section

Social media content we’d love to write about (any thoughts?)

Finally, I’d love to share a few of the upcoming social media blog post ideas we’re considering. If any of these topics jump out at you, I’d love to hear your votes!

  • How to Successfully Run a Social Media Campaign from Start to Finish
  • The 10 Golden Rules Successful Social Media Managers Live By
  • 53 Design Terms Explained for Marketers
  • Creating The Perfect Facebook Ad: 50 Examples To Help You Get it Right
  • 37 People Doing Amazing Things in Marketing and Social Media

Any other topics or blog posts on your mind? We’d love to hear from you.

line-end

Over to you for AMA (Ask Marketing Anything)

Thanks so much for following along with us until this point! Now we’d love to hand the reigns over to you 💬.

Please feel free to drop any questions you have for our marketing team below and one of our teammates will jump in and answer. 

We’re all super excited to hear from you. Thanks so much!

ama-banner

Looking for a better way to share on social media?

Schedule, publish & analyze your posts across the top social networks, all in one place.

Start a 14-Day Free Trial
Written by Brian Peters

Humbled and grateful to be living the social media life at Buffer! California coast born and raised, but always on the go with my lovely wife Katelyn. Love reading, designing, writing, running and adventuring.

  • Rachel G

    I love your Snapchat strategy! Thanks for sharing all the cool things you’re doing, and offering to answer questions. I have two if that’s acceptable 🙂

    What’s one non-social media channel that you’ve found earns good engagement? You mentioned StumbleUpon and Scoop.it, any others?

    And do you think having “themed” days would be beneficial on Twitter/FB? For example, if I follow you on Snapchat I can look forward to fun snaps from random team members on Fridays. Do audiences on Twitter and FB respond well to scheduled topics?

    • Brian

      Hey there, Rachel! Thank you so much for the comment, and yup, two is totally cool with us! 🙂

      Good one! Not quite sure if this counts, but we’ve found some awesome success from “brand partnerships” and traffic from there referrals. So for example, we get 2,000-3,000 visits to our site per week from Social Media Examiner alone. Being proactive in outreach is a huge initiative for us and something we’re going to continue to focus on 2016.

      Ahh I love that second question! I think that would be super fun to experiment with, but can’t quite give a concrete answer there because we haven’t done or seen much of that… you may be onto something! The only thing I feel may make that a challenge are Facebook’s and Twitter’s algorithms not showing someone a post on the day intended. Often people don’t see our post for a day or two after its posted.

      Thanks so much for your awesome thoughts and questions! Would love to keep in touch 🙂

      • Rachel G

        Great answers, thanks Brian. I’ll be sure to look into brand partnerships. As for the themed posting days, you bring up a good point about the shifting and somewhat unpredictable FB algorithms.

  • Lindsey S

    My vote is for How To Run A Successful Social Media Campaign.

    As for the AMA, what resources (websites, books, courses, etc) do you recommend for someone interested in learning more about social media/digital marketing?

    • Brian

      Awesome! Thank you so much for the vote, Lindsey! 🙂

      That’s such a great question! Your timing is perfect – we actually just put together the “top 100” blogs that people have connected to their Buffer account via RSS. These are great start for learning a ton of great things about social media and digital marketing: https://blog.bufferapp.com/the-top-100-social-media-blogs

      As for books, another blog post coming your way! https://blog.bufferapp.com/best-marketing-business-books

      Hope those help you get started! So great connecting with you – please let us know if there’s ever anything else we can do for you!

  • Deanna Ayres

    I vote for: How to Successfully Run a Social Media Campaign from Start to Finish

    That being said; what a brilliant post! I love the strategy behind the post as much as I love the ideas in it. Since this an AMA 🙂 I will ask a question or two I’ve been researching, mulling over and discussing with others but can’t seem to get just right – hopefully y’all have some ideas!

    I work for a company that creates beautiful coffee table books. We have a unique way to have many people contribute to a book. We handle all the editing and design so all you have to do is add your contribution. Easy peasy 🙂
    We have started to shift to what we call corporate customers (anything from startups to big fortune 500) and many of the clients we’ve had so far created either company yearbooks or company culture book – they turned out AMAZING. We’d love to have more of these projects but we haven’t found a way to combine the 3 distinctly different ways you can use our company and we know it can be a bit confusing. We’ve figured out how to market to consumers and are continuously learning and evolving that strategy as well as our fan projects which we’ve had a steep learning curve but that’s starting to come together.. What we haven’t been able to figure out is how to market and attract the right corporate clients. Right now we grind by looking up, emailing and calling but we want to also bring them in organically or even through paid ads but past attempts yield nothing and we have been going back and forth on blogging strategy because we are unsure about running 3 different branches on one blog (hope that made sense!). Any thoughts on this?

    In the post you asked what results readers had with their fb campaigns and we have just this week adjusted some of our product ads to be super specific – I had a gut feeling mobile traffic wasn’t beneficial to our goal of selling books, so I analyzed our posts, took notes, drilled down and changed it all up. We now run ads only from noon to 10pm, excluded everything but desktop newsfeed and right side, narrowed down the age group to the 2 most engaged groups and added a review to the ad. Success! We’ve had a sale every day 😀

    Again, awesome post!

    • Brian

      Wow, @deannaayres:disqus! Amazing information and insights – glad to hear you’re starting to see some awesome results from your paid advertising! 🙂

      First of all, it sounds like you’re on the right track with “the grind!” From experience, we know a lot of companies that are doing the same thing and seeing awesome results. With cluttered email inboxes and social advertisements, sometimes the best thing to do is identify prospects and do some personal 1-on-1 outreach. It may not be the easiest route, but it sounds like that is paying off for you. Hopefully those efforts with corporate customers will turn into referrals – which could be a huge source of new business down the line.

      For the blog, one thing I may ask is: What is the number one topic or theme that seems to be bringing in customers? In other words, what’s your strongest “selling point?” That might be a terrific start for blog posting strategy instead of focusing on 3 separate topics (which you can totally do down the line). When we first started here at Buffer, we began with social media and marketing tips. It wasn’t until we started to find our groove that we began blogging about company culture, transparency, etc.

      Hope that helps – would love to chat more about your awesome strategy. Wishing you the best of luck in your endeavors! 🙂

  • Brendan Conron

    Regarding the AMA, I was recently watching a comedy special on Netflix where the performer said social media is a meld between performer and audience, that it allows people to watch their life play out before them on a screen; the ultimate form of narcissism. And while I enjoy social media for what it is, even I have to admit that it does allow everyone to become incredibly self-indulgent and vain. It’s always “Look at what I’m doing” or “Look at how I am”.

    There are, of course, some great uses of social media. Primarily, the democratization of information. There are some dangers that social media then becomes the gateway of news and information flow but largely it allows people to access information they would have never had before. It allows people to engage with people they never could. That’s one reason The Young Turks have been so successful at creating an online news presence; social media has allowed to be access viewers other news networks never had access to before. There are other great uses of social media, such as campaign awareness, ala Free the Nipple.

    The downsides however, including everything I’ve already mentioned. Narcisism, vaniety, a less compassionate society where we only care about ourselves. And worst of all in my opinion, hashtavism (hashtag activism). No longer are people doing things to change the world, they’re just tweeting about it.

    Given all that and that Buffer is a tool for social media, how can we use social media responsibly? How can we use it as a tool for empowering others and helping others rather than boost the number of likes we get? How can we turn it away from “Oh everyone look at how my children are doing, they’re so awesome” to a tool of social responsibility?

    • Brian

      That’s a really great set of points and super thoughtful question, @brendanconron:disqus. Thank you so much for taking the time to share that with us!

      It’s tough to answer for certain, but I feel like it comes down to the individual or company behind the social media account and whether or not they are willing to step up and take responsibility for and lead real social change. We’ll always see people who talk about change, but maybe don’t follow through. However, there are leaders out there (both individuals and businesses) that are doing wonderful things with the power they’ve been given on social media. It’s up to us to identify those people and businesses and stand behind them while also venturing out on our own to do the same with our personal social media.

      As businesses and influencers, we have a responsibility to shift the focus on helping others and making an social impact because there will be individuals who follow in our footsteps. Which is important to remember because any big change will require the movement of individual people.

      I hope that helps to answer your question 🙂 Would love to hear your thoughts as well on how people and businesses can use social media as a tool of responsibility!

      • Brendan Conron

        As far as how people can use social media responsibly, that’s a pretty tough question. I don’t know if you’ve ever taken a look at the bowels of twitter but there are some pretty racist/sexist portions of it that exist. In that instance, it’s really up to the company and other users to moderate that but it comes down to an issue of discoverability. But again, as we’ve seen with this campaign cycle, what’s offensive and what’s not can be very subjective (even though it’s not really). Ultimately it’s up to the business to moderate their content.

        • Brian

          Well said, Brendan! 🙂 Thanks for your thoughts there!

  • Invictus Foundation

    I would like more likes on Facebook and good interaction. I would like more likes, comments, and shares. Being organic, we do not pay for ads. How can I develop a robust sense of community on Facebook? Thanks in advance

  • @Zayd-Awadallah: Analytics
    Snapchat, Launching a Podcast, Social Ads, and More: Behind-the-Scenes of Social Media at Buffer in May