Building a social media presence for your brand is one of the most popular and effective ways to reach new audiences and keep customers coming back. Producing and posting content regularly can be challenging, but using a social media management platform will allow you to batch your content and simplify your scheduling. We’ve compiled a list of free and beginner-friendly social media management tools you can use to take your online presence to the next level.
Hootsuite is a popular social media management platform that offers a free version of its services amongst its paid offerings. A free account with Hootsuite lets you connect up to 3 social media profiles and up to 5 pre-scheduled posts although there can only be one user. From the dashboard, you’re able to manage, schedule, and customize posts for each social media account you have connected. A standout benefit to Hootsuite is its Streams feature, which allows you to keep track of social activities happening across all connected social channels. You’re able to monitor and reply to conversations, mentions, keywords, and hashtags right away, rather than needing to visit each social profile individually.
Socialoomph is a post-scheduling tool with a free plan that gives you one profile, unlimited scheduled posts, and up to three posts per hour. In addition, the free version of Socialoomph gives you access to basic posting features and free support, but anything more is reserved for its paid plans.
With Socialoomph, you are able to schedule and queue posts in a variety of ways. Build posts from scratch or bulk import them, set up various queues for different channels, and collect content from RSS feeds. You can also use Socialoomph to queue and schedule content directly to your blog. You can then set up another queue to share your blog posts across connected social channels. Easily create and share your content with just a few clicks.
Later is a highly visual social media management platform with a focus on Instagram, although it also includes posting capabilities for Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
Their free plan offers one social account per platform, one user, 30 Instagram posts, 50 Twitter posts, 30 Facebook posts, and 30 Pinterest posts per month. This comes with the ability to upload unlimited images to their Media Library, schedule photos to post and see basic Instagram analytics. Later also allows you to search for and repost user-generated content.
Building posts in Later starts with uploading photos to the Media Library. You can then add captions, labels, and other organizational elements. The free plan is currently limited to static images only, with the capability to add videos, Instagram Stories, and carousel posts reserved for its paid plans.
The free version of Buffer is a great publishing tool for those who are just getting started with social media. The free plan allows you to manage up to 3 social accounts and schedule up to 10 posts at a time. Its simple and intuitive interface makes it easy to queue posts and continually add to your queue as the platform publishes your content at designated posting times.
Buffer offers two other apps (that require separate subscriptions) alongside its publishing service to help complete your social media management needs: Buffer Reply, which allows you to reply to comments on your social channels and provide support from one shared team inbox, and Buffer Analyze, which provides analytics for your social media content performance and the ability to create reports.
Self-described as “the only social media manager you’ll ever need,” Crowdfire is an app that provides a smart blend of content discovery and social media management capabilities. Crowdfire’s standout feature is a unique Chrome extension that finds and provides articles and images for you to use according to specific search terms you choose. With this feature you are able to receive a steady flow of new content to share, which Crowdfire conveniently puts into a default post with copy and an URL, ready to be queued or published.
The free version of Crowdfire allows you to connect up to 3 social media profiles and schedule up to 10 posts at a time, with unlimited article and image curation capabilities. You’ll also get hashtag recommendations and the ability to review in-depth analytics from the last 24 hours.
An alternative to Later (mentioned above), you can use Planoly to plan and schedule your Instagram posts. Their free plan allows you to connect one Instagram account and one Pinterest account under one user. You’re able to add up to 30 uploads per month (including pre-scheduled posts) which then resets on the 1st of each month. You’ll also be able to see comments on your latest 5 posts and review analytics for the last month. Planoly’s latest feature, Linkit, also allows you to link to products, resources, websites, and more, directly from your social posts.
Friends + Me
Friends+Me is another social media publishing tool that allows you to schedule content for up to two social profiles with a limit of 5 posts at a time on each. The standout feature of this platform is the ability to add an additional user, unlike many competing platforms, which only allow for one user to schedule content in their free plans. The free version of Friends+Me also offers link shortening, Zapier integrations, and a browser extension to make posting even easier and faster.
Adding a social media management tool to your digital marketing strategy doesn’t have to break the bank or be overly complicated. You can always start by focusing on one platform, like Instagram, in order to grow your online presence and go from there. Check out our blog for more tips and insights on how to grow your small business and make the most out of your domain!