Top Free Social Media Management Tools
With an influx of social media platforms emerging, it can be hard to manage multiple accounts at once. In our case, we manage several social profiles on a variety of platforms for our clientele, and we do it successfully with the help of social media management tools. Of course, with anything else social media related, there are a great deal of tools to choose from, but if you want to do it efficiently, choosing the best one for your needs is essential. Take into consideration the social profiles you already have and the amount of dedication each needs, and this will help you determine your best option(s).
Hootsuite is one of the elders when it comes to social media management tools and is also the most popular because it’s proven to be reliable. Hootsuite allows users to manage a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare, WordPress, and many more. The free version allows you to manage up to five profiles and are good for smaller businesses or for personal use. If you need more space and want access to features like custom URLs, custom invoicing, or archiving (among other things) then you would benefit from their pro or enterprise accounts, which cost a small monthly fee.
Like any effective social media management app, there is a scheduling feature that allows you to schedule posts for a later time.
Buffer is up and coming, really giving Hootsuite a run for its money if you ask me. Although Hootsuite does support more social platforms, Buffer is on its way towards that direction. It is similar to Hootsuite in the sense that you’re able to pre-schedule posts to several platforms at once and can do so from outside of the app itself. Both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox have a “Buffer extension” you can install to make posting easier. This allows you to post from anywhere on the internet and it gives you the option to post now or “Buffer” which means it will be entered into a pre-scheduled queue. Right from your Buffer account, you can set your schedule, track analytics and reach, and edit posts that are currently in the queue.
Unlike Hootsuite, Buffer does not show you any type of feed or dashboard that displays posts from profiles you follow. It’s simply a management tool for posting purposes. You can designate very specific scheduling times and change patterns throughout the week, whereas. Hootsuite uses an autoschedule feature that automatically designates a scheduling time based on a projected best time to post. Although this is useful, you don’t always know when the post will be scheduled until after it’s already been scheduled.
This is perfect for those managing any number of Twitter accounts – one or many – because it allows you to view different aspects of your Twitter account in one place. When Tweetdeck is open, you can see your personal timeline, any lists you created, your feed, messages, and even your scheduled posts if any. This is great for those managing several accounts because you are able to see all of them at once, in real time. Essentially, the app acts like an extension of Twitter itself because you can interact with your followers, tweet, message, even search and follow users right from Tweetdeck itself.
This isn’t much of a management tool per se, but it’s still a very helpful analytics tool overall for your Facebook business page. This site lets you enter the URL of any Facebook business page and it will then analyze the page and give you a score. The benefits of this are that it shows you the best times to post, what you need to post more of (photos, links, statuses), and anything else you should include on your page. In addition, you’re also provided with stats on how your particular page matches up to others within your industry and you can also see recommendations that LikeAlyzer comes up with to help your page succeed overall.
To determine which management tool works best for you, take a good look at the social profiles you already have. From there, you can judge which apps will benefit your needs better. If you’re looking for more in depth analytics or features, you’re going to have to shell out some money for those. Some of them only charge a small fee, while others are more equip for bigger businesses. That’s where research comes in to play.
Which social media management tool do you use?