News Feed Readers & Social Media Scheduling Apps
Do you use them? We do and we find them essential for not only keeping up to date with our industry but also provifing quality content for our Social Media fans & followers. News Feeds (Aggregators) basically allow you to add websites, Blogs & RSS feeds to your account so that any new content published shows up in your feed. You can quickly scan through the summary and if you find it interesting, click on it and read more. Social Media schedulers like Buffer allow you add photos, posts and links to a queue and then schedule them to Social Media platforms like Facebook, Google, LinkedIn & Twitter.
What do we use?
We use Feedly & Buffer. Since the demise of Google Reader, the most popular news feed aggregator out there, we’ve been looking for a suitable alternative and we think we’ve found it.
Feedly allows you to easily search for and add news feeds from Blogs, Websites & RSS feeds. So what’s so great about it? Well, firstly it’s free and secondly, it’s so simple to sign up for and use it shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes to be up and running and thirdly it’s brilliant. You can easily search for keywords, #hashtags, @usernames or specific website or Blog names so it won’t take you long to build a stack of good quality, relevant feeds of interest to both you and your users.
You can group the feeds under topics to organise them according to the subject type, for example we have Design, Social Media & Tech and then browse all of the feeds, by group or individually. Clicking on a feed will bring up the full article including images and if you then want to read it on the original page, click the title again and it will take you that site.
It’s all pretty self explanatory so we won’t go into great detail on how and what to do. Suffice to say that if you want a good quality browser based app that automatically feeds you stories and articles from your favourite sites then Feedly is the one for you.
Now, we are totally in love with Buffer, even more so since they added Google+ pages to their list of feeds yesterday. It is so easy to use, does what it says on the tin and the support is just superb and all this from an app that is free (you can pay to “go awesome” if you want extra features and queue storage and we are tempted).
Buffer works best if you install the browser extension. We use Chrome so this was an easy process and it gives you a Buffer icon in the top right of your browser. If you’re not using Chrome as your Web browser we highly recommend you do You can download Chrome here.
Once you find a news item, post, image or tweet you want to share, either via Feedly or while browsing the web, Twitter, Facebook or pretty much anywhere. Click the Buffer icon and up pops a screen allowing you to edit the post and then either post now to your chosen feeds or Buffer it which adds it to your buffer queue.
Click image to see a larger annotated version.
Your Buffer queue can have multiple posting schedules for each feed. So for instance you have Twitter posting 3 times a day and Facebook just the once. Choosing the time to post is easy using a drop down menu and halting the queue is as simple as clicking on each of the days so they go green.
It really is very simple to use.
There are loads of tips and tricks to help you get the most out of Buffer and rather than repeating them here we are going to link you to an excellent post by Leo Widrich from Buffer which lists the
The Top 10 Secret Buffer Hacks and Features: Supercharge your Social Sharing in 2013