Free social media scheduling tools allow users to schedule posts to social media platforms at no cost. We researched 15 social media scheduling tools to narrow them to the top six based on reporting, content types, social media platforms, and ease of use, plus what businesses they’re right for.
Top 6 Free Social Media Scheduling Tools
Social Media Scheduling Tool
(Best Overall) Organizations that need a drag-and-drop calendar and metrics on individual post performance
Owners who need to view the performance of all their social accounts in one place
Small teams that want to schedule social media posts in bulk
Teams that want to collaborate on content for social media
Companies that need to manage a large number of social media profiles
Small teams that want to increase followers and fans quickly
How We Evaluated the Free Social Media Scheduling Tools
Social media scheduling tools save businesses time and energy by allowing them to schedule posts to social media platforms ahead of time and offer reports on the growth on social media platforms. To assist you in finding the best free social media scheduling tool, we analyzed several top options.
Here are our primary evaluation criteria:
- Accounts included: We reviewed what platforms the tool works with and how many social profiles and posts it offers on the free plan
- Analytics and reporting: The tools we reviewed should offer to create relevant post data that helps improve overall social media marketing performance
- Content types: We looked at what types of content these tools allow users to schedule, including multiple images at once, videos, and animated GIFs
- Ease of use: Social media scheduling tools shouldn’t have too steep of a learning curve, ensuring that you save time using them
Based on the criteria listed above, our pick for the top free social media scheduling tool is Buffer. Buffer is best for organizations that need a drag-and-drop calendar and metrics on individual post-performance. Overall, its ease of use and content creation are strong, and it serves the needs of beginning social media marketers.
Best Overall Free Social Media Scheduling Tool for Small Business: Buffer
Buffer is the best social media scheduler for busy businesses that need an easy-to-use, drag-and-drop scheduling calendar along with metrics on individual post-performance, instead of just overall performance analysis like what Hootsuite and Social Report Offer. Buffer also offers a unique feature that allows you to reschedule popular posts with one-click inside their reports.
Buffer’s free plan offers social media post scheduling on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Instagram. Buffer also has a drag-and-drop scheduling calendar that allows you to move content from one spot in your calendar to another easily. It also has a report that shows the most popular and unpopular posts on each platform individually instead of just as a group with an option to “re-buffer,” or reuse, popular posts.
Accounts and Platforms Included
Buffer allows you to have three social media accounts on their free plan. Buffer’s free plan limits your posts to 30 in 30 days, but there is not a daily limit. The platforms that Buffer works with include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Instagram. However, since you can only connect a total of three social media accounts, you will need to pick the ones you want to use. Buffer’s free plan doesn’t currently include Pinterest as an option.
Buffer allows you to post multiple images on Instagram and Facebook and to share links, making it an extremely helpful social media management tool. However, as of now, Buffer does not allow you to upload your own videos as a scheduled post. It also allows you to schedule content up to 90 days in the future, which is slightly less than Hootsuite and Social Pilot.
Buffer offers basic reporting that will allow you to track your social media growth — measured by followers — and individual post engagement. You can view these statistics by each post made in the last 30 days or as an overall report to show your growth. You can also export these reports to .pdf and Excel (.xls) as standard options. It does not offer exports of reports into PowerPoint like Social Pilot does.
Buffer’s Ease of Use
Scheduling social media posts on Buffer is very easy. From the dashboard, you select the social media accounts you want to schedule posts for, insert the content you want to schedule, and then choose the date you want your content to post.
Some users have found that running reports can be difficult because the process is not intuitive. Buffer is currently working to make this easier.
What Buffer Is Missing
Buffer only offers basic post and engagement reporting for your social media marketing. It doesn’t offer cross-platform comparisons or monitoring to see if your company is mentioned on social media. It also seems to get off the calendar sometimes and not post at the exact time you scheduled. Also, Buffer doesn’t allow you to post videos from its dashboard.
What Users Think About Buffer
Most users seem to enjoy the simplicity of Buffer and only complain that Buffer doesn’t offer more robust reporting. Most users seem very happy with the tool, especially for the low cost and the ease of use of Buffer’s dashboard. The only negative reviews want Buffer to be slightly more comprehensive in its reporting and complain that Buffer sometimes loses connections to social accounts, which means scheduled posts don’t post to the social media profiles.
“Buffer is my favorite social media scheduling tool, and I’ve been using their services for more than seven years. I love the simplicity of the interface and the ease with which you can post, schedule, and analyze the content on all your social media accounts. It’s the ideal social media scheduler for solopreneurs, bloggers, and small business owners.”
— Monu Rohila, Director, Hoho Media and infotainment Agency
Best for Seeing an Overview of All Accounts at Once: Hootsuite
Hootsuite is the best scheduling tool to use for those who would like to see how all your accounts are performing in one place. While other social media management tools will let you view metrics, most don’t show them on one dashboard at the same time like Hootsuite does. Hootsuite will also show you what is scheduled and monitor when your brand is mentioned on any social media platform. It is ideal for businesses with active social campaigns on multiple platforms.
Hootsuite has several useful features other than social media scheduling. One of the most unique features is the ability to manage several accounts at the same time on the Hootsuite dashboard. Other features include bulk scheduling via a spreadsheet, which allows you to upload several posts at a time, and creating a contest or sweepstakes from the dashboard. It also allows the user to “boost” a post on Facebook right from the Hootsuite dashboard.
Accounts and Platforms Included
Hootsuite works with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. The free plan allows you to schedule posts on three social media accounts, so you will need to choose which three accounts you wish to schedule on. Hootsuite will allow you to schedule up to 30 posts total in a month’s time on any of these platforms.
Hootsuite offers basic reporting that will allow you to track the growth of each social media account, along with overall engagement. Unlike Buffer, Hootsuite doesn’t show the performance of individual posts in its reporting. Its reporting allows you to choose keywords you would like to “listen” for on social media so that you can monitor what is being said about a topic or your company. You can export these reports to .pdf and Excel (.xls) files as standard options.
Hootsuite’s Ease of Use
Hootsuite is an easy-to-use platform that makes it simple to start using right away. You select from a sidebar what platform you want to schedule a post for, create your post, and then insert the date and time you want that post to be published. If you are unsure about how to use a specific feature, it offers a pretty extensive FAQ section that can usually solve any issues.
What Hootsuite Is Missing
Hootsuite does not allow you to reschedule posts that are popular. You would need to create them again to repost them. Hootsuite also doesn’t allow you to schedule posts with more than one image in it at one time, which means that Facebook collages or Instagram multi-images posts can’t be scheduled from Hootsuite at this time.
What User Think About Hootsuite
Users mostly leave split reviews regarding Hootsuite on G2 Crowd. Users seem to feel that the platform is slightly dated and want a scheduling tool that keeps up with the changes in social media. A few users reported having difficulty getting their scheduled posts to post on Facebook as there have been ongoing problems with the integration of the Hootsuite and Facebook.
Best for Scheduling Social Media Posts in Bulk: Social Pilot
Social Pilot is a free social media scheduling tool that is best for small teams that want to schedule social media posts in bulk by uploading a Google or Excel spreadsheet of social media posts. Beyond post uploads, Social Pilot is a full-service social media management and reporting platform. This is a great option for small businesses that don’t have the time to schedule posts manually but want to schedule out their posts weeks or months in advance.
Social Pilot Features
Social Pilot has a few unique features, other than allowing for social media posts to be scheduled in bulk. These posts include being able to see all the content and posts scheduled for a specific day in one place, and the ability to schedule the one posts on multiple social media platforms at once
Accounts and Platforms Included
Social Pilot’s free plan works with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Social Pilot allows you to schedule posts on three social media accounts and to schedule up to 10 posts per day on each one, and 30 posts per platform every 30 days on its free plan.
Social Pilot allows you to post single images on Instagram and Facebook and to share links. As of now, the free plan does not allow you to post videos from the scheduling dashboard. It also allows you to schedule content up to 90 days in the future — a bit less than Hootsuite and Social Pilot.
On Social Pilot, you can create reports on how your social media marketing is performing, including comparing your growth on one social media platform to another. Social Pilot does not offer reporting on post engagement on their free plan like Buffer and Hootsuite do. Social Pilot also includes search reports that include mentions of your company or your industry on social media, which is helpful in planning future content.
Ease of Use
Social Pilot is not intuitive when you first start using it. This is because it takes a little practice to learn where the different accounts are, how to pick the times to schedule, and how to run reports. Once you know where these things are, navigating gets much easier, but there is a bit of a learning curve because of the placement of these features.
What Social Pilot Is Missing
Social Pilot doesn’t offer reports on the popularity of specific posts so that you can reuse content. It’s also less user-friendly than other tools we tried.
What Users Think About Social Pilot
Most users who have left reviews for Social Pilot on G2 Crowd seem to enjoy using it in their business, especially after they have learned to navigate around on the dashboard. The biggest complaint is the learning curve that most encounter when starting to use Social Pilot for the first time.
Best for Team Collaboration: Zoho Social
Zoho Social is a free social media scheduling tool that is best for teams that need to collaborate on content to post on social media platforms. Zoho Social specializes in getting your posts in front of the right audience at the right time, so it has deep reporting that includes the best times to post and cross-platform performance monitoring so that you can enhance your overall social media marketing results. This is a suitable option for mid-sized businesses with larger marketing teams.
Zoho Social Features
Zoho Social offers several unique features, such as a place to plan out your social media content as a team and a place to see an overall view of your post publishing plans. Zoho Social also offers comprehensive reporting that includes trend analysis and looking at how your content is performing on all the platforms that you are publishing on.
Accounts and Platforms Included
Zoho Social’s free plan allows you to manage one brand’s social media pages in its entirety; available integrations include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Instagram. Its free plan also includes an URL shortener that allows you to track link clicks on every platform.
Zoho Social’s free plan offers analytics on every platform a business is connected to via the Zoho tool. Its analytics include tracking post engagement and the most popular posts on Facebook and Twitter, along with showing you how your brand’s social accounts are performing side-by-side.
Ease of Use
Because Zoho Social offer so many tools, it is easy to get lost when you first start using it. Once you understand the layout, it because much easier to use. It does offer some videos to make the learning process simple and to show you exactly how to best use the tool.
What Zoho Social Is Missing
Zoho Social does not allow you to customize the features that are shown on your dashboard. Zoho Social also does not have a feature that allows for bulk uploading of posts, or any type of bulk scheduling. Each post must be created one at a time.
What Users Think About Zoho Social
Most of the user reviews of Zoho Social from Capterra are positive. Some of the negative reviews are regarding how you can’t add features or remove features à la carte, but you have to take the full plan or not features included in your plan. Most users like the ability to collaborate with its team and the depth of reporting for a free plan.
Best for Unlimited Social Media Profiles: SumAll
SumAll is a free social media management and scheduling tool that is best for those that might have multiple social media accounts on each social media platform. For the companies that have brands or products that have their own profiles, SumAll will let you manage them for free, without limitations on the number of profiles you can add.
SumAll offers several unique features, such as a place to plan out your social media content as a team and a place to see an overall view of your post publishing plans. SumAll also offers comprehensive reporting that includes trend analysis and looking at how your content is performing on all the platforms that you are publishing on.
Accounts and Platforms Included
SumAll’s free plan connects to Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. It allows unlimited profiles and unlimited posting to those profiles as part of its free plan.
SumAll does not offer any type of reporting, except to show you what content is scheduled for the profiles connected to the SumAll dashboard. There is no reporting on post-performance, growth, or engagement.
SumAll’s Ease of Use
SumAll has very simple navigation on its dashboard, making scheduling posts very easy. This dashboard summarizes the content you have prepared to post in a very focused calendar. It also has a button that allows you to switch date filters to see what gaps you might need to fill with new content.
What SumAll Is Missing
SumAll does not allow you to customize the dashboard so that you can only see the platforms you are currently working on content for. It also does not have a feature that allows for bulk uploading of posts. Most importantly, SumAll is missing reporting functionality.
What Users Think About SumAll
Users largely enjoy the features of SumAll, especially since it is free. A few have complained that if you navigate away from the page, it will make you log in again each time you return to it. There are also problems if you are trying to schedule content on the iOS app, instead of from the website. Overall, however, most of the user reviews of SumAll from G2Crowd are positive.
Best for Increasing Followers and Fans: Crowdfire
Crowdfire is a free social media tool that is best for small teams that want to increase followers and fan quickly on its social media pages. Crowdfire allows you to follow and unfollow those on your Twitter and Instagram profiles quickly with a click of a button. It’s a great option for businesses interested in short-term audience and engagement growth.
Crowdfire focuses on gaining followers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram that are interested in a specific topic. It offers reporting on the followers or “likes” your social media profiles, along with content creation ideas based on the topics that you select.
Accounts and Platforms Included
Crowdfire’s free plan connects to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. On its free account, it allows one account per social network. It also only allows 10 posts in any 30-day period.
Crowdfire’s free plan only lets you see one day worth of reporting, and it is focused on the growth of your followers and fans. There is limited reporting on post-performance and engagement as it just shows an overall increase or decrease.
Crowdfire’s Ease of Use
Crowdfire’s dashboard is cluttered with many offers flashing for upgrades and a chatbot that is constantly trying to get your attention. The social media accounts are also not front and center; you have to click on a button to see them. This makes it somewhat difficult to navigate.
What Crowdfire Is Missing
Crowdfire does not allow you to post as much in a 30-day period as Buffer or Hootsuite. It also does not allow you to customize the dashboard so that you can only see the platforms you are currently working on. Finally, it does not have a feature that allows for bulk uploading of posts.
What Users Think About Crowdfire
While users that have used Crowdfire mainly as a tool to increase organic followers and fans seem to enjoy using the platform, those who use it to schedule content have experienced some issues, such as it being difficult to see what content is scheduled, and it not being obvious how to edit a post after it’s scheduled. Also, if you use Crowdfire to respond to a Tweet, it adds “via @crowdfire” at the end of the comments, and users didn’t like that.
The Bottom Line
Free social media scheduling tools allow businesses to save many hours of work by scheduling posts to all the major social media platforms, plan for future posts, collaborate with their team, and run reports that track the business’s overall social media marketing performance. Social media management and scheduling tools are best for busy small businesses that want to market on social media but can’t find the time to do it on a daily basis.
If you find that you need help creating the content that you need or you don’t have the time to do it, consider using Fiverr to hire a social media marketing expert who can help you get the best results from your social media marketing efforts. You can search through the experts and jobs posted on Fiverr or post your own job and get quotes on hiring the expert who is the best fit for you.