If you are a social media junkie, who likes to post ten times a day, then the tool you must have on your computer is Buffer. Buffer is both a free and paid app which enables you to schedule social media updates via Firefox, Chrome, and your mobile devices.
But now it’s become even more useful. As well as transmitting your written thoughts to your followers every hour on the hour, you can now schedule video too. All the narcissistic people in the world will be dancing in the streets and honking their car horns at the news.
Social Media is entering a new phase, and that phase is video. I mean, look at the way in which video has been integrated into Twitter, and how Facebook has gone all gangbusters in getting more video into their newsfeeds.
It’s all the rage now, as people want more and more video content, especially on their mobile devices. And this is where Buffer slides neatly in.
Very unusually, they are offering this service to both paying AND non-paying customers. I say very unusually because the last time they unveiled a new feature – posting to Pinterest – it turned out you have to pay for it.
So whether or not you pony up the $10 a month for their “Awesome service“, you can still set your videos to a schedule. Now THAT is awesome.
What Kind of Video?
No, what this new development involves is uploading a video file from your computer to your social media accounts. The file can either have a format of .mp4, .mov, or .avi.
It will only send the video file to the social networks that it currently supports, which is Twitter, Facebook (regular account, or page), LinkedIn, Google+ (page), and now Pinterest (which as I said, is a paid channel).
Let’s Take It For a Spin!
So, I have this really cool video of me on my computer, which I want to upload to only Twitter and Facebook. I deleted my LinkedIn page sometime back, I don’t use Google Plus anymore, and I am not a paying Awesome customer to take advantage of the Pinterest integration. Well, I AM awesome, just not the way they want me to be.
So let’s see how good this Buffer for Video thing really is.
Step One: Locate The File On The Computer
Step Two: Go To The Buffer Website & Drag Your Video Into The Compose Window
This obviously involves setting up an account first and you can set up a basic free account by going to the main Buffer page, and signing in with one of your social media accounts.
As well as dragging the video into the window, you can, if you want to, navigate from the compose window to the file’s location, which will then upload it. Whatever rocks your boat.
Step Three: Wait For It To Upload
The file loaded quite fast – zero to 14MB in seven seconds. I was going to get a cup of tea. The thought barely entered my mind when I saw it was already finished. Nice going Buffer. Nice servers.
Step Four: Start Editing The Title & Thumbnails
Give your video file a proper title (which will be the title of the status update on the social media site(s) you are uploading to). Also tick the thumbnail that you want to assign to the file. This will be what your followers see when the video isn’t playing. So make sure you are not picking your nose and eating it, or anything.
Step Five: Add Your Deeply Thoughtful Message
Before uploading, don’t forget to add your message to your devoted followers. This is not necessary if you just want to upload the video, but if you have the space for a message, then why not? Say something utterly profound and thought-provoking such as “ROFL, LOL!!!!!”.
When everything looks good to you, click the “Add To Queue” button to upload everything to your chosen social networks.
Step Six: Check To See If It Is There
I am writing a story for MakeUseOf about Buffer's new video uploading feature. To test the service, I made a clip. pic.twitter.com/yVaQzl6FoM
— Mark O'Neill (@MarkONeill) August 15, 2015
And on Facebook? Well, embedding from Facebook proved to be more difficult than I thought. So I’m afraid you will have to be content with a screenshot.
So How is This Useful?
Say you have a lot of social media accounts that you actively participate in (for the purposes of this discussion, let’s say 10). And you have a video you want to upload to all of those accounts.
How long would it take you to upload that video to all ten accounts? Especially if it is a much bigger video file than the one I tested Buffer with. Expect to keep your computer on for a few hours.
Now with Buffer, if you’re willing to pay the $10 a month to connect those 10 accounts (or 4 with a free account), then you can follow the steps above, make one status update, attach your video, and schedule what time you want it to go out. At the appointed time, the video will upload simultaneously to all accounts at the same time. Talk about a major timesaver.
Plus, since Buffer is doing the heavy lifting, you can shut down your computer without interrupting any uploads in progress. Do the update, schedule it, forget about it, go for a beer (or five).
Next, Twitter normally imposes a 30 second, 10MB maximum on all videos posted to the site. If your video conforms to those rules, then fine. It will be uploaded as usual. But if your video goes over those limits, Buffer will host the video and provide a link in the Twitter update to their video player.
Finally, you will get detailed analytics on the performance of each video uploaded, including likes, shares, and comments.
Phew! Sounds Good To Me! Sign Me Up!
To get started, get your videos together, go to the Buffer site, log in, and follow the steps outlined here.
Have you uploaded videos with Buffer? If so, how was it for you? Leave a link to one of your videos in the comments below so we can critique it.