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How To Schedule Posts To Instagram

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Tips for instagram schedulingInstagram is becoming a big competitor to Twitter and a few things have happened recently that I think will bring a surge of growth.

Instagram now lets you toggle between accounts so that you don’t have to log in and out each time. They are also talking about introducing business accounts.

At the same time Buffer and Hootsuite now allow you to schedule posts to Instagram.

Although we use Hootsuite for many things, I have found Buffer to be quick and easy to use for this.

In this post I will cover:

How to schedule posts to Instagram using Buffer

How to schedule posts to Instagram using Hootsuite

How to automate the scheduling of Instagram posts using Buffergram

If you are new to Instagram click here for our beginners’ tips.

How To Schedule to Instagram with Buffer

Make sure that you have the Buffer app on your phone or tablet and connect your Instagram account.

You can use Buffer for free with one profile per platform or use the paid version (from $10 per month) if you have more than one Instagram account.

Next, add your image and wording and click “Buffer”.

Instagram won’t allow any automatic posting, so Buffer will send you a message at the scheduled time and you will need to go in to the Buffer app and manually click a button.

This will open up the Instagram app and pull in your image.

Buffer will automatically copy your description. You just need to paste it in.

This wasn’t clear the first time I used it so I thought it wasn’t working. When I messaged them about this, they responded very quickly. Their customer service is excellent.

All you need to do is click “paste” in the description area when it’s time to post.

You then pick your filters (if any) as you would normally, and post.

Is it worth the effort?

Initially I didn’t see how this would help much, but having scheduled a number of posts, I can see the value. It means you can do all your preparation in one go, and it doesn’t take long to click in the app to post it.

The downside is that if you want a post to go out at a specific time and you don’t have your phone or tablet handy, you can easily miss it. You can go in and post it at any later time, it just means that you might miss a particular time slot. Most of the time this will not be a problem. Any posts that you miss are stacked up ready for you to press the button when you’re ready.

After three days using the Buffer scheduling tool on a fairly new Instagram account, our “comments received” increased by 200%, “likes received” increased by 226.7%. Follower growth increased by 1700% but part of that was down to the fact that I was using the Instagram app more often to post the content, and following new people whilst I was there.

KEY TIP: If you look at your Buffer analytics, you can see which posts did well, and then click “re-buffer” to send them out again. This is a really useful feature.

Hootsuite for Instagram

Hootsuite works in the same way as Buffer but at the moment I find it takes a few seconds longer to set things up – and those seconds count when you’re busy.

As you can see from our previous post, Hootsuite comes into its own if you want to share (re-gram) someone else’s post.

Buffergram

If you really want full automation there is a tool called Buffergram, where they have a bank of mobiles and post for you. I have been trying out Buffergram – they give you 10 free posts as a trial.

It wasn’t totally intuitive – I kept waiting for my image to upload, not realising there was an extra “upload” button to press (perhaps that’s just me!) and I struggled to get to grips with the scheduling. I thought I had scheduled the posts, but then spotted they were waiting to be scheduled still. However, I am sure in time, this would become automatic and I would speed up.

Other than these small snags, Buffergram posted the content without any problem and is a useful tool if you want your content automated.

Summary for Instagram scheduling

Buffer is great if you don’t mind your posts being in a queue with set slots. If you want to send a post at a specific time, you could go into Buffer and change the time of that post, or you could use Hootsuite.

You can ask Buffer to pick the “best times to post”. To do this, click the “schedule” tab on the website, scroll down the page and click “Try our optimal timing tool”. You can then re-set your posting times based on their recommendation.

You can also use Buffer to schedule posts to Pinterest at the same time.

With Hootsuite you can either add your post to the queue or you can specify a set time. Of course, you still have to be there to click the button at that time to actually post it.

If you don’t want the hassle of doing this and want complete automation, then have a look at Buffergram.

These prices and tips are accurate as at August 2016. They may change by the time you read this blog post, but hopefully this has given you a practical insight into some of the tools available for small businesses, based on my own experience.


If you would like regular tips and updates like this email sara@brightyellowmarketing.com and ask for “Sara’s Saturday Social Media Tips” or click the sign up form on the website.


 

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*Norwich/ Norfolk UK social media training: *Workshops, in-house, or one to one training *Management of social media accounts *Local marketing *Author of Twitter Success Strategies, LinkedIn Success Strategies and How to Tweet Your Book *Specialist in: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook Instagram Email marketing
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