Twitter, Facebook and other social networks are great, but when you have lots of friends it’s impossible to read all their posts. This is a particular problem with Twitter followers in another time zone. You may post updates when they are asleep. When they get round to checking Twitter your posts have long since disappeared from their screens. Posting several items at once can mean they are all lost, or can annoy your followers as their feeds are full of too many posts from you.

Buffer solves the problem by posting Tweets and Facebook updates for you. You choose the times that are best, bearing in mind when friends and followers will be online. Then just keep Buffer filled with posts and they are posted according to the schedule you set. Spreading posts out over the day means your friends and followers are more likely to see them when they have time to look at them. Here we look at bufferapp.com, but there are Android and iOS apps too.

How to schedule tweets

1. Go to bufferapp.com using either Chrome or Firefox. It will work in Internet Explorer too, but there are extra features available to Chrome and Firefox users. Click one of the buttons to sign in and authorise it to access your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn account.

Schedule tweets - Buffer Step 1

2. There isn’t much to do when you sign in for the first time: your social network login permission is all that is required. This only addition is an email address so that Buffer can contact you. Enter it and then click the Get Started button.

Schedule tweets - Buffer Step 2

3. If you are using Google Chrome, you should see a prompt to install the Chrome extension when you visit the Buffer website. There is an identical one for Firefox users too. Click the button to install it because it is an important component of Buffer.

Schedule tweets - Buffer Step 3

4. You will have signed in with one social network, but you can add more so that you can cross post to multiple services in one go. Click the plus next to Accounts on the left. Free Buffer accounts can have one of each service listed.

Schedule tweets - Buffer Step 4

5. You can add your Twitter account, Facebook account, a Facebook page that you manage, and LinkedIn. Here we are adding a LinkedIn account and it prompts for an email address and a password. Add your other accounts in the same way.

Schedule tweets - Buffer Step 5

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Here we continue our tutorial: How to schedule tweets

6. Select the Schedule tab and click in the time zone box. Twitter, Facebook and other posts go out at scheduled times of the day and you can choose whether to use UK, US or some other time zone. Enter a city name to set the time zone.

Schedule tweets - Buffer Step 6

7. Now you can choose at what time of the day in your selected time zone to post updates to Twitter, Facebook and other services. Think about when your followers and friends most likely to be online and set the appropriate times for posting items.

Schedule tweets - Buffer Step 7

8. Two posting times are selected by default, but clicking the Add Posting Time enables you to add more. Let the mouse hover over a time to access the delete icon. Click the green days to choose the days to post to your social networks.

Schedule tweets - Buffer Step 8

9. Let’s add some posts. When you are browsing the web and you see something you would like to share, click the Buffer icon in the toolbar. Select the services to post to, edit the text if necessary and click the Buffer button.

Schedule tweets - Buffer Step 9

10. Back at the Buffer website you can see your posts on the Buffer tab. It shows what will be posted and the times they will go live online - one post for each time in step 7. That’s it. Just keep Buffer full to post on a schedule.

Schedule tweets - Buffer Step 10

11. Once you have mastered the basics, which are fairly straightforward, you might want to explore some of the extras. Go to Settings for example, and you can choose the link shortening service to use.

Schedule tweets - Buffer Step 11