Being on social media platforms isn’t optional anymore, and the percentage of companies using social media for their business is just growing day by day. Going to each social platform and scheduling a post does get cumbersome most of the time. There’s also a fear of human error that might cost you some results in your strategy.
It’s always a great idea to use social media management tools to schedule and manage your platforms. They save you a lot of time, effort and are easy to use. Most of the tools are free of cost, and others are fairly affordable. Some tools even let you create images to match the rest of the feed, give suggestions, and have tutorials for you to learn from.
There are many social media scheduling tools in the market,
Following are the top 5 and Free social media management tools you can choose from.
Let’s dive in to learn more about them,
This is generally the first social media scheduling tool used by any marketer who started their marketing journey 6-8 years back. This was an obvious choice at the time and was extremely easy to use. Hootsuite has been on the market longest, i.e., since 2008 and has all the necessary features for content curation, organization, scheduling, and RSS integration.
Hootsuite has some great features that are worth mentioning,
- Bulk scheduling for uploading many posts at a time
- It allows you to create social sweepstakes or contests on social media
- Custom branded URLs
The Free plan of Hootsuite includes:
- 3 Social media profiles
- Schedule 30 posts in advance
- Generate leads with social contests
- basic analytics for tracking followers
- Various growth and content statistics
- Two RSS feed integrations
If your focus is only on Twitter, and you use that to get some leads and increase brand awareness, then TweetDeck can be your obvious choice. It is free for twitter users and enables the use of custom timelines. It also lets you create and manage Twitter lists and searches, and add your team’s accounts along with your account.
TweetDeck is not an all-in-one platform, but it is a great option for professionals juggling between many twitter profiles. It is especially beneficial when live conversations are critical to your business.
Just like Hootsuite, Zoho Social will help you manage multiple social media profiles, check relevant keywords, collaborate with your team, and one single dashboard to schedule all your posts.
Zoho Social has all other necessary social media scheduling tool features, but some worth mentioning are,
- Allows you to choose between business or agency plan
- Facebook lead ads
- Advanced reporting features
- social share browser plugin
- Allows CRM integrations
Its free plan allows you to manage one brand account, lets you use the URL shortener and allows you to use the social share browser plugin. Not a lot to work with, but it could still be enough if you need basic features.
They offer many features including basic features like scheduling and analytics, to keeping your direct message Twitter inbox clean. They also offer to help with increasing followers. There are some unique features for each platform, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
It does have a Free plan you can use, which allows things like scheduling tweets, tracking of keywords, custom URLs, and manage up to 5 twitter accounts. The general emphasis of free plan is on twitter management as compared to others. If you want to manage multiple social profiles at a time, then you would need to buy a paid plan.
Similar to Hootsuite, Buffer allows you to manage multiple social media profiles at a time. Along with all necessary features, it gives you the ability to easily schedule content while browsing the web with their Chrome extensions. It not only schedules posts when you want it to but also suggests a great time to post based on your follower activity.
The Free plan from Buffer includes:
- Three social profiles
- Schedule up to ten posts at a time
- Utilize their browser extensions and mobile apps (iOS and Android) feature
- Create and schedule content using their image creator and GIF/video uploader
- Shorten and track links.
Many other social media management tools have great functionalities and include Free/Paid plans for your reference. It can be confusing to choose one over the other; the key is to start with the one that satisfies most of your requirements and try it out. It takes some time for you to analyze which tool fits into your social media marketing strategy. But it’s almost always best to use social media scheduling tool as it will save you time, grow social presence, and lets you make the most of your social media platforms.
It could also be best to partner with an agency that provides social media marketing services. They will not only take care of social media management for you but will also help you with the strategy, content, graphic, and analytics part of the activities.
Atul is Founder & CEO at Xenia Consulting. He has over 22 years of experience in marketing, across corporates as well as SME,start-ups. Over the last 5 years, he has gained significant expertise and has helped several companies drive growth leveraging digital marketing