What’s your business goals this year? In the age of social media, getting your business known on popular social sites like Instagram and Facebook will do more good than harm. In fact, social networks are the second most prominent way to research brands, just behind search engines. Even if consumers discover a brand through a different source, social platforms become a cornerstone of many people’s purchase journey. In other words: social media helps your business go far.
Solid management is key to successful social media marketing plans. If you want to leverage social media to grow your business and achieve your goals, Startup Jobs Asia has curated the best 3 FREE social media management tools to use. Check them out!
Hootsuite includes customized reports and team productivity reporting, as well as some of the most advanced analytics and social media management tools on the market today. HootSuite lets you analyze trends and engagement in real time. Its analytics tools cover both regular posting and social media ads. Here are some pros and cons of HootSuite:
Free plan available
Professional plans start at just $29 per month, with free 30-day trial available
Connecting with 20+ social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest
Limited features and tools for its free plan
Additional cost required for some analytics reports
Plans can be costly if you have a lot of social media profiles
Hootsuite does offer a free plan, although it is restricted in terms of features and only allows you to manage three social profiles. All plans from Hootsuite, including its free plan, allows unlimited social messages, unlimited auto-scheduling, a publishing calendar, a social inbox, and plenty of other tools. Paid and organic ROI reporting, competitive benchmarking, and social listening tools are available with pay on a per-report basis. If you have extra budget, these advanced reports are worth paying, especially if your business relies on social media for the bulk of marketing efforts.
The starting Professional plan that costs $29 a month allows you to manage 10 social profiles at once. This is a suitable choice for newly growing businesses. You get unlimited scheduling as well from this plan, although limited to only one user. For larger businesses, Hootsuite provides customizable plans with various pricing: Team plan for $129 per month and a Business plan for $599 per month. You can also opt for any plan for free for 30 days, so you can do the trial and see whether it is suitable, before fully paying for it.
Buffer is the most cost-effective alternative for new businesses that want to manage social media without investing in a costly management strategy. Similar to HootSuite, Buffer offers a free plan of social media management tool for one user to access three social channels and create 10 scheduled posts. Here are some pros and cons of Buffer:
Free plan available
Plans start at $15 per month, with free 14-day trial available
Works for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest
Does not support integration with many major platforms, including YouTube
Most expensive plans only include up to six users
All plans come with a browser extension, access to a mobile app, two-factor authentication, social media and email support, as well as access to the Buffer community. These features are available for the free plan as well. Buffer’s cheapest paid plan, namely Pro plan, starts as low as $15 per month, allowing eight social channels for one user. For two users and eight social channels each, Buffer offers a Premium plan for $65 per month. Paid plans from Buffer enable The most expensive plan, Business Plan, is at $99 a month, allowing up to 25 social channels for six users in total. Paid plans from Buffer enable a posting scheduling tool, custom video thumbnails, a calendar view tool, and Instagram tagging. These three paid plans provide a free trial for 14 days.
Zoho offers extensive features that enable its users to run the social aspects of their business in one place while managing their email, projects, accounting, and webinars all at once. Here are some pros and cons of Zoho:
Free plan available
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) products to manage emails, projects, accounting, and many more in one platform
Social media planning for individuals starts at $10 per month
Plans for agencies start at $200 per month, which is on the expensive side
Plans for individuals and businesses only include two to three team members, with more users requiring an additional monthly spend
Among the options, Zoho stands out with its all-in-one tool based on the CRM product it offers in addition to social media management software. With this feature, Zoho can store and manage your email, create and oversee products, as well as take care of accounting, without having to switch platforms. If you do not need the CRM features, Zoho also offers separated software only for social media management.
The free plan from Zoho grants accesses for one team member and one brand to publish multiple posts at once. For a free plan, there are not many to expect. However, three types of paid plans may be worth considering. The Standard plan costs $10 per month, for one brand of two team members and the Professional plan costs $25 per month for three members. These two plans provide scheduling and publishing posts across multiple platforms. They also provide summary reports and analytics as well as access to a URL shortener of Bitly. More access for team members and social channels are available to purchase for an additional cost. On a bigger scale, Zoho offers a paid plan that costs $200 a month. This rather expensive plan enables management of at least 10 different brands under one business umbrella; very suitable for agencies.
HootSuite, Buffer, and Zoho are different brands with one similarity; they offer a free plan. If you are a relatively new business with limited budget, these social media management tools will be a great choice. Not only for novices, HootSuite, Buffer, and Zoho’s paid plans will be suitable for more mature businesses that require complex features. Finally, decide carefully the needs of social media management for your business before choosing some tools and you’ll get utmost results!