Engagement boost Instagram. 13 of the Best Free Social Media Management Tools

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Want to know what free social media management tools the top industry pros can’t live without? We’ve got you covered!

Everything on this list will help you with fun things like Instagram Stories and hashtags, as well as managing the nitty-gritty data side of running a business on social.

Here are some of the best free social media management tools, apps, and software that many successful brands swear by:

#1 Free Social Media Management Tools: Later

We couldn’t kick off this list without mentioning Later, because managing social scheduling is kinda what we do best! ????

We know that social media managers and business owners are busy people, and managing your social platforms shouldn’t take up all of your working hours.

So to help you streamline your workflow and get your social strategy in order, Later can plan, schedule and post your content across all your social media platforms.

From crafting your post and nailing your Instagram aesthetic with our Visual Planner, to social media automation, publishing across multiple platforms, and driving traffic to your business — Later does it all.

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Plus, Later’s inbuilt analytics tools help you track all your posts and ensure your content is doing what you want it to do.

And Later is FREE! Sign up to start managing, scheduling and posting across all your social platforms at once:

#2 Free Social Media Management Tools: Over

Over will help you improve your social game, especially if you want to create interactive and eye-catching content for your feeds.

It’s got a bunch of built-in templates and pre-designed layouts that are straightforward to use, even if you have no design experience.

Over’s particularly useful if you’re looking to level-up your Instagram Stories and Facebook Stories — with just one or two quick edits, you can have an animated Instagram story for your feed.

Did You Know: Your Instagram Stories and Facebook Stories dimensions are the same, so you can easily repurpose your Instagram content across Facebook! We have a whole blog post on how you can reuse and recycle your Instagram content — check it out here.

But it doesn’t just stop with Instagram Stories on Over — you can create tons of different social assets to fill your feed. Think quotes, Facebook Cover images, Pinterest Pins and more!

Plus there are heaps of options so you’ll easily be able to find a design to match your brand’s voice and aesthetic — you can even import your own branded fonts!

Want to learn how to use Over for your brand? We team up with Lexie Frame, Marketing Manager at Over to share her best tips for designing assets to match your brand’s aesthetic.

Check out our quick and easy (and free!) video guide to start creating:

Available on: iOS and Android — some features are available only on Over Pro.

#3 Free Social Media Management Tools: Adobe Spark

The whole Adobe suite is full of great programs but we have a special place in our heart for Adobe Spark, which can take your content to a whole new level.

Both Adobe Spark Post and Adobe Spark Video are great tools for creating social assets for your brand, but when it comes to making ads that your followers actually want to look at, Spark rules supreme!

It’s all too easy for viewers to swipe or scroll past ads without thinking — so you’ve got to make them eye-catching and skip-proof!

Even if you’ve got no graphic design experience, you can use Spark to make captivating short videos as well as beautiful static pics. And the free version has more than enough features to get you going.

Plus, it doesn’t stop with ads! You can create Instagram Stories, animated feed posts, Pinterest pins — anything your creative heart desires.

And the best bit? With Later’s Chrome Extension, you can transfer your Adobe Spark designs to your Later Media Library in two-clicks — no downloads or file sharing links required, making teamwork a dream!

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Start seamlessly designing and scheduling your content with Adobe and Later today!

#4 Free Social Media Management Tools: Canva

Another great tool for making creative assets for your social platforms is Canva.

Much like Over, Canva has a huge range of share images templates to choose from, along with built-in color schemes and text pairing options to make your posts stand out from other accounts online.

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But one of the real benefits of Canva is that it’s available on desktop — making it easy to share with the team and to make edits in one central location.

Plus, you can upload your branded fonts, color palettes and images to make sure every share asset is perfectly aligned and reflective of your brand’s style and tone.

And if you’re a small startup or grassroots brand, the free plan comes with 8,000 templates, so you’ll be set up to start designing without dipping in your budget!

Available on: desktop, iOS, and Android.

#5 Free Social Media Management Tools: PicMonkey

This is the last social media design app in the line-up, but it’s worth checking out if you’re looking to level up your Instagram Stories strategy!

The PicMonkey app is packed full of powerful, intuitive design tools and 100+ pre-made templates for Instagram Stories, which are all fully customizable to match your brand or style.

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So you can make sure that you’re sticking to your business goals and delivering the best content possible.

If you’re not quite ready to start from scratch, we’ve partnered with PicMonkey to give you this free storyboarding template that you can use to craft your next Instagram Stories post!

Available on: iOS and Android

#6 Free Social Media Management Tools: Google’s Campaign URL Builder

If you regularly collaborate with other brands on co-marketing projects or work with influencers on social media, you might want to consider setting up UTM tracking links with Google.

UTM is short for “Urchin Tracking Module” — to put it in easier terms, a UTM is the piece of unique code you’ll add on to the end of your URL.

By adding UTM parameters to your campaign URLs, you can find out where your traffic came from and the route it took to reach you, as well as information about exactly where on a screen your visitors clicked and which keywords were effective.

And the best way to do this is with Google’s Campaign URL Builder — there are 5 parameters you can add to your URLs — source, medium, campaign, term, and content – and each parameter must be paired with a value that you assign.

When your UTM link is created, you can share that custom URL with any of your marketing partners or influencers and easily keep track of how much traffic they generate for your site.

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To boost engagement on your Instagram account, consider implementing the following strategies:

  • Post high-quality content: Share visually appealing and engaging content that resonates with your target audience. Use high-resolution photos, well-edited videos, and compelling captions. Develop a consistent posting style and theme that reflects your brand and captivates your followers.

  • Use captions that encourage interaction: Craft captions that inspire your followers to engage with your posts. Ask questions, invite opinions, or encourage users to tag their friends. Make your captions relatable, informative, or entertaining to capture your audience's attention and encourage them to leave comments.

  • Engage with your audience: Actively respond to comments on your posts and take the time to engage with your followers. Like and reply to their comments, answer their questions, and show genuine interest in their thoughts. By engaging with your audience, you foster a sense of community and encourage them to continue interacting with your content.

  • Utilize Instagram Stories: Take advantage of Instagram Stories to share behind-the-scenes moments, updates, or exclusive content. Use interactive features like polls, quizzes, questions, or stickers to encourage your audience to engage with your Stories. Engaging Stories can lead to increased profile visits and engagement on your main feed.

  • Host giveaways or contests: Organize giveaways or contests that require users to engage with your content to participate. For example, ask them to like, comment, or share your post to enter. This strategy not only boosts engagement but also helps expand your reach as users share your content with their own followers.

  • Collaborate with influencers or other accounts: Partner with influencers or other accounts in your niche to collaborate on content or shoutouts. This can help expose your brand to a wider audience and increase engagement on your account.

  • Use hashtags strategically: Research and use relevant hashtags that are popular in your industry or niche. Hashtags help users discover your content and increase your chances of reaching a broader audience. Mix popular hashtags with more specific or niche ones to maximize exposure and attract engaged users.

  • Encourage user-generated content: Inspire your followers to create and share content related to your brand or products. You can do this by running contests or challenges that require users to post their own content and tag your account or use a specific hashtag. User-generated content fosters engagement and creates a sense of community around your brand.

  • Analyze your insights: Regularly review your Instagram Insights or use third-party analytics tools to understand which types of content perform best and drive the most engagement. Pay attention to metrics like reach, impressions, likes, comments, and saves to identify patterns and optimize your content strategy accordingly.

  • Be consistent and authentic: Consistently post quality content and engage with your audience authentically. Building a loyal and engaged following takes time and requires you to provide value, be genuine, and actively participate in conversations.

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By implementing these strategies, you can boost engagement on your Instagram account and create a vibrant and interactive community around your brand. Remember that it takes time and effort, so be patient and continue to refine your approach based on what resonates best with your audience.

It’s a great way to see what percentage of traffic comes from each of your social platforms too, so you can tailor your content for each.

Google Analytics & Google’s Campaign URL Builder are both free to use!

#7 Free Social Media Management Tools: Facebook & Instagram Creator Studio

Instagram is part of the Facebook family, so a lot of your settings and features, like ads, are managed via Facebook. That’s why Facebook launched Creator Studio — a central place to manage your Instagram and Facebook accounts.

Think of it as a mission control page for your Instagram and Facebook profiles.

With Creator Studio, you can also schedule posts, track engagement rates, monitor comments, place in-stream ads, and manage multiple pages in one place.

And Facebook is always making improvements to the dashboard. For example, Creator Studio was only available for Facebook Pages — but that’s all changed now.

With the new Instagram Creator Studio, creators get access to a ton of new Instagram tools and features, including the ability to schedule IGTV videos. So it’s worth checking it out!

#8 Free Social Media Management Tools: Adobe Lightroom CC

Lightroom is another Adobe favorite of ours and one of the best ways to make your Instagram pics look seriously professional.

With Adobe Lightroom, there are countless ways to manipulate your photos, whether you’re editing from scratch or using presets on the desktop or mobile app.

Once you start editing with Lightroom, even just by using Lightroom presets (which are like “filters”), you’ll start to see your image quality drastically improve, and you’ll start to develop a style that is unique to you and your brand.

And while most people associate Lightroom presets with their Instagram aesthetic, don’t forget that you can carry that branding and style into your Pinterest feed, newsletters or even your website’s images!

The desktop version comes at a yearly fee, but the Lightroom CC mobile app is completely free to use (available on iOS and Android).

Want to get to know Lightroom a bit better? We have a complete guide to getting started and using Lightroom presets to level-up your aesthetic! Check it out here.

#9 Free Social Media Management Tools: Wistia and Soapbox

Video content isn’t going anywhere in 2020, and while it’s all too easy to press record with Instagram, sometimes you need a more sophisticated set up for your video files.

Whether you’re hosting a webinar or recording a tutorial, Wistia helps you organize and keep all your video playlists in one place. Without any pesky ads interrupting the flow!

Plus, Wistia comes with a super recording and editing tool called Soapbox — it allows you to record both your screen and your webcam at the same time. Making a presentation a cinch to record, edit, and share with your followers!

Wistia comes with a free trial for three videos, but you can upgrade at any time to get access to all their features.

#10 Free Social Media Management Tools: Mailchimp

In the last few years, newsletters have really had their renaissance.

They’re perfect for delivering content to your followers and keeping your name and brand in their brains week-on-week.

Plus, your newsletter is an audience that you “own” — no need to battle with an algorithm to get your content seen! All you need is a free Mailchimp account, a stellar subject line, and some great content to share with your followers.

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You can choose when and what to send to your audience, and where to direct your newsletter traffic to — making Mailchimp one of the best ways for small brands to get eyes on their latest product launches and encourage sales!

Mailchimp also provides insights to help you deliver relevant content that’ll actually make an impression on your followers. And best of all, the basic plan is completely free.

#11 Free Social Media Management Tools: Facebook’s Ads Manager

More and more businesses are turning to Instagram and Facebook ads to reach new customers and make sales. But few businesses are tracking their performance.

If you’ve ever run an ad campaign before, you know how important it is to track and measure the success of your current ads so you can replicate (and improve on!) that success in the future.

And when it comes to Facebook and Instagram ads, there’s no better tool for this than Facebook’s Ads Manager.

Instagram uses Facebook’s advertising platform to run all their ad campaigns. So any ad setup, goal setting, budgeting, and creation is all through Facebook Ads Manager!

Once your campaign is live, you can measure your ad performance and see if they’re driving their intended goal with Ad Manager’s many reporting tools.

And the best news? Facebook’s Ads Manager is free to use!

#12 Free Social Media Management Tools: Social Blade

If your business regularly works with influencers, it’s a good idea to build in some health checks for your influencer partnerships. And Social Blade is the best tool for that!

Marketed as a statistics website, Social Blade lets you track user data and growth trends across multiple social channels, including Twitter, YouTube, Twitch, Instagram, and more. And it’s all for free!

Just type in the name of an account, select Instagram from the drop-down menu, and then peruse through tons of valuable insights and analytics.

One Social Blade feature that we really like is Historical Data, which lets you see the number of followers an account has gained and lost every day across a period of time.

If you notice any big spikes in follower growth, it could mean that the influencer is using a bot to grow their account.

Note: growth spikes can also be explained by other reasons, like being shown on Instagram’s Explore page, having a post go viral, doing a giveaway, or being featured in the media, so take the data with a grain of salt.

Ready to scout out your next influencer partnership?

Download our free Instagram Influencer Marketing Strategy Guide — learn about influencer marketing trends, finding the right influencers for your business and how to track the success of your influencer marketing campaigns!

#13 Free Social Media Management Tools: Unsplash

Unsplash is one of the best places on the internet to find beautiful, royalty-free photos. With over a million images available for download, you’re pretty much guaranteed to find the exact photo you need.

It’s easy to think of stock images as cheesy, overly-posed photography but everything on Unsplash is classy and beautiful.

The Later team regularly turns to Unsplash for everything from social posts to crafting demo images for the blog!

Upload them straight to your social channels, or use them to create collages or mood boards. It’s all completely free, so let your imagination run wild!

Now that your social media management kit is ready to go, you can start to level-up your social game!

Start playing around with some of these social media management tools and start experimenting more with your strategy — they’re all free after all, so you’ve got nothing to lose!

Looking for Instagram tools that’ll help you schedule across all platforms, as well as help you out with crafting captions and analytics tracking? Sign up to Later to access all this and more.

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