It's an illusion to think that social media managers are sitting online all day creating, curating, and commenting on content - We use schedulers!
While several social media platforms have their own scheduling tools (Facebook and Pinterest), several do not (Instagram and Twitter).
Instagram only recently allowed the use of scheduling programs, opting instead to send a notification that your post needed to published, requiring you to log in and publish it in real-time.
Thankfully, the services listed here all allow you to schedule posts ahead of time - set it and forget it!
There are SEVERAL Free Social Media Scheduling Tools for Small Business, but like anything that is free, the tools come with limits.
These limits include: Social Channels, Scheduled Posts and Users
Free plans come with limits on how many social channels you're allowed to post on.
For example, Buffer allows 3 social channels. This means you're allowed to publish on 3 platforms. Platform options include Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Instagram Stories, Pinterest, and LinkedIn
Free plans come with limits on how many scheduled posts you can schedule within a month.
For example, Hootsuite allows 30 scheduled posts a month. This means you're limited to scheduling 30 posts during ONE scheduling session, within a 30 day period. You can manipulate this limit by scheduling less posts in one session, or scheduling a month of content in one day and then returning in 30 days to schedule more content.
Number of Users (Logins)
Free plans come with limits on how many logins you can have
For example, all of the Free Social Media Scheduling Tools for Small Business tools listed below only allow you to have one login. This means you're limited to one user of your account. This isn't an issue if you are the only one scheduling posts, but should you hire someone to manage your account, you'll need to share you login/password info.
My favorite Free Social Media Scheduling Tools for Small Business:
(These are not affiliate links. I receive no money if you click on the links below. I offer them here in the spirit of practical, free info!)
Buffer is one of the original social media scheduling software options and they've done a very good job over the years at keeping their service valuable and relevant.
Their Free Plan offers 3 social channels, 10 scheduled posts, and 1 User.
I am particularly fond of their visual interface when scheduling multiple pins on Pinterest.
Hootsuite is also one of the original social media scheduling software options as well and they're tool is a classic option that many of my customers have found success with.
Their Limited Free Plan offers 3 social channels, 30 scheduled posts, and 1 User.
You'll need to scroll ALL THE WAY down the page to find the Free Plan, but it is there 🙂
Later used be called "Latergram" and was one of the original Instagram scheduling tools. They've done a great job of expanding the social platforms you can post to (all of them), there's a pretty good hashtag recommendation option and the interface is user-friendly.
Their Free Plan offers 4 social channels, 30 scheduled posts/social profile, and 1 User.
My best advice when deciding what tool will serve your needs is simply to start a free account and use one!
Login and poke around. Create some posts, see what other resources they offer in regards to analytics and reporting and use it for a month to see how you like it. As all of them are free, you could create accounts at all three and find out simultaneously which service you feel more comfortable with.
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