Could an Instagram scheduler transform your social media marketing efforts?
Today, Instagram has more than 1 billion monthly active users.
That’s a lot of people for your brand to interact with and engage each day. Unfortunately, keeping on top of your Instagram campaigns can be tougher than you’d think.
You need to respond to your customer’s comments, track your campaign results through Instagram Insights, work on your grid to make your brand aesthetic stand out, and develop relationships with influencers. All the while, you’ve got to remember to consistently create and promote new Stories, photos, and videos too.
Let’s face it – most business owners just don’t have the time to do all this themselves.
If your business is relatively small, then you might not be able to afford to hire a specialist team of social media marketers either.
So, how do you invest properly in Instagram, without working yourself into the ground?
Easy, all you need is an Instagram post scheduler.
The Benefits of an Instagram Post Scheduler
Until recently, scheduling posts on Instagram was impossible.
All you could do was download an app that reminded you to post your content.
However, in January 2018, Instagram announced that businesses can now schedule single posts ahead of time. This feature only works for business profiles, and it’s restricted exclusively to posts – not advertisements.
So, why is learning how to schedule Instagram posts so useful?
Let’s look at some of the benefits:
- You save time: The biggest benefit of any automation process is that it saves you time. You can create and schedule your posts when you’ve got a spare moment in your schedule, rather than trying to find an hour at the same time each day, or week. There’s also no need to set up reminders to go back into your account and publish your posts when you need them to go out.
- Your brand remains consistent: One of the most important things you can do when you want to build brand recognition and awareness is maintain a constant presence online. Scheduling your posts ensures that your customers and followers can rely on you to share new content at the same time, according to a specific schedule. People will learn what they can expect from you and will know when to come back and check your account for updates.
- You can post from PC: A big benefit of using an Instagram scheduler is that it means you don’t have to upload your photos and stories directly from your smartphone anymore. Most scheduler apps allow you to share content from your desktop too. This means that you can edit and optimize your content before promoting it.
- You’ll plan a more attractive feed: Over 40 billion photos are already available to view on Instagram. What’s more, there are countless brands online, competing for follower attention. A great way to make sure that you stand out is design an Instagram grid that captures attention. With an Instagram scheduler, you can preview what your grid will look like when you post certain content at specific times.
- You can manage multiple accounts: It’s becoming increasingly common for companies to have numerous Instagram accounts at once. If you’re showing off a range of products, or different parts of your business through Instagram, then an Instagram post scheduler will make it easier to manage your content.
Many of the best tools for scheduling on the market today also come with a range of other features and capabilities built-in to add to the benefits you receive too. For instance, some tools will allow you to cross-promote content on different social media channels or edit your posts with new filters before you publish them.
How to Schedule Instagram Posts Using the Top 5 Tools
Scheduling apps make it easy for brands to get on top of their Instagram campaigns.
However, there are dozens of different tools on the market today, and not all of them will be as appealing to your brand as others.
Fortunately, to save you some time and effort, we’ve put together a list of the top 5 tools currently available from Instagram. Here’s everything you need to know about each option.
1. Buffer for Instagram
Buffer is a fantastic time-saving Instagram scheduler. Designed to help you manage a range of social media accounts, Buffer allows users to publish and schedule upcoming content on multiple platforms, such as Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and of course, Instagram too.
The great thing about Buffer is that it’s incredibly easy to use. You don’t need any prior social media marketing or analytics knowledge to get started. Simply hook up the social accounts that you want to manage and start scheduling your content.
As well as getting your Instagram calendar under wraps, Buffer also helps with building your Instagram marketing reports and analytics too. The service comes with an in-depth reporting solution that shows you how to improve your results and make the most of your social strategies.
Although you can use this service for free for up to 10 scheduled post, you’ll need to sign up to their paid plans for more long-term support. However, it’s only about $10 a month for 100 scheduled posts and up to 10 social profiles.
HootSuite works very similarly to Buffer. This state-of-the-art Instagram post scheduler is designed to help you manage your posting schedule by automatically queuing your content for Instagram. However, there’s also a lot more to Hootsuite than meets the eye.
As well as giving you everything you need for better Instagram scheduling, Hootsuite can also give you in-depth insights into your position in the social media space. For instance, you can track your competition and get an insight into the kind of marketing strategies other companies in your niche are using.
There are also social media tracking insights available, so you can get a better overview of how your campaigns are performing according to industry benchmarks. Additionally, HootSuite allows companies to gather useful information by filtering conversations by hashtag, location, keyword, and more.
There’s a 30-day free trial available when you first sign up, and the pricing plans are pretty reasonable overall.
Later is one of the best-known and most popular Instagram scheduler tools on the market.
Used by hundreds and thousands of brands, influencers, and individuals Later is a popular solution for tracking, managing, and automating your Instagram posts.
The service comes with a complete selection of tools to help with your social media marketing. There’s a visual content calendar where you can drag and drop posts into a schedule that suits you. What’s more, you automatically publish those posts at the right date and time, without any notifications to worry about.
Later also makes it easier to manage your comments and respond to followers on Instagram too, with real-time alerts sent to your account when you get engagement.
Unlike many Instagram post scheduler options, Later has the added benefit of being an official Instagram partner. If you love the idea of a visual way to manage your Instagram posts, then Later may be the ideal option for you. Plus, there are plenty of extra features like hashtag curation, real-time post previews, and analytics too.
The Later “Free Forever” plan allows users to schedule up to thirty photo posts at a time for one social profile each month. If you’re just getting started with social media marketing, this could be all you need to take your strategy to the next level. Paid plans start at about $9 per month for support for up to 9 profiles and unlimited posts.
Known across the social media marketing community for it’s easy-to-use and elegant design, Planoly is a super-sleek Instagram scheduler. You can add the media you want to share into the visual calendar from your computer, and insert captions, tags, geotags, and more so that your post is optimized before it goes out.
Planoly ensures that users don’t have to spend hours working on their Instagram content every week or day. Like Later, you can use Planoly to visually plan your content and determine exactly what your Instagram grid is going to look like. This means that you don’t just maintain a consistent schedule; you also ensure that your aesthetic remains constant too.
Planoly handles the posting part of your Instagram strategy, so you can spend more time working on your brand by editing amazing photos and shooting fantastic videos. Similar to Later, Planoly is also an official Instagram partner, so you don’t have to worry about getting into trouble with the Insta algorithm.
As well as scheduling, you can also discover and curate User Generated Content from your community, track and analyze Instagram trends, and manage or reply to comments in a single location. There are even editing options built-in for your Instagram Stories too!
5. The Preview App
According to the website, the Preview App is an Instagram post scheduler dedicated to making Instagram management simple and fun. Currently, there are over 1 million businesses, creators, and influencers using this app to transform their Instagram grid and manage their posts.
Like Planoly, The Preview App comes with a highly intuitive interface, where you can switch and adjust your planned posts in a matter of seconds. There’s also a built-in editing tool included if you need to change the tone of an image at the last minute.
The Preview App is one of the best tools on the market for designing stunning Instagram grids. You can upload an unlimited number of photos at once and find out how each of your images works together to create a more attractive aesthetic.
There’s also a free hashtag tracking tool that you can use to find dozens of trending hashtags related to your chosen industry. Once you find the tags that appeal to you, just save them to your notepad for later use, or add them directly to your images.
Like many of the Instagram schedulers that we’ve covered today, The Preview App also comes with analytics features built-in so that you can track your growth on Instagram over time. You can see how your videos, photos, and carousel posts are performing on the same page, and measure engagement over a specific period.
You can even upload photos straight to The Preview App from your Dropbox account!
Before you Start Using your Instagram Post Scheduler
Now you know how to schedule your Instagram posts using the best apps on the market.
However, before you get started, you’ll need to know a few things.
For instance, remember that to schedule posts, you’ll need a business profile on Instagram. A verified business on Instagram has access to additional content creation and schedule management features, as well as analytics, advertising opportunities, and more. With a business account, you can also allow approved third-party applications publish your content, without facing the wrath of Instagram.
Additionally, it’s worth remembering that not all content on Instagram is created the same. Due to limitations with the Instagram API, you’ll need to get your formatting right before you start sharing content through automated tools.
To reduce your risk of messed up posts, make sure that you stick with Instagram’s approved aspect ratio. The traditional 1:1 ratio is usually a good bet for publishing square photos.
Make the Most of your Schedule
Ultimately, Instagram scheduler tools ensure that you can reduce the amount of time you spend managing and publishing your content each day.
The less you have to worry about posting content at the right time for your audience, the more time you can dedicate to improving the quality of the photos and videos you share. What’s more, saving time will also give you more opportunities to work on engaging your audience by responding to their comments and messages.
With the Instagram post schedulers listed above, you’ll have plenty of ways to upgrade your Instagram strategy and simplify your day.
Let us know which Instagram tools make your life easier in the comments below!
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