Creating ideas in Buffer

By saving all your best ideas in one place, you’ll have a collection of inspiration to jump-start your content creation process. When inspiration strikes, use your Create space to store photos, GIFs, videos, links, or text so you can quickly turn them into posts when you're ready.

⭐️ This feature is available on our newest plans.

In this article:

  1. Why should I use Ideas?
  2. Should I use Ideas or Drafts?
  3. Creating ideas
  4. Deleting ideas
  5. Scheduling a draft or post from an idea

Why should I use Ideas?

Ideas is the fastest and easiest way to prepare content for your social media accounts. Rather than preparing all your content in a separate tool (like Trello or Excel), you can prepare all that content in Ideas. That way, it’s ready to be scheduled straight to your queue, saving you time. It’s also easy to use, with the browser extension, you can save ideas on the go.

We’ve found using Ideas over another external tool to prepare your content can save you up to 84 hours a year. That’s enough time to take a two week holiday! Learn more about the great reasons you should use Ideas on our blog.

Should I use Ideas or Drafts?

Drafts are great when you’re preparing content for a specific social media channel. You can load up that channel and prepare your draft.

However, if you don’t know which channel you want to publish your content to, then using Ideas is encouraged.

Ideas is channel agnostic. When first jotting down an idea, you don’t even need to know which social media channel/s you envision it later being published to.

Once you’ve collected all of the details you need to turn that idea it into a post you’ll be proud of, you can graduate it from your Content area and schedule it within your live queue(s).

In short, if you’re just coming up with an idea from scratch, but you’re not quite sure what you’ll write or where you’ll post, then use Ideas. If you’re later on in the content creation process and have your image, text, and social channels figured out, then use Drafts.

Creating ideas

To create a new idea:

  1. From the "Publishing" tab, click on Create on the left menu.
  2. Click the blue Create Idea button on the upper right side of the screen.
  3. Once the composer opens, add text and/or an image, video, GIF or link. 

Buffer Ideas composer with an arrow pointing to the Save Idea button

  1. Click Save Idea.
  2. Your Idea should now appear in your "Content" dashboard.

📝 Good to Knows

  • At this time, we support a maximum of 10 media attachments per idea. The maximum image file size is 10MB. The maximum video file size is 1GB.
  • Note that once an idea becomes a scheduled post, the images will be reduced to the number of images that social channel accepts. We’ve shared more about the limits for each social network in our article on attaching images, video, and other media to your posts.
  • Looking for the perfect image or GIF to accompany your idea? Check out our integrations:
    • Use the Unsplash integration to search stock photos and insert them into your idea. In the composer, click the Unsplash logo in the lower left corner, then use the search bar to pull up relevant images.
    • Use the Giphy integration to search for an animated GIF to add to your idea. 
    • Use our Canva integration to access your existing Canva creations or create an image in Canva to add to your Idea. Learn more about how this integration works in our Guide to using Canva with Buffer
    • Use Dropbox, One Drive, Google Drive, or Google Photos to choose the perfect photo from your library.

Buffer composer with the media integrations, like Canva and Google Drive, expanded

📝 Free plan users can create up to 100 ideas. Customers on Essentials, Team or Agency plans can create up to 2,000 ideas per organization.

📝 Have an idea but need help fleshing it out for a post? Use Buffer’s AI Assistant to turn your brainstorm into publishable content with prompts as short as 4 words. Learn how to use this feature (available on all plans) here: Using Buffer's AI Assistant.

Deleting ideas

If you change your mind and no longer want to use an idea, you can delete it by hovering over the idea and clicking the trash can icon that appears in the upper right corner.

Where to go to delete an idea in Buffer via the trashcan icon

Scheduling a draft or post from an idea

Once you're ready to take your idea to the next level, you can schedule it as a draft or a post with a few quick steps:

  1. Click on the idea in the "Content" dashboard.
  2. Click Create Post.

How to create a post from an Idea on Buffer's web app

  1. The composer will open. Select the channels you want to publish to.
  2. Customize the caption, add any links, and images or videos to customize the post for each social network.
  3. Once you're ready, click Save as draft to keep working on the post or click on Add to Queue (or our other scheduling options--Share Next, Share Now, Schedule Post).

Options when scheduling an idea as a post - Save as Draft or Schedule as Post

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