Social Media Growth: How We Used Buffer to Boost Our Social Traffic by 350%

When I joined Hubstaff a few months ago to spearhead the growth of the company, I noticed we weren’t utilizing the full potential of Buffer. In order to increase our social media growth and take full advantage of this tool, we developed a few strategies that resulted in overwhelming success. I will be sharing those strategies and our results in this post. You can implement these strategies in your business to boost your social media growth and ultimately gain more customers.

Buffer is a social media tool that allows users to create schedules for their social media posts and analyze their performance. The engagement teams at Hubstaff used this tool to share engaging content at optimal times and frequencies based on real data.

Our results? We recently analyzed the data after implementing these strategies and discovered we earned more brand awareness, gained 350% more blog traffic, received better customer interaction and ultimately got a massive increase in conversions. Here are those 5 strategies that guarantee social media growth for your business:

Strategy 1: Create a long-tail strategy of your posts

This is one of the first and most important strategies I began with. If you only share your blog posts on social media once, you’re missing out on a lot of contact opportunities. For example, if we shared our January blog posts when they were published then forgot about them, we wouldn’t reach audiences who just started following our social media profiles in March. You’re also missing out on reaching to the bulk of your existing followers.

A long-tail strategy for social media is when you distribute your posts across a few months, sharing with different frequencies on different social networks. Pay special attention to the frequency of shares, since it will determine the impact of your blog post and there are different rules for different social media channels. For example, you could Tweet about the same blog article two to three times in the same week, then keep the same frequency for the next two months using different post titles. The same is not possible with LinkedIn or Facebook. With Facebook’s new algorithm, you should be careful to post a maximum of thrice a day or your audience reach will fall dramatically. The same goes for LinkedIn.

The Coschedule team has done a great job of creating a WordPress plug-in that helps you in creating a schedule for your social media posts. It also integrates with Buffer so you can schedule posts directly from there.

To get an idea of what a good social sharing schedule is, take a look at this chart. It makes a great starting point if you’re just beginning to determine your optimal post frequency.

Strategy 2: Determine best times to post

I cannot emphasize on this enough. After putting a long tail strategy into place, I analyzed which times of the day were best to share and optimized our posting schedule to correspond with the most engaging hours. I came across a Buffer feature called Optimal Timing Tool that helps you identify the best times to share your content on social media.

Optimal Scheduling is easy and accurate. Just select your social media account and input the number of times you’d like to post.

Once you’ve done that, the tool will instantly create a chart that shows your optimal posting times.

As you can see in the chart above, the tool automatically calculated five exact optimal posting times based on the history of our tweets. At a glance I can tell that our best tweets should be shared approximately at 9 p.m. daily, since that is when we have the most engagement. This is how we created our Twitter posting schedule with Buffer.

The great thing about Buffer is you don’t have to stay connected all day to share posts at different times. It only takes 15 minutes to set up your entire social sharing schedule for a month. Hubstaff was so satisfied with Buffer that we upgraded our account to their Awesome plan. It only costs $10/month and gives you more space to store posts.

Buffer has an open revenue dashboard, which inspired us to release Hubstaff’s public revenue dashboard as well.

Strategy 3: Write titles and content your followers are interested in

A free and effective tool that you can use to analyze tweets is Twitonomy. This tool identifies your tweets with the most favorites and retweets. It also finds what time they were posted and what content was in them so you can get a general idea of when and what to post.

There are three key takeaways for the information we received from Twitonomy are;

  1. As indicated by Buffer’s Optimal Scheduling Tool, Hubstaff’s followers are the most active and engaging from 7 to 10 p.m. EST. The timestamps of the tweets above are in Indian Time (our whole team works remotely from across the world!).
  2. Our posts on startups and remote teams are getting more social following than other topics, so we should adjust our focus.
  3. Lists and guides are popular titles among our followers.

These key points helped me modify our social sharing strategy and influenced a shift in content focus on our blog homepage.

Strategy 4: Re-style your blog title content on social

Once we began posting our blogposts multiple times, as part of our long-tail strategy, it was important to make each post uniquely engaging and exciting.

Here are a few ideas on how you can restyle a social media post featuring the same blog article;

  1. “Did you read our recent post on <blog title>?”
  2. Quote an interesting or controversial line from the blog.
  3. “Our hottest read from last month; <blog title>”
  4. Show numbers and figures. Ex. “This strategy helped us gain X% growth” or “How we gained X customers.”
  5. State the facts. Ex. “Did you know that X% of teams across the United States don’t have…”

The main focus is to put effort into your statuses, instead of just posting the blog title and a link. Spending just a little more time on your posts could go a long way for social media growth. The more people like and share your posts, the larger your audience and the further your reach gets.

Co-schedule has written a brilliant post on promoting your blog posts via social media and I’ve personally taken a few ideas from there to make our social sharing strategy work.

Strategy 5: Reach out to the people mentioned in your blog articles

This strategy is extremely important and effective. It helps boost your posts’ reach and expand your audience. We experienced this recently in a real-life scenario when I shared one of our articles on our must-read time management blogs on Twitter.

This was our reach when I didn’t tag any of the people featured in the article.

I tweeted the same article later that day, however, this time I tagged one of the bloggers mentioned in the article. Her retweet helped us achieve a total reach of…

A simple change made a huge difference, and helped multiply our reach by more than 10x.

Results

The five strategies mentioned above worked well for us. We did an analysis of the data a month after we started implementing the strategies. Here are the results.

Google Analytics:

This is our blog traffic solely from our social media strategy. You’ll notice that we’ve had a 350% increase in our social media traffic from February 2015.

Additionally, our articles are also being shared more and we are seeing much higher conversions. Here is a comparison of our results before and after implementing our strategies.

It has only been a few weeks since we started, yet we saw immediate results in our social media growth. I hope these tips help make your business’ social media sharing strategy more effective. I will be sharing more updates over the next few months, so don’t forget to sign up to receive email updates. Until then, you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn & Google+.

I learn something new every day growing Hubstaff, and I’ll be sharing all the strategies that worked for our business, the results, the tools we used and valuable resources. At Hubstaff, we believe in transparency and are sharing our hits & misses with the community while growing our company.

  • Armel Laminsi

    Oh, my god.
    We should pay you at least a coffe for such great posts !
    Tkx so mucn Madhav.

  • Zunaira Elahi

    Hi Madhav, thanks for the informative article. One question though, why did you use Twitonomy instead of Buffer’s own Analytics to discover most engaging tweets?

    • Thanks Zunaira! I chose Twitonomy over Buffer Analytics because:
      1. I was more comfortable with the UI of Twitonomy than Buffer Analytics since it was more suited to how I wanted to see it.
      2. Buffer Analytics requires you to have a business plan which means an upgrade from my current plan of $10/month to $50/month
      3. Twitonomy is quite a massive tool and what I’ve mentioned in the article is not even touching the tip of the iceberg that Twitonomy is. I can analyze mine and my competitors most engaging tweets, I can see which hashtags work for them, what users are most actively tweeting to them etc. I may just do a post in the future on how to leverage Twitonomy for your business’s growth. Honestly, it’s THAT useful.

      I may be wrong since I haven’t come around to using Buffer Analytics much. So if I am, do let me know and I may just give it a try in the future. Cheers!

  • sriram

    Great Article thanks!

  • Nice list. Thanks!