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Using Buffer as an agency

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Buffer is suitable for agencies, and there are many agency teams that use Buffer! Because all companies are unique, we thought this article could be a place for our agency customers to understand more about how the different tools and features within Buffer could set them up for success. 

This article contains the following sections:

  1. A few features you might enjoy
  2. Plans and pricing
  3. Connecting your clients' channels
  4. Giving your clients and staff the right permission levels

A few features you might enjoy

There are a lot of fun features to dig into as you get started with Buffer. These are a few that stand out as being especially helpful for agency teams.

  • Start Page: Is one of your clients running a seasonal sale or campaign? You can surprise them by creating a beautiful landing page that features their most important links and calls to action. You can learn more about Start Page here: A guide to using Buffer's Start Page.
  • Hashtag manager: Do you have a unique set of hashtags you use for each client or each social channel? The hashtag manager found in your Instagram composer allows you to customize multiple hashtag groups so that you can spend more time creating new posts and less time typing out hashtags. Click here to learn more about the hashtag manager feature: Using the first comment and hashtag manager features.
  • Engagement dashboard: It can take hours to get through comments for multiple clients. Your engagement dashboard serves up not only all comments made to each of your clients' Facebook and Instagram accounts, but it also highlights the comments that seem to be most urgent. Learn more about engaging with Facebook and Instagram comments here.
  • Custom analytics reports: Found in your analytics dashboard, you have the ability to compile CSV and PDF reports showcasing your client's logo and top results. This article shares more about creating custom analytics reports

Plans and pricing

Agencies tend to connect more channels, analyze more metrics, and create more reports than other customers. So, which plan will be best for you?

  • If you have up to 10 social channels, we recommend the Essentials (one user) or Team plans (unlimited users).
  • If you have 11 or more social channels, our Agency plan (unlimited users) will be the most cost-effective for your team.

Learn more about our plans and pricing here.

What counts as a channel? A channel is each individual Page, group, or profile that you’d like to connect. As an example, you might be scheduling posts for 10 clients who each have five social channels (e.g. Facebook Page, Instagram account, Twitter profile, LinkedIn Page, and Pinterest profile). This would come to 50 channels in total.

Connecting your clients' channels

There are two ways you can get your clients’ social channels set up in Buffer:

  • You (the account owner) can connect them, or
  • Your client can connect them if they are designated as an Admin on your Buffer account. See below for important considerations with this option.

Let’s chat about both of these options below so that you can make the best choice for your organization.

Option 1: You (the account owner) connect all social channels

To connect all of your clients’ social channels, you’ll need to have admin permissions or login credentials for each of the social channels that need to be connected.

Each social network is a little different, and the table below shares more about what is involved in obtaining admin access for each of the social networks Buffer integrates with.

Facebook Page Your personal Facebook profile must be an admin on the Facebook Page. Learn more here.
Facebook group Your personal Facebook profile will need to be an admin on the group. Learn more here.
Instagram business account Client’s login details (username and password) for Instagram, as well as being an admin 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 Super Admin 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).

When it comes to connecting multiple Instagram accounts, we do not recommend managing more than 5 Instagram accounts in total and we also recommend each Instagram account be connected to an authentic, active Facebook page. There are several considerations and reasons for these recommendations, which you can read in our Instagram best practices.

Option 2: Your client connects each of their social channels

While it’s possible for users on your account that are designated with the Admin permission to connect their own social channels, there is one important consideration to keep in mind if you decide to go this route:

When you give a user on your account Admin permission, they have the ability to manage any social channel connected to your Buffer organization. If the other social channels connected to your Buffer organization are confidential (such as if you have many clients and don’t want each to have access to one another’s social channels), you’ll want to move forward with the first option to connect social channels explained above.

Giving your clients and staff the right permission levels

There are four main permissions available on your Buffer plan:

  • Organization owner/Account owner
  • Admin
  • Full posting access (channel specific)
  • Approval required access (channel specific)

Let’s talk about when using each might be most advantageous. To see a broader explanation of all of these permissions, head to the article: Adding users and setting up permissions in your organization.

Organization owner:

The person who has access to the email address and password that the billing is under is the organization owner. There isn’t a way to designate a second owner, but we can transfer ownership to another Buffer user if needed.

The organization owner will always have Full Posting access on all channels and this cannot be changed. You can read more about Full Posting access below.

If you as the organization owner need to submit posts for approval to a client, you might consider creating a different Buffer account with a different email address and invite that user to have Admin access of the organization, but Approval Required access on the social channels you’ll need to submit for approval. With this solution, you will need to login under your owner account to access your billing information, but you should be able to do most other tasks via your new user account, such as create posts, manage users, customize posting schedules, and connect new channels (just make sure to select the correct organization).

Admin:

This permission affects access to your entire Buffer organization. You’ll give admin permission to anyone on your team who you’d like to have a full range of access, including connecting and removing social channels, creating and printing reports, viewing posting campaign success, replying to all incoming Facebook and Instagram comments, and posting to all social channels connected to your Buffer account.

Full Posting access:

This permission affects access to individual social channels. Many agencies set their clients up with Full Posting access on one or more of their social channels. This allows them to add posts, delete posts, assign posts to specific campaigns, and approve posts drafts on that specific social channel. You can also set your own team members up with Full Posting access for any social channel they have permission to create posts for. Users with Full Posting access can view analytics for those social channels, as well as respond to the comments made on the posts of those social channels (for Facebook and Instagram).

Approval Required access:

This permission affects access to individual social channels. If you don’t want your clients or team members to add posts to the active queue of a specific social channel, but instead would like them to draft posts that you can review before they are scheduled to publish, setting them up with Approval Required access for that social channel is a great move. Users with Approval Required access can view analytics, but cannot respond to the comments made on the posts of those social channels.

What if my client needs to approve the posts my agency creates?

If posts need approval from clients, you‘ll set your staff up with Approval Required access and your clients with Full Posting access for the social channels they’ll be working on. From there, the flow would be for your staff to create posts within the drafts area and then request approval. The client will be able to review, edit, and approve those posts, at which point they’ll be moved to the active queue. Learn more about the drafts and approvals process here and make sure to revisit the “Organization owner” section just above.

 

📝 Good-to-knows

    • If your staff members have Approval Required access on a social channel, all posts they add to that social channel’s drafts area will need to be approved by the client. It is not possible to pick and choose which posts require approval.
    • If your staff members have Approval Required access, they won’t have the ability to customize 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 need to be completed by the organization owner, the client, or anyone else with Full Posting access.
    • At this time, all users within an organization are able to view all posts added to all campaigns via the publishing dashboard (https://publish.buffer.com/campaigns). This includes posts belonging to social channels that the user does not have Full Posting access or Approval Required access to. Without the appropriate permissions, however, the user will not be able to edit those posts, create posts, or access the queue for that channel. The only access they have is to view which posts are associated with which campaigns.
    • To change the order your channels appear in the channel menu, you can drag and drop into your desired order by clicking on a channel, moving it with your mouse, and then releasing it.

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