Buffer review

Boost your social media management potential using Buffer

(Image: © Buffer)

TechRadar Verdict

We’ve been hugely impressed by both Buffer’s extensive range of features and functions along with the many customers who have successfully embraced its simple interface. Hiding behind that user-friendly front end are plenty of power tools too, especially in the higher-end editions, which allows Buffer to provide you with all of the reporting and analytical data you’ll need for tricky company meetings.


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    Great user experience

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    Full suite of power tools

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    Excellent reporting and analytics


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    Free version is basic

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    Costs rise for more features

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Buffer is billed as a simple but effective, all-you-need social media toolkit for small businesses. It’s just one of many different social media management (opens in new tab) tools out there on the market, but the emphasis with Buffer is on affordability, which is always welcome given current trading challenges.

If you’re after a one-stop social media management solution then Buffer should do the trick, even within the confines of its free edition. To unleash its full potential though you’ll need to invest more time and money to gain access to its full suite of tools. The best example of this is with the Essentials package, but the Team edition is better suited to collaborating working.

Plans and Pricing

Buffer has kept a keen eye on simplicity with its pricing plans. There’s something for most if not all types of business and payment can be done on a monthly or annual basis. If you’re simply starting out and want to gain some experience using a social medial management tool, the Free package (opens in new tab) makes a lot of sense. Better still, this comes with a zero price tag, which is ideal if you’re running to a tight budget and allows you to manage up to three channels.

Next up is the Essentials package (opens in new tab). This costs $6 a month/$5 annually per social channel. It’s easy to add additional channels when and if you need them and by paying annually you’ll shave $12 off the overall cost over a year. You can try this one free for 14 days and it’s suited to professionals who have to call on publishing, analytics and engagement tools as part of their daily brief.


(Image credit: Buffer)

A muscular Agency package (opens in new tab) is also available, which is well suited to marketing agencies with 10 or more social channels on board. However, the pricing matches the potency at $120 per month for 10 social channels, though this drops from $1440 to $1200 a year if you choose to pay annually. You get all the features of the Team package plus customs access and permissions and more besides.

The beefier Team package (opens in new tab) is aimed squarely at any businesses that have more of a collaborative arrangement going on. This offers much more user flexibility, costs $12 monthly or you can knock $24 off the price by paying $120 for it annually. Additional channels can be added as and when they’re required, meaning lots of freedom.



As with any scalable social media management tool, Buffer can be used in its most basic incarnation, which is suitable if you’re just starting out. You’ll get an array of basic publishing tools and a handy landing page builder, but if you’ve got a desire to really boost your social media management potential, head for the Essentials package and upwards.

By upgrading you’ll instantly have the ability to do much more. For example, scheduled posts per channel are limited to just 10 per social channel with the free edition. Get a paid-for plan and that goes up to 2000 for starters. Of course, it’s easy to work with the obvious social outlets including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest with any edition of Buffer.

Similarly, there are assorted scheduling options, a calendar view plus handy day to day features such as a link shortener capability and one for tweaking custom links too. But paid-for editions also deliver features such as custom video thumbnails, multi-channel campaign delivery and lots of cool options for tweaking Instagram, Twitter and Facebook posts.



(Image credit: Buffer)

Digital analytics

Vital ingredients for more efficient social media management are inside Buffer too, such as the power tools for checking audience demographics through to machine learning insights. The latter is like a smart way of tweaking and fine-tuning your results in order to get the best from posts.

Buffer is also great for its tools that cover the array of analytics and reporting requests business users have. The ability to get a performance overview is vital and that comes packed inside Essentials and upwards editions, along with more specific history details in individual posts, plus historical insights that help businesses build up a bigger picture scenario.


(Image credit: Buffer)

Digital reporting

Adding to the appeal of Buffer is its extensive range of reporting tools. After all, if you have no data to present at meetings the validity of the purchase will soon come into question. Buffer offers Custom reporting tools, though you’ll need to invest in the higher-end editions to get the likes of exportable reports and those that can be custom branded. However, corporate users will find these options invaluable and presumably not mind the added expense of getting them.


(Image credit: Buffer)

Interface and in Use

One of the best things about Buffer has been the way the designers have made the interface a joy to use. Much of this is down to the simplicity of the layout, with little to get in the way of boosting your social medial management potential. This extends to the more complex and feature-heavy premium products too, even those that pack in powerful reporting tools and comprehensive data analytics.


We’ve been really impressed with the attention to detail displayed in the area of Buffer support. Like everyone else, there’s a great starting point via an online help centre. This contains a searchable database of help topics, plus a whole host of tutorials and other insights into how to get the best from your Buffer package.

Anyone needing further help, on a one-to-one basis can contact the Buffer Support team. This is very straightforward in that you simply raise a ticket using one of the many different subject area options to trigger a response. The Buffer community is another aspect of the support options found inside this package that allows a wider range of contact options to users.


(Image credit: Buffer)

The Competition

While users with fairly basic needs will be able to make use of Buffer, this is a social media management package that will really come into its own for larger business concerns. So while the likes of Hootsuite, SocialPilot, Buffer, eClincher, Sendible, Statusbrew, Loomly and Zoho Social are all competitor products worth looking at, this package does have a great deal of scalability.

Final Verdict

Buffer is one of the best full-service social media management (opens in new tab) suites you can get and there’s a package to suit all kinds of user. Naturally, the free edition lacks some of the muscle that comes with the premium editions, so it’s worth spending some money if you really want to boost your social media management potential. Along with its ease of use, there’s no doubting the potency of Buffer, while the capacity for expanding its capabilities is packed inside too.

For example, there are over 30 different third-party integration options, allowing you to harness Buffer to the likes of Zapier, IFTTT, Quuu, Pocket and Feedly. We’re also very keen on the ability to use Buffer quickly and easily in either the iOS and Android app editions, allowing for more efficiency when you’re not able to carry out those social media management tasks at your desk. Overall, it’s easy to see why Buffer continues to draw in plenty of new customers.

Rob Clymo

Rob Clymo has been a tech journalist for more years than he can actually remember, having started out in the wacky world of print magazines before discovering the power of the internet. Since he's been all-digital he has run the Innovation channel during a few years at Microsoft as well as turning out regular news, reviews, features and other content for the likes of TechRadar, TechRadar Pro, Tom's Guide, Fit&Well, Gizmodo, Shortlist, Automotive Interiors World, Automotive Testing Technology International, Future of Transportation and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International. In the rare moments he's not working he's usually out and about on one of numerous e-bikes in his collection.