Update: Still Free Social Media Management Tools?
In the digital marketing stone age, we reviewed the Top 5 Free Social Media Management Tools. Recently, we re-read that article and realized so much has changed! Here’s an update.
Businesses are continually encouraged to keep up with the beast that is social media marketing. Unlike the old days, it’s common for companies to have multiple social media accounts, which means you need an efficient way to work with them all. Agencies have their own methods, but many small biz owners are managing their own digital marketing. Enter helpful social media management tools!
Updates regarding the five free tools we talked about back in 2014 is long overdue. We first looked at Bitly, https://bitly.com which is still a great tool for shortening long URL links. Shorter links are a boost for social posting and these days there are many other link-shortening options such as the one within LinkedIn. You can use their URL shortener for free, but Bitly also offers other services such as tracking and branding starting at $29/mo.
Our #2 discussion was on Everypost, which no longer seems to have a live site. Our #3 tool, Spredfast, has morphed into Khoros. Khoros defines themselves as “a social media marketing solution that scales with big businesses” and they don’t post prices, which indicates it is probably not the best option for the small biz owner.
SocialOomph was next on our list. Originally, this was a tool for scheduling Tweets. Now, you can manage multiple social profiles including Reddit, Pinterest, and others, but not with the free plan. The free plan includes one social profile with limited features, but you can schedule unlimited posts.
Our best-for-last tool in the old article was Hootsuite, which some of our Sprocket team still uses today. If you go to the “Plans” page on their website, it looks like there are only paid plans, but if you scroll down, you can access their “limited Free plan” that lets you manage two social accounts and schedule five messages.
Because we manage multiple accounts for multiple clients, Sprocket needs greater services than what free tools can provide, but a small biz owner who is handling only their own social media may not need more than a free plan. We took a look at what is available today and have one warning to pass along: carefully check what “free” means before you get started!
Many of these tools have free trials, but there are far fewer that offer ongoing free services. It’s a smart marketing strategy for the company, but it can be frustrating to fall in love with features and then later find out how much it’s going to cost! Here are two that do offer free plans that may be all that a small business needs:
Buffer lets a single user schedule up to ten posts on each of three social channels. The channels include Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest and there is also a link-shortener.
Later includes the same channels as well as TikTok in what they term the “Social Set” you get with their free account. You can schedule 30 posts per profile and again, posts can only be made by a single user. Later also offers additional services for Instagram such as Lite Analytics and the Linkin.bio.
So tools come and go, and free is getting harder to find, but there are still options out there for the DIY small business owner. And when you get too busy to do it yourself, let us do your social media for you with our own tools! Just give us a call to get started.
This article is an update to “Top 5 Free Social Media Management Tools” dated 4/9/2014.
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