It's no secret that Instagram has quickly become one, if not the most important marketing channels for businesses in recent years.
Just look at the numbers—as of late 2017, there are more than 25M active business profiles on Instagram.
Of course, as every busy social media manager and marketer knows, it can be difficult to allocate the right amount of time and effort to growing your business on the platform.
This is where using an best-in-class Instagram scheduler comes in.
For a long time, Instagram chose not to allow any platforms to post to its platform, however, a few weeks ago they had a change of heart and began allowing their strategic partners to schedule content directly.
As an Instagram Marketing Partner, this enabled Social Report to quickly introduce direct Instagram scheduling as a feature on Social Report dashboard.
Today you can schedule your Instagram content and have it post directly to Instagram without resorting to various tricks or phone workarounds that the majority of social media management platforms use as a substitute for true Instagram scheduling.
Not only is learning how to directly schedule Instagram posts one of the biggest time savers and productivity hacks for social media managers and agencies today, but those are just the obvious benefits—there's even more.
Studies have shown that post consistency is key to growing an Instagram presence, so scheduling your Instagram posts and ensuring regular updates is a total win-win situation—both boosting your reach and engagement as well as saving you valuable time throughout the day.
Through this guide, we'll explain exactly how to schedule Instagram posts as well as how opting to schedule your posts will greatly benefit your business. Let’s get into it:
4 Key Benefits of Instagram Post Scheduling
1. You'll save a massive amount of time each week
Crafting and posting the perfect Instagram post can be time-consuming—especially if you’re creating your posts on the day you want to publish them.
However, scheduling your posts ahead of time might be a better, productivity-boosting way to create and share your Instagram content. By batching your work, you can avoid the costs associated with multitasking and context switching.
According to research shared by Inc., multitaskers take 50 percent more time to complete a single task and commit 50 percent more errors. By spending an hour or two creating and scheduling your posts for the week ahead, you can save a ton of time and keep a consistent quality across the board.
2. Scheduling helps ensure post consistency
Consistency plays a key role in social media success. When you’re consistently and frequently publishing new content, your audience will learn what to expect from your and when it’ll be posted.
For example, after every major surf content, the WSL (World Surf League) posts the wildest and most memorable moments. So, if I happen to miss out on watching a live surf contest due to attending a networking conference or working late on an article (such as the one I'm writing now, hint hint), I know that I can simply check the WSL's instagram and they'll have the latest updates and highlights from the event waiting for me:
This type of post consistency allows followers and fans to not only know what to expect, but also when to expect it. So, if they're constantly seeking out content like yours (which most followers are), they know that you're a reliable source and are more likely to follow closely to receive constant updates, thus leading to a boost in your audience and ultimately engagement.
The takeaway here is that post consistency plays a major role Instagram success. When you choose to schedule your posts ahead of time, you ensure your profile is always filled with fresh, content.
3. You'll be able to create and upload content from your desktop or drives
Smartphones are becoming awesome tools for creating content, but sometimes, especially if you’re a social media manager, it can be easier to prepare and schedule all of your content on a desktop computer.
For example, if you’re using a camera to take your photos for Instagram, you’re most likely editing your photos on your computer too.
Using an Instagram scheduler that lets you upload Instagram posts from your desktop or drives will save you a ton of time, not to mention the frustration of trying to get your photos from your computer to your phone.
4. You can now focus on engaging with your audience and building brand loyalty
Like all social media platforms, Instagram’s algorithm is constantly changing. And with a flurry of updates over the last few months, 2018 is proving to be one of the toughest years ever for ensuring your content reaches your audience.
"As a result, your social engagement strategy needs to a key priority in your Instagram marketing strategy this year."
Deciding what you’re going to post, crafting a perfect caption and choosing all your hashtags daily can end up wasting an hour of your time (especially if you decide to go in a different direction because one or more post elements aren't lining up). But if you’re scheduling Instagram posts, you can spend this hour engaging with your audience and building deeper connections with your followers instead.
How to schedule Instagram posts: Getting set up for direct scheduling with Social Report
To ensure you're properly set up for Instagram scheduling, follow these quick and easy steps:
Step 1: If your Instagram profile is for an business or organization, switch it to a business profile
If your Instagram profile isn’t a business profile already, switching it will enable Social Report to schedule posts directly to your profile.
Step 2: Connect your Instagram business profile to Social Report
Once you've converted your account to an Instagram business profile, simply reconnect them to your Social Report dashboard.
We have created a step-by-step guide on how to convert your Instagram profile to business and how to connect it to your Social Report.
Creating and scheduling Instagram content with Social Report
Once you’ve connected your Instagram Business Profile to Social Report, it’s time to create the content you want to post to Instagram.
After you’ve sourced the image you’d like to post, work on composing your message but drafting up your caption, including a few relevant hashtags, and making sure to @-mention any other Instagram accounts featured in your post. Here's a simple breakdown of how to best use these post elements:
- Caption: Instagram captions are limited to 2,200 characters, and after three lines of text they become truncated with an ellipsis. So to ensure your post's ultimate message gets across to your audience, make sure any key details are placed at the front of your caption.
- Hashtags: Hashtags allow your fellow Instagrammers to easily discover your content, as well as find new and relevant accounts to follow. Instagram limits you to 30 hashtags per post.
- Extra Comment: Social Report also offers the option to schedule a comment that will be added to your Instagram post right after its publication. This allows you to keep your main caption very clean and if you need to add a bunch of hashtags - they can go in this comment.
- @-mentions: Choosing to @-mention is a great way to boost your reach into other audiences. If there's a fellow Instagram account included or featured in your post, make sure to tag them so that it's shared with them + their audience.
- Image dimensions: Instagram is very particular about the size of the image your scheduling, especially when it comes to aspect ratio, which must be between .8 and 1.5. When using Social Report, we'll automatically check your image dimensions and allow you to adjust it accordingly using our free Photoshop-like photo editor.
Here's a post from one of our good friend, Adam Bartoshesky. This is an awesome example of how to effectively use your caption, hashtags, and an @-mention within one post. Just check out his engagement!
See what we're saying? Now it’s time to schedule for you to schedule your first official Instagram post with Social Report.
To do this, hop over to your Social Report dashboard and click "Schedule a Post" in the top-right corner (or by navigating to the same option under the "Publishing" tab).
This will open up our "Post Composer" window, where you'll be able to attach an image, write a caption with emojis and hashtags, and schedule to the proper Instagram account:
Once you’ve uploaded your content and composed your post, you'll be able to chose the time at which you'd like this post to be published to Instagram. Here are a few of your options with Social Report:
- Add to your post queue (next available time)
- Post right now (immediately)
- Post at a designated time later on (5pm later today)
- Post on a recurring basis (every Monday morning at 9am)
- Or post at an optimal time (a list of days and times that with receive particularly high post engagement)
Now that your post is composed and your time of publish is set in place, move through the remaining steps (a handful of our extra targeting options that you might enjoy testing out) until you land on the final step with the "Schedule" button in the bottom-right of the compose window.
Then, simply hit the schedule button and your post will be set to publish. Voila!
Now Try Scheduling Your Posts to Instagram
Thanks for taking the time to check out our guide for scheduling posts to Instagram. Ready to try out scheduling your own posts to Instagram? Check out Social Report's free 30-day trial plans. Not only will you be able unlock Instagram scheduling for all of your Instagram accounts, but you'll also have access to Google My Business scheduling and much, much more!