I’m starting this review series of Pin Schedulers with a tool I have been using most myself: the Buffer Pinterest Scheduler. Let me take you through all the functions and show what -in my opinion- the pro’s and con’s of this tool are.
Buffer Pinterest Scheduler review
My reason for choosing Buffer in the first place was that it’s not just a Pinterest scheduler, it’s a multi-channel tool that you can also use for scheduling on social media sites as Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Google+. It can be a time-saver to have all social channels I’m managing in one place.
As I am a manager of a couple of client Pinterest accounts as well, I’ve chosen for one of their business plans as that gave me more possibilities, like more profiles I could add and more analytics. For privacy reasons, I’ve blurred out all client details and some of my personal account statistics from the screenshots below, as I’m sure you will understand.
Individual Plan: Free – 1 social profile for each platform (1 Twitter, 1 Facebook, etc.) – up to 10 scheduled posts per profile – schedule on different days and times – NO ANALYTICS!
Awesome Plan: $10/month or $102/year – up to 10 social profiles – up to 100 scheduled posts per profile – schedule on different days, times and different times for different days – up to 15 RSS Feeds per connected profile – NO ANALYTICS!
There is a 7-day Free Trial you can use to try out the awesome plan
Small Business Plan (I am currently on this plan): $99/month or $1,010/year – up to 25 social profiles – up to 2000 scheduled posts per profile – schedule on different days, times and different times for different days – up to 15 RSS Feeds per connected profile – up to 5 team members – set up profile groups – enhanced Analytics (including analysis and insights charts, the ability to download reports to PDF and CSV and the option to customise campaign settings if you’re integrating with Google Analytics)
Medium Business Plan: $199/month or $2,030/year – up to 50 social profiles – up to 2000 scheduled posts per profile – schedule on different days, times and different times for different days – up to 15 RSS Feeds per connected profile – up to 10 team members – set up profile groups – enhanced Analytics (including analysis and insights charts, the ability to download reports to PDF and CSV and the option to customise campaign settings if you’re integrating with Google Analytics)
Large Business Plan: $399/month or $4,070/year – up to 150 social profiles – up to 2000 scheduled posts per profile – schedule on different days, times and different times for different days – up to 15 RSS Feeds per connected profile – up to 25 team members – set up profile groups – enhanced Analytics (including analysis and insights charts, the ability to download reports to PDF and CSV and the option to customise campaign settings if you’re integrating with Google Analytics)
There is a 30-day Free Trial you can use to try out the business plan
The Buffer interface is very clean, it seems they’ve worked hard to get rid off any clutter which makes for an easy understanding of how everything works.
On the left hand side you can find all social profiles you’ve got linked up. You can tick the profile you want to set as default. When clicking on a profile, you can see the content and analytics. We’ll look at each tab separately in a moment.
On the top, there are four tabs to choose from: Content (everything you’ve got scheduled), Analytics (how your content is performing), Schedule (which days and times you want to post) and Settings (extra options like link shortening and adding team members).
SETTING UP YOUR POSTING SCHEDULE
One of the first things you want to set up is your posting schedule. You can set your time zone here and select exactly which days and which times you want to publish. Very easy to do!
SCHEDULING A PIN
There are two ways to schedule a pin through Buffer, the first one is through the Buffer chrome extension and the second is to upload an image directly from your computer.
OPTION 1 – SCHEDULE THROUGH EXTENSION
Install the Buffer Chrome Extension, so you’ll get a little Buffer icon in the top right corner of your browser, as well as a button that shows up when you hover over images on websites. When clicking either one of them, you will activate Buffer and can start scheduling on Pinterest.
The image and link back to the website you’ve pinned from will already be added, for the rest you can follow the same instructions as when uploading a pin directly (read below).
OPTION 2 – DIRECT UPLOAD
Uploading optimised pins from your computer is a fairly straightforward process, although you have to upload each image one-by-one. There is no bulk option unfortunately.
From bottom left going clockwise: You upload a photo, add text, add the pin to a specific board, add source URL and add to “Buffer” queue or schedule at specific time (based on the time zone you selected in your account settings).
From the Buffer desktop version, you can only schedule one pin into one board of a unique account. You can choose to publish directly, next in the queue or on a specific date and time.
If you want to schedule one piece of content into multiple boards, for example today, after 2 days, after 3 days… the only way to do this is through the Power Scheduler… which is only available when using the Chrome extension. A solution to this is to create a secret board on your Pinterest account, set up all the pins in there and then buffer the pins with the Chrome extension from here. Yeah, a bit frustrating, I know!
A feature unique to Buffer is that it’s linked to ‘Pablo’, a simple online photo editing tool. There aren’t many options in the editor, like their are for example in Canva, but you can select a pre-set Pinterest-sized template, add stock or your own photos / graphics and apply effects, text or pre-set quotes.
From the editor, you can either save your image to your computer, or you can schedule directly in the Buffer scheduler to Pinterest.
SCHEDULED PIN OVERVIEW
Once you have some pins scheduled, you can view them either in list view or in calendar view (weekly or monthly overview).
From the list view, you can shuffle the publish order of your pins (up to 300 pins) and in the calendar view you can see quickly how many pins you’ve scheduled for the upcoming days and weeks.
PINTEREST ANALYTICS IN BUFFER
While there is an analytics tab in Buffer, they’ve recently moved the section of statistics on your most recent, most popular (most likes, comments, repins) and least popular (least likes, comments, repins) posts under the content section. Not sure why.
From here, you can filter your content on specific dates (or pre-set: today, yesterday, 7 days, 30 days, 90 days) and quickly see or export the date of your most popular content. There is a Re-Buffer option, so you can keep on sharing the content that converts best.
Under the analytics tab, you should be able to identify your top posts from the last 90 days, but this option doesn’t work for me somehow, so I can’t show you (although Pinterest analytics itself will also show you the top posts, but just for the last 30 days). Second tab is for your posts history, which has moved like mentioned above.
Then, finally something that does work, the account analysis. This feature will show you a graph where you can compare the amount of pins per day, likes, repins, comments, followers and new followers for a specific time period (or pre-set: today, yesterday, 7 days, 30 days, 90 days). All data can be exported as .CSV.
For every time period, you also see a quick overview of how many posts were scheduled, how many interactions you got and how many followers your account has. There is no data on percentage of growth over time, so you would have to calculate that yourself.
Scrolling down on this page, you can see all your pins in order of scheduling, with data on the number of repins, likes and comments.
Unfortunately, you cannot click on these posts to bring you to the actual pin on Pinterest and can’t see in which board you posted this pins, so it’s pretty useless, although you can sort all the data from high to low (or vice versa), so you can get an overview of your best pins and kind of guess from the description which pin it had to be…
In the tab labeled ‘insights‘, we get our social insights for the past 7 days . You cannot select your own data range here.
You can track percentage of account growth (sort by followers of new followers), activity on your pins (repins, likes and comments)
Further down, you can see trends in your activity on Pinterest: in which month you published the most pins and in which month you got the most new followers.
And finally, you can see your top 10 pins from the past 30 days, but you can also get this from your own Pinterest Analytics.
The final tab is about activity, or engagement on your pins. For a specific time period (or the pre-set 90 days and 30 days), you can see the number of posts (pins) you published, total new followers, repins, liked pins and comments.
On the right hand side, you also get insights in the percentage of average repins per post, which I think is great and not something even Pinterest offer in their own analytics.
GOOGLE ANALYTICS CAMPAIGN TRACKING
In the Buffer Pinterest Scheduler, you can enable Google Analytics campaign tracking which links your Google Analytics account with your Buffer account. You can set your own parameters, so you can read them back in your Google Analytics.
You will find this under Acquisition > Campaigns > All Campaigns.
- It’s a multi-channel tool, which saves time if you also manage other social media channels
- Clean interface, easy to understand
- Build-in photo editing tool (although very simplified)
- ‘Buffering’ pins on pre-set days and times, so you can schedule with just one click
- You can reschedule (‘re-Buffer’) well performing content without having to create the pin all over again
- No bulk-uploading of pin images into the scheduler
- There is no Power Scheduler available on the desktop version, so you can only schedule a pin on multiple boards on specific dates and times through the Buffer Chrome Extension
- There is no way to easily ‘collect’ your best performing content to reschedule later. The only option is to set up a second Pinterest account and remove the publishing schedule from Buffer, then add your best content in here so they are in the ‘buffer’, but won’t actually publish.
- No data on percentage of follower/interaction growth over time (you have to calculate that yourself from the data)
- No data on clicks to your website from specific pins
- No analytics on the awesome plan, only on their 10x (&up) more expensive business plans