Free Social Media Scheduler: Here's Your Real Price Tag
12 min read
The sight of a free plan makes you excited, doesn't it? Of course, we want our social media accounts to be the best; we want them to boost follower growth, generate sales, be better than the competition, etc., so we need the right tools. But they are usually paid.
Therefore, some of us, as we see the phrase "free tool", decide to choose it and hope it will meet all our requirements. But is it possible for such a system to be REALLY free? Or maybe there are any hidden costs? Well, you will find out all the answers today as we will discuss them!
Can a free social media scheduler be really free?
If you don't have the necessary software, you can certainly take advantage of ready-made solutions. In addition, there are many cloud-based tools that you can use if you just create an account and choose a free plan or get interested in pricing plans. Very often, you can even try the tool for free for a limited period of time. Usually, you have a 7-, 14- or 30-day free trial.
Various tools for social platforms have been developed and launched in recent years, including paid and free versions. Think how beautiful it sounds - not only can you improve your social media work, but you can also do it totally free! But are you sure? Well, sooner or later, you might find some hidden costs. And then the spell wears off.
Let's start with the fact that freemium tools often seem free only on the surface. Of course, the name itself tells us that using the company's services and solutions does not involve paying for them. But the snag is that the free versions of the system offer you very little, and if you want something more, you already have to pay, and that's where free use ends.
What's more, sometimes you can't even see at a glance what features the free software offers because they aren't listed in the price plan. Therefore, pay attention to what exactly the free account offers, as you may not find much.
You may be disappointed, but underneath the "free software" badge, there may be a lot of costs that are well hidden. And no, the costs are not just financial but also related to your time, energy, productivity, resources at your disposal, etc.
So very rarely is freeware free. Well, unless it has features that perfectly meet your requirements, you don't mind limits, and you don't need better features.
Many hidden costs
So, free schedulers for social accounts are very tempting, but are they worthwhile?
Since there are a lot of free social media tools, why do small and large companies and even individuals choose to pay for such tools? Because of the many disadvantages of these free solutions.
#1 Small set of features
Exactly. First of all, you have to realize the fact that the price of free software is that you are not able to use all the powerful features the tool has to offer, but only some simple ones. What's more, the best options are also out of reach, and you only have the basic posting features at your disposal. If you want to, for example, take advantage of powerful analytics, hashtag suggestions, a post planner, unlimited post designs, and create different post types, a free account is not the best idea.
This is particularly disadvantageous for large brands and business accounts that conduct extensive promotional activities on social channels. Small organizations or individuals may still manage to work with such a set, but it definitely won't be anything fun or effective.
#2 Lack of customization
Since there are few key features, it's also not surprising that you can't customize the platform to your needs, or you have the ability to do so, but it's minimal. Companies have different needs, and that's why it's so important that they can use the platform the way they want. So you and your social media marketing won't be satisfied with a free account in this regard.
#3 Minimal or lack of support
Another cost of having this most basic account is that it almost always doesn't provide its clients with technical support. What if some of your planned activities don't go as they should? Well, you don't have access to support from the software developers so if you can't handle it yourself, then you are stuck.
#4 Limited number of users
Another popular cost you incur for using a paid system for free is that you can't work with your marketing team at the same time, as only one account is allowed. You may find a max of up to 5 allowed social media accounts in some apps, but this is still not enough for effective team collaboration.
#5 Does not support all platforms
Also, don't be surprised if you notice that your free account does not support all platforms. It may be that you will only be able to use one popular platform or that you will have a choice of others, for an additional fee, of course. So if you are interested in scheduling posts to all social networks for free and boosting your marketing campaigns, this is not the way to go.
#6 Don't improve workflow
Generally speaking, a free account is not able to improve the workflow in your work or reduce your time on content creation. With such restrictions, it's hard to talk about the efficient use of resources. On the contrary, you may tire of the restrictions imposed and waste your time on something that has no noticeable effect.
What it all boils down to is that even if the software seems to be free, it may not be, or it's totally inefficient, even for a small marketing agency or an individual. Therefore, support from other tools is generally needed, which can be even more expensive than having a paid subscription. Or it’s only called “free”, but additional features are extra paid. Or even better, in such a system, even essential functions may be limited, so then an upgrade to a higher version is required. And this already absorbs more costs, not only financial.
And as we’ve said before, often behind the name "free social media marketing tool", there are a lot of costs, not only financial...
What to take into account when searching for a free social media scheduler?
First, consider what features it offers and how limited they are. Find out if they are sufficient for your business. Next, pay attention to paid add-ons and browser extensions - whether they are worth considering or is it more worthwhile to invest in a paid tool.
Second, check what customization options there are, or if there are any at all. And don't forget about support, as many basic plans don't offer it. In addition, what social media platforms do the free version support - all of them or maybe only a select few? And the number of accounts? Can you create only one, or can your colleagues also use the tool?
Also, pay attention to the price of the basic paid plan, as it may be cheap and already include many more options that will allow you to really improve your social media presence.
Why is it worth investing in a tool?
Considering all these disadvantages and the hidden costs of free subscriptions, it's already definitely better for you and your company if you invest in such a tool, which, despite its price, will meet your every expectation. Moreover, most of the popular tools will not break your budget.
In addition to the prices, each social media tool provides you with a specific set of cool features and benefits you won't find in the free version. For example, you will be able to publish your scheduled posts, blog posts, and video content in bulk, with one click on all social channels, schedule Instagram Reels, organize the whole workflow or use AI to predict your post's performance. As a result, the right software can also provide a significant benefit when it comes to collaborating. These features usually are not included in freemium models.
So if you're looking for software that will improve your social strategy, is reliable, and won't let you down even when publishing hundreds of social media posts per month, it will be much better if you do thorough research and invest in a price plan that meets your needs 100%.
What should you do?
If you are interested in a specific free social media management platform, just create an account on the platform and try it out for a while. Check out its free membership as well. Perhaps then you will notice more drawbacks to this solution than what we have described here, or maybe it will meet your needs.
If, however, you won't be satisfied with this choice, do good research and search for other solutions. Test them as well. Then choose that solution that is flexible, has a lot of customizable options, great support, supports many (or all) popular platforms, improves workflow, and, most importantly, offers an advanced suite needed to work with social media platforms, such as:
- a scheduler,
- collaboration features,
- social post templates,
- carousel posts,
- video posts,
- post conditions,
- hashtag generator,
- at least basic analytics,
- social inbox,
- live chat support,
- and features tailored for specific social media platforms, like Instagram grid preview, posting Instagram carousels, posting to Facebook groups, automatic retweet, etc)
Remember that not every paid solution is out of reach for you. Some of them offer really attractive prices and allow you to improve your social media content performance.
Look at this example: only 9% of companies choose to purchase project management software because of the price. In contrast, for most companies in this industry, it's the features a platform has that matter the most, not the cheapest plans.
So, your best choice is to take advantage of the free trial of a few programs, and when the trial is over, you can decide which you want to choose. In this way, you won’t overpay, and perhaps, you will find the solution that suits you best.
Bet on FeedHive
If you come across FeedHive, don’t hesitate to try out this program to improve your marketing strategy and boost audience engagement. It has all the basic options and many advanced features.
This social media management tool lets you create posts in advance, schedule content, publish to many social media channels, use a relevant content calendar and advanced analytics, check out the feed posts, and easily manage your social media posts simultaneously. You also have access to collaboration tools. Moreover, you can use many templates to create amazing and evergreen content ideas or just draft post scheduling.
It’s empowered by AI and enables you to schedule your visual content on many social media profiles with a few clicks or take advantage of bulk scheduling. A nice bonus is that it helps you find the best time to post and analyzes your followers' activity and engagement. You will easily notice top-performing content, so, as a result, you will be able to boost your social media campaigns or the whole social media strategy. You won’t find such extra features in the free plan but rather in the paid one.
Many other common features are waiting for you, and you can check them out here.
FeedHive doesn’t offer you a free plan, but it has as many as 4 paid plans. They start from $19 if paid monthly or $15 if paid annually. And, of course, you can try out each of them for free for 7 days after signing up.
As you can see, FeedHive has very clear and custom pricing tiers. It is possible for you to see what features are included in each plan and then select the one that is most suitable for you. Additionally, FeedHive's support will be able to tailor a plan for your needs if you are unable to find a function you require.
Over to you
So, as you can see, not always "free social media scheduling tool" means a better solution. We hope that after reading this article, you will start to look at paid online tools for social media networks with a kinder eye and will not consider them as an unnecessary expense but as a great help.
So, are you ready to supercharge your digital marketing with our social media management tool? Try out FeedHive and see for yourself how its features can grow your social profiles. Schedule unlimited posts per channel and plan high-quality content in advance with FeedHive's robust features. And if you have any additional questions, just write to us!