The majority of small businesses use social media as a marketing tool, and the reason is crystal clear. There are hundreds of millions of social media users and having a cohesive social media presence allows small businesses to speak directly to them. Because managing different platforms at once can be tricky, it’s best to use social media management tools.
Social media management may quickly suck up a lot of your time if not done right, so you’ll want to find a platform that’s straightforward and simple to use. Look at customer reviews on industry forums to get a sense of how long it will take you to master the platform you’re considering.
When choosing a social media management tool for your business, you should first ask yourself a few things. How user-friendly is the main interface from which you’ll handle the majority of your posts? Are there any automated features or routines that can help you create on-brand images and posts more quickly? And of course, as with any tool you use for your small business, is it free?
Free versus free trial
Not every free social media management tool is the same. Many free plans have limitations, and some companies provide only free trials, but not free plans (e.g., Sprout Social), meaning you can freely enjoy their platforms only for a limited time.
Some free plans, for example, only let you operate with a certain number of social media accounts or schedule a certain number of posts at a time. This may not be a problem when you first start, but it may become a problem later on. Other plans may limit the number of users you may have, which might be a problem as your company grows, or they may limit the amount of analytic data you can see. Also, you may not be able to manage your ads in other free versions.
Top 3 free social media management tools
Most social media management tools nowadays start with a free plan but can be upgraded to paid plans depending on the needs of your business. Some even let you try their paid plans for 14 days for free.
Here are the Top 3 free social media management tools today:
Hootsuite is a simple interface social media tool that allows you to manage most of your social media tasks, including post scheduling, monitoring, analytics, and team collaboration. Adobe Stock, Google My Business, and Canva are just a few of the apps that may be integrated into the dashboard.
Hootsuite is easy to use and integrates with your favorite apps, but the majority of its capabilities are only available on the paid plan. A single user can set up three social channels and schedule up to 30 posts on the free plan.
Users who want to reach a larger audience can consider one of the four subscription plans, which start at $49 per month for the Professional. While this is a good price, the Professional plan only allows for one person and ten social network profiles. For $129 per month, the Team plan allows for three users and twenty profiles. The Business plan adds 10 users and up to 35 profiles, but at $739 per month, it’s unlikely to appeal to many small businesses.
Buffer enables marketers to create and schedule posts across several social media platforms. The software provides insights on the number of likes, clicks, mentions, favorites, retweets, and estimated views for each post, allowing you to optimize interaction. Browsers, news readers, and mobile devices may all use Buffer.
The company offers a free plan that allows users to manage up to three social channels (with each channel being a single Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or LinkedIn account), and schedule up to 10 posts per channel. With the Essentials, Team, and Agency plans, you are allowed to manage an unlimited number of social channels, have more connected accounts, and queue a larger number of scheduled posts.
Paid plans are billed per social channel, starting at $6 a month for Essentials, $12 a month for Team, and $120 a month for Agency, with a different computation if you want to be billed annually. The prices increase with the number of channels, users, and scheduled posts permitted.
Later is an Instagram-optimized visual social media content planner that allows users to schedule photo posts and upload an infinite number of images to their media library. Basic Instagram statistics and analytics are also available on the platform. Their grid preview makes it easy to organize your visual stuff, and their user-generated content helper also allows you to browse, store, and share stuff provided by your followers.
Individuals can use Later for free, which allows for one user and one account per social network. Each social profile will be limited to 30 postings per month.
Paid services provide access to more users, scheduled posts, and analytics. Billed yearly, Later’s Starter plan costs $12.50 per month, Growth plan costs $33.33 per month, and Advanced plan costs $66.67 per month.
Social media management with Rohring Results
You will need to invest in a social media management platform to fully access its features, because “free” plans can only get you so far. Ultimately, choosing the right tool depends on the specific needs of your business. The key is to choose a tool that covers your present needs, and at the same time is what your business requires to grow.
If you want to grow your business efficiently, hiring a social media marketing agency is the way to go. With expert insights, tools, and solutions from an SMM agency like Rohring Results, your business can significantly increase its chances of achieving its goals and desired results.
If you need assistance with effective social media management, you may schedule a call with us, and we’ll be happy to help your business grow.