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Getting started as a user in an organization

If you are part of a team and you’ve been invited to Buffer as a user within an organization, this guide can help you get set up and ready to work with the tools and social channels you have been given permission to access.

This article contains the following sections:

  1. What are "organizations"?
  2. Getting your invitation
  3. Access levels and permissions
  4. Working within your dashboard

What are "organizations"?

Your Buffer account, the social channels you've connected, and the users you've invited make up your organization. This setup makes it simple to manage your social channels and team all in one place. As an individual Buffer user, you have your own organization (with the ability to add your own personal social channels that only you have access to), and you might also be part of another organization as a user with access to that organization's social channels. Learn more about the levels of user permissions here.

Notes

  • You will always access an organization’s social channels and tools on your own Buffer dashboard and you will never need to log into another Buffer account.
  • You will have access to all of the business features of that organization even if you personally have a different plan. Most users of an organization are personally on a free plan. However, when they switch over to the organization they've been invited to, they'll see access to the features available on their organization's business plan.
  • Missing access to some tools? Learn more here.

Getting your invitation

When someone invites you to their organization, they are prompted to add your email address and set up permissions for which channels you can access. Buffer will then send you your email invitation. If you do not already have a Buffer account, we will create one for you. The email you receive will give you instructions on how to set up your new account and set a password. If you don’t receive your email invitation, please reach out to your organization owner and have them check the spelling of your email address. Also, check your spam and junk folders to see if the invitation may have landed there.

Access levels and permissions

Your organization owner will set up your access to the organization and to social channels. Your access level and permissions are explained below.

📝It’s important to note that even with admin access, you won’t automatically have access to all channels; you still need to be invited to any channels you should see within each tool. If you have admin access but haven’t been invited to any channels, you won’t be able to create posts or respond to comments. However, as an admin, you are able to invite yourself to any channel at anytime.

Tool Admin access Full posting access (channel specific) Approval required access (channel specific)
Account settings
  • Connect and manage social channels
  • Invite and manage users
  • Manage subscription and billing (account owner only)
  • Read-only access to channels area
  • Read-only access to channels area
Publishing
  • Dependent on the permissions level granted for that social channel (Full Posting or Approval Required access)
  • Create posts
  • Approve draft posts from other team members
  • Create draft posts
Engagement
  • Dependent on the permissions level granted for that social channel (Full Posting or Approval Required access)
  • Respond to all Instagram and Facebook comments
  • None - Team members must have Full Posting access to use the engagement tool
Analytics
  • Viewing metrics
  • Create custom reports
  • View campaigns
  • View metrics
  • View metrics

Working within your dashboard

Once you’ve accepted your invitation and you’ve set up your account (if you didn’t have one already), you can now see your own individual organization and the new organization by navigating to your account menu. You can switch between the two organizations depending on where you’d like to work.

📝 Notes

  • If both organizations have the same name (such as the default “My Organization”), you can hover over each organization to see which channels are connected. The owner can rename the organization using this guide.
  • If your organization owner hasn’t set you up with access to any channels yet, you’ll see a message saying they need to grant you access. We suggest contacting the owner and asking them to set up your permissions using this guide.

Scheduling posts in the publishing dashboard

If this is the first time you’ve used Buffer’s publishing tool, we recommend visiting our guide for scheduling posts. If you’ve scheduled posts before, keep in mind that you will have access to many other features with the organization’s business plan that you may not have used previously if you were on other plans.

Working with drafts

All users with channel permissions are able to create draft posts in the drafts area. The drafts area is great for crafting ideas for posts, as well as creating final posts that you'd like to submit for approval. The option to request approval on drafts, as well as the ability to approve draft posts, will depend on permissions. Learn more on how to create and approve draft posts here.

Viewing metrics and working with reports in the analytics dashboard

All users can view metrics in the dashboards. All admins can view metrics in channels they have permission to access, plus create reports and view campaigns. If this is the first time you’ve used Buffer’s analytics tool, we recommend visiting our Getting Started Guide.

Engaging with Instagram and Facebook comments

Team members with Full Posting access for an Instagram business account or Facebook Page within your Buffer organization can respond to the comments that come into that social channel.

If you or another user in your Buffer organization has Approval Required access for an Instagram business account or a Facebook Page within your Buffer organization, they will not be able to access or respond to the comments that come through to that account.

Connecting or refreshing channels

If you have admin access via the social network itself, you can connect and refresh (reconnect) channels within the organization. It’s very important to be sure you’re connecting channels in the right organization. You can switch organizations in the account menu as shown above. Follow this guide to learn more about connecting and refreshing.

📝 As an Admin, connecting a social channel won't automatically give your Buffer account access to the channel as it will for the owner of the Buffer organization. After connecting a social channel, you'll click on your profile avatar in the upper right of your dashboard, followed by clicking Team > Users. Once there, you'll be able to grant your own Buffer account access to the channel.

If you notice that some of the channels you have access to have been locked, this is likely because the owner of the organization downgraded their account. When a plan is downgraded, the account is moved to the Free plan with access to only three social channels and no additional users. This is the reason those channels become locked for you.

In this case, you should chat with the organization owner and see if they had intentionally downgraded the account. It’s possible they didn’t know that downgrading their account would stop you from being able to access those channels or tools.

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