Free Social Media Scheduling Tools for Authors | Creatively Sustainable
Market your writing with regular updates on social media. Here are free tools authors can use to schedule posts.
There is no doubt that social media can be a time suck. How often have you gone in to do a quick check and 30 minutes later you are still there scrolling your feed? While you do need to go in regularly to check for comments and messages, you need to limit your time so you can get back to your writing.
With your content master list, your microcontent posts, and scheduling tools, you can create a system to provide regular updates. Using tools that have a free plan will save you money as you grow your following.
There are many scheduling tools out there and most offer a free trial period. What I want to focus on are tools that offer a free plan. This lets you use it for as long as you want and see if it works. If you like the tool but need more, you can then upgrade to a paid version.
The list below are the tools that I use, and I’ll compare what each one offers. Take your own needs into consideration when choosing, but since they are all free, it is worth trying them.
Please note: the information about each product is accurate as of July 2020. While I will do my best to keep this post updated, realize that each provider can and likely will make changes to what is available. If you notice a change I have not recorded, please leave a comment or send me a message.
This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you choose to make a purchase, I may be compensated at no cost to you. I only recommend products that I use and like.
Your have several scheduling options to choose from: post now, select the time you want it to post, or select auto-schedule. Auto-schedule will go at the next open slot from the scheduled times you previously set up.
Probably my favorite feature is the Hootlet extension. When I find a webpage I want to share, I click on the extension in Chrome, and a pop-up opens. It is prefilled with some basic information and a link. You can edit and add hashtags then schedule it to post.
The free plan allows 3 social media profiles and 30 scheduled posts at one time. You can schedule to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, and an Instagram business account.
I have used Hootsuite for 7–8 years and continue to find it an easy way to share links to other people’s content on Twitter.
Click here to sign up for Hootsuite.
With Later, you upload images and store them in your Library. When you want to use that image in a post, you drag it from the library to the time you want to schedule the post. Then fill in the text you want to go with it. You will need to shorten your link as Later doesn’t automatically do that.
After your post is scheduled, you can see it in your calendar. You can move posts around to different times by dragging it to a new time slot.
Available on your computer or by app on your mobile device.
The free plan allows one profile per platform and 30 posts a month on each platform.
You can schedule to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
Later also has a feature called Linkin.bio which turns your feed into a landing page. If someone goes there looking for a link you mentioned in a post, they look for the image from that post, then click on it.
I use Later to post my content to Twitter and to Instagram.
Click here to check out Later.
Buffer has a free plan that you can switch to after you do a 14-day trial. So for two weeks you can take advantage of more features that they hope you will find you need and be willing to pay for.
Their free plan is for 3 social media profiles and 10 scheduled posts at a time. You can schedule to Twitter, Instagram (business and personal accounts), Facebook (page or group), and LinkedIn (Page or profile).
I use Buffer to post content to LinkedIn.
You can take a look at Buffer here.
As with Hootsuite, you can set Tweetdeck up to view your scheduled posts, your feed, comments, messages and other views.
Tweetdeck is a good tool for scheduling. There is no limit on how many tweets you can schedule. You can set up feeds for scheduled tweets, messages, posted tweets, etc. It does not offer link shortening.
Best of all, TweetDeck is completely free to use. If it works good for you, you never need to worry about needing to upgrade.
I use Tweetdeck to schedule tweets for a client. Be sure you are logged in to Twitter then give Tweetdeck a look.
Since Facebook bought Instagram, you are supposed to be able to schedule to IG through Facebook Creator’s Studio. It even gives you the option to post your IG posts to Facebook as well. This includes posts and IGTV. However I have not been able to get this feature to work and from an internet search, it looks like others are having the same issue.
Log in to Facebook, go to your page, then click on the Publishing Tools in the top bar to schedule posts. When you are on the Publishing Tools page, you can access the Creator’s Studio in the left sidebar.
Scheduling on Pinterest only works if you upload the image; you cannot schedule a pin from a website. I still believe it is a good way to drip your content out to different boards over time.
You can schedule 30 pins up to 2 weeks out.
Go to Pinterest, click to create a pin and see what the scheduling options are.
In order to take advantage of the free plans, you will need to use different tools for different sites. It will take time to develope a plan that works for you, and it will take time a bit moe time to switch between them for scheduling. When you are starting your author marketing journey, it may make sense to use these free options. You can switch to a paid plan on the tool that works best for you when your author business grows.
I’ll address ways to set up your posting plan using free tools in a later post.
Which of these will you try? Which tools are you already using?
Do you know of any other social media scheduling tools with a free option? If you do, please leave a comment. I’m always looking for other options to try and will have another post with new ones I find.
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Originally published at https://creativelysustainable.com on July 26, 2020.