The main purpose of building an online business presence on social media channels is to grow a bigger customer base and generate higher ROI. Not to ramp up worries and anxiety!
Having the right kind of social media scheduling tool can help you save time, energy, and in this case budget too!
That’s why if you are planning to reach your potential clients via multiple networks and clueless of the starting point, you can test the water with these six social media tools that you can try out for FREE:
Who needs free social media management tools?
This article is mainly for beginners who want to test out multiple products without commitment such as:
- Personal Bloggers
- Beginner Social Media Managers
- Businesses with small social media presence
- Businesses with ZERO budget for other content channels
This obviously ranges from casino affiliate websites that are just starting out to iGaming operators who either aren’t in the spheres of the biggest players yet or just want to test social media waters.
Hootsuite is, without a doubt, one of the most popular social media management tools out there. Social monitoring can’t be easier than this as you can create custom social content streams, track keywords, etc. all in one place.
If your dashboard becomes too populated, you can even create multiple tabs to view and organize content according to your needs. It is very much like TweetDeck (read on to find out more!) but with many more features and better ones too!
With its free version, here are some of the many things you can do:
- Manage 3 social media profiles
- Schedule up to 30 posts in advance
- Integrate any of the 150+ work tools with Hootsuite dashboard for a smoother workflow
- Add 2 RSS feeds of your choice to curate content and share them with your audience
- Receive basic overview reports of the chosen social accounts
- Spend up to $100 per month on ads with its smart boost feature
For a free plan, that’s a very generous offer!
The bad part is that even when you sign up for a free version, you have to provide your credit card details and will be subscribed to the ‘Business’ plan by default. This means that if you forget to downgrade your plan before your trial ends, you will be charged automatically. See the trick there?
Other main minus points for Hootsuite have to be its outdated design and poor user interface. For such a hyped-up platform, it is quite disappointing to experience a cluttered navigation style and a boring dashboard.
Buffer is a social media scheduler loved by many users around the world. It has a very easy and straightforward user interface so beginners can enjoy using it without a hassle.
With a free account, you can connect to 3 social media accounts and store 10 posts in your queue at a time per social account. That, in my opinion, is more than enough for beginners. The other features include link shortener, chrome extension, mobile apps for both iOS and Android.
The cool part is that Buffer can automatically publish the posts added to your queue according to the pre-set date and time. All you need to do is throw posts in a queue. The app will take care of the rest.
The free version supports Twitter, Facebook, IG, Google+, and LinkedIn except for Pinterest which is only available for paid plans.
Unlike Hootsuite, you can only unlock ‘Reports’ and ‘Social Reply’ features after upgrading your plan.
TweetDeck is a social media dashboard app aimed towards managing multiple Twitter accounts in one place. Since it is a Twitter-only app, you will never get distracted by other unrelated posts from Facebook or Instagram for example.
Apart from planning and scheduling tweets, it has a dashboard with a series of customizable columns where you can view timelines, messages, keywords, hashtags, mentions, etc. all in one place. You can refine those searches to narrow down the results that you are really looking for. With all these features, you are never going to miss out on anything related to your industry.
For iGaming bloggers, it is an excellent place to monitor the tweets between iGaming operators and players, as well as to keep an eye on some upcoming online gambling events.
Oh, and did we also mention that it is completely free to use?
Although the interface is pretty much seamless, you can only have one tab to view all the columns. That is going to be a bit of a messy dashboard. On top of that, it doesn’t have a built-in analysis tool for you to keep track of performance metrics.
Followerwonk is a powerful Twitter analytics tool which can help you find, compare, analyze and optimize the data of your followers and the users you are following.
Its ‘Seach Bio’ function allows you to search for influencers/ potential clients who might be in the same industry and rank them by the number of tweets, followers, followed users, account age and social authority.
As you can see from the image above, you can also run comparison tests between you and your competitors to get a better understanding of who they are and how their social performances are on Twitter.
Its “Analyze” function will breakdown any Twitter user’s followers and followed users into a number of psychographic segments: including gender, location, Twitter activity, and more.
Here is an example analysis of users who are followed by Hubspot (NOT Hubspot’s followers):
This is just one of the many graphs provided by followerwonk.
However, with all the free tools, there are always a few twists to the story. The first one is that when you analyze an account for its ‘followers,’ that account must have less than 25,000 followers because of the API usage limit by Twitter and heavy data. The only way out is to upgrade the plan to track down big companies and influencers with up to 1,000,000 followers.
Another twist is that you can only perform 50 searches, 20 analyses, and 20 comparisons a day and receive 100 results per searches. That amount, to me, seems sufficient to begin with.
If you are looking to manage your Pinterest channel effectively for business, Tailwind is a great app for you.
Apart from content scheduling and many features it offers, the ones that really stand out are:
- An in-depth data analytics system which measures the key metrics of your Pinterest profile, boards, and pins to gauge your performance over time.
- SmartLoop system to republish the best-performing content over time to maximize engagement and keep your account consistently active.
This is very useful especially for bloggers and iGaming affiliates who want to generate more leads and increase the conversion rate without having to go nuts.
However, Tailwind’s free trial plan lets you schedule up to 100 pins on Pinterest and 30 posts on Instagram. Once you have used up your quota, you will have to cancel it or upgrade to a paid plan, unfortunately.
6. Zoho Social
Out of all these free social tools mentioned in this article, Zoho Social offers the least flexible options.
It has some overlapping interfaces with Tweetdeck/Hootsuite, such as side-by-side streaming in columns, search filtering, and a customizable dashboard.
Its free plan is definitely not the most convincing one as you can only PUBLISH (not schedule!) posts on the usual platforms (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram). It comes with a URL shortener and a browser extension, but that’s all it offers for free.
However, even if you subscribe to its free social plan, it will still take you to the Professional Trial version by default. It will automatically be downgraded to a free version once the trial period is over. At least you don’t have to provide your credit card details like Hootsuite.
If you are convinced with the offer, you can opt for a 10/user/month upgrade which will provide you with many features including scheduling, social monitoring, and a basic analytics report.
So, which social media tool(s) did you fall in love with?
Every tool that we mentioned above has its own unique strengths and weaknesses. As free versions, you can only get what you pay for (in some cases, not that much). We admit that, but it’s still nice to get a first look at social media management and how it can help your business.
There are better tools out there which are used by the world’s biggest enterprises. But…just because they are using them doesn’t mean that you have to.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to which tool can align with your business goals and give you less headache. So, which one of the tools in this article do you prefer? Let us know!
How did you like May Thawdar Oo’s blog post? Let us know in the comments if you have anything to add, have another content idea for iGaming blog posts, or just want to say “hello.” 🙂