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Creating ideas in Buffer

⚡️ You're in the right article if you're looking to…

  • quickly jot down emerging ideas that you can come back to later.
  • create a gallery of content for future social media posts.

By saving all your best ideas in one place, you’ll have a collection of inspiration to jump start your content creation process. Add photos, GIFs, videos, links, and more to your ideas and turn them into drafts or scheduled posts when you're ready.

Inspiration can strike at any time, so you have to jot down those thoughts when you have them. With the Ideas tool, you can do just that! Quickly store a phrase or photo and return to it later to turn it into a social post. You can think of Ideas as the starting place for your content creation process, which is why it might feel fitting that they’re nestled within the "Content” tab of your publishing dashboard. 

📝 Ideas is available on our Free, Essentials, Team, and Agency plans. If you are a legacy customer on our Pro, Premium, or Business plans and would like to switch to our new pricing, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help! Learn more about why Ideas isn't available on our legacy plans here.

This article contains the following sections:

  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. 

      Create an idea in Buffer

      📝 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.
          Using Dropbox One Drive Google Drive and Google Photos in Buffer Ideas
    4. Click Save Idea.
    5. Your Idea should now appear in your "Content" dashboard.

📝 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.

Deleting an idea in Buffer

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.

    Create a post from an idea in Buffer
  3. The composer will open. Select the channels you want to publish to.
  4. Customize the caption, add any links, and images or videos to customize the post for each social network.
  5. 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).

    Save an idea as a draft or post
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