How to schedule Instagram posts: it’s easy if you know how

What does it mean how to schedule Instagram posts? How is it different from scheduling via push notifications?

The latest update that Instagram announced on its official blog includes the introduction of the Schedule Post function that allows content to be scheduled without any push notification of confirmation from mobile. Basically, after creating the post and defining the day and time of publication, the post will be published automatically on the predetermined date without any manual confirmation.

The automatic publication of posts on Instagram, for now, is only planned for individual photos, while manual scheduling remains for carousels, videos, and stories. Want to become a social media professional? Discover the truth of being a Social Media Manager.

How do you schedule posts on Instagram?

In order to be able to use the automatic scheduling functionality, we must have a business profile and an external application, as the function is not integrated either within the app or the site.

How is the business profile obtained?

You must first create a corporate Facebook page and connect your Instagram profile with the page. Then simply go to ‘Edit Profile’ and click on ‘Try out Instagram’s tools for businesses and follow the steps given in the official app.

The business account, according to Instagram’s policy, is mandatory in order to use the scheduling API.

There are platforms on the web and in-app stores that do not use the API and allow you to schedule posts with your personal profile, but by doing so they violate Instagram’s terms of service and your account can be suspended or deleted. Also, precisely because they do not use the API, you have to provide them with a username and password, so you grant them full access to your Instagram account. This is a rather risky operation in terms of data protection and privacy, which is why I recommend that you only use tools that use the Instagram API, which I will discuss in the next section.

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App for how to schedule Instagram posts

Moving on to the facts, let us now see which apps you can use to schedule posts on Instagram. There are plenty of tools that allow you to schedule posts, both via the web and on Android and iOS, many of which are totally free, while others you have to pay for. I will present the ones I find most interesting below.

Later

Later is an application that allows you to schedule content from Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.

  • It has a free plan that allows you to automatically schedule 30 posts per month for a single account.
  • You can preview posts before publishing them.
  • You can synchronize your posts with Dropbox and Google Drive.
  • Using the AutoPost function is very simple: if you have a post already scheduled, simply select the post and authenticate your business profile with Facebook. Then simply return to the post and change from scheduling with notification to automatic scheduling.

best instagram post scheduler

Please note, subsequent posts will be coded as automatic by default.

Buffer

Buffer is a more powerful tool than Later in fact:

  • Unlike Later from the free account you can also program (obviously only with notification) videos and multiple images.
  • It allows you to manage all your publications on various social media via a single account and allows you to make 78 integrations with different applications. Buffer can be integrated, for example, with Mailchimp and WordPress.
  • The free version allows you to schedule 10 posts per month.
 

schedule instagram posts with buffer

Zoho Social

Zoho Social allows you to schedule automatic posts on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook pages, Linkedin company pages, and Google+ pages.

  • Compared to previous applications, Zoho Social incorporates many more features such as campaign scheduling, and a content management system, provides Engagement Analytics, and allows customization of reports.
  • Unlike Buffer, however, it is not possible to import and export data and only allows 8 integrations with other tools.
  • If you decide on the free plan, you can manage an Instagram Business profile for a single brand.
  • As with Later, the integration with social is very simple: open the Zoho Social app go to Social Network choose Instagram and do the Direct post setup.

can you schedule instagram posts

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is one of the most comprehensive tools you can find; it is in fact a social media management platform that allows you to concentrate all your marketing activities in one place. You can publish and schedule posts on Instagram, Twitter profiles, Facebook profiles, pages and groups, Google+ profiles and pages, and Linkedin profiles and company pages.

  • With Hootsuite, you can activate access control.
  • It offers an advanced analytics package: advertising campaign analysis, performance reporting, and real-time analytics.
  • 127 additions are possible.
  • Comprehensive support package, not only online, but also by telephone.
  • The free plan allows you to manage three accounts on three different social media with 30 posts per month.
best tools for scheduling instagram posts

Source: Hootsuite

Postcron

With Postcron, direct scheduling is possible on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, and Pinterest pages, groups, and events. After the integration with Instagram, you can schedule one or several posts at the same time. The standard plan allows you to manage 10 social profiles and 200 schedules per month at a cost of about $15. You have the possibility to have a free trial for 7 days.

scheduling instagram posts free

Sendible

Unlike the previous applications, Sendible allows you to schedule posts not only on social but also on blog sites and other platforms. The Micropayment plan, the cheapest one, starts at $39 per month and includes the management of 4 social profiles and 12 individual interactions for each social network. To clarify, posting on Facebook and doing a live broadcast on Instagram are counted as 2 interactions.

scheduling instagram posts

How to schedule Instagram posts: advantages

What are the benefits of learning how to schedule Instagram posts? Why should we use Instagram to promote our brand and generate sales? For at least three important reasons:

  • Firstly, the platform with its one billion active users worldwide is growing strongly. In contrast Facebook, which, while remaining in a leading position with its 2.2 billion users, is going through its lowest growth period since its birth. Instagram’s positive growth trend is also confirmed in the world, where the social network has reached 19 million monthly users, while Facebook remains substantially stable. It is therefore reasonable to say that companies should consider Instagram to strengthen their brand and generate revenue.
  • Instagram’s new algorithm no longer shows posts in chronological order, but rewards those that achieve a good level of engagement.
  • Specifically, the automatic scheduling of posts is very useful for saving time and improving the organization of your editorial plan, for ensuring regularity in the publication of posts, and for scheduling posts with your PC or Mac. Regularity in the creation of posts is a key factor for success in social media and allows you to maximize the engagement of your target audience.

One of the advantages of scheduling content via web apps is access to videos and images that we might not have on our smartphones. Most tools for scheduling posts on Instagram allow you to create content on the desktop, before publishing it via mobile devices.

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Strategies: what to avoid when scheduling Instagram posts

In addition to typical Instagram marketing strategies such as interaction with one’s target audience and data analysis, it is also good to consider what should be avoided in the automatic scheduling of posts on Instagram.

Do Not Spam

Posting content with a certain regularity is one of the keys to success on Instagram. On the other hand, it is crucial to respect our followers and provide them with content that creates value, so, for example, not repetitive posts about the same event or topic.

In general, try to respect the 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of your time should be spent on creating posts that generate emotion, engage and inspire your audience, and the remaining 20 percent on promoting your brand.

Still, on the subject of spam, look out for Instagram Automation services. These are services, usually paid, that use bots that monitor hashtags and users for you, generating automatic likes, follows, and comments. In practice, they increase your follower base exponentially without creating real engagement, which is why they are penalized by the social network and I advise you not to consider them as a good practice for gaining many followers on Instagram.

Don’t plan too early

It happens that we are overwhelmed with work and have upcoming deadlines, so in quiet moments, we might be tempted to define and organize future social activities as much as possible.

Scheduling posts too far in advance could cause more harm than good. Sudden events, e.g. a political scandal or even a simple divorce between two celebrities could cause your campaign to take a back seat. Therefore, try not to use automatic scheduling too far in advance.

To conclude

If you liked this article, and are a fan of Instagram, and social in general, I recommend you take a look at our Master in Social Media Marketing.

If, on the other hand, you want training that covers the main topics of Digital Marketing with a practical and innovative approach, I recommend the Digital Coaching Certification and the Digital Innovation Program.

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