8 free social media management tools to get you started
Back in the day when social media wasn’t so noisy, things used to be simple. You did not have too many choices, so you had to work with what you had and sometimes improvise a little. OK, a lot.
But these days, there are so many free social media management tools you can use that we’re at the opposite end, we have too many and it’s hard to choose.
If you’re just starting out in the beautiful world of social media, you may feel overwhelmed, and might find yourself not knowing what to choose first.
What’s the best (free) social media management tool? What’s the easiest to use? Which one makes sense to use for your company and brand?
These are just some of the questions I’m going to answer in this article.
While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for everyone, there are several tools, which can help with your social media journey.
Before getting into it, let’s look at why it’s important to use social media management tools.
Why use free social media management tools
Just like you have the financial side of your company in order, the same is valid for the marketing side of things.
Organization when it comes to your marketing is key. Using a social media management tool to manage your company’s social media presence helps you be organized with the content your produce and share. And if you're just starting out, trying a few free or freemium options can be really useful.
You’ll know in every moment what needs to go out on your channels and when, and it will be easier to track what’s working and what’s not and adjust quickly.
Moreover, social management platforms help you manage all your social media profiles in one place.
Lastly, after trying several free social media management tools, you can actually identify the one that you work with best and use that in the long term.
Using a social media platform is key to your social media marketing strategy.
Now, let’s look at some of my favorite free social media management tools.
Like it or not you need to know what’s being said about you in the online world. You need to monitor the conversations happening around your brand. Plus you want to be a step ahead of your competition and see what they are doing too.
The best tool for this is Talkwalker Alerts. You can set up as many queries as you want, in the language you want. Bonus: it’s free!
What I love most about it is the fact that it provides email updates on the relevant mentions. So, you don’t have to login into the app to check where you have been mentioned on the interwebz. You get the results directly in your email, as often as you’d like.
This is a must-have tool whether you’re building your personal brand or your company’s brand. Here's a look at how Talkwalker Alerts works
And lastly here is what an email from Talkwalker Alerts looks like:
To this day Twitter is my favorite social media platform. Besides being very easy to use, you can connect with anyone on this planet directly. You can start a conversation with your followers, people and brands you admire from the very first tweet.
That said, Twitter can be very noisy. Spending a few minutes on the platform can become hours (been there, done that). To avoid that, but also to be more efficient in my research and managing the platform, I use TweetDeck.
With TweetDeck you can create a customized interface for your Twitter account. You can monitor different users, hashtags, your own channel, lists, or search terms.
If you organize or participate in Twitter chats, TweetDeck is great for keeping up with the live conversations.
Buffer was my favorite social media scheduling tool for years. I very much liked how easy it is to use.
You set up a schedule for your posts to go out and then start adding content. That’s it!
They also have a Chrome extension to make it easier to add content to your queue.
The reason I gave up using Buffer, is SocialBee. I just love this social media management tool. So much that I use it not only for managing my social profiles but also the social media channels for my clients.
When I find a tool I love, I rave about it. So bear with me.
Besides the fact that it’s very easy to use, SocialBee helps you not only schedule content for your channels, it helps you grow the engagement on your platforms, post evergreen content, curate the best content for you, and so much more.
The best thing about it is you can categorize your content, so when you create your social media calendar, you know in every moment how many times the content from one category was shared and how it fits in your overall plan.
This comes in very handy when you have something to promote on your social channels, such as an event, a contest, a Twitter chat, a Facebook or Instagram live, etc.
SocialBee also offers content curation. So, if you’re too busy to curate content, this is an easy solution.
One thing to mention here is that SocialBee is not a free tool. They do have a free trial and, unlike any other app out there, they set up a call with you to learn more about you and your needs, and then explain how you can best use the app.
You know the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words?” Then you know social media is also about being visual.
I strongly believe in using high-quality visuals in your content. You may think you need to purchase high-quality imagery to keep up with the trends. That may have been true a few years ago, but today there are countless websites that offer free high-quality images.
One of my favorites is Unsplash.
You just type the keyword you want to search images for and voila. The next step is to hit download on the image(s) you like most.
Who doesn’t love Instagram stories?
Oh wait, but it’s hard and complicated, and you need a lot of time to create Instastories.
What if I were to tell that’s not true anymore?
You can now create stunning Instagram stories with Fastory.
Fastory is an online graphics editor that allows you to easily create animated and static stories and share them everywhere.
If you love Instagram (like I do), you’ll give it a try.
Let’s talk video. These days everyone talks about making videos for their social media channels.
I recently found this very easy-to-use app called Typito. It has a free version, as well as paid plans.
The cool thing about it is it’s a drag-and-drop interface that allows you to create videos with images, videos, and beautiful typography.
In one click you can convert your videos to different formats: square, landscape, or vertical.
Don’t let your fear of camera stop you from creating stunning videos for your social channels. Typito makes it easy for you.
No matter what tools you use for your social media marketing, you have to measure the ROI of your social media efforts.
You need to know if your efforts have results. How much traffic to your website comes from your social channels? What pages do they spend time on? How much time people who come from your social channels spend on your website?
To answer these questions, you need to set up Google Analytics on your website and monitor and analyze your traffic. It’s not a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have.
While starting your journey in social media can seem daunting, these free social media management tools can give you the boost and confidence to start on the right foot.
As you become more proficient in using them, you’ll find new ways to improve your social media strategy, to become better and better at this thing called social media marketing.