This article shows you three best free social media automation tools which will help you keep your stream of updates running, save time, and get impressive results.
Social media is an indispensable tool for small business owners. A well-customized social media account not only helps them to build brand image and authority but also benefits their social status, professional contacts, and revenue. However, the problem is that managing social media accounts manually is time consuming. If you run a small business and you don’t have a team of people to help manage your social media accounts, then automation tools are what you need. And fortunately there are several free social media automation tools available online which will help you with the task at hand.
This is one of the simpler social media automation tools available. Buffer easily enables users to set their social media posts in a queue across various platforms for up to 25 social accounts at a time (for the top-level paid subscription). Buffer also advises on the best times to post to particular platforms. And in case you’re interested in looking at analytics, this tool can track the progress of each individual post. The interface is extremely clear and uncomplicated. A basic membership is free and allows the user to link three social accounts and create up to ten posts per month. There are three different membership tiers beyond that.
2. SENDINBLUE FACEBOOK ADS
This particular tool works diligently to help you build rapport with your audience through email marketing. The tool also allows you to automate your Facebook campaigns. Sign up for free to build a customized ad through their easy-to-use interface. After choosing your audience, you can set up your ad parameters and SendinBlue will do the rest! As your campaign progresses, SendinBlue will report back on the ad performance, so you know where to make changes moving forward. As your business grows, this application grows with you, offering four tiers of upgrades, starting at just $25/month.
3. AGORA PULSE
Although not exactly the cheapest option we have listed, the Agora Pulse platform offers a broad variety of features to its users, making social media automation easy! This tool links to six different social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube). Subscribers have the ability to publish content and track post performance. They can also create ongoing posts and set them up to reoccur automatically. Although this one is not free, it does offer a 28-day free trial that will help you determine if it’s the right tool for you. You will also be able to collaborate with your team on this platform. After the trial, plans begin around $79/month.
Crowdfire started out simply as a method of tracking followers (and those who began unfollowing your account). However, since launching, they have evolved into something much more. They can link to everything from Facebook and Instagram to WordPress, Etsy, YouTube and more. Crowdfire will offer you personalized tips, tricks and hints to help you grow your audience both automatically and organically! If you find it beneficial to upgrade from the free version, they offer the next tier at only $7.48 per month!
Among the more widely known and commonly used social media automation tools is Hootesuite. This is a diverse application which supports all of the leading social media platforms. Manage your scheduled posts, determine the right time to post content based on their built-in analytics tool, track your brand mentions, reply, search for influencers and do much more! Plans begin at $29/month.
One of the less known yet worth trying social media automation tools is NapoleonCat. It allows you to schedule social media posts for Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google My Business. Most importantly, you can share the same post across all your channels at the same time, adjusting it accordingly to each platform. NapoleonCat also offers different types of social media automation, such as allowing you to reply automatically to repetitive questions on Facebook and Instagram and delete inappropriate content from comments on autopilot. You can try NapoleonCat for 14 days for free. After the trial, plans start at $21 per month.
7. POST PLANNER
If you find yourself constantly struggling to determine relevant and relatable content to share, Post Planner is a must-have. Beginning at only $3 per month, this application gives you access to understand what type of stories your audience is engaging with. You will learn what people are talking about, and this saves you the hassle of trying to figure it all out on your own. Give Post Planner some insight as to other websites you’re comparable with and they will take it from there! They go even further by rating each piece of content and automatically posting it to any one of your accounts down the line.
This free social media automation tool will have you owning your Instagram and Facebook posts like a boss! Schedule future posts and then let the Later app help you polish your taglines, so they get the traction they deserve. Then, sit back and take a break while this tool works on increasing your following.
Crowdfire began as a simple automation tool to help track how many people were following and unfollowing you each day, but it has since grown into personalized mini-marketer for all of your social platforms. Link everything from your Instagram to your Etsy shop, and each day Crowdfire will suggest new ways they they can help grow your audience organically (and automatically!).
10. Post Planner
Finding great, relevant content to share every day can be completely exhausting. What are people talking about? What stories are people engaging with? For just $3 a month, you can have Post Planner dashboard, which answers all of those questions. Let them know what websites you align yourself with, and they’ll collect all of the best content from around the web in real time. To save you even more time, Post Planner also rates each piece of content based on engagement and can automatically post the best to any of your accounts at a future time.
If you want to increase your reach on Instagram or Facebook (and really, who doesn’t?), Later is an amazing tool to help you post the right images at the right times. After logging in with your username, the app allows you to upload future posts, perfect your hashtags, and schedule a future time for the photo to be published to your followers. Schedule a couple of weeks of content and then unplug for vacation or hustle through a busy work week — your followers will still get new content all week long.
Boardbooster is an automation tool exclusively for Pinterest, and it works within Pinterest itself so you don’t need any additional apps or outside websites. The free version allows users to schedule up to 100 pins while the software then posts at the best times of day based on their analytics. Having an active and beautifully curated profile is a great way to attract new readers and customers — or impress a potential employer.
IFTTT (short for “if this then that”) is a free service that allows all of your most-used tools, apps, and platforms talk to each other automatically. Once all of your services are linked, IFTTT allows you to create “recipes” to create a chain reaction once one action is taken. For example, add a particular hashtag to a Google Calendar event and it will automatically post to Facebook. Or set up a rule so that any post you save on Feedly also gets saved to Buffer as a future social post.
In the beginning, we all posted any image on Instagram that we liked — without any attention paid to the subject matter, color palette, or a standard filter. These days, a curated Instagram profile is often touted as a must-have (rather than a nice-to-have) to gain followers. Planoly is a free tool that allows users to plan out future Instagram photos to ensure that their profiles are always a perfect collection of images. By taking the guesswork out of your next post, you’ll have more time and energy to create new content.
Similar to Later, Tailwind allows users to schedule Instagram and Pinterest, but you’ll also have access to advanced analytics to measure what content resonates the best with your audience. With the data that Tailwind collects, you’ll have quick visibility into your account growth trends based on engagement, type of content, and even the time of day. For Pinterest, you can even see which of your boards best convert browsers into followers.
Mailchimp is a favorite tool for small and large businesses to set up email marketing campaigns and manage email lists. For personal use, Mailchimp’s features are really easy to combine with a free Squarespace website (read our how-to guide here!) to turn your personal page into a lead-generator without any additional work. From a simple coming soon page to a weekly newsletter, Mailchimp empowers you to create and run email campaigns with a minimal time commitment.
The DOs and DONTs of social media automation
DON’T use spammy bots
The number one lesson here is to use bots for good, not evil. Embrace bots that help make customers’ lives better as well as your own.
AI chatbots that speed up customer service response times? Great. A consolidated inbox to manage DMs, comments, and tags from multiple networks in one place? Excellent.
But bots that automatically comment on or like social posts? Not such a good idea. They can cause lasting damage to your relationships with your audience. They can also land you in hot water with the social networks themselves.
DO offer customer support 24/7
People shop online at all hours. And they want customer service to be available any time they need help.
This leaves you with three options:
- Pay to have customer service agents working around the clock
- Use automated bots to manage expectations, direct inquiries, and respond to routine requests
- Leave your customers waiting until the next business day (by which time they will have bought from a more responsive competitor)
Expectations for customer service on social are a little different. It’s generally ok—and even expected—to have a chatbot or auto-response in place to handle straightforward inquiries. The bot should be able to appropriately direct more complex customer service requests to a human agent.
Remember: Bots never sleep.
Social Media Automation Tools allow you to control social media without having to log into individual accounts. This can be a very powerful tool if used correctly. You can track your brand better, compare stats, and even automate promotions on different platforms.