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Keeping with our series comparing social media managing tools from around the web, today we’re looking at Buffer.
What’s Buffer? According to their website,
“Buffer helps you build your audience and grow your brand on social media. With Buffer, you can Plan, collaborate, and publish thumb-stopping content that drives meaningful engagement and growth for your brand.”
Buffer is right in our neighbourhood of Instagram marketing, so we decided to put it to the test against our own Instagram marketing tool, AiGrow.
Here are the topics that we are going to look at:
Once on aigrow.me, click on “FREE TRIAL” in the top right corner of our homepage.
Or, to make things easier, click on the “FREE TRIAL” button in the top right corner of the page you’re currently reading.
Then just provide your name, email, and desired password.
That’s all. Congrats, You’re done!
With AiGrow, you don’t need verification via email or download. Moreover, AiGrow’s platform is available in five languages: English, Spanish, French, Arabic, and Persian.
Buffer’s setup is not very different. Simply visit Buffer’s website. Click on “Try Buffer for Business” in the top right corner of their homepage.
Then on the opened page, click on “Start a 14-day trial”.
Then get your account set up using the information required.
After verifying your Buffer email address the setup section is finished.
When you are done with the setup, you then need to connect your IG account.
To do so, on your dashboard, click on “Add Instagram Account” and simply enter your IG username and password. For some accounts, Instagram may send a 6-digit code that AiGrow will ask for.
When you are finished with the connecting step, you can see your account on the dashboard. With AiGrow, you also have the ability to add multiple Instagram accounts.
Once you are done with the setup, you need to connect a social account to get started! To connect your Instagram account, on your dashboard, click on “Connect Instagram”.
Simply enter your IG account’s username and password. In some cases, Instagram may send a 6-digit code that Buffer will ask for.
Also, there is another simple way. On your dashboard, you can click “Manage Social Accounts” at the bottom of the left-hand sidebar.
Then click on “Add a New Social Account” and select the type of social account you’d like to connect, Instagram in our case.
With most social networks, if you’re already logged into that specific social account, you’ll only need to authorize Buffer to use your account. If you’re not already logged in, you’ll need to enter your login details.
When you are finished with the connecting step, you can see your account on the dashboard. Like AiGrow, you can add multiple Instagram accounts to your Buffer dashboard.
AiGrow offers users the following features:
Let’s talk about each one by one.
AiGrow automates your Likes, comments, follows, unfollows and DMs.
You can also targeted your automated actions based on:
For example, if you provide AiGrow with the hashtag #fitness, you will automatically engage with only users on Instagram using #fitness.
You can target up to 30 hashtags, 20 locations and 10 accounts.
You can even customize how quickly your account performs the actions and how many Likes, Follows, Unfollows, Comments, and DMs you want to perform on a daily basis.
As you begin engaging with your target audience, people will visit your profile in response, engage with your posts, and ultimately follow your page.
This way, you generate real followers who are actually interested in your page, unlike a bulk purchase service like Socialproof. When you use services like Socialproof, you get Likes and Views from random people and untargeted followers.
Note: AiGrow has safeguards put in place so that you never exceed Instagram’s daily limitations.
After setting up your targeting options, simply hit “Start Growth”. AiGrow will then run until you tell it to stop.
Even after you close your browser and turn your computer off, AiGrow will continue to run.
Instagram still doesn’t have an official way to upload and/or schedule your posts from your desktop.
Fortunately, AiGrow provides a completetly free desktop Instagram scheduler.
To access it, go to your AiGrow dashboard and click the tab called “Schedule Posts”.
From here, just write your caption, search and add the right hashtags, choose a date and time, select the accounts you want to upload to (you can upload the same post to multiple accounts), and finish by clicking “Schedule”.
As mentioned above, AiGrow even offers a hashtag research tool right inside the tool.
If you want to find the most popular hashtags related to your post, just search a keyword related to your post and AiGrow will display the most popular hashtags related to your keyword in descending order.
You can then easily add these hashtags to your post with one click.
Engagement groups are groups of people on Instagram that agree to Like and comment on every post uploaded by another group member.
So if you are part of a Likes-only engagement group with 100 members, then when you upload a new post you will get 100 guaranteed Likes. This is on top of all of the Likes you get from Instagram users not in your engagement groups.
Whereas engagement groups outside of AiGrow are usually manual and require a fair amount work on your part, AiGrow’s engagement groups are completetly automated.
This means that all you need to do to get the Likes and comments from your engagement groups is upload your posts with AiGrow’s scheduler. That’s it!
Once your post goes live, all members in your engagement groups (you can be part of multiple groups at the same time) will automatically Like and comment on your post.
And because engagement groups are specific to the kind of Instagram page you have (photography, business, fitness, fashion, pets, etc.), all the engagement you get from your engagement groups come from real people in your Instagram community.
Joining engagement groups is as easy as finding the right group (you can search or scroll through the pages) and clicking “Join Group”.
AiGrow currently offers over 300 active, niche-based engagement groups catering to virtually any kind of Instagram account.
With AiGrow, you can also send automated DMs to targeted groups of people on Instagram.
You can send DMs to people based on:
You can also manage your DM inbox from your desktop.
This means you can filter DMs based on read, unread, sent and all. It also means you can search for DMs from specific people and reply to DMs on a one-to-one basis from your desktop.
Buffer offers three main features to its users including:
Let’s discuss each one by one:
Unlike other social networks like Twitter and Facebook, Instagram only allows third-party apps to publish posts automatically on behalf of users under specific conditions. Therefore, Buffer Publish offers two ways of posting to Instagram: Direct Scheduling and Reminders.
Direct Scheduling is only for business accounts. It allows you to share a single image or video on your Instagram business profile. The content will be published automatically to Instagram without any notifications.
Reminders can work with both personal and business accounts. Any posts being shared on an Instagram Personal Account, regardless of the type of content, will be scheduled as reminders.
Additionally, posts being shared on an Instagram Business Profile, which contains multiple images will be scheduled as reminders. The reminder will be sent as a push notification to your phone when it’s time for your post to be published.
Buffer Reply is our engagement tool, which enables you and your team to respond to social conversations within one simple inbox. Instead of hopping between social channels, your team can jump into Reply and tackle everything in one place.
With features like tags, assignments, internal notes, and Automation Rules, your team can be more efficient, work together, and crush the queue faster!
Reply also offers built-in reports, allowing you to track incoming volume, response times, and more. Reply currently supports Facebook Pages, Instagram Business Profiles, and Twitter.
Features within Analyze include insights into posting behaviour (e.g. which day is most effective to post, what kind of content is getting you the highest levels of engagement), a complete post breakdown with sorting, Instagram Stories analysis tools, and the ability to create custom reports with PDF export. Analyze currently supports Facebook Pages, and Instagram Business Profiles.
If for whatever reason something forces your growth to stop, AiGrow’s team will automatically let you know through email and provide possible solutions, as shown in the example below:
If you experience an issue, you can also likely find an answer in AiGrow’s FAQ page. AiGrow also offers free one-on-one appointments to help get your account set up, and they also have a dedicated support email. AiGrow also offers a live chatbot for anyone with questions.
Buffer has a complete FAQ which can help you if you have any issues with each feature. Also, if you have a question or need help, you can get in touch with them via Twitter and Facebook messenger.
Moreover, Buffer offers webinars who are live once a month. You’ll find the exact days and times in the registration area for each webinar. They recommend attending a live session if at all possible, as you’ll have the opportunity to have your questions answered on the spot.
AiGrow provides you with a five-day free trial offering absolutely full functionality with no limit for the number of followers, likes, or views you can receive.
Below you can see AiGrow’s starter price package when your five-day free trial ends:
The prices change for each product. Below you can see the Buffer prices for each feature:
Buffer Publish Price
Buffer is a great tool to plan and publish your content for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, all from one simple dashboard. If you are trying to grow your presence on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn and want the ability to post across all platforms simultaneously, then Buffer is a great option.
On the other hand, if you are specializing in Instagram, AiGrow offers a much better experience. The platform gives you access to a desktop Scheduler, an automated growth engine, a desktop DM inbox, as well as access to over 300 niche-based engagement groups to guarantee more Likes and comments every time you post.
Plus, AiGrow doesn’t require any confirmation before your scheduled posts go live on Instagram. Unless you are scheduling posts for an Instagram business account, with Buffer you have to confirm on your phone before your post will go live.
Finally, AiGrow is more cost-effective platform with more features for a lower cost than Buffer.
Want to sign up for AiGrow for free? Click here.
If you are interested in Buffer, you can visit their website.
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