Is Buffer Publish suitable for agencies?

Whilst Buffer Publish was not built specifically for agencies, we have many agencies using the tool who are finding it a great fit for their needs. That said, we understand that our tool might not be an ideal fit for all agencies. Through this guide, we aim to provide an impartial view of when it might be a good fit, and also when it might not.

We have found that one of the key of the deciding factors is whether or not you need to have client approvals within the platform. If not, Publish could be a wonderful choice for you. If you do need client approvals within the platform, Publish could still work for you, but there are more factors to consider (outlined later in this article).

Plans and pricing

Agencies tend to have the need to connect a larger number of social accounts. We recommend one of our Business plans:

  • Small Business plan ($99/month): 25 social accounts, 6 users
  • Medium Business plan ($199/month): 50 social accounts, 11 users
  • Large Business plan ($399/month): 150 social accounts, 26 users

We also offer Enterprise Plans for those who are looking to manage more than 150 social accounts and/or have more than 26 users. If you'd like to learn more about Enterprise pricing, please feel free to email us at onboarding@buffer.com.

What counts as a social account? A social account is each individual Page, Group, or Profile that you’d like to connect. As an example, you might have 10 clients who each have five social accounts (e.g. Facebook Page, Instagram Profile, Twitter Profile, LinkedIn Page, and Pinterest Profile). This would come to 50 social accounts in total, in which case the Medium Business plan would be the best fit.

What counts as a user? When thinking about which plan might work best for you, it’s important to consider whether or not you’ll be inviting your clients to have access to Publish. If you choose to invite your clients, they would have the ability to see the content you’re scheduling for them as well as add their own posts, but only for their own social accounts. Each client you invite will require a user seat on your plan, and therefore you will need to choose a plan that has space to invite both your internal members of staff who are scheduling content for your clients, as well as the clients themselves.

Key considerations

Connecting your clients' social accounts

The account owner, or a user with Admin access, will need to connect your clients' social accounts. It is not possible to invite clients to connect their own social accounts, without also giving them access to your other clients' social accounts.

Due to the lack of Admin capabilities on most social networks, you will need to have the client's log in details in order to connect the account to Publish. For Facebook Pages and LinkedIn Pages, you can authenticate it through your own personal account, assuming you have the required Admin or Managerial permissions. The table below outlines what you'll need in order to connect each type of social account on behalf of a client.

Facebook Page Your personal Facebook Profile will need to have either the “Page Admin” or “Page Editor” role. Learn more here.
Facebook Group Your personal Facebook Profile will need to have the “Group Admin” role. Learn more here.
Instagram Personal Account Client’s login details (username and password).
Instagram Business Profile Client’s login details (username and password) for Instagram, as well as having the “Page Admin” or “Page Editor” role on the Facebook Page that is connected to the Instagram account. 
Twitter Profile Client’s login details (username and password).
LinkedIn Page Your personal LinkedIn Profile will need to have administrator access to the Page. Learn more here.
LinkedIn Profile Client’s login details (username and password).
Pinterest Board Client’s login details (username and password).

Client approvals

We do not have a separate type of user or permissions level specifically for clients, but this can work by setting them up with “Full Posting Access”.

You have complete control over which social accounts each user has access to. This is great if you have certain users looking after certain clients; you would only give them access to the clients' social accounts that they’re taking care of. And if you’re inviting your clients, you would only give them access to their own social accounts.

For each social account you give a user access to, you can choose between the following permissions levels:

  • Approval Required Access: User is able to create posts in the Drafts area and then request approval.
  • Full Posting Access: User is able to create posts directly in the Queue, without the need for approval. They’re also able to approve posts created by users with "Approval Required Access".

If posts need approval from clients, you would need to set your internal members of staff up with "Approval Required Access" and your clients with "Full Posting Access". The flow then would be for your members of staff to create posts within the Drafts area and then request approval. The client would then be able to review, edit and approve those posts, at which point they’ll be moved to the Queue, ready to be published according to the Posting Schedule. Learn more about the drafts and approvals process here.

Please note, the account owner will always have "Full Posting Access" on all social accounts and this cannot be changed. This means that if the account owner will be creating posts for clients, they will be added directly to the Queue, without the need for approval. In this case, you might wish to invite yourself as a user under a different email address with "Approval Required Access". With this solution, you would need to login under your owner account to connect new social accounts, manage users and customise Posting Schedules. You’d then need to login to your other user account to create posts.

Other factors to consider include:

  • If your internal members of staff have "Approval Required Access", all posts they add will need to be approved by the client. It is not possible to pick and choose which posts require approval. This can be a drawback for some agencies, who need the flexibility of requesting approval on some posts but not on others.
  • If your internal members of staff have "Approval Required Access", they won’t have the ability to customise the Posting Schedule, modify any posts in the Queue, rearrange the order in which they’ll be sent, or configure custom publishing times for posts that are already scheduled. These actions would either need to be completed by the client (since they’ll have "Full Posting Access") or the account owner.

Overall, our current user and approval set up doesn't feel like a perfect fit for agencies, but some have chosen to make it work as the other benefits of using Publish have been strong enough.

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