More likely than not, your business has a presence on more than one social media platform.
The more platforms you are on, the harder it is to manually post, monitor and engage within your native social media accounts.
Social media management involves the many moving pieces regarding content publication and online communication on such platforms as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and more.
Therefore, social media management tools are intended to consolidate into one space the ability to:
- Schedule content
- Engage with your audiences
- Analyze performance data
- Potentially create content (depending on the tool)
For even more efficiency, consider these seven opportunities for social media automation.
The following (in no particular order) are 11 free (or almost free) social media management tools that can help you do it all on social media with a limited budget.
Hootsuite is a social media management tool that offers a limited free plan in addition to different paid subscriptions with increasing features. The free plan features:
- 1 user
- 2 social accounts
- 5 scheduled messages
This application features “streams” in which you can set up a tab for each of your social media accounts and then a series of streams on each tab that reflect your mentions, scheduled posts and more.
It supports a range of social media platforms, including:
If you’re looking for unlimited scheduled posts (among other upgraded features), the lowest paid subscription plan is $49 per month.
Socialoomph has been around since 2008. It also offers a limited free plan in addition to different paid subscriptions with increasing features. The free plan features:
- 1 social account
- Access to personal area only
- Access to basic posting features
- Unlimited scheduled posts
- Maximum three posts per hour
- Cannot add additional social accounts
- Free support
This social media management tool includes support for bulk uploading, RSS feeds (where you can collect content) and web hooks, among other features. Socialoomph centers itself around the concept of teams. Even with the free single-user account, you automatically have one team, called “My Account.”
Socialoomph supports such social media platforms as:
The lowest paid plan is $15 per month, but to be able to connect to more than one social account, you’ll have to go with the Professional Suite at $25 per month, where you can connect up to 10.
Later is a very visual-based social media management tool that offers a limited free plan in addition to its different paid subscriptions with upgraded features. The free plan includes:
- 1 user
- 30 Instagram posts per month
- 50 Twitter posts per month
- 30 Facebook posts per month
- 30 Pinterest posts per month
- Instagram analytics
- Ability to search and repost user-generated content
While Later allows you to post to Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, its main focus is on Instagram support. The visuals are imperative to this application. Most social media management tools allow you to start with a message and then possibly add an image if you want. However, Later requires you to start a post by uploading an image.
Later also features a Media Library, where you can either upload new media to it or reuse media you’ve already uploaded. Notes and labels can be added to individual media items as you like. You also can add a star to highlight any media items.
To do more (such as scheduling videos, Instagram Stories and multi-photo posts instead of just single static images), the lowest paid subscription starts at $9 per month.
Buffer is a social media management tool that offers a limited free plan as well. It also has different paid subscription plan levels for increased features. The free plan features:
- 1 user
- 3 social accounts
- 10 scheduled posts
The free plan also supports Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn but not Pinterest (that’s only available through a paid subscription).
To get Pinterest support and additional upgraded features, the lowest paid subscription starts at $15 per month.
While you’re likely focused on the ability to schedule your posts, which is referred to as Buffer Publishing, Buffer also offers two other apps that both require separate subscriptions:
- Buffer Reply allows you to reply to online conversations happening on the supported social media platforms and offers support from one shared team inbox.
- Buffer Analyze helps you measure the performance of your social media content and create reports for clients and/or your team.
Fortunately, if you are interested in all three, there is also a Buffer All-In-One option that has all features bundled together.
While PromoRepublic does not offer a limited free plan, it does have a 14-day free trial that can roll into a relatively affordable (compared to many other tools) $9-per-month subscription plan.
The “Solo Plan for Solopreneurs” subscription features:
- 3 social media accounts
- Social media calendar
- Library of content suggestions
PromoRepublic is very design focused, which can feel like a merging of Canva with a traditional social media management tool. The designing and scheduling can all happen within PromoRepublic.
Supported social media networks include:
- Google My Business
If you’re looking for inspiration, PromoRepublic comes with 100,000 post ideas that cover a variety of topics. The pre-designed graphics can be modified and customized to suit you business and your needs.
If your social media management is primarily tied to Twitter, you’ll want to consider TweetDeck, which is a free application that allows you to manage unlimited Twitter accounts from a single interface.
The dashboard is completely customizable and follows a similar thought process to Hootsuite’s “streams.” You can control the organization of your modules so that you can efficiently monitor:
- Your home feed
- Any lists you create or follow
- Direct messages
- Scheduled tweets
And, of course, more. Everything within TweetDeck is free, so there are no features you’re ever missing out on.
Largely viewed as a design tool only, many don’t realize that Canva also has social media scheduling capabilities, too.
However, the limited free version of Canva is designing only. To schedule social media content (to seven platforms), the lowest paid subscription (currently at $9.99 per month) is required at a minimum.
Canva Pro currently supports scheduling for:
- Instagram (Business accounts only)
- Facebook (pages or groups)
- LinkedIn (profiles or pages)
Of course, the power of sophisticated design features coupled with the ability to schedule that content all in the same application might work perfectly for you and/or your business.
ContentCal centers around bringing your team together with such features as approval workflows, joint creation of your content plan and more. The limited free plan includes:
- 1 user
- 4 social media accounts
- 1 calendar
- 10 posts per month
- Email support
Granted, the free version lacks the robust team features that ContentCal prides itself on. Supported social media platforms include:
- Google My Business
The lowest paid subscription price for enhanced features starts at $17 per month.
Zoho Social is a social media management tool that offers a limited free plan with:
- 1 user
- 1 brand
- zShare Browser Extension
- Publishing on 7 social media accounts
The application features a content calendar that helps you visualize the posting timeline and allows you to organize your posts however needed. Supported social media platforms include:
- Google My Business
For advanced features, the lowest paid subscription plan begins at $10 per month.
Only concerned about Instagram and Pinterest, Planoly might be for you. This social media management tool offers a limited free plan as well with:
- 1 user
- 2 social media accounts (one Instagram and one Pinterest)
- 30 uploads per month per profile
- Basic analytics
Planoly also features Linkit, which allows you to link to products, resources, websites and so on using the link in the bio.
For more advanced features, the lowest paid subscription plan starts at $7 per month.
Postfity is a social media management tool that only has a 30-day trial period, but it’s lowest paid subscription plan starts at $9.99 per month (or less if billed annually).
The tool supports the following social media platforms:
The application has a more unique feature of Facebook cover image scheduling, as well as a social media post ideas tool, where you can pull suggested posts from a calendar and customize and publish at will.
Analytics are also an option with the paid subscription plans on Postfity.
It’s possible that to find the perfect free or low-cost social media management tool, you’ll have to experiment over time. That’s OK! Do as much research as you can so that you can know in advance whether the tool you’re considering will truly serve your needs. But don’t stress if you ultimately need to transition to a different tool.
While you’re considering your social media management options, think about your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automations, audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.