Companies I admire: Buffer

buffer-logo

Buffer is a web and smartphone app and browser extension that lets you schedule posts and measure reactions, helping you get maximum exposure for your content without filling your friends’ or customers’ timelines. Buffer is free for normal users, and has a low fee if you want to handle many social accounts and very reasonable business plans for companies and marketing agencies.

One can’t be online all the time, and I’m surely not online at the times when most of my followers are chilling and reading their timelines, as I am based in Berlin and most of them live in the US; so being able to add a lot of content to my Buffer and have it automatically published and the dates and time I specify makes it much easier for me to keep my timeline active. It’s already a natural part of my workflow: I buffer publications in the same way I google information.

I use the Buffer chrome extension - everytime I want to share a page, buffer automatically fills in something for me and let's me send it or schedule it for later.
I use the Buffer chrome extension – everytime I want to share a page, buffer automatically fills in something for me and let’s me send it or schedule it for later.

Some etymology

A buffer, in computer science, is a device or area used to store data temporarily. You may have read this word while waiting for a streaming video to load: Buffering… It’s actually a great name if you think of what the app does: storing your posts temporarily until it’ the right moment for them to be on the air.

Culture and Content

Buffer was founded by Joel Gascoigne and Leo Widrich, two European expats in San Francisco; and is backed by some people with proven successes on their records,  like Guy Kawasaki (Apple), Hiten Shah (KissMetrics), Dharmesh Shah (Hubspot) or Alberto Benbunan. Buffer received a very decent funding in 2011, to face a immigration problem immediately after that will force part of the team to move to Hong Kong.  They recently reached a million users and, if I have to trust the buzz on social networks, they are doing great. Which is no doubt. They have great features and a kind and responsive customer service team.

What I love of Buffer is that they not only have a great app and take good care of support queries and feedback. I think a big part of their success has to do with their company culture and their content marketing strategy. Their obsession with openness has caused lots of people to talk about them: at the end of 2013, they shared their salary calculation method on their blog, and regularly share their performance metrics – even if they have lost users or cash that month.

This culture of openness may be related to their success with content marketing: Buffer regularly shares interesting marketing, life hacking, and company culture advice in their blog; many of it written by the cofounders themselves. Their blog is positioned at the top of my list of trustworthy business advice, together with classics like the 37signals blog (I also wrote about them in my blog) or the KissMetrics blog.

But this culture of openness is not only helpful when it comes to information sharing: The people at buffer proved they know how to handle a crisis a few months ago, when a twitter hack affected some buffer accounts. Honest explanations and a way to resolve my issue instantly was in my inbox before I even noticed there was a problem with my account. They kept everyone informed through all channels (emails, tweets, facebook updates…) and solved the issue in little time.

A growing team

In the times we live, I couldn’t close this post without mentioning that Buffer is hiring. You can read through the offers here.

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