5 Free Social Media Scheduling Tools

by | Aug 18, 2016 | EduSocial Blog | 1 comment

There are dozens of social media scheduling tools on the market; many of them are free, or at least have free options/platforms within them.
Before we get into five to consider, start with this: why is social media scheduling important? Scheduling allows you to scale your social media operation, to an extent. You can put certain pieces of content or offers into a rotation, and your social media manager doesn’t need to be live in front of a computer/phone sending them out. He/she can then focus on more value-add tasks, like building lists, outreach, or even social selling. Social media scheduling, then, is essentially an easy way to take care of the most basic aspect of social media — scheduling your posts and making sure they run when you want them to.
Now let’s get into the tools.


Buffer Homepage

This is 1 of the 2 most popular ones; we’ll address the next one, HootSuite, in a second. Buffer works with almost every social network — they just added Instagram recently — and you can manage it through an app, browser add-ons, or your desktop. It’s pretty intuitive and easy, and they have a great customer support staff. This may sound complicated at first, but here’s one advantage it has over its primary competitor, HootSuite: when you attach a link in Buffer, Buffer will pull any images associated with that link to use with your post. It makes it easier to have visually-inclined posts.


Hootsuite Homepage

This is the other majorly popular social media scheduler. It works on almost every major platform, although you need Tailwind in order to post to Pinterest. HootSuite’s big advantage over Buffer is more robust analytics; Buffer is probably slightly easier to use. With both of them, there’s a paid option that gives you more features and access.



There are functions for LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter here — although the Twitter side might have some of the coolest functionalities, including tracking keywords, auto-DM, DM inbox cleanup, tracking retweets, and more. It will also auto-follow back any new follower of yours, so if you use the “always follow back” policy, it can be a value-add.



On this site, you can essentially monitor social media conversations in real-time. This allows you to predict the best times for publishing content in order to get maximum attention from the audience you’re looking for. A slew of larger brands, including NatGeo and The Washington Post, use SocialFlow. If you’re in marketing, you can utilize a feature (often does require a higher-level account) where SocialFlow will conduct an analysis of social signals in order to give you ideas about the best times/content for sponsored tweets, boosted FB posts, and more.



One of the more notable features here is a single-stream inbox for all the channels you manage, to help you never miss a message. The analytics here are strong, and one advantage over some other social media scheduling tools is that the analytics can be re-arranged visually in a host of different ways. If you need to present reports/data on social’s effectiveness to a visually-inclined boss, Sprout is a strong bet.

What other tools do you like/use for social media scheduling?

social media strategistTed Bauer is a freelance writer, editor, and marketer based in Fort Worth, Texas. He’s originally from New York City but has lived in many different U.S. cities. He’s worked for companies as diverse as ESPN, PBS, the Houston Independent School District, and McKesson. He blogs daily at The Context of Things.

1 Comment

  1. Bonnie Porter

    Thank you for the Buffer mention, Ted! Such an honor to be on this list! 🙂

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