Buffer adds Mastodon to its social media management platform

Buffer’s popular social media management software can now schedule and post to Mastodon servers. Coywolf has a first look at what it's like to connect and publish posts from Buffer to Mastodon.

Buffer and Mastodon

The federated social media platform, Mastodon, has experienced explosive growth since Elon Musk bought Twitter. The popular Twitter alternative provides a decentralized social network that doesn’t have any advertising, gives control back to users, and thus far has been a haven for civil discourse. And as more people move to Mastodon, companies are establishing a presence and exploring how to use it for their brands.

Companies typically have social media marketing teams, and they rely on software to monitor mentions, schedule posts and analyze engagement. Some of the most popular platforms include Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Buffer, Sendible, Sprinklr, and SocialFlow, but none have supported Mastodon. That is, until now.

Buffer is private beta-testing Mastodon integration with a group of users that submitted feedback expressing interest. I am one of those people, and Buffer gave the group permission to share our experience publicly. So far, in the beta test’s Discord group, there appears to be a high degree of enthusiasm among everyone, including Joel Gascoigne, Buffer’s Founder and CEO, who has been active in the group.

Amanda Marochko, Senior Product Manager at Buffer, told the group that the integration should be well-polished and they are “aiming to have general availability for Mastodon in the coming weeks.” When I tested it on one of my Mastodon instances, coywolf.social, my experience posting via Buffer was flawless. Unless other testers find any significant issues, the new Mastodon integration should launch sometime in February 2023. That will beat out all of their competitors and allow brands to add Mastodon to their social distribution channels.

First look at Buffer’s Mastodon integration

Connecting Mastodon to Buffer is a simple process, and posting from Buffer to Mastodon is similar to posting to other social networks from Buffer. Here’s a screencast that shows how to connect Mastodon to Buffer, create a new post, and publish it to Mastodon.

Screenshots of Buffer’s Mastodon integration

The Mastodon channel will be available on Buffer’s Connect Channel page.

Connect Mastodon channel
Mastodon can be added to a Buffer account on the Connect Channel page

Mastodon is federated and decentralized, which means it can be hosted using any domain. Buffer displays the top five Mastodon servers but allows users to specify the server they use if it’s not listed.

Choose your Mastodon server
Buffer supports all Mastodon servers, including coywolf.social

Clicking the Next button takes you to your Mastodon server, where you must authorize Buffer to read and write to your account.

Mastodon authorization for Buffer
Authorization page on Mastodon to allow Buffer to post to it

Once Buffer has been successfully authorized on the Mastodon server, the account will appear in the connected channels list.

LinkedIn and Mastodon channels
Coywolf’s LinkedIn and Mastodon channels that are connected to Buffer

Creating a post for Mastodon on Buffer uses the same UX for other social channels.

Mastodon new post form on Buffer
Creating a new post for Mastodon on Buffer

Mastodon displays which client was used for publishing a post. Successfully published posts from Buffer will display Buffer by the timestamp and link back to Buffer’s site.

Post of Mastodon from Buffer
A successful post on Mastodon that was published by Buffer

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Jon Henshaw

Jon is the founder of Coywolf and the EIC and the primary author reporting for Coywolf News. He is an industry veteran with over 25 years of digital marketing and internet technologies experience. Follow @[email protected]