Free Social-Media Marketing Tools
By Joe Dysart
There are plenty of pro-grade social-media marketing tools you can use that are absolutely free.
Businesses looking to engage customers on social media without adding another expense to their marketing budgets are in luck: There are plenty of pro-grade social-media marketing tools you can use that are absolutely free—forever.
Of course, these top-level solution providers (some of the most popular in the digital space) are offering free plans as a way to entice you to ultimately switch to their paid offerings. But if your plan right now is simply to engage in a moderately aggressive social-media marketing campaign or to get a feel for social-media marketing before it becomes an expense in your marketing budget, these tools are the perfect solution.
“If you want to connect and engage with your future customers, you have to be where they are, and that’s largely on social media,” said Daniel Ku, CEO of PostBeyond, a social-media marketing firm.
Probably the number-one reason you’ll be attracted to free social-media marketing tools is that they enable you to schedule multiple posts about your business during a single log-on session. That’s an incredible time-saver when you consider the alternative—logging onto Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or another social-medial network every single time you want to make a marketing post about your business.
You’ll also find that the free plans can be fairly generous when it comes to scheduling posts. AgoraPulse, for example, enables you to schedule up to 40 posts per month, absolutely free. And Buffer, Crowdfire and Later each enable you to schedule up to 30 free posts per month. Indeed, should you decide to try out all four of those social-media marketing tools at once, you’ll be able to schedule a total of 120 posts per month—or four marketing posts per day—absolutely free.
For many marketing departments, the ability to log on once a month to four free tools so they can schedule four posts per day for the next 30 days may be all the social-media management they ever need.
Besides post scheduling, many social-media marketing tools also offer analytics about your posts in terms of who’s clicking on them, whether or not your posts are driving more traffic to your website or other digital property, which social-media network is delivering the most traffic for you and more.
In addition, some of the tools, such as Crowdfire, will help you find articles and other content on the web, which you can summarize and turn into posts to help keep your brand top of mind with your customers on social media.
The bottom line is that it really does make sense to check out one or more free social-media marketing tools to get a feel for everything the tools have to offer—and how they can substantially enhance your social-media marketing efforts.
Here’s a representative sampling of some of the best social-media marketing tools on the market, all available for a song:
AgoraPulse (www.agorapulse.com/pricing): AgouraPulse offers 40 free scheduled posts per month as well as a content calendar to ensure that managing your social-media marketing is a snap. You can auto-post to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube on AgoraPulse—all from one dashboard.
You’ll also be able to use AgoraPulse’s onboard analytics to assess if your social-
media posts are resulting in more traffic to your website as well as assess social-media sentiment about your company name and its overall online reputation. Power users will also appreciate AgoraPulse’s ability to create custom reports, which will track just the things you’re looking to monitor.
Buffer (https://buffer.com/pricing): Buffer enables you to schedule up to 10 posts per social-media channel each month, and you’ll be able to post up to three social-media channels, bringing your total scheduled free posts per month to 30.
Posting to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest are all supported, and you can tweak Buffer to schedule your posts when your audience happens to be most active on a specific social-media site—say 9:00 a.m. EST for your customers on
LinkedIn. Buffer will also alert you when the posts you schedule go live.
The Buffer dashboard is spare by design—and easy to use.
Crowdfire (www.crowdfireapp.com/pricing-page): Crowdfire’s free plan is similar to Buffer’s: You can schedule up to 10 posts per social-media channel each month, and you’re able to post to up to three social-media channels, bringing your total free scheduled posts per month to 30. Various social platforms are available for posting: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Etsy, Shopify, Medium 500px, Vimeo—and a number of others.
Crowdfire will also recommend hashtags that will most likely work for you when you’re posting to social media. That will be a major plus when you’re posting to Twitter, and the solution will display previews of your posts for your approval before scheduling them for live publishing.
Yet another bonus: Crowdfire also offers a curation feature that enables you to capture articles from thousands of sources, offer article summaries, and then post those summaries and links to those articles as a way to supply an unending supply of content to your customers on social media.
Later (https://later.com/pricing): Later allows you to freely post up to 30 posts per month using one social identity. Supported social-media networks are Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn and Pinterest, and the solution also comes with easy access to high-quality stock images you can use in your posts.
Friends Plus Me (https://friendsplus.me/pricing): This social-media tool offers an interesting twist on free usage: You can schedule up to five posts at any time, with no limit on the number of posts you schedule in any given month, and you can schedule posts using up to two social network identities.
Friends Plus Me offers posting to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Tumbler.
Socialoomph: (www.socialoomph.com/pricing): Socialoomph also enables you to post as many times as you’d like for free, as long as you limit your posts to three per hour using one social network identity. Social-media networks supported by the tool are Discord, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit, LinkedIn, Mastodon and StockTwits.
Joe Dysart is an internet speaker and business consultant based in Manhattan.