Buffer vs. Edgar: Comparing Which Social Media Management Tool is Best for Your Small Business

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I’m not a social media person. I don’t have time for it, I don’t enjoy it, and yet as a small business owner I can’t afford to ignore it.

Buffer vs. Edgar

From a business perspective I have four options.

  1. Hire someone overseas to manage it.
  2. Hire someone stateside to manage it.
  3. Suck it up and take care of it myself.
  4. Use a social media management tool.

Hiring someone unknown to represent my brand is not a leap of faith I’m ready to make yet. Sucking it up? Not an option. My time is best spent doing things that I enjoy and excel at.

My best bet?

Finding a social media tool that can automate the process and save time. I originally turned to Hootsuite as I had used it in the past but had to examine why I abandoned the tool in the first place. Exploring my feelings towards HootSuite helped me to identify what I wanted out of a tool. My non-negotiables were:

  • Finding a site that was easy to use.
  • Finding a site that added additional value through unique technology.

In the end I purchased a subscription to both Buffer and Edgar as they met my criteria in different ways.

I ran both programs head-to-head for a month before picking a winner. While I will share with you whom I’ve selected, understand that what’s important to me may not be important to you. Along the way I collected data to help you decide which tool is the best for your business.

What is Buffer and Who is Edgar?

Buffer is a tool that is used to schedule posts on social media. The tool can help you post throughout the day at preset times to maximize your social media engagement.

Edgar is a scheduling tool for social media. He recycles your content automatically so that “the well doesn’t run dry.” What is recycling? You build a list of content that you want Edgar to share, and once he’s shared the last article he will go back to the beginning of the list and share everything again.

Round 1: Getting Started: Connectivity and Adding Content

Getting started with Edgar takes longer than getting started with Buffer, but there’s a good reason for the extra upfront effort.

TIP: Don’t be intimidated by Meet Edgar’s invitation process. Once requested, you should receive an invite within 24 hours.

The first step when setting up Edgar is connecting your social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn), and then adding content. As Edgar recycles content, it’s vital to take your time and set everything up correctly from the beginning. If you don’t take the time to fill up your content library, the tool will continue to post the same things over and over again which will seem unnatural and spammy to those that follow you on social media.

The good news is that Edgar offers multiple ways to quickly fill your content library. First of all, you can enter a website or RSS feed URL and import content. Second, you can upload a CSV file. Finally, you can use the RSS Feed Manager and Edgar will continuously pull new content from your site on your behalf. This may sound complicated but it’s as easy as entering your web address and clicking a button. The only problem with Edgar’s auto import feature is that it will not import pictures, hashtags, or @mentions so those items need to be added manually if they are important to you.

Buffer connects to more social media platforms. You can connect to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest. Also, while both tools support adding pictures, only Buffer supports adding video to scheduled content.

To setup Buffer, connect your social media platforms and start to add content. As the tool does not automatically recycle content, making sure your queue is full from the beginning is not as vital as it is with Edgar. However, there is one option for mass import with Buffer which is the RSS feed option. To pull recent content, head to the content tab and add your URL to pull recent articles into the tool. The difference between Edgar’s automated RSS pull and Buffer’s is that Buffer’s import is a one-time occurrence and the imported items must be manually scheduled by you. Edgar will continuously monitor the feed and pull in new content and automatically schedule content on your behalf.

Round Winner: Buffer is faster to setup but Edgar offers more long-term time savings if you invest time into proper setup. Winner? Edgar. I’ll take a slow dime over a quick nickel any day.

Round 2: Chrome Extensions, Apps, and 3rd Party Integration

Buffer and Edgar offer Chrome extensions to help fill up your content queue. The extensions sit on your Google Chrome toolbar and will let you schedule content as you surf the web. Though they both have the same underlying goal, they approach the goal differently.

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Buffer’s Chrome Extension also has a Power Scheduler that will let you share the same content multiple times at different intervals. For example you can share the content now and again in seven days.  Not exactly the same as Edgar’s automated re-share feature, but it is nice to have the option to share content more than once.

Buffer vs. Edgar

Another area where Buffer shines is with 3rd party apps beyond the Chrome Extension. There are apps for IFTTT, feedly, pocket, WordPress, and more.

I’ve covered using IFTTT with home automation on my own site and tested it many times. Through IFTTT you can create different triggers in a recipe style format. There are currently two trigger options.

  1. Any new post in Buffer.
  2. New photo in Buffer.

From there, you can create a reaction like “if a post is made on Google, put it in my Google spreadsheet.” On the other hand, Buffer can be the reaction. For example, “Add my Instagram photos to my Buffer queue.” Through IFTTT you can connect Buffer to other services like YouTube, Facebook, WordPress, Blogger, Pocket, Tumblr, and Evernote.

Finally, Buffer has mobile apps for both iOS and Android.

Round Winner: Buffer. Though Edgar has a Chrome Extension, it doesn’t offer integration with 3rd party apps.

Round 3: Creating a Content Schedule

Edgar’s content scheduling feature is what sets it apart from others. One of the most time consuming components of owning a website is creating and finding valuable content. For example, I invested 49 hours into an article recently. On Twitter it had 245 impressions. That’s not bad but it deserves more. That’s where Edgar comes in, he automatically recycles your content which helps in two ways.

  1. It saves time.
  2. It makes sure your work is seen by as many people as possible.

Edgar Auto

Part of the process with creating a content schedule on Edgar is creating categories. There are preset categories like Questions, Tips, Use Once, or you can add your own. These categories are important as they are used in the auto-sharing process. When auto-sharing, Edgar will pick from different categories and is smart enough to know what type of post should be shared at what time depending upon how your followers engage.

Edgar Schedule

Edgar will use a custom schedule that you create. He will then pull from the multiple categories to give your shared content more variety. If you don’t trust the tool to pick what category is best, you can create your own schedule based upon categories. As a compromise you may want Edgar to do some of the work in addition to creating your own category-based schedule. This would work well if you’re into things like #TBT or #FF. You could create a category called #TBT and ask Edgar to share content from this category every Thursday.

Buffer does not have categories. Instead you add posts manually and they go out based upon a schedule that you create. You can setup different posting schedules for your content. For example, you may select your Twitter account and say that you want it to post four times every day or you might select Facebook and ask that Buffer only post on the weekends. It’s the same concept as Edgar minus the categories, with less automation, and with a different visual layout.

Round Winner: Edgar. This is where he shines. The content process is more automated which is a huge timesaver.

Round 4: Price

The plans for Edgar and Buffer are like apples and oranges.

Buffer’s entry level plan is significantly less expensive than Edgar’s. In fact, individual plans are free. I am using their entry level paid plan called the Awesome Plan. The Awesome Plan is $10 per month or $102 per year. Next they have a Small Business Plan for $50 per month or $510 per year, a Medium Business Plan for $100 per month or $1,020 per year, and a Large Business Plan for $250 per month or $2,250 per year.

Buffer’s free plan allows you to connect one profile for each social network and can store up to ten posts for each profile in the queue. The Awesome plan bumps that number up to 100 posts via ten different social profiles.

Moving from the free plan to the Awesome plan allows for creative scheduling. Buffer explains it like this,

With the Individual Plan you can choose days and times but not different times for different days. So, I can have my posts go out at 3 PM and 5 PM, Monday and Wednesday. On the paid plan, you can have 3 go out every Monday, 2 on Tuesday, 6 on Friday, etc. All at whatever times you set.

Moving to a business plan will bring even more features like the ability to add multiple team members to help manage your page. The Small plan adds five team members and this can expand to 25 team members in the Large plan. The Small plan also allows for management of 25 social media profiles and Google Analytics integration.

Edgar’s Starter plan is $49 per month. This price allows you to connect up to ten social media accounts and will let you hold 1,000 pieces of content in your library for sharing. Their secondary plan is the Premium plan and it’s $99 per month. This plan will allow you to connect up to 25 social media accounts and store up to 5,000 items to share.

Round Winner: Buffer. A free option, cheaper options, and options for team member access put Buffer ahead of Edgar in the pricing category.

Round 5: Analytics

Buffer offers analytics with paid plans only. When using analytics you can slice and dice the data multiple ways. You can choose to look at what post had the most clicks, was the most popular, most retweeted, most favorited, or which one had the most replies or the greatest reach. You can also look at your least popular posts. To dig in further you can look at all of your posts or compare how image posts did vs. link, text, and retweet posts. Sorting will show you what’s working and what’s not.

Upgrading to a Business plan will add even more analytics capabilities with Buffer. You can connect Google Analytics and sort the included data in new ways, like by date. For example, “show me all data on image posts from the last 30 days or from yesterday” and you can then export all of this data.

Edgar includes analytics to measure engagement as well. For Edgar, this happens from the statistics tab. On the statistics tab you can check your recent posts including what category the post was from, what account it was posted to, how many likes you received, comments, and shares. You can filter this data by category, account, or by specific post.

Round Winner: Buffer. They allow you to dig further into the details like looking at the performance of posts with and without images.

Final Thoughts

It’s easy to compare content scheduling, setup, and pricing, but actually testing products reveals the little things.

For example, integrating your Twitter account with Buffer will add a small button to the bottom of all Twitter posts. You can use this to retweet others and to add those retweets to your queue. You can do this to recycle your own tweets or those shared by others.

On the other hand, Edgar has provided way more training. I’ve attended a live workshop and received dozens of videos and tips to help me get started. Their hands-on support has been top notch.

Buffers wins for its ability to connect to more social media platforms and 3rd party apps. However, my primary goal was to automate the process and save time so I picked Edgar. Manually filling up the Buffer queue was time consuming and it worried me that my queue might run out of content. I don’t have to worry about that with Edgar. It’s constantly pulling new articles from my website and sharing them for me. If it runs out of things to share, it will pull something I’ve already shared in the past. It’s like a social media personal assistant for $50 per month. That seems like a deal to me.

What has your experience been with these two tools (or other social media management solutions)? Did you pick a different one for one of the reasons I listed above? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Looking for Social Networking software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Social Networking software solutions.

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About the Author

Avatar

Rose Thibodeaux

Rose is the Co-Founder of SecurityGem.com!, an independent site dedicated to providing news and information to keep people safe including reviews of home security and home automation systems. Her favorite things to do are laugh and eat so she tries to do both daily.

Comments

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Thanks Rose, your article was so helpful. I’m going to plump for the free Buffer for now and see how that goes. I do have lots and lots of content so Edgar would be perfect and it does sound fab, but I can’t afford the monthly fees right now. So Buffer it is!

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I absolutely appreciate this article. I am just starting out and don’t have much content on my blog yet. This helped me decide to use buffer, the free version for now. I definitely see the benefit of Edgar , it is like boardbooster for Pinterest — they have a looping feature that repeats once it recycles all of the pins on your board. Hopefully by the time I need Edgar they have more integration and 3rd party features as well as more platforms added.

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Thanks, Rose, this is a really helpful article, broken down into useful stages of comparison. I’ve been using the free version of Buffer for some time. I’m now ready to up my game but unsure about the expense of Meet Edgar (plus the clandestine sign up seemed odd). I’m still undecided because of the huge price difference but this article has helped shine a light on the pros and cons of each.

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I was using Meet Edgar for a while and the options are great. the price tag is hefty though. I am switching to http://www.Recurpost.com:

1. Similar content options as Edgar
2. I can add in bulk – SO handy
3. Monthly and daily options not just weekly

and free plan, as well as a medium plan. Loving it 🙂 (no I don’t work for them lol)

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So I’m confused – You cannot schedule posts linked to videos with Hootsuite or Buffer – and they also don’t allow to use the @whoever function to tag people or businesses, etc?

What about photos? And how does Edgar compare in all of this. What is the point of using any of them if they don’t do links to video clips and that is a majority of what you post?

Thanks, would appreciate some clarity!

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I really like the recycling of content from Edgar. But I’m just starting out so the free account with Buffer seems like a good starting point. I hope it still saves a lot of time.

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Thank you Rose for such a great review. Quick question for you? Dou you do anything with Instgram and is there a scheduling service that you might recommend? Now that Facebook owns Instagram it would seem it will become more and more important? Thanks!

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I tried Buffer for the last 3 days and found the following things quite odd. 1. No “linking” to other Facebookusers or Facebooksites within the Post when posting through Buffer, this is a huge downside, no? Does Edgar allow that feature? 2. Just one photo per Post. Does Edgar offer the possibility to integrate more? Thx Markus

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Hey Rose,

I am playing with Recurpost (http://recurpost.com) and so far I like it. It is a free alternative to Meet Edgar. You may want to compare the two in a new blog post. I’d like to see what you think of it.

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Great article! Thank you.
I’m assessing this at the moment, both for myself and for small business clients. I know some of them will balk at the Edgar price tag – then again, for the ones who are starting out with social media (yep, lots of companies still are!) and don’t have much evergreen content yet, maybe there’s less value in what Edgar offers.
Two other points:
– I wouldn’t write off an overseas virtual assistant either. You need to set them up and manage them, but you need to set up and manage Edgar / Buffer too.
– Whether you opt for a tool or an assistant, don’t think that’s enough. If you’re going to get value out of social media, you also need to be responding to what’s out there. It’s (at least!) as much about listening as it is about posting.

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Great review, I switched from Buffer to sprout social due to the add on price for reporting in Buffer. Great to hear Edgar has a free trial as I can compare my key features

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Thank you so much! This is a really great article, very comprehensive, and exactly what I was looking for. I hardly ever comment on reviews but felt thanks were in order for the effort you have gone to!

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Thank you Rose, ease of use is essential for me being an osteopath, not really a social media (IT) expert. N

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Does anyone else have an issue with the Buffer signature on your posts? I’m hoping Edgar is signature-free service. I only just signed up for the invite to Edgar. I wondered if followers become less engaged by content that is just “fed” vs content someone spent time on? Or am I way over thinking? Thanks for the great comparisons here.

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This was an exceptionally poignant and essential comparison that saved me time and actually changed my perception and thus objectives Rose.
Top Marks, you need to get paid for this one.

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This is awesome stuff Rose! I was torn between Edgar and Buffer, and you really helped me in making the decision. Edgar for me! Following you for more reviews!

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Buffer now has an add-on app, called Hiplay, that will post your evergreen content for you. You can either post a set number of posts per day, or only post when your queue gets empty. And you choose which of your previous posts you want to mark as “evergreen”.

I’ve used both Edgar and Buffer and have found the Buffer/Hiplay combination to be the best for me. Buffer’s integrations make it super easy to add new content to my queue whenever I find it on the web, which keeps my shares fresh and interesting. And my evergreen content isn’t going to waste either, but being mixed in with the new stuff in a way that keeps it looking fresh, too. As a result, I’ve seen my engagement go up since making the switch from Edgar to Buffer.

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Great article! I wish meetedgar had the ability to post to google+. I use tailwind app for posting to pinterest and have seen a major spike in pinterest traffic since I started. Check it out. Thanks for your well written article.

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Rose, this article was exactly what I was looking for. Thank you for being so completely thorough. Now I know which one will be best for me without going through trying each one. Simple and easy – AWESOME!!!

Warm regards,
Gail Foley

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Hi Jordan,

I do Pinterest the old fashioned way – manually. I tried to schedule pins on Buffer, but found the process cumbersome. For me, it’s easy to pop in and pin a few pretty things from time to time. But if you have a high volume board or have multiple boards, I understand manual pinning may not be feasible.

Beyond Pinterest, I don’t have other social media accounts. I prefer to focus on the social media platforms I’m good at, and that’s pretty much limited to Facebook and Twitter.

Rose

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Thanks for this detailed comparison! Although, I’m still not sure I can justify the price of Edgar at the moment, so I was really hoping you’d pick Buffer haha. I also don’t know if I can reconcile with no Pinterest updating. What do you do for the social media accounts that Edgar doesn’t support?

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Hi +Karl O:
You can add your own created Facebook groups to Buffer.
I’m using the 50 USD / month Small business plan and love it.

Would not want to automatically recycle my content, I look upon that as a form of spamming… I can easily “ReBuffer” anything to any of my accounts from the Analytics side – the posts that have been shared already, either to the end of the queue, to be shared next or to be scheduled at a specific time.
I can scroll back 360 days.
The cmd+F search for keywords also works on the Analytics side up to 90 days.

It seems to me that Edgar is better for those who don’t have time or resources and just want to have something to share.
Buffer is for people with a social media strategy and the ability to find or create fresh content.

One can open an article, choose any of the images and “Buffer this image”, then the said image will appear in the post.

Facebook made Buffer use a bit harder last fall, but I just pull a post from G+ or Twitter to the FB account via the arrow icon on the left side of each post and then edit it, adding text and more hashtags.

With Buffer and the additional free Pablo tool for adding text to my images I’m really happy, would not change.

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No joke, this has to be the EXACT comparison review I was looking for!

THANK YOU for the thoughtful comparison outlines, graphs, charts, etc — it was like getting the latte WITH an awesome foam design on top ?

Great job!

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Hi Rose, great article! Thanks for the work. Do you know whether Edgar or Buffer allow posting to Facebook Groups? (Hootsuite doesn’t allow this anymore.)

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This is a really great breakdown of features and comparisons between Buffer and Edgar. I’ve been using Buffer for a few weeks now and Edgar for the 14 day trial (which was not enough!) They both have their pros and cons, and I think you’re absolutely right that it’s like comparing apples to oranges. I think the biggest hurdle for Edgar is the monthly price, though very much justified! It’s clearly offering something that other tools don’t have. It’s still a toss up between the two. I came across your article because I was trying to find a way to get Buffer to work like Edgar 🙂

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Cool, thanks Amanda. Glad you enjoyed the compare.

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Thanks so much for this awesome comparison, Rose! So thorough!

Also, just because it might be worth a mention, we just launched a free trial period for Edgar yesterday. Now anyone who signs up gets a 14-day free trial – no CC details required. 🙂

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