5 Free Social Media Management Tools for Authors
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Did you know that in 2020 there were over 44,000 writers and authors working in the U.S.?(Statistica) That’s a lot of books being written right? Writing books is one thing, but effectively marketing them is an entirely separate beast. So, today I want to talk about a few social media management tools you can use an author to help market your book(s) to audiences via social media in a way that saves you time (and some money, too)!
One of my biggest timesavers when it comes to social media marketing and branding is being able to plan and schedule my content (specifically for Instagram) weeks to months in advance. I love an app or program that’s simple to use and will allow me to create content and then put it on autopilot. That way, I have more time to write blogs, books, create new author resources, breathe, eat, keep the tiny human alive…you get the picture.
With that being said, the first tool I’ll mention is UNUM. UNUM allows you to plan out your Instagram content for weeks in advance. If I remember correctly, if you download the app and choose to do the free version, you get about twelve to eighteen squares of content to create (that’s a month to six weeks worth of content depending on how often you post). If you choose to do a paid plan, you can have unlimited squares, which means you can plan your content as far out as you’d like.
You can also integrate UNUM with your Instagram account so that it will pull in the content that’s already been posted on your page. That way, you’ll be sure that you can match up your new content and have a cohesive aesthetic (if that’s the vibe you’re going for). UNUM also now has a web version, which offers you the opportunity to schedule your Instagram posts. If you’re as busy as me, being able to preschedule your content is a Godsend!
2: Monday.com (free version)
Depending on where you are in your marketing and branding journey, certain social media metrics and running reports may or may not be important to you. As for me, I’m always trying to find ways to work smarter and not harder. What I like about Monday.com is that they give you metrics that will help you determine when is the best time to post on social media based on the engagements you have with your audience/your audience has with you.
With all the algorithm changes and new rules happening on social media platforms every day, it can be hard to know the best time to post so that your followers are seeing the content you worked so hard to create. This tool allows you to plan your content in advance and has an autopilot feature, and they do have a free option for individuals that you can sign up for. As a caveat, Monday.com may be considered a robust tool to some, and may be simple to others, but it may be worth a try.
If you’re unlike me and are a regular on Twitter, then Tweetdeck is the tweet scheduling platform for you. It’s a quick and simple tool to use to schedule your tweets for your book releases, and monitor hashtags and conversations people are having that are relevant to books or the genre you write in. All you need to do is connect your existing Twitter account to Tweetdeck and you’ll be able to set up your scheduled tweets and any hashtags or competitors you want to monitor.
4: Followerwonk (free version)
While we’re on the topic of Twitter, next up is Followerwonk. Again, if you live and die by 280 characters, then this tool may be worth checking out. Unlike some of the other tools I’ve already mentioned, Followerwonk focuses specifically on your followers (hence, the name). The free version provides you with detailed intel on your audience like location, when they’re online, and which of your tweets were engaged with the most. It also allows you to view your follower gains as well as losses, follow and unfollow, and see the best times to tweet.
5: Buffer (free version)
Buffer is considered to be another social media management tool that helps you create and schedule your content. Not only can you schedule for Instagram and Facebook, but Buffer also currently works with Facebook pages, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn! A couple of pros include it integrates with Google Analytics, and allows you to track the performance of your social campaigns and see which posts are performing the best across all your social platforms.
PRO TIP: Be sure to read the fine print or terms of service for any tool that offers a free trial.
An Honorable Mention: Planoly ($9/mo.)
Everything I’ve mentioned up until now has been free or offers some sort of free version. But, I did want to mention one more tool that is available for free, but like most tools, the paid version gives you more features. Coming in 100 pennies short of $10.00 a month, Planoly will run you $9 if you choose to pay month to month. (If you choose to pay annually, it cuts the price to $7/month, but you’d have to pay for all twelve months up front.) One account allows you to link one Instagram account and one Pinterest account. If you have multiple IG accounts, you’ll have to upgrade.
PRO TIP: In order to connect your Instagram account to Planoly, you’re Instagram page needs to be a business page.
With this tool, you can visually plan out your IG and Pinterest content. My favorite features for this tool are being able to pre-schedule my content, seeing which times are the best to post and which content got the most engagements (which is sometimes better than the analytics you get from IG), and being able to pre-load my hashtags and have them populate in the first comment on the post instead of in the actual caption.