When you’re spending your days talking to customers, keeping your operations running, and making new sales, your social media management software is probably gathering dust.
I get it. You’re running a business, not a chat room.
It’s hard enough that you’re being told your business “needs to have a social media presence in 2016.” But did you know that having an inactive social profile might be worse for your brand than having no social presence on a platform?
To keep up your profiles active and relevant, with the least amount of effort, here are the top 7 free social media management tools:
One of the most recognizable names in social media management, Hootsuite is accessible to businesses of all size with a freemium offering.
At the no-cost level, Hootsuite connects up to three social profiles from your choice of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, and Youtube. The tool allows you to schedule posts to, respond from, and monitor your profiles and their feeds in one platform. You can monitor post engagement and success with analytics.
The free version does limit you to a basic scheduler (which doesn’t allow you to add images to posts) and a limited analytics platform.
What’s cool? The autoscheduling feature allows you to make sure your profiles never go dormant. You can set parameters (schedule two posts daily, between 9 AM and 5 PM, only on weekdays), and autoscheduling content adds them to a ‘queue’ at the next available time in those parameters.
Hootsuite also has a browser extension that allows you to schedule content from the webpage that you’re visiting directly.
Reviewers find Hootsuite to be easy to use and fairly intuitive, although the analytics–which were only recently rolled out in full–are somewhat light, even at the enterprise level.
Upgrading to Pro for $9.99/mo gets you up to 50 social profiles, bulk message scheduling, and pro reporting.
SocialOomph is an excellent tool for beginning social media managers because it’s a bit more holistic. It works with Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr, RSS feeds, blogs, Plurk, and App.net.
SocialOomph’s free level allows you to work on up to five twitter accounts to schedule tweets and track keywords. The scheduling and posting tool includes a URL shortening feature also allows you to track clicks.
What’s cool? One feature SocialOomph has–even on the free level–that sets it apart is its ability to allow you to manage your Twitter followers and your direct messages box from within the app. The tool also allows you to save and reuse social posts, for when you want to use posts as part of a campaign or get an extra boost out of your top performing content. They also recently added the ability to schedule pins to your Pinterest boards in advance.
Upgrading to Pro: Unfortunately, SocialOomph’s free level only allows you to work with Twitter and accessing profiles on other platforms requires an upgrade. The good news is, the pro account is very reasonably priced at $6.97/2 weeks, with no contract.
Buffer has made waves in the social media marketing industry for its ability to schedule recurring posts. That means you don’t need to reinvent the wheel every time you schedule the same piece of content.
Buffer’s free version only allows you to schedule posts for a single profile–and limits you to ten posts at a time–perhaps making it best-suited for managing individual accounts or small businesses that only need to manage a single profile. However, the freemium does give you access to nearly all of the paid features, including:
- Integrating with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+
- Access to a mobile app on iPhone or Android
- A browser extension, allowing you to schedule content directly from the page
- A Video/GIF uploader
- An optimal timing tool, allowing you to post when your audience is most likely to see it.
What’s cool? Buffer’s stand-out feature, though, is the built-in image creator, Pablo, which allows you to create content to post right within the app.
Reviewers find Buffer easy to use and organized, though the free version is limited in the number of posts it allows you to schedule.
Upgrading is simple on Buffer, as you pay on a per-post basis. $10 gets you 10 profiles and 100 scheduled posts, as well as a few other features.
Mavsocial is, even as a freemium, so fully-fledged that it could be considered a social brand management system. The platform not only allows you to schedule posts for profiles on multiple different networks, but stores your images and assets in the platform for you to reuse.
Mavsocial works with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Instagram, and YouTube.
What’s cool? Accessibility.
Check out all these features available on the free level alone:
- Up to 50 social profiles on 6 social networks
- Full campaign planner and content calendar
- Native scheduling and publishing
- Advanced analytics dashboard
- Your own digital asset library
- Access to thousands of stock images to purchase right from within the app
- Receive support via email
Reviewers find that Mavsocial is great for media driven social strategies, though it might not be the easiest to use product on the market.
Upgrading gets you a customized analytics dashboard, unlimited digital asset storage, additional social network integration, and the ability to republish your posts.
Likeable Hub is a well-rounded social media management tool, though the freemium option may be better suited for individuals as it limits your access to business profiles.
Designed for ‘Smarter and Faster’ social media management, at the freemium level you can integrate and autoschedule from Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You’re offered basic analytics and reporting, email support, and access to a database of thousands of social media post ideas.
Upgrade to VIP to access integration with business pages on both LinkedIn and Facebook, the ability for posts to repeat, and many more features for $19.99/month. Even higher upgrades (at the Expert and Pro levels) allow advanced analytics, access to industry specific content, support and strategy consulting, and even access to Facebook ad spend.
Tweetdeck is a very popular tool for both businesses and individuals looking to manage their Twitter accounts in depth.
The tool allows you to post and schedule to your Twitter accounts, as well as stream all of your feeds in real time. It can be easily integrated with Buffer, for more detailed management. It can also be downloaded as desktop software.
What’s cool? Tweetdeck is fully accessible for free, with no limits to the number of Twitter accounts used.
Tweetdeck also allows you to stream some more advanced feeds, such as the feed of a specific user or a feed of trending content.
Reviewers find it to the be the most intuitive Twitter management dashboard available.
SocialPilot is a social media management app geared specifically at online stores, though it can be used by many other types of businesses.
The freemium level offers:
- Up to three connected profiles
- 8 different social networks, including Instagram and Pinterest
- 10 posts/day, with 30 posts scheduled out
- Content discovery and suggestions
- Bulk Scheduling
What’s cool? Because SocialPilot is geared towards retails, it’s capable of integrating with your eCommerce site and sending out branded Facebook posts. You’re able to post about your products directly on social media using existing product photos on the site.
This integration–combined with an integration to Pinterest and Instagram–is especially effective for eCommerce sites who rely on stellar visuals.
Reviewers find SocialPilot easy to use and effective.
Upgrade your account for only $4.99/month.
Have a favorite free social media tool you enjoy using? Or is there one I missed? Let me know in the comments!
Looking for Social Media Monitoring software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Social Media Monitoring software solutions.