We couldn’t be any more excited to finally launch this feature today to make more targeted timing of your social media posts possible.
Before we got into any details on how to get started, I thought it’d be worth sharing more around the story of Custom Scheduling. What our thinking behind adding this feature this late was and how we think about things going forward:
Why did Buffer not have this feature for almost 2.5 years?
A little over 2.5 years, when Joel started Buffer from his bedroom in the UK, he wanted to solve a very specific problem. At the time, there were a lot of tools that would allow you to custom schedule your posts with the exact date and time. That wasn’t what Joel had in mind.
So instead, Joel built Buffer. A way to effortlessly add your social updates and they’re automatically scheduled and spaced out over the day. That way, “adding to Buffer” would be as fast and simple as posting something now.
And that idea of simplicity was what helped us establish ourselves as one of the easiest ways to keep on top of your social media and make managing it all a lot easier.
So, “Buffering,” quite different to “Scheduling” is what helped us get the word out and educate people about an easier way to post to their social media sites.
Now, almost 2.5 years later, Buffer has evolved a lot. With the recent introduction of Business plans, that a lot of people found useful, adding some more key features made sense. And we thought that posting something at a specific date and time, different to Buffering has a lot of use cases now.
You might be working on a marketing campaign, there is an event or launch coming up, you want to schedule a nice message for your friend’s birthday. Those are just a few of the amazing use cases people have been telling us about.
That’s it, just a little of background about how Buffer got started and why custom scheduling was long something we didn’t do. But now that we’re growing up a bit, we thought it was an important addition to add to the mix.
Custom scheduling your social media posts
When we brainstormed for this feature, we wanted to make sure to make it easier and more straight forward than ever before. We iterated many times, with different designs and tons of amazing conversations with many of you about how to best make Custom Scheduling work.
Here is what we’ve come up with and we hope it makes for the easiest way to schedule your updates on social at a custom date and time.
If you’re using the Buffer browser extension, simply hit the schedule icon any time you want to customize the date and time of your update being published:
Anytime you change your mind, just go back to regular Buffering and delete the set time:
Custom scheduling images, retweets and more
You can custom schedule anything you like, which of course includes custom scheduling retweets right from Twitter.com:
The same works for any image you find on the web. Just right click the image to “Buffer this image” and we’ll post it full size to your Facebook or Twitter page. Of course at the exact time that you want:
Of course, custom scheduling also works in the same way from your Buffer dashboard. Simply open the composer and add new updates that you can right away schedule at the perfect time for you to go out:
In short, the new custom scheduling function is available to you anywhere you are using the app from.
Display of Custom Scheduled posts in your queue
Another point that we wanted to solve was to clearly differentiate Buffered posts from Custom Scheduled ones.
In order to easily separate the two, Custom Scheduled posts have a slightly different marking in the interface. Here is how you can easily make sure you know whether you’re dealing with a custom scheduled or Buffered post:
Custom scheduled updates have a grey background for their timing:
All Buffered updates, that are going out according to your pre-set scheduled on the other hand will continue to have a white background as usual:
Of course custom scheduling also works on mobile, so you can pick an exact date and time for your social updates to go out whilst on the go. Let’s take a quick look how you can schedule updates through Buffer for Android:
The same works with Buffer for iPhone (Important: We’ve recently submitted this update to the App store, so it should be live in the next few days!). Pick a date and time and you’re good to go:
With the launch of Custom Scheduling, we hope that scheduling Tweets, Facebook posts and LinkedIn updates at a specific time will be easier than ever before for you. Give it a try and let us know what you think, we’d love your feedback in the comments below.