Social media advertising can do wonders for businesses, but the time you spend managing social media accounts is time that you aren’t spending on product development, team building, or improving your supply chains. Some companies get around this by hiring social media managers. Other small businesses use social media management software to manage their presence across multiple platforms.
Social media management tools can help social media marketers schedule posts and track results on multiple accounts, mostly via automation. Many social media management apps offer a free plan for lower-volume users who can eventually upgrade to a paid plan if they so choose. Here’s a rundown of some of the best free social media management tools for post scheduling and social media monitoring.
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What is social media management?
Social media management is a branch of social media marketing that focuses on the upkeep of your accounts across multiple social networks. The goal is to maintain a robust social media presence via a steady flow of social media posts.
You can do this with social media scheduling tools that automatically publish content on your various social media channels. You can post the same social media content on all your platforms, or you can customize posts for particular social accounts—such as a text-based post on your Twitter account and a video-based post on your TikTok account. You can also use analytics tools to study your post engagement and implement new social media strategies to optimize your online presence.
6 popular and free social media management tools
You can use social media management tools for scheduling posts, tracking post performance, and communicating with customers—all from a single hub. Most social media management tools charge subscription fees, but many offer a free version with scaled-back functionality. Here are some free social media management tools that may be worth a look:
Buffer offers a free plan that includes a landing page builder, the ability to schedule up to 10 posts at a time, and an AI assistant. It can schedule Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok, and Twitter posts to help you maintain a strong social media presence. With a free account, you can manage up to three social media accounts at a time. Paid plans start at $6 per month.
Crowdfire appeals to social media marketers with a large media library of visual content because it helps you curate that content and release it on the right platforms at optimal times. With the free plan, you can schedule up to 10 posts per account, get hashtag recommendations, and manage up to three accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram. Crowdfire’s free plan also includes a Chrome browser extension that lets you post content without opening the Crowdfire app. For more advanced social media engagement and marketing tools, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan, which starts at $9.99 per month.
Later has a free plan that allows for 10 posts per month per social platform, analytics, unlimited media storage, the ability to save captions, and the ability to preview scheduled posts on your Instagram profile. Whether your target audience is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, or Pinterest, you can reach them by posting via Later. The free plan includes tools that may be particularly useful on Instagram, like Linkin.bio, which lets you link to multiple social media platforms and websites from your Instagram bio. You can post more often and add more team members when you upgrade to a paid plan, which starts at $18 per month.
4. Shopify Inbox
Shopify Inbox is a tool that lets you see all customer correspondence in a single hub, which includes correspondence via your ecommerce website and major social platforms like Facebook and Instagram. You can also create automated messages and get insights into the messaging that converts. Shopify Inbox is free with a Shopify ecommerce subscription, and that starts with a free trial.
5. Snapchat Ads
Snapchat Ads can be found in the Shopify App Store, which integrates with your existing Shopify storefront. It helps you craft social media ads for Snapchat’s user base, which prominently features younger millennials and Generation Z. Its features include syncing your Shopify catalog so your product information will remain up to date. You can also track the effectiveness of your campaigns with advanced analytics, like return on ad spend. Snapchat Ads is free to install, but certain features require monthly subscriptions.
Tailwind is a social media scheduler that supports posting on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Tailwind’s free plan allows one user to schedule up to 20 posts across all three platforms and schedule up to 200 email campaigns a month. You can get access to basic analytics with the free plan and the ability to create a Smart.bio custom link for your Instagram profile. Paid plans with more functionality start at $10.39 per month.
Free social media management tools FAQ
How can I choose the right free social media management tool for my business?
Choosing the right free social media management tools requires prioritizing the features you care about most. Many platforms offer limited functionality on their free tiers (if they offer a free tier at all), so shop around for the things you care about, such as the total number of posts per month or the total number of platforms supported on a free tier.
Can I manage multiple social media accounts using free social media management tools?
Many free social media management tools do allow posting on multiple accounts. Buffer’s free plan allows posting on three platforms at a time, while Later allows up to six. All the platforms allow greater posting breadth for their paid subscribers.
Can I collaborate with my team using free social media management tools?
Most of the free social media management tools only allow for one user account. Team collaboration requires upgrading to a paid account.
How do free social media management tools differ from paid tools?
While free social media management tools let you experiment with large-scale social media marketing, they tend to be limited compared to paid tools. A paid plan almost always allows for more users, more concurrent social media platforms, more scheduled posts per day, and advanced analytics that monitor post performance.