New Facebook posting options: Why should you use “Share & Track Clicks” and “Buffer”?
Have you noticed the new Facebook posting options “Share and Track Clicks” and “Buffer” alongside your normal “Post” button?
The new options allow you to post to Facebook using your HootSuite account or Buffer account directly from the Facebook native platform. Facebook often tests certain features in a limited market. In my personal experience, I can see both options on the Facebook desktop site (but not the mobile site or app), when posting from my News Feed (but not my Timeline), and using Google Chrome.
So, what exactly do Buffer and HootSuite do – and what are the benefits of clicking these buttons to post; rather than the traditional “Post” button?
Buffer and HootSuite are tools to help you manage your social media accounts. Both offer both free and paid plan options. The free plans will meet most requirements for normal users; while the paid plans are aimed at heavy users and marketing teams. In addition to posting from Facebook, users can also post to Buffer or HootSuite through the desktop sites, mobile apps, or browser extensions, such as the HootSuite Hootlet and Buffer extension.
Both tools aim to simplify and enhance social media posting and analytics:
- By using the “Share and Track Links” or “Buffer” buttons instead of the traditional Facebook “Post” button, you can save time by posting to all your social networks simultaneously.
- Since you can schedule posts, you’ll never miss sharing great content; and can avoid overwhelming your network with several posts in a short time frame.
- You’ll be able to tell if people are interested in what you’re saying by the amount of engagement you have (such as clicks, likes, comments, shares, or retweets); and how many people can see your posts.
What are the differences between the two buttons?
The labeling on the HootSuite button suggests a focus on analytics; while the labeling on the Buffer icon suggests a focus on scheduling, or “posting later”. In reality, both tools are capable of either feature; although they handle social media management in slightly different ways.
Differences between the two new Facebook posting options
- Buffer: Posting and scheduling content, analytics
- HootSuite: Same as Buffer; but also monitoring activity on your page (such as Facebook comments from friends) and engaging (e.g. retweeting a tweet posted by someone you follow)
Social platforms you can post to with the free plan
- Buffer supports Facebook (Profiles and Pages), Twitter, LinkedIn (Profiles and Groups), App.Net and Google+ Pages.
- HootSuite supports Facebook (Profiles, Pages, Groups), Twitter, LinkedIn (Profiles, Groups, Company Pages), Google+ Pages, WordPress, Mixi (a popular network in Japan) and FourSquare; and 65 apps (at present), such as Instagram, RSS readers and YouTube.
Number of social accounts you can post to with the free plan
- Buffer allows you to connect one account from each supported social platform – up to five accounts total.
- HootSuite allows you to connect up to five social profiles and two RSS feeds.
Options for scheduling posts
- Buffer: You can post now, or choose the best days and times to post to each social network; allowing you to optimizeyour posts for maximum visibility (the best time to post can vary for each social network). You can also custom schedule a post.
- HootSuite allows you to schedule your post immediately, at a fixed date and time, or auto-schedule your post at the recommended time. (The video below describes how to schedule a post).
Analytics and Tracking Clicks
- Shortens links and tracks performance by individual update (even if two posts share the same link), including clicks (does not track clicks for Facebook profiles).
- Identifies top posts or tweets; based on engagement such as likes, comments, shares, retweets, mentions, and favorites.
- Determines Potential: how many people may see your post, based on your connections and your friends’ connections if your post gets shared.
- Shortens links and tracks performance for links posted to Twitter.
- Includes total clicks and most popular links, as well as a breakdown over time, by geographic region and by referrer (the website where someone found and clicked your link).
- Free overview reports for Twitter (statistics such as follower growth, performance of a keyword over time) and Facebook Pages (statistics such as page likes, people talking about this, likes and comments).
Go ahead – try out the new Facebook posting options and see how you like them compared to the traditional post!
Looking to enhance your career with social media? Check out our previous AdeccoUSA blog post for five ways to start getting social with your career; then review social media best practices from Adecco Way to Work!