Sharing transparently about all aspects of what we do at Buffer—pricing, salaries, fund-raising, earnings, hiring, and more—has been an amazing opportunity to connect with and learn from others. We get such great ideas and encouragement from sharing openly.

We’ve shared before about our content marketing goals, numbers, and adventures, and I’d love to continue these stories in regular blog posts here!

I’ll be sharing how we’re doing, what we’re up to, what we have planned for the future, and all the strategies and tips we’re eager to try. And I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas, too! All is open, whether it’s thoughts on what we’re doing or stories about what you’re trying. Let’s begin. 🙂

buffer report

Inside Buffer’s social media marketing stats

One thing I’ve noticed with social media marketing is that it can sometimes be a challenge to know where you stand. I often find myself asking, “So … is that good?” not only when looking at my own stats but also the stats of others.

Follower counts and likes/comments/shares are great numbers to have. It’s also neat to learn of the context behind those numbers–things like impressions or per-post averages.

So here’s our complete stats from February, context and everything, in the hopes that it might be helpful for you with your social media marketing.

(All stats are from the past 28 days, and comparisons are made to the 28 days prior.)

Twitter

We gained 12,006 new followers for a total of 286,895 followers. 274889

We shared 379 tweets (not including #bufferchat and customer happiness) that earned a total of 60,050 total interactions.

Out of everyone who saw a tweet, 2.1 percent of users engaged with the tweet by clicking, retweeting, replying, favoriting, or following the Buffer account.

  • Engagement rate – 2.1%
  • Average impressions per tweet – 12,769
  • Average total engagement per tweet – 311 (clicks, retweets, replies, follows, and favorites)
  • Average clicks per tweet – 101
  • Average retweets per tweet – 28

If you’re interested in digging deeper into any of these stats, I’m happy to share our .csv of exported Twitter analytics. 

Facebook

We gained 836 new page Likes for a total of 34,194 Likes.

We shared 51 posts that earned a total of 2,040 interactions.

An average Facebook post reached 1,079 people. Of these, 741 people were fans of our page, so each post reached an average of 2.1 percent of our fans.

  • Average clicks per post – 21
  • Average likes per post – 13
  • Average comments per post – 4

If you’re interested in digging deeper into any of these stats, I’m happy to share our .csv of exported Facebook analytics. 

LinkedIn

We gained 236 new followers for a total of 4,060 followers.

We shared 18 posts that earned a total of 179 interactions.

  • Engagement rate – 1.7%
  • Interactions per post – 10

Google+

We gained 51,142 new followers for a total of 692,684 followers.

We shared 35 posts that earned a total of 1,325 interactions.

  • Interactions per post – 37
  • Clicks per post – 14
  • Reshares per post – 4
  • Plus Ones per post – 17

Referral traffic to the Buffer blog

blog referrals

The above chart shows the top five social referrers to the Buffer Social blog. Not pictured: Pinterest was our 7th-best referrer in February, sending 900 visitors to the blog.

Referral traffic to the Buffer app

social to buffer app

The above chart shows the social referrer traffic to the Buffer app itself. Not pictured: Google+ sent 1,100 visits, and Pinterest sent 850.

Inside Buffer’s social media strategies

Along with the stats, I’d love to share a bit about the strategies we’re testing on different social networks. It’d be awesome if you find this helpful or if this sparks any ideas for you. And it’d be great to get your thoughts in the comments on ways we could improve or grow, too!

Twitter

We currently share 14 times per weekday, 10 times on weekends.

Our content strategy is a bit unique compared to other accounts and compared to the best practices for Twitter. We share 90 percent of our own content, 10 percent of others’.

The sharing schedule looks a little like this:

  • New blog posts, shared multiple times over the course of the first few days since publish
  • Popular blog posts from our blog archives, both on the Social blog and the Open blog
  • An inspiring or motivational quote (once per day)
  • A great article or story from outside Buffer (once per day)
  • A retweet from someone on the Buffer team (once per day)

Our schedule for promoting the new blog posts is one that we’re continually iterating on. Currently, it looks like this: Share three times on day one, once on day two, once on day three, and from then on out, add to the rotation of popular posts from the archives.

It’s a similar system to this great grid from Garrett Moon of CoSchedule and KISSmetrics.

3-social-sharing-timeline

For sharing popular blog posts from our archives, we have a couple different systems set up.

  1. Go to an archive page on the blog(e.g., https://blog.bufferapp.com/page/3) and share the evergreen posts from that page.
  2. Re-Buffer posts from analytics. (Here’s a screen capture example.)
  3. Re-Buffer posts from a test account we’ve populated with popular tweets.

If you’re interested in creating a system similar to our test account system, here’s a bit more about how we’ve created this one.

  1. Export your Twitter analytics either from your Buffer dashboard or your Twitter analytics. (We used Buffer analytics for ours.)
  2. Sort the posts by the metrics that matter to you. We sorted ours by clicks. Next time, we might sort by engagement per impression (a stat available in Twitter analytics).
  3. Select the top group of tweets from this sortable list. Depending on your posting frequency, a list of 50 to 100 should do great.
  4. Save these top tweets into a .csv and upload it to your Buffer account via Bulk Buffer. The one extra note here is that Bulk Buffer will not add photos to your tweets, so you’ll need to do this manually in your Buffer queue if images are part of your Twitter strategy.
  5. After uploading these to your test account in Buffer, turn off the schedule for the test account so that the updates remain in your queue.
  6. Drag-and-drop the updates into your main Twitter account in Buffer to fill the queue there. Edit the update text as you desire!

Facebook

As the Facebook News Feed continues changing, we’ve enjoyed experimenting with strategies that will make our content as useful and helpful to the Facebook audience as possible.

Our current strategy is to push ahead with video on Facebook, as we’ve identified it as one of our best ways to engage with the audience. Currently, we’re working to create short, helpful tutorial videos that share some of our favorite social media tips. Like this one from Mary:

The response has been great so far. Our video posts on Facebook receive on average 1,500 people reached, which is 50 percent more than average.

In addition, we’re also interested in a couple of News Feed elements that could affect the way we share.

1. Photo posts on Facebook are the least-viewed posts. 

A study by Socialbakers found that a photo post earns the smallest reach out of all post types by Facebook pages. The new number one post type is video.

  • Video – 8.71% organic reach
  • Text-only – 5.77%
  • Link posts – 5.29%
  • Photo – 3.73%

This research has been key to our focus on video content for Buffer. We’re excited to continue on in that direction, and we’re beginning to post fewer and fewer photo posts to our Facebook page. In the last three weeks, we shared 7 photos and 23 links.

2. Content shared more than once may limit its visibility in the News Feed

One of our interesting findings when researching the Facebook News Feed algorithm was that frequently circulated content may be de-emphasized in the News Feed.

In our case, we often repost evergreen blog posts from our archives, and we’re interested to understand what kind of effect this might have on visibility. Does sharing the same link more than once mean a lower likelihood of reach? Is there a better way to share helpful snippets from the same blog post?

(One sidenote on a question that seems to come up often for us: We’ve yet to go all-in with Facebook Ads. I think I’ve personally held us up from exploring this one too deeply as I’m quite keen to get organic Facebook reach figured out. I’d love to hear any stories from you on how Facebook Ads have worked!)

LinkedIn & Google+

We’ve not taken as active a role in marketing to these networks as we would like. There are certainly lots of neat ideas here (see below for more on what we’re dreaming about), and we’d love to hear what you’re trying out.

We share once per weekday to LinkedIn.

We share twice per day (weekends included) to Google+.

Of the two networks, we’ve tried the most experiments with Google+. Over the past several months, we’ve increased our publishing frequency to five times per day and written longform updates—mini-blog posts, really, of 50 words or more. Both strategies were fun to try yet ultimately did not show the increases we hoped.

Perhaps the strategy that seems to have worked the best is sharing Google-related content. (We’ve noticed the same to be true at other social networks as well.) Some of our most popular Google+ posts have referenced the Google homepage, Google’s corporate strategies, Google+ tips, and SEO.

The following post earned 1,848 clicks whereas we typically get 14 clicks per post.

google plus post

Pinterest & Instagram

We’re excited to dig deeper into these social networks in the coming months (as well as exploring new-to-us networks like Snapchat or Tumblr). Here are a couple of our favorite strategies we tried out in the past.

On Pinterest, perhaps our most active board is the one for What Buffer Is Reading. Nicole shares the book choices of the Buffer team so that others can follow along with our reading adventures. It’s part of what might ultimately become a Buffer book club (it’d be great to hear any of your thoughts on that!), and it serves as a nice place to direct people who are interested in what we’re reading. We also created a special board for the 50 most influential books for Joel.

On Instagram, each of us took a turn sharing a #weekinthelife of a Buffer teammate, wherever we were and whatever was going on that week. It was a neat way to take a peek into the lives of a remote work team, and it added some really great variety to the account.

New visions and ideas for social media marketing

We feel grateful for the chance to work on so many amazing and fun social media strategies, and we’ve got even more that we’d love to try out. Here are a few that we’re thinking over.

Create a LinkedIn group

The potential of LinkedIn seems to be growing (it’s an awesome source for a very targeted group of social media influencers and users), and one of the neat ways to be engaged there seems to be with groups. It feels like Buffer might have an opportunity to establish a great presence and influence with a group led by Joel or Leo, especially based on the connections they’ve been able to form.

Get 100k followers on Facebook

I’m quite intrigued about what goes into growing a Facebook following, and it seems like we might have a lot of growth potential to take our Facebook page from 34,000 likes to something crazy like 100k or 1 million!

At the same time, I’m hoping to be conscious of what Facebook growth might really mean for us. Is it growth for the sake of growth? Is it valuable to have 100,000 followers if we’ve yet to fully figure out the best way to reach them or to figure out how they fit with Buffer’s funnel? These are some questions I’ll be mulling.

Create a social media research study based on Buffer data

Would you all be interested to learn the best times to tweet, based on data from real Buffer users? We’d love to share any takeaways from studying the raw data of Buffer. I think next steps for us are ensuring we’ve got a great research process in place (to help the info be as solid as possible) and to have a great way to display it so you get the most value.

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

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

  • How to Create a Social Media Report and Explain it to Your Boss or Client
  • The Delightfully Short Guide to Social Media ROI
  • The Ultimate Social Media Glossary of Need-to-Know Terms
  • 13 Original Ways to Use Medium for Marketing
  • How to Create Shareworthy Twitter Visuals
  • What $5 Per Day Will Buy You on Facebook Ads

Over to you

Thank you for letting us share a bit about our social media strategies here at Buffer. I hope the added info with our stats might be useful for your sharing and planning.

Did you see any strategies here you’d like to try out? What has been your experience with Facebook video or Twitter frequency? 

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Image sources: The Noun Project, Blurgrounds, Unsplash, KISSmetrics

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 Kevan Lee

Director of marketing at Buffer, the social media publishing tool for brands, agencies, and marketers. We’ve got a new podcast! 🍟

  • Cassandre

    Such a great read, thank you for all your advice!

    • Hi Cassandre! Thanks so much for the comment! Glad you enjoyed the post – excited to share these with you all every month. 🙂

  • SES_Elizabeth

    So much to think about from this post Kevan. I appreciate your breakdown for each social network; they really are each so different and have their own personality. When Buffer starts a LinkedIn group, I am on board!

    • Hi Elizabeth! So great to hear from you! Really glad you found this post helpful. Would love to know how you use LinkedIn Groups, if you don’t mind sharing. 🙂 Are they maybe valuable because of the content that is shared or because of the conversations that take place? (or both?)

      • SES_Elizabeth

        I would say content more than conversation. It can be a real challenge to create conversation since people don’t tend to sit in LI the same way they do Twitter. A quality group, well curated, can be a is a great resource!
        I don’t know of any groups that have tried a “LinkedIn Chat” with a scheduled time and topic. If people can plan for it, maybe it would really take off!

        • Ah, makes a lot of sense, Elizabeth! Thanks for sharing! I’ve noticed how helpful Groups can be with the content arriving via email each day. Seems like a great one to think more on!

  • Transparency AND social media strategies? Possibly the most Buffer-y article yet. 🙂 Thanks for the great read, Kevan! Also, I’d love to read about creating and explaining a social media report. Often it can be difficult for some to see the value in social media for a company, so it would be awesome to see the best ways to track and present results.

    • Hi there Erica! Thanks for the comment! Really awesome to hear this post was useful. 🙂 And yeah, I think I’m excited to learn from the “social media reports” post as well. Feels like there are some great ideas out there, and it’d be awesome to collect them all and share!

  • Julian Winternheimer

    Wow, this is super interesting – thanks for sharing Kevan! I love the focus on making the content useful to the audience. I’m curious if you record how much traffic is generated to the app from each post, and if that would change the value of the content.

    I also noticed that much more traffic is generated per-post from Facebook than from Twitter. How did you determine the frequency of your posts on Facebook?

    Thanks again! Lot’s of useful information here.

    • Hi there Julian! Thanks so much for the comment! Love your questions here and the perspective on the data. 🙂

      Per-post traffic to the app is a really interesting one! I think we’re currently set up to track this for the content on the blog. We’ve not quite done this for traffic from social beyond the general referrals network-wide. The content traffic is really interesting to see! I’d be happy to share that if you’re interested. 🙂

      The Facebook posting schedule is, I’m afraid to say, perhaps not as scientific as I might like! We’ve experimented with posting much more frequently than 2x per day (up to 5x if I remember right), and we didn’t quite see an impact on reach or total engagement then. I think we may have overlooked the traffic numbers that you mention, though! Might be a good one to circle back on. Thanks so much for the insight there! 🙂

      • Julian Winternheimer

        Hey Kevan, so sorry for the delayed response!

        Thanks for offering to share the content traffic – I’d be super interested in seeing that! I’m curious, how do you categorize your content?

        I think it would be really interesting to explore the traffic data to try to find ways to get the most utility from all of the amazing posts. You guys already do an awesome job here 🙂

        Regarding Facebook, their algorithm is certainly curious to me and I would love to hear about any experiments with post frequency and traffic generated!

        Thanks again for sharing all this information – it’s really inspiring me!

  • Very interesting, thanks Kevan. I think you have plenty of room for growth on LinkedIn – I’ve found that sharing in LinkedIn groups is particularly effective for driving traffic (company updates don’t really seem to have too much juice).

    • Hi there Ben! Thanks for the comment! Awesome to hear your vote for LinkedIn Groups. 🙂 Curious, how do you do the posting frequency for group posts and page updates? Are they the same updates shared both places, or does each have its own cadence and content?

      • I try to post daily to groups, I’ve found that around midday tends to yield the best results in terms of click-through and engagement. It’s still got to be a give and take equation – you need to contribute to discussions and engage with other group members to get the best results…

  • Davo Atz

    Google I feel should easier to work and all apps. Better what is solid and new better options and grow in different direction

    • Hi there Davo! Yep, we’re excited to learn a bit more and grow our strategies on Google+. I’ll be happy to share what we find!

  • Hi Kevan
    how many blog posts do you do per week/day/months?
    thanks for the open sharing. Really well done.

    • Hi Sabine! Great question! We generally aim to publish 3 to 4 blog posts each week on the blog. 🙂

  • Jann Douple Mylet

    Thanks for all the great information in your blog. Super helpful. My vote for a future topic would be “How to Create a Social Media Report and Explain it to Your Boss or Client” – yes, please!

    • Hi Jann! Thank you for the comment and for the validation on the Reports idea. 🙂 Definitely looking forward to exploring that one for you!

  • Winslow

    I can’t agree with the blanket application of social baker’s results to all FB pages. We reach up to 10% of our 238K followers organically using text plus picture.

    It really depends on the text and the picture you craft…

    • Hi Winslow! Thank you for the info here! I think you make a great point about the value of the content you share on Facebook. Thanks for the reminder!

  • Awesome article! My vote for a future blog would be the Social Media Report Explaining one, but I’d also be interested in the $5 on Facebook Ads one!

    Just wondering – how many times a day do you post on Facebook? You didn’t actually include that…

  • Great metrics and it is a testament to alignment, strategy and content marketing that is working great. Keep up the good work. This is inbound marketing week 2015 and this is a very generous way to contribute for the industry.

    • Thanks, Hitesh! Happy Inbound week! 🙂

  • Dave Musson

    Great post! My vote would have to be for the delightfully short guide to social media ROI 😀

    • Hi there Dave! Thanks! Can’t wait to explore that one. 🙂

  • Hey Kevan, brilliant post! Thanks for sharing these stats from Buffer with us, very valuable!
    What I noticed is the reach level of your Facebook posts. Out of 34,194 Fans your average Facebook post reached 1,079 people.

    I mean it is maybe not that low, but just confirming that without paying, your fans won’t see your updates. What a bummer. We face this issue too and whenever we promote a post, like an important message we want our fans to see, we immediately see great results – reach, interactions etc.
    I’m so happy to see your approach in organic only so I can show to others how it really works and if they want everyone to see the content, it is necessary to pay. The more fans you have to more you have to pay. It may be better to update users via emails now, right?

    • Hi there Petr! Awesome thoughts here! I really believe email is a great way to get your message out to your audience. Facebook reach and the Twitter firehouse mean that you’re likely to hit only a portion of fans/followers with your message, whereas the inbox is a bit more of a guarantee! This has been my experience at least. 🙂

      I’m interested to dig into paid reach on Facebook (boosting, advertising, etc.) to see what kind of quality impact this might have on referral traffic to the website, page likes, etc. Will definitely report back with what we find!

      • Yes, I would love to see real results backed by real stats not just those marketing messages and theories 🙂 For some posts it is IMHO better to use boost option which is lot of times criticized by marketing gurus. Can’t wait to see some results by Buffer 🙂

        • (thumbsup) 🙂

          Will definitely let you know what we find!

  • Gus Murray

    My Vote – 13 Original Ways to Use Medium for Marketing

    • Awesome! Thanks, Gus! 🙂

  • Very interesting article. It is great that you communicate all of that so openly.
    I would love to read your take on Social Media Reports in the future – so that’s my vote.

    • Will do! Thanks so much for the comment!

  • Renee Brosius

    I really enjoyed this post. It’s really helpful to get a perspective of engagement and reach stats compared to someone else. I would love to see you do this kind of post on some regular basis. And I’d be interested in the social media research study based on Buffer data. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Hi Renee! Thanks so much for the comment! Definitely, I’d love to explore these stats and strategies each month on the blog. So happy to hear that might be helpful for you!

  • Adrijus Guscia

    Hmmm… so you guys gained 50k Followers on Google Plus but still not happy about the month’s result? 😀 How is it different for you in general guys? Def. noticed that they prefer content about G+ often but I also noticed it delivers most followers out of most soc.networks even if you aren’t super active.

    Thanks for great article!

    • Hi Adrijus! Great point about G+! I think we’re keen to support the community there in some new ways – we’re super grateful for the growth in followers and excited to develop some good strategies there. The follower counts, like you mentioned, do indeed seem quite impressive on G+. I’d love to hear any tips you come across for engaging with G+ users!

      • Adrijus Guscia

        In my experience Communities and Hashtags work best there.. maybe you guys should do a community? Similarly to LinkedIn or FB groups.. obviously time consuming tho and probably best to have a person for each network. Which is not for everyone.

  • PeterTrapasso

    Thank you so much Kevan!

    I am putting this to use today.

    Here is your blog post editorial calendar as requested:

    How to Create a Social Media Report and Explain it to Your Boss or Client

    The Delightfully Short Guide to Social Media ROI

    How to Create Shareworthy Twitter Visuals

    What $5 Per Day Will Buy You on Facebook Ads

    Cheers,

    Pete

    • Haha, sounds great Peter! I’ll put it on the calendar. 🙂

      (But really, I would love to touch on each of these in the coming weeks!)

  • Sign me up for the Buffer Book Club!

    • Woohoo! Thanks for the support, Keely!

  • Thank for the .csv files – snarfing those up for my students!

    • Definitely, Amanda! So glad you’re able to use those!

  • Minh

    1 vote for “How to create a social media report and explain it to your boss or client”! Thank you Kevan!

  • Yasser
  • Tereza

    Great post! I’d love to read about that: 13 Original Ways to Use Medium for Marketing
    I also realised that Twitter is by far the most efficient social network and was just wondering whether we tend to place more importance, comparing to Twitter, at least!

    • Thanks for the note, Tereza!

  • Megan Kellar

    Really interesting article, I love seeing live stats on how businesses are going related to their social media etc.

    I’d be interested to see the blogs:

    How to Create a Social Media Report and Explain it to Your Boss or Client
    The Delightfully Short Guide to Social Media ROI
    How to Create Shareworthy Twitter Visuals

    Keep up the great work!

    • Hi Megan! Thanks for the comment! Excited to get to work on those articles. 🙂

  • Bradley Ford

    I would love something to help sell Social Media to my management for a B2B company.

    Also some stats or strategies for scheduling posts when your readers are not in the same time zone.

  • Ian Mullane

    Kevan, a great post as usual, full of helpful takeaways. Like some others that have commented, I do think the reach assumptions are dubious. We run these numbers every month and have done so for some time and there is a very clear correlation between page size and organic reach performance. As for native video on Facebook, reach has definitely improved over the last 14 months but it is not the king of organic post reach.

    The team ran an analysis last week following your article and you can read the results here if you are interested. http://goo.gl/JG4u0H

  • JennaDeWitt

    I like the How to Create a Social Media Report and Explain it to Your Boss or Client or The Delightfully Short Guide to Social Media ROI!

  • Ooh, I really want this one! “How to Create a Social Media Report and Explain it to Your Boss or Client!” As the de-facto social media marketer at my job, I struggle to convey the impact of what I do to people who don’t really use social media. Fortunately for me, they acknowledge that it’s important, even if they don’t understand it–but I would love to give them just a little more insight into WHY it’s important. 🙂

  • Rachel Jackson

    Great post, Kevan! I’d be super interested in: How to Create a Social Media Report and Explain it to Your Boss or Client, The Delightfully Short Guide to Social Media ROI, The Ultimate Social Media Glossary of Need-to-Know Terms and 13 Original Ways to Use Medium for Marketing! Those all sound very intriguing! Thanks!

  • I’d go for: ‘The Delightfully Short Guide to Social Media ROI’ and, ‘How to Create Shareworthy Twitter Visuals’ – Kevan, you rock at explaining concepts I find complicated in a really straightforward way !

  • As an ecommerce company, the only thing my customers want to see me post are images and video showcasing my products (and sales)… so it’s pretty damn disappointing that buffer won’t let me bulk upload either of these things… the days of text being important (for business) is gone… nobody wants to read, they want media… please consider adfing this feature to buffers csv upload… it’s the only thing that keeps me paying for Sendible, and not paying you. :/

  • Hey Kevan, thanks for the great post, i love knowing behind the scenes stats at my favorite companies! The “What $5 Per Day Will Buy You on Facebook Ads” topic would be a great read, it gets my vote!

  • Sylvia

    Kevan, thanks for sharing! “How to Create a Social Media Report and Explain it to Your Boss or Client” would be a useful one!

  • Definitely interested in this one – How to Create a Social Media Report and Explain it to Your Boss or Client

  • Sagar Shah

    Awesome article! Just curious to know, what’s the same employee strength of your content and Social media management team?

  • HATEM