Thanks to a new API released by Google earlier this month, Buffer, the social share scheduling service, has added support for Google+ Pages. Buffer users can go to http://bufferapp.com/get-google-plus to connect their Page and begin scheduling posts.
With Buffer, social media users and businesses can connect their Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts and queue up posts to be shared. But, rather than simply sharing them all at once, or sharing them every XX minutes, Buffer allows you to predefine a schedule, and that schedule can be different for each network. This allows you to determine the optimum time for posting based on your network, users and target audience, and have your posts go out at that time.
Google+ Page support compliments both personal and Company Pages on LinkedIn, personal and business Pages on Facebook, and multiple Twitter accounts. Buffer also supports LinkedIn Groups and even App.net.
Buffer also recently added the option to schedule shares for a specific time and date (custom schedule), and posts can also be shared immediately.
I use Buffer to make sure that my old content, my evergreen posts, get regularly re-shared to my networks, particularly my branded accounts for The Social Media Hat. I also use Buffer to make sure that if I find multiple articles at once that I want to share, that those shares get spaced out, rather than spamming my followers.
Unfortunately, Google has not yet released an API that permits access to posting to personal Google+ accounts, but connecting your Google+ Page is easy. Just go to http://bufferapp.com/get-google-plus and click the Connect a Page button to set up your account. You will be prompted to allow Buffer access to your Google account, and then asked to select a Page to connect.
Once your Google+ Page is connected, it will appear in your left sidebar with your other accounts to be selected. Once selected, you will see your Buffer queue (the posts waiting to be shared), as well as tabs for Schedule and Analytics.
Go to Schedule first and set up one or more times to post. Be sure to change the Timezone to your own – the default is London 0 UTC. Google+ is typically most active mid-morning weekdays, but you should pay attention to when your own followers are most active and aim to share posts at those optimum times.
Now that you have a schedule in place, begin adding posts to be shared. You can drag and drop posts from your other queues, click the “What do you want to share?” box in the header to craft a post, or install the bookmarklet and click that while on any webpage or article.
One cool feature that the bookmarklet brings to the table is that you can highlight text on a webpage and then click the Buffer button. Instead of putting the page Title in the post, Buffer will use your highlighted text, allowing you to share quotes.
When crafting a post for Google+, Buffer does support the use of Google+ formatting, so you can make text within your posts *bold* or _italic_ as well as add paragraph breaks. Hashtags also work, so make sure you work in or add 2 – 3 relevant hashtags to most posts.
Buffer will allow you to schedule up to 10 posts in advance for free, so sign up for a free account if you don’t already have one and check it out. Because I tend to have far more posts scheduled, I invested in the Pro account long ago.
Use Buffer to space out your Google+ Page posts, and make sure that you’re consistently active. But don’t forget the need for personal involvement in your social media accounts. Comment on and reshare other people’s posts, and always try to respond to comments on your own posts. If you use Buffer as a tool to supplement your social media activity, you will be on the right track.
If you would like help setting up Buffer or help with Google+, please contact me for a free consultation.
This story was first reported on TheNextWeb.com.
Image courtesy of hktang, Flickr.