Schedule Instagram Posts: How To Best Engage With Followers

It’s 2021, and it’s time that businesses and social media influencers know the truth about what it means to schedule Instagram posts. Doing so can help with everything from organization to increasing followers.

Whether the account is professional or personal, planning can save time and allow for more creativity.


Table of Contents

  1. Can You Schedule IG Posts?
  2. How to Schedule Posts
  3. The Best Social Media Management Tools
  4. How to Schedule on a Desktop Without Third-Party Tools
  5. Auto Publish Your Instagram Posts
  6. Why You Should Schedule Posts
  7. Best Practices for Scheduling
  8. Frequently Asked Questions
  9. The Final Word

Can You Schedule Instagram Posts?

Can You Schedule Instagram Posts
Many businesses find themselves asking, “Can you schedule Instagram posts?” Employees won’t always find time on the weekend to share content. By planning, brands can focus on what matters most to them instead of figuring out when to post.

Opposite of what some may know to be true, it is possible to schedule posts ahead of time.

How to Schedule Instagram Posts?

How to Schedule Instagram Posts
In January 2018, Instagram announced that businesses could schedule single posts in advance. Even in 2021, this feature is only available to users with a business account.

If you’re hoping to learn how to schedule Instagram posts, these five steps can help.

Set Up a Business Account

To use IG’s scheduling feature, you’re going to need to create a business profile. One workaround for those without this type of account is to update this in their settings.

This should also help if you’re looking to get even more out of their social media experience. Besides planning, a business profile also allows users to access other features, such as Instagram Insights. This gives account holders information on the age, gender, and location of their followers.

Use a Social Media Management Tool

After setting up the account and getting started on a content calendar, you’ll need to figure out how to schedule Instagram posts for free. Luckily, there are online tools available to help out.

Some of these platforms are free, while others come at a cost. For many influencers and organizations, scheduling posts is worth the investment.

Plan Posts According to Your Audience

When it comes to scheduling Instagram posts, one of the best practices is to stay in sync with those who engage with content the most: the audience. This helps individuals gather the audience’s attention when they are most likely to be online.

This can positively impact creators as it will create a greater opportunity for followers to engage with content. It should also help in understanding their audience’s habits and online behaviors.

Begin Creating Your Posts

Once a calendar has been created, the next step is to create the content you’ll share. One way to be successful here is to make sure that everything sticks to the company’s voice and overall branding.

Many companies struggle with deciding what posts will be well-received by their audience. One option is to begin with the company’s products. It will be a great way to create different and creative posts on something that the audience may be interested in learning more about.

Schedule Posts on Instagram

Once the content has been created, it is now time to share. With the ability to plan, this part is easier and less time-consuming.

Plan to share photos when the audience is more likely to see and interact with them. Using Instagram analytics can help figure out trends among login times for followers.

The Best Instagram Post Scheduler For All Creators

For All Creators
While IG itself does not let users manage their publication scheduling, many outside tools do. An Instagram post scheduler can work wonders in one’s social strategy and online presence, from organizing content calendars and planning posts to reporting on activity.

Hootsuite

This popular tool helps manage social media presence for many services and accounts. After a post has been scheduled, you’ll receive a push notification when it is time to share. The rest of the posting process must be completed on the Instagram app.

Unlike other tools, Hootsuite includes the auto-schedule feature, which chooses the best posting time based on follower engagement.

Hootsuite offers a free version with limited features. This may be the best option for low-volume users. There is also a plan that costs $19 per month and includes extra functionality.

Buffer

This app allows users to better manage their social media channels through scheduling. Supported networks include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Buffer is easily described as a combination of a mobile app and a web service.

When setting up the post, users are not able to edit their images. This means there is no way to crop, add filters, or tag anyone until you’re actually going to publish.


There is a free Instagram scheduler that comes with all the basics, as well as paid subscription plans with more features.

Later

This is a social media management tool that works on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. It can also connect to Google Photos or Dropbox Photos for quicker sharing.

This mobile app and web service are full of exciting features, as well as insightful analytics and metrics. As an example, the app can tell users when to post based on high engagement times.

A free account lets individuals work with basic features, including the ability to schedule Instagram posts. Monthly subscription plans allow working with many users, upload videos, and share more content per month. These packages begin at $9 per month until $49 per month, depending on the included features.

Tailwind

This platform promises to give Instagram marketers a personalized smart vote. With Tailwind, users can automate many Instagram processes, such as updating their biography and optimizing posts with SmartSchule and Hashtag Finder.

As smart assistants, SmartSchedule picks times to post based on when followers are most engaged. The Hashtag Finder is another feature that helps posts deliver success, using popular Instagram hashtags to help get discovered by the right followers.

Sprout Social

Sprout Social is more geared toward larger teams and agencies rather than individual users. This is why it is known as a heavy-duty social media management tool.

Their features include:

  • Draft, schedule, and publish IG posts
  • Edit and manage posts in the publishing suite
  • Tag and comment directly on posts
  • Gives in-depth reporting
  • Assign tasks to team members
  • Creare exciting campaigns and engaging content

A 30-day free trial is offered for those who want to give the app a try before committing to it. The basic plans begin at $59 per month.

How to Schedule Posts on Instagram Without Third-Party Apps

Without Third-Party Apps
While Instagram is best known as a mobile application, many often wonder if they can post to the platform through a desktop. The short answer here is yes. IG recently rolled out the functionality.

Here are a few best practices for how to schedule posts on Instagram using a desktop and no third-party tools.

Schedule Instagram Posts Using Creator Studio

While there is still no way to post directly from Instagram, the Creator Studio lets individuals schedule Instagram posts and IGTV content.

  1. Login into the Creator Studio on Facebook. Users will see all profiles connected to their Facebook account, including IG, if applicable.
  2. Connect to IG. The “Try It Now” button on the Creator Studio’s homepage will let users connect their Instagram account.
  3. View account content and insights. Linking accounts lets users see insights and reports as they manage their content in the studio.
  4. Upload your post. There is a large “Create Post” button located in the top-left corner in the Creator Studio. Clicking this button gives two posting options: Instagram Feed or IGTV.  From there, users must follow the prompts to upload their posts.

How to Schedule an IG Post From Desktop

How to Schedule an IG Post From Desktop
Scheduling IG posts is quick and helpful in saving time. Here are nine options for how to schedule an Instagram post from a desktop.

  1. Click ‘Create Post’ and choose the Instagram Feed option. A pop-up window will then list all accounts. If multiple profiles are listed, select the one that should be used.
  2. Write a caption. Stick to the same formatting rules as they appear on IG. Include mentions and hashtags in a caption.
  3. Add a location. This step is not necessary but highly recommended.
  4. Upload photos and videos. Share up to 10 photos and videos in one post.
  5. Edit photos. All photos should be formatted in either a square or landscape orientation. This can be fixed by cropping or resizing the image.
  6. Finalize videos. Video files must be between 3 and 60 seconds in a 4:5 or 16:9 format.
  7. Publish. Once finished editing, the ‘Publish’ button will turn bright blue. This means the post is ready to be shared.
  8. Schedule your post. Next to the publish button is a drop-down arrow. This gives the option to schedule for the future. Simply select a day and time and click ‘schedule.’
  9. Once published or scheduled, posts cannot be edited in Creator Studio. Users will need to make any edits directly in the IG app.

How to Share IGTV Videos From Desktop

Posting and scheduling IGTV videos is almost the same as scheduling Instagram posts. Once complete, the IGTV post will show in the Creator Studio Content Library. Here are seven ways to perfect the process.

  1. Click ‘Create Post’ and choose the IGTV option. Select the right account and fill in the fields.
  2. Select files from the computer. Users can also choose files from their Facebook page.
  3. Add a title. Videos will not upload without a title.
  4. Add a description. This can include hashtags and URLs.
  5. Choose a cover image. Upload a custom image or choose from the thumbnails.
  6. Choose placement options. This can include IG or Facebook.
  7. Publish or schedule. Share immediately by clicking ‘Publish’ or wait for the future by setting up the post using the drop-down menu.

Using Instagram Scheduler to Auto Publish Your Posts

Auto Publish Your Posts
When Instagram first started, scheduling posts was not an option. As the platform began to evolve and advance, it became possible to schedule posts using third-party apps to send users a push notification reminding them when it was time to post.


Here are a few key points to keep in mind when automatically sharing content.  

  • Auto-publishing is only available to those with an Instagram business profile. To begin using this feature, one must set up a business profile on Instagram and connect their account to a Facebook page.
  • Those with regular IG creator profiles can’t use business features, including auto-publish or analytics and insights tools.
  • Only singular photos and videos can be scheduled. Planning carousel posts requires setting a push notification to remind users when to go online and publish.

If users still want to be notified when scheduling posts, they can click the notification button. This will send a push notification to their phone, reminding them when it’s time to go online.

The Benefits of Scheduling IG Posts

The Benefits of Scheduling IG Posts
Time is valuable. Business owners, marketing managers, and social media influencers know this.Those looking to improve their time management skills should look for resources to help them do just this. Finding an Instagram scheduler, for example, comes with a lot of benefits in staying organized and saving time.

Post More Often

On social media, there is such a thing as posting too much and too little. On Instagram, it is recommended to post no more than once a day. Followers often look to engage with pages that constantly share new updates.

Companies that post every day tend to have a loyal base of fans or followers who look forward to their new posts. Making time to post more often can help grow a new and loyal audience.

Use Time Effectively

Creating an IG post has many steps, from choosing an image and writing a caption, to adding hashtags and uploading it to Instagram. This can get pretty time-consuming.

Scheduling posts is one of the best ways to save time. Modern tools make it much easier to do this through drag and drop functionality. By taking away the time needed to post content, users can now use this time more effectively.

Put More Creativity Into Captions

A good caption can decide if someone takes action by following or engaging with one’s content. There are many directions one can take when thinking of captions. They can be funny, witty, clever, informative, but overall must be creative.

Coming up with IG captions can be difficult. Those who find themselves stuck on a potential caption should consider looking to others for guidance and feedback.

Information: Another good idea in coming up with captions is to spend a few minutes every Thursday or Friday to write out all captions for the following week’s posts. This should help to get in the writing zone while remaining organized, productive, and effective.

Be More Careful When Publishing

As humans, it is understandable that mistakes are sometimes overlooked. For example, maybe a post was published too early and needed to be deleted and re-posted to resolve the issue.

If organizations schedule Instagram posts, they have the chance to review, edit, and ask for feedback before moving forward with a post that may not be ready.

Some mistakes like a common typo or missing punctuation might be no big deal. But something like spreading misinformation about the company or stating an untrue fact can be damaging.

Give a Good First Impression By Planning Your Instagram Layout

Give a Good First Impression By Planning Your Instagram Layout
First impressions can make or break one’s business. The same is true when it comes to social media accounts in 2021. Think about how a potential customer would feel if they landed on an organization’s profile they were interested in learning more about.

If the profile is neat and organized, chances are, the customer would keep looking as they search for more content that they can relate to.

IG scheduler apps help organize one’s profile as users can plan the layout of their page directly in the application.

Interact With Followers

Regularly engaging with audience members can help boost engagement rates. However, busy schedules often prevent this from happening.

Interacting with followers can help businesses boost their image while painting themselves as an industry thought leader. It also helps to build trust and confidence.

This may result in higher rates and an increase in follows. The followers you’ll gain might even turn into loyal customers.

Don’t Underestimate Hashtags

While there are many mixed feelings about hashtags and how often they should be used, they are a great tool in increasing engagement rates. Using them won’t make an individual IG famous overnight, but they gradually introduce users to new pages.

Effectively use hashtags by choosing ones that are widely used. This way, there’s a greater chance of the post showing up in the feed of someone interested in this type of content.

Best Practices for Planning Instagram Posts

Best Practices for Planning Instagram Posts
Scheduling IG posts can be tricky. To do it effectively, you’re going to need to know the ins and outs of Instagram.
When learning how to schedule Instagram posts, here are some best practices to keep in mind.

Schedule No More Than One Week In Advance

A social media platform like IG requires users to stay up-to-date on trends and current events. By scheduling posts too far in advance, creators risk hopping on the bandwagon of a new style when it’s too late.

Proofread and Edit All Posts

One silly mistake here and there may not completely harm one’s strategy. But, once the errors begin to add up, the page’s credibility and reliability may start to get questioned.

Typos and misinformation can also give the impression of carelessness. This is not what businesses want followers to think about their quality of work.

Quality for Quantity

While it is important to post consistently, creators should not put something out there just for the sake of posting. Everything that is shared should be quality content. Individuals should never sacrifice quality for quantity.

Don’t Ignore Analytics

Tracking analytics and other insights is a big help for businesses to perfect their social media strategies. For example, they can use metrics and insights to figure out what time users engage with content the most and shape their posting schedule from there.

Find the Best Time to Post on Instagram

Finding the best time to post on IG can be tricky, but it is possible. It is important to set a posting time when most followers are online engaging with content.

FAQ

Can You Schedule Posts On Instagram for Free?

Many often find themselves asking, “Can you schedule posts on Instagram?” Doing this for free is a dream for many businesses as it would let them save costs and time.

One way to schedule posts for free is to use auto-publish, a feature available to business profiles. Other than that, third-party apps are also a possibility.

How Often Should You Post on Instagram?

According to research, it is best to post to IG once per day. Posting less may cause followers to lose interest. On the other hand, sharing too much can get annoying.

Another thing to keep in mind is not to post multiple times per day. This can lead to unfollows as users do not want to be flooded with the same content or page on their feed.

Is Posting on Instagram Everyday Annoying?

Posting on IG every day should be fine, as long as creators stick to one post per day. Anything more than that can get annoying and can lead to lower engagement rates and unfollows.

Is Scheduling on IG Worth It?

Scheduling Instagram posts is not always easy, but it is often necessary to keep one’s business or personal brand afloat. Doing so has helped others increase followers, engagement rates, and revenue for those who have stuck to scheduling posts at ideal times and on a consistent schedule.

What are some other ways users share and schedule content on IG? What features and insights are the most important? Post tips and stories below to keep the conversation going.

Published: June 23, 2021Updated: June 23, 2021

Matt Robinson

Matt Robinson

Matt is an experienced technical writer and translator skilled in writing targeted texts for a variety of audiences. He has a diversified background, including social media management of various products. He is a data-driven strategist and a passionate story-teller. He posts about all social innovations and delivers high-quality research and content to our readers.



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