With all these options out there, it’s no wonder one of your most pressing questions is “which free social media management app should I use?” To be honest, there isn’t a right or wrong answer here because it really depends on who you are and what you need from the software. If you want to manage multiple platforms and want user interaction with no fee, you might be better suited for Hootsuite. If you need Facebook functionality and higher analytics, consider Sprout Social.
Instagram is one of the most popular social networks, with over 1 billion users active on the platform each month. Later started as an app dedicated to Instagram as a scheduling tool, but since its inception, they’ve added support for other social networks and are continuously adding new features. The app has a strong focus on visual content. Whether you want to schedule in-feed image or video posts, stories, or carousel posts — Later supports all of these options. Later has a free plan available that you can use forever, but you get features such as analytics, saved captions, scheduled stories, and more for paid plans. Their paid plans start at $9/month.
Those who rely on Twitter to get their message across will find much to like about TweetDeck. TweetDeck is a free application that enables you to manage multiple (unlimited) Twitter accounts from a unified interface. You can create your own customizable social media dashboard that allows you to send and receive tweets and manage and monitor your Twitter profiles. You can use TweetDeck as a web app, Chrome app, or desktop app. TweetDeck can be set to post scheduled tweets, build Tweet lists, and more. And the extra special part is that it’s always free.
Social media is increasingly becoming more and more visual. Canva is an excellent tool for anyone managing social media accounts to use. You can create designer-level marketing assets using any of the thousands of ready-made designs they have available to you. Now, you can even connect your social channels and publish or schedule directly from Canva. They have a free version available, which gives you decent access to great pre-made templates. The pro plan gives you access to all of the templates for only $12.95/month.
Hootsuite is one of the most established and popular apps for social media scheduling and marketing. You can use it to schedule posts, receive in-depth reports, and collaborate with your team members, thanks to built-in teamwork features. It enables you to view multiple streams at once and monitor what your customers are saying. There is a free limited plan available for 3 social profiles and up to 30 scheduled messages.
When it comes to pitching, Twitter is a goldmine of information. Journalists often have their email information in their Twitter handle to make it easy for potential sources to contact them, celebrities tweet with fans every day, and when someone’s DMs are open, you can spark conversations with them.
But Twitter is also a giant social media platform. It can be hard to search for the people you want to follow or connect with. That’s where FollowerWonk comes in. It is a Twitter profile search engine to help you find and connect with the people you’re interested in.
My husband Alex has used FollowerWork many times of the years to connect with journalists for publicity purposes. He has helped clients get featured in Dallas Morning News, Entrepreneur, and other business publications by using FollowerWonk to find the right journalists to pitch.
Another social media scheduling tool: Friends+Me lets you schedule content for up to two social profiles. But what really stands out here is that you can add an additional user. In most of the free scheduling tools examples in this post, you can only have one person scheduling content. Friends+Me lets you share a subscription with one other team member.
The free version also offers link shortening, Zapier integrations, and a browser extension to make posting even faster.
A solopreneur might give publishing and scheduling access to their assistant, for example. Instead of giving them your personal login information, you can simply set your assistant up as the second team member.
A Design Kit
Want to take your Instagram stories to the next level? A Design Kit from the whimsical team at A Color Story wants to help you do just that. A Design Kit is a free mobile app that lets you add design, fonts, gradient and metallic brushes, stickers, and more. If you’re looking to let your creative flag fly, this is the app for you.
Source: A Design Kit
This app will add that extra bit of pizzazz to your Instagram stories, so you can promote your business, grow your following, and stand out from the status quo. Those brushes though.
Don’t judge my graphic design skills, y’all.
Meet Over, the social media graphic design app of the future. This app is the most graphic-design forward tool on this list. #trending
With 500+ premium fonts, 8K+ editable templates, plus live graphics, Over makes you look like a bold, graphic design trendsetter born at the crossroads of millennial and Gen Z. But the secret power is how simple and easy it is to use.
After 5 minutes in the app, here’s an Instagram story I created from a template:
Ok, a bit more foolproof.
Not bad, right? Over allows you to edit design layers extremely well right on your phone. It also pre-curates layouts, colors, and fonts to really jive with today’s graphic design trends. If you’re looking to mix your Instagram stories, ads, or Facebook posts up, I’d definitely recommend you give this app a try.
While we’ve done our share of complaining about the high monthly price of Adobe products (read about them here and here ), did you know they actually offer the PS Express mobile app free? Yes, of course they’ll try to get you to upgrade for $2.92/month to get all the features, but if you’re looking to edit photos on the go, this could be a great app for you.
Not a ton of settings, but a selection of crisp, powerful ones.
From Rand Fishkin, founder of Moz, comes Sparktoro, a tool that helps you get an insider’s look into what your audience frequently talks about, as well as their most-used hashtags, websites, and follows. Sparktoro’s free plan includes 10 searches/month.
For example: a food blogger might use Sparktoro to explore the search term, “frittata.”
As you can see below, by entering this term, you can determine audience size, social accounts they follow, websites they visit, podcasts and YouTube channels they promote, and so much more. Dive into audience insights like the hashtags used in shared content, as well as frequently used words/phrases in content or bios—so you can connect with that audience on their terms and reflect their world back to them.
A big name in social media management, CoSchedule is not just a tool to schedule posts and manage your social efforts; it’s also built for team collaboration, social analytics, email marketing, and other much-needed integrations with your social efforts. We love that it’ll also help identify optimal post times and re-publish your best-performing posts in the interim.
- Free version: 1 calendar
- Enable blog and social post schedule
- Integrate with your email marketing
An established but constantly growing social media management platform, Crowdfire helps manage your social media accounts and post great content. But it does more than that, adding to the mix article suggestions, automatic posting for site updates, and other oh-wow-that’s-a-great-idea features that’ll pump up your social media accounts.
- Free version: 1 linked account
- Up to 10 schedule posts
- Unlimited article & image curation
Cyfe is an all-in-one business dashboard and very robust tool that does more than social media management, but for the purposes of this article we’ll stick to that. Connect your accounts, and Cyfe will dish up plenty of insights into your social media, including brand mentions, Twitter followers (including, over time), Facebook engagement demographics, and more.
- All-in-one business dashboard for social media, marketing, web analytics, and more
- Pre-build widgets integrate with Constant Contact, Google Analytics, MailChimp, and other social-adjacent services
- Identify top-performing social content
If you’re active on Google+, then you need Friends+Me, a free social media management tool designed just for this platform. As its name implies, the idea behind the tool is to enable you (and a friend) to collaborate on your Google+ account, share content, and take your Google interactions to the next level.
- Free version: 1 user + 1 team member
- Link 2 social media profiles
- Schedule 5 posts per profile
Hootsuite is one of the biggest names in the social media management biz, and for good reason: Offering both free and premium plans, this robust tool works with most major (and a few minor) social media platforms, enabling you to schedule posts, upload photo/video, follow mentions, and perform other important tasks.
- Free plan: 1 user
- Link 3 social profiles
- Schedule up to 30 messages/posts in advance
With a free-version focus on Instagram, Later is all about scheduling your social media posts so your account stays populated with beautiful photos. That said, the platform also works with other major profiles, including Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, and including a nifty visual content calendar, where you can drag-and-drop your most eye-catching photo for easy posting.
- Free version: 1 user, 1 profile per platform
- Includes Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest
- 30 posts per platform
A blend of maven and social, MavSocial teaches anyone to be a social media maven – a trusted expert in your industry or niche. We love the professional visuals and organization, which make it easy to track your social activity, and really appreciate MavSocial’s multi-lingual posting abilities, including onto the important side of the Great Firewall of China.
- Free version: Connect up to 2 profiles
- Schedule 10 posts
- Manage posts in multiple language
Planoly is an Instagram scheduler tool that keeps your accounts up and running, serving up great posts even while you sleep. What’s more, the dashboard also makes it easy to discover new content, via username or hashtag search, and you can easily bulk-upload content, plan your calendar, and fire off posts, so you look as professional as you want to be.
- Instagram only
- Free version: 1 user, 1 Instagram account
- 30 photo uploads/month (no video in the free version)
A unique Twitter and Facebook management tool – yes, just those two platforms – Pluggio is designed to help brands and marketers manage two of the biggest social media accounts in the world. Included is a full set of automation tools, so you can schedule posts galore, automate content curation, among other set-‘em-and-forget-‘em features.
- Twitter and Facebook only
- Manage multiple accounts from one dashboard
- Auto-discover new friend/follower suggestions, to grow your presence quickly
Yes, yes, we’re tooting our own horn but it deserves to be tooted! You can’t publish great content without making it shareable and ShareThis is the free social media tool for doing just that. You’ve seen us everywhere, even if you didn’t know what you were seeing: floating icons next to, above, or below a great article or blog post – one click, and you’ve pushed that share-worthy content to social, sent via email, or interacted in other ways.
- Make all your content easily shareable with share buttons for major (and minor) social media platforms
- Integrates with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Reddit, and much more
- Follow buttons allow your site visitors to send your content via email, Facebook Messenger, and more
SocialOomph is a fully featured social media management tool, but the free version is Twitter-centric. That said, if you’re active on Twitter, then you’ll appreciate SocialOomph’s ability to track keywords, schedule tweets, and even auto-shorten your URLs. Be aware, though, that if you want to dig into all the tool’s features, including Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn management, you’ll need to upgrade to the premium version.
- Link up to 5 Twitter accounts
- Schedule tweets & track keywords
- Built-in URL shortener
In social media, you’ll naturally have strengths and weaknesses. Enter SumAll, a cross-platform tool that schedules posts, monitors and assesses your performance on various channels, and then helps you understand the correlation between it all. And, since it’s totally free, you can link unlimited platforms, trigger unlimited automations, and receive unlimited data and metrics.
- Free for everyone. There is no paid version!
- Request daily email updates for your accounts
- Quickly assess, react, and respond to urgent needs, both good and bad
Want to boost fan engagement? Want to save time? Then, you’re going to want to have a gander at Tweepsmap, an all-in-one Twitter platform that focuses on location to improve your engagement. Not only does the platform identify where your followers live, but it also targets tweets based on location and ensures you’re publishing relevant information to those followers.
- All-in-one intelligent platform does a lot of the work for you
- Publish more relevant, more valuable information to the right followers
- See a visual representation of where your followers live
For active Twitter users – yes, we’re talking to you! – it’s hard to beat the functionality of TweetDeck, which help take some of the [unwanted] noise out of Twitter. The idea is that, if you filter out some of the unnecessary conversation, you’ll have more time to build meaningful engagement with the followers you’ve so carefully cultivated.
- Twitter-only tool
- Monitor hashtags, specific users, search terms, and more
- Manage DMs and @mentions
Another Twitter-centered tool, TweetReach is the perfect complement to other tools in the sphere. Let’s put it this way, if you want to know how far your tweets have reached, in addition to the impact and meaning of all your Twitter discussions, this is the tool for you. Bottom line: Choose TweetReach to have greater impact for lesser effort.
- Track the reach of your tweets
- Discover your most influential followers
- Target future tweets to the audiences who matter most
I would recommend each of these apps to people looking for a way to manage multiple social accounts without too much time spent managing. The important thing is that you find the app that best suits you and your business needs. If you are using more than one of these apps, make sure they complement each other as opposed to being redundant.