Social media management has become just as essential to modern businesses as PR, marketing or customer service management. Indeed, good social media management will deliver against all three of these business function areas. Here we list the three Hootsuite free alternatives solutions in GetApp’s directory listed in alphabetical order chosen by:
- Rated 4+ stars by users on GetApp.co.uk
- Free of charge
- Available in the UK
- For freelancers, small businesses and medium businesses
- High search volume in the UK
With over 40% of the world’s population now on social media, your social footprint is your window onto the world, and it can be the making or breaking of your brand’s reputation. However, as soon as your business starts to expand its presence onto a number of different social networks, or your followers increase in number, managing your feeds can become a complex and time-consuming task.
That’s why companies like Hootsuite deliver social media management tools that help businesses launch marketing campaigns, identify and grow audience, and distribute targeted messages across multiple channels. As well as offering subscription services, Hootsuite provides a free version of its software for individual users, which allows management of three social profiles and 30 Scheduled Messages. Hootsuite isn’t the only game in town, however. There is a range of Hootsuite free alternatives that may be better suited to your business needs.
Many of you will know Mailchimp for its email marketing capabilities, but it also comes with a range of social media management tools including social analytics reports, social media integration, social media metrics and social network marketing.
The software allows users to update multiple networks, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest in just one step and provides support for both organic social posting and paid-for ads on Facebook and Instagram. MailChimp also allows customers to manage multiple contributors seamlessly across social streams, tabs, and columns.
The app gears its social capabilities towards helping businesses stay active on social channels. Features include content repurposing and analytics-based insights on social media performance. However, unlike Hootsuite, it’s not possible to schedule social media posts on the free version – for that you will need to invest in one of the subscription services.
Reviewers on GetApp praise MailChimp for its user interface and simple to use templates, as well as its ability to make relatively small marketing teams seem much bigger. However, some reviews say the targeting capabilities of the system are limited.
Our take: MailChimp is a great piece of software people and businesses just starting out on social media management and in need of basic and easy-to-use tools.
TweetDeck allows you to manage unlimited Twitter accounts. Key features include auto-updated lists, a LinkedIn column, monitoring and engagement tools, Tweet scheduling, and support for Twitter lists.
The app allows users to arrange their feeds however suits them best, using customisable columns that can be set to display elements such as timelines, mentions, lists, trends, hashtags, etc. Additionally, subject filters allow users to sift through their Tweets for messages on the topics that matter most to their business. Users can also schedule Tweets and stay up to date with audience engagement through notification alerts. The service is completely free – unlike with Hootsuite or MailChimp there are no alternative subscription versions.
GetApp reviews are largely positive about the app, with users particularly impressed by the ease with which they can manage a large number of Twitter accounts at one time. However, when online conversations heat up and there’s a lot to deal with, some users complain that the user interface can get a bit too ‘busy’.
Our take: if your social media engagement is dominated by Twitter this is a very good option. But for businesses looking to manage a number of networks in one place they may need to look elsewhere.
The free plan on Buffer allows one individual user to connect up to three social accounts of any combination from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Users can tailor their posts for each network on a simple dashboard before adding posts to a queue and managing them with scheduling options so they can set an exact day and time for a post to go live.
However, the scheduling option is limited to 10 posts per month – one third of those available on Hootsuite’s free service. Also, the Free plan is only available after trying one of the company’s three subscription services on trial first. It should also be noted that there is no provision for analytics or support with the Free plan.
GetApp reviewers like the simplicity of the app and recommend it as a good way to automate social publishing. Some users, however, complain that they have lost features during system upgrades while others report that the app can unpair from social accounts fairly frequently.
Our take: a simple, entry level product for individuals and freelancers. For larger businesses, you will need more features than on offer with the Free plan.
For more information on these and other social media engagement tools, visit the GetApp directory