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.

What are "organizations"?

Organizations are a feature that make it easier to manage channels and teams. 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 can also be part of other organizations as a user with different levels of permissions.


  • 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 have a Free Publish 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. 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
  • Dependent on permissions level (Full Posting or Approval Required access)
  • Create posts
  • Approve draft posts from other team members
  • Create draft posts
  • Viewing metrics is available assuming Admin has been granted channel access (either Full Posting or Approval Required access)
  • Create custom reports
  • View campaigns
  • View metrics
  • View metrics

Working within your Publish 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.

Connecting or refreshing channels

If you have full Admin access, 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 will likely be because the owner of the Publish Business plan downgraded their account. When a plan is downgraded, the account is moved to the Publish Free plan, on which fewer channels are allowed, and additional users are not supported. This is the reason those channels become locked for you.

When a plan is downgraded, you will also lose access to other Buffer tools like analytics.

In these cases, you should chat to the Publish Business plan 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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