Instagram Post Automation
Best Free Instagram Scheduler (Only Takes 2 Minutes)
Have you noticed that the big accounts on Instagram post a lot? It’s because they use an Instagram scheduler that allows them to automatically post during ideal times which boosts their likes and followers.
Now before I show you how to schedule on Instagram, let me give you a quick background so that way you can get the best results.
Out of all of the major social networks, Instagram has remained one of the most closed.
It doesn’t let you put links in your hasn’t added as many other functions, though we do now have Instagram Stories. For a long time, it didn’t allow third-party apps to post to the platform.
That last point was especially tricky for digital marketers.
The benefits that services like Hootsuite and Buffer brought to managing other social networks didn’t carry over to Instagram.
You couldn’t plan your content ahead of time and publish it automatically like you could on Twitter or Facebook. That means when you wanted to post something to Instagram, you had to be there to push the Share button.
Luckily, Instagram changed that in 2018 by allowing businesses to schedule their posts on Instagram via an API.
That makes it easier than ever to take advantage of Instagram’s high engagement rates.
Having an Instagram community is part of a crucial strategy of social proof, something you can leverage to increase your conversions.
This means you might be ready to explore scheduling apps that let you organize, upload, and preview your Instagram posts.
To help you succeed on Instagram, I’m going to show you how to use four different tools to automate your Instagram content scheduling.
Let’s get started.
4 Tools to Automate Instagram Scheduling
One of the best ways to engage your Instagram audience is to post engaging content on a regular basis. These tools make that much easier — you can schedule posts, so they go live when your audience is most active.
#1. Later for Instagram Scheduling
The first app I’m going to show you is called Later. It’s a social media scheduling tool that works with Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.
The best part about Later is that it’s free for up to 30 scheduled posts per month. If you’re posting once a day, this is really good news.
But you will need a premium plan if you’re going to use video, so keep that in mind.
As a tool, Later has two primary benefits.
The first benefit is that it lets you preview your posts so you can see what they will look like as part of the bigger picture — your entire Instagram account.
This is very helpful for marketers who want to have a harmonious Instagram page.
The second benefit is that you can synchronize your images directly from services like Dropbox and Google Drive.
That means skipping the pesky step of saving your images to your camera roll on your iPhone before posting through to Instagram.
Let me show you how it works.
You need to create an account to get started. Once you’ve entered your Instagram information and chosen a name and timezone, you arrive at the main dashboard.
It looks like this:
To be able to schedule posts on Later, you need to download and sign in to the Later mobile app.
Once your mobile app is connected, your dashboard looks like this.
To get started using Later, you need to add media. You can either drag images to the media library or connect to Google Drive or Dropbox.
Later is great because it lets you organize a lot of content quickly in two different ways.
First, you can select the option to see only the content you haven’t posted or content that you’ve starred.
The more in-depth option is to add labels to your images, which you can then filter to only see certain types of images.
To add a label, click on the image.
Then create your label.
Now you can go back and filter your images.
If you don’t have a lot of images in your media library, it probably isn’t worth your time to go through and label them.
But if you have thousands of images, taking some time to organize them can save you a lot of scrolling over the long run.
There are a couple of different ways you can create a post in Later.
The first is by clicking directly on the image itself.
The post creation window posts up. You can edit your crop and add a caption for the post.
Then, at the bottom of the window, you select the date and time you want.
The scheduled post is now on your calendar.
You could also just drag and drop the content from the media library into the calendar at the slot for the time and date you want.
When you do this, it automatically opens the pop up to write in the caption. The date and time are already added to the bottom.
When it comes time to post your content, they will automatically post your content.
#2. Agorapulse for Instagram Scheduling
Agorapulse promises to centralize your social planning in one place. There’s an option with a free trial to see if it’s right for you.
Like Later, it provides scheduling for the major social networks. I’m going to focus on the Instagram scheduling for this article.
To get started, click on the “Start my free trial” button at the top.
There is a caveat, however. You have to connect with your Facebook account. You cannot just create an account with your email address.
Then there are a couple of different authentication steps before Agorapulse asks you which accounts and pages you want to connect with. You can skip the Facebook and Twitter step and just do the Instagram account.
When you get logged in, the first screen you see is your inbox. Your inbox is a collection of all the comments from your Instagram posts.
This is a great way to be able to engage with people who have engaged with you. For a community manager, this is especially convenient.
What we’re concerned about for this article is publishing, so click on the Publishing tab.
The Publishing tab gives you a calendar view showing when you’ve already posted. For days in the future, you have the option to click on the calendar date to schedule a post.
You can also click on the Schedule Post button on the menu on the right.
The pop-up box allows you to create your post. You can upload media directly through this box.
Once you’ve uploaded your media, you will get the prompt to download and install the Agorapulse mobile app, which works more or less exactly like the Later app I showed you above.
A cool feature of Agorapulse is the Instagram view, which gives you a preview of what your post is going to look like directly in the post creation pop up.
Once you’ve installed the app, you can add your post to your queue.
Another cool feature is the time slots option for your queues.
You know how you can see your Insights in Instagram?
If you scroll down, you can see when your audience is most active for each day of the week.
Then, in Agorapulse, you can set up a default time slot for each day of the week. That way, when you add your posts to your queue, it’s automatically assigned to the best time for that day.
Agorapulse is also advanced when it comes to reporting and identifying your top followers. You can see who interacts with you the most in a glance and who your most influential followers are.
#3. Autogrammer for Instagram Scheduling
Another platform that promises to centralize your social networks’ scheduling is Autogrammer, which offers a free seven-day trial.
It’s much faster to get started with Autogrammer than Agorapulse. Once you’re in, you can add your social network accounts from the menu on the right or from the green button in the middle.
To add an account, type in the details in the pop-up.
When your Instagram account is connected, you will see the prompt to add a post.
Just like with the other services I’ve outlined, you can upload an image directly, add a caption, select a time, and add multiple social networks if you want to publish to Instagram and Facebook at the same time.
The post comes up in your queue.
The interface is designed to be as simple as possible, but you can still access things like the calendar view by clicking on the Scheduled Posts option at the top.
Like the other services, you can add a new post directly from the calendar view by clicking on each date’s little plus button.
Finally, there’s a Bulk Upload option if you want to add multiple media files at one time.
#4. Sprout Social for Instagram Scheduling
For a more robust option in terms of functionality, Sprout Social could be a way for you to go.
Like the other platforms, there is a free trial to get you started. It lets you evaluate if the interface and functionalities are what you’re looking for.
The free trial is super important for Sprout since the plans can get really pricey. It’s positioned more as an enterprise service.
You might want to take that into account before you get hooked.
I want to point out that if you’re just starting out, there’s a standard service that runs $59 per month instead of the basic plan that starts at $99 per month.
You can find that option hidden below the other major plans.
You can start your free trial with any of the options.
After entering your email address, you can link your social accounts.
The more expensive plans let you add more social profiles. The standard plan lets you add five.
The next screen in the setup window. It will ask a little more about your business since Sprout catered more towards business and enterprise clients.
Since we’re concerned with scheduling on Instagram, click on the Publish & Schedule option.
You will still have access to the other features of the platform, but Sprout will immediately orient you towards the publishing features and a video explaining how to publish and schedule. That’s a nice touch.
To create a post on Sprout, you are always only one click away with the green Compose button on the top right. The pop-in window resembles the other services I’ve already shown you.
The publishing tab shows a calendar view that lines up your scheduled posts. You can adjust the date range on the right to see more or less time.
When it comes to Instagram scheduling, the mechanism is similar to the other services I already described. You download the app and connect your Instagram.
Then, you have to follow the steps to go through and share the content on Instagram via the Instagram app.
Sprout goes further than the other platforms I’ve outlined in both its project management capabilities and its focus on helping you grow your accounts.
Take, for example, the tasks tab.
As people interact with your Instagram account, you can manage your messages in the messages tab. By adding a task to a message, such as reply or contact this person, your task will show up in the tasks tab.
This is helpful when working in teams where a community manager can centralize the responses that are needed by going through and assigning who needs to do what.
You can also label someone as a potential lead, and make sure to follow up with them in a way that’s more sales-oriented than a simple response to a comment on an Instagram post.
The other cool feature on Sprout is the Discovery tab. The Discovery feature lets you created customized searches around hashtags to find people to interact with.
You can also use a geo-filter to narrow your search to a specific geographic area.
If you click on Suggestions on the menu on the left side of the screen, you will be able to find more people to follow who either follow you or who have interacted with you.
This is especially helpful if you’re managing a big community and you want to go through and find new, key people who are closer to helping you boost your business since they already know you.
Instagram Scheduling Tools FAQs
What should you look for in an Instagram scheduling tool?
Make sure it’s easy to use, affordable, allows you to easily reschedule posts, and offers updated features.
Why should you schedule Instagram posts?
Scheduling posts ahead of time can help you stay consistent and grow your Instagram audience and engagement.
What should you do after scheduling an Instagram post?
After a post is published, be sure to check the post for any comments you need to answer and that the post is published regularly.
When should I schedule Instagram posts?
Many of these tools can help you decide when is the best time to post, depending on when your followers are most active.
Instagram Scheduling Tools Conclusion
Instagram finally allows automatically publishing on their account — at least if you have a business profile.
Now it is easier than ever to schedule Instagram posts at the best times during the day and week to reach the maximum number of your followers.
To properly execute your Instagram strategy, use an Instagram scheduling tool, and make sure you avoid common mistakes.
Each platform offers different benefits, and above all, different interfaces.
Some interfaces will naturally be more comfortable for you. The only way to know is to test.
Once you find the right one, it will go a long way towards helping you execute a successful Instagram strategy.
What apps do you use to schedule posts on Instagram?
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How to Schedule Instagram Posts: A Simple Step-By-Step Guide
Learning to schedule Instagram posts in advance is the easiest way to save time on the platform so that you can focus on what matters.
Whether you’re the owner of your own business or the manager of a global team, the more complex your Instagram marketing efforts are, the more helpful a scheduling tool becomes. That’s because consistent, high-quality content is easier to plan, craft and share when some of the grunt work has been automated.
Of course, there is lots to consider when choosing an Instagram scheduler. Do you use a business or creator profile? Do you need to schedule Instagram Stories? What about video, and IGTV? And what level of detail do you need from your analytics?
In this article, we’ll go through the best Instagram scheduling tools for business, creator and personal accounts, so that you can spend more time focusing on your greater goals.
If you haven’t already decided, choose to convert your account to an Instagram creator profile or Instagram business profile before we get started. And if you’d rather stick with a personal account, scroll down to the third section of this to find out how to schedule Instagram feed posts.
Visual learners: Watch this video for demos of how to schedule Instagram posts and stories with Creator Studio and Hootsuite. Everyone else: keep reading.
Bonus: 14 Time-Saving Hacks for Instagram Power Users. Get the list of secret shortcuts Hootsuite’s own social media team uses to create thumb-stopping content.
Can you schedule Instagram posts?
Yes. Here are all the types of Instagram posts you can schedule in 2021, plus the tools you can use to schedule them with:
Instagram feed posts (image and video): Hootsuite, Creator Studio
Instagram Stories: Hootsuite
Instagram Carousels: Hootsuite, Creator Studio
IGTV videos: Creator Studio
How to schedule Instagram posts with Creator Studio
If you have a business or creator profile on Instagram, you can use Facebook’s native Creator Studio to craft and schedule Instagram posts from your computer desktop.
For influencers with creator accounts, Creator Studio is actually the only place you can schedule your Instagram posts. Instagram designed this tool with influencers in mind, which means that its free, no-frills features are focused on ease of use for growth-oriented pros.
On the other hand, if you’re a brand with a business account — or simply a power user looking for some extra time-saving “frills” — you can choose between Creator Studio and any number of third-party tools with more robust, long-range features. (If this is you, skip to the next section. )
Here’s a quick overview of how to schedule Instagram posts with Creator Studio:
Link your Instagram account to Creator Studio
Click Create Post
Upload your visuals
Craft your post (write your caption, add mentions and hashtags)
Click the arrow beside the blue Publish button, and select Schedule
Keep reading for a more detailed explanation of each step of the process below.
1. Link your Instagram account to Creator Studio
Head over to Creator Studio and follow the prompts (or use Facebook’s instructions) to link your Instagram to Creator Studio.
The steps will differ if your Instagram account is already linked to a Facebook page or not.
2. Click Create Post
Once you’re all set up, click the Instagram icon in the top bar, then click create post. Then click Instagram Feed.
Note that you also have the option to post to IGTV: here’s a separate guide on how to schedule your IGTV videos.
Pro Tip: Alas, it’s not possible to post or schedule an Instagram Story from Creator Studio. To do that, you’ll want to check out how to schedule Instagram Stories. It’s also not possible to schedule Reels yet.
3. Upload your visuals
Now that you’re building your post, you can select a photo to upload as a post to your feed. (You can upload many and make a carousel post, and you can also upload video).
To do so, click the blue Add Content link in the grey box, and choose a file to upload (or else select a photo from Facebook to share. )
This is a good place for us to mention that there’s no content library in Creator Studio, so you won’t be able to store or manage your visual assets or templates here. (Depending on your workflow, this could be a massive inconvenience or a negligible one. )
Also, if you want to add multiple photos or videos to make a carousel post, note that once you’ve uploaded one photo, the Add Content button moves to the upper right corner. Like this:
4. Craft your post
Now do your usual magic: write a good caption, use the right hashtags (up to 24 of them), tag relevant accounts (up to 30), and add your location (optional)
Note: Instagram captions must be a max of 2, 200 characters, including emojis.
You can also click over to Advanced Settings to turn off comments and/or add some alt text for people with visual impairments:
5. Schedule your post
Now it’s time to schedule. In the lower right corner, click the arrow beside the blue Publish button, and select Schedule. (You can also click Publish Now or Save as Draft. )
Be warned that Creator Studio won’t give you much guidance as to the best time to post. You’ll want to check your own Instagram analytics to see when your audience is online, or use Hootsuite’s Best Time to Publish suggestions.
That’s it! Now you can lean back and check your DMs.
How to schedule Instagram Posts (business profiles)
Next up, we’re going to look at how brands with business profiles can use third-party apps like Hootsuite to schedule Instagram posts.
Aside from being able to use a tool that schedules content in advance, the advantages of a business profile over a regular profile include advanced analytics (not just Instagram Insights, but also access to third-party analytics, which have their own advantages) as well as the ability to run ads, add links to your Stories, et cetera.
1. Convert your account to a business profile
Instagram makes this pretty simple:
In the Instagram app on your phone, go to your profile
Tap the so-called “hamburger” icon (three stacked lines) in the upper right corner
Tap Switch to Professional Account
You’ll want to take the extra step and connect your Facebook business page to Hootsuite as well: even if you aren’t planning on posting to Facebook, doing so will allow you to access all the useful business features: analytics, ads, and scheduling.
Add your business’s public contact information
Pro Tip: The business category you select (i. e., Personal Blog, Art, Grocery Store, etc. ) will be public and visible on your profile, so don’t get too snarky.
2. Add your Instagram business profile to your social media management platform
If you’re using Hootsuite, it’s easy to link your Instagram account. From the Hootsuite dashboard:
Click your profile icon in the bottom left corner
Click Social Networks and Teams
Click + Private Network in the bottom-left corner
Choose Instagram from the list of networks, and then click Connect with Instagram
Input your account credentials
For more details on this process, check out our very thorough help article.
3. Compose your Instagram post
In your Hootsuite dashboard, click the Create icon, then select Post.
In the Post To field, choose your preferred Instagram account from the list.
Now go ahead and upload your visuals (or select them from your content library). You’ll also want to write an engagement-driving caption, add your hashtags, tag relevant accounts, and add your location.
Your draft will show up as a preview on the right.
If you haven’t already prepared your image for Instagram, go ahead and click Edit Image to crop your visual to the required aspect ratios (that is: 1. 91:1 or 4:5), filter it, and otherwise perfect it. Bonus: 14 Time-Saving Hacks for Instagram Power Users. Get the list of secret shortcuts Hootsuite’s own social media team uses to create thumb-stopping content.
Even if you’re a one-person team, don’t skip this step. Instagram is an image-focused platform and nailing your Instagram aesthetic is fundamental to winning over your audience.
4. Schedule your post
All right, now comes the easy part. Click Schedule for Later in the bottom right, and select the date and time you’d like your post to go live.
When should you schedule it? That depends on your audience. The Instagram algorithm prioritizes recency as it decides which posts to show people. On the other hand, if you’re interested in the overall best time to post to Instagram, we have an analysis here.
Pro Tip: Hootsuite’s AutoSchedule feature will automatically select the best time to post for optimal engagement from your audience.
5. Wait for your post to be published to Instagram
That’s it! You can review your scheduled posts in the Hootsuite Planner, and edit them there before they go live, as well.
How to schedule Instagram posts (non-business profiles)
Finally, let’s take a look at the Instagram scheduling process for those of us using personal profiles.
If your Instagram profile is neither a creator nor a business account, don’t worry. You can still schedule your posts, there are just some extra steps involved. In short: Hootsuite sends you a mobile push notification at the scheduled time, which reminds you to log in and tap publish.
1. Add your Instagram profile to your social media management platform
For self-evident reasons, we’ll pretend that your preferred management platform is Hootsuite. From the Hootsuite dashboard:
Input your account credentials to integrate the accounts.
At the same time, you’re going to want to set up the ability to use mobile push notifications. Follow these steps on your phone:
Download the latest version of the Hootsuite mobile app onto your phone
Open the Hootsuite app, tap your profile icon in the upper left corner, go to Settings, then Notifications
Find your Instagram profile in the list and ensure Send me a Push Notification is on
2. Compose your post
You know the drill: write a good caption, use the right hashtags, tag relevant accounts, and add your location.
If you want to level up your posts, check out our list of Instagram marketing tips. Or else read up on the latest Instagram trends in 2020.
3. Schedule your post
Here’s the key difference between business and personal accounts: scheduling your posts for a personal account requires publishing via mobile notification.
You’ll still want to check your Instagram analytics and make sure you select the best time to post.
Go ahead and pick your time and date, then click Schedule.
4. Publish your post
When the time comes, you’ll receive a push notification on your phone to remind you to post to Instagram. Note that this is essentially the same process for scheduling your Instagram Stories (no matter what kind of account you have).
The process for posting looks something like this. The Hootsuite app will take care of most of the work, but you need to open Instagram, paste your caption in, select your photo, et cetera. Not tough brain work, but do schedule five minutes to triple-check that everything’s right.
And voila! You’ve done it!
What’s the difference between Instagram scheduling and Instagram automation?
Instagram scheduling is a great time-saver, and most social media marketing professionals use it without a second thought. It’s when you create your posts in advance and use a piece of software to post them automatically at the time you want.
Meanwhile, Instagram automation is less great, if not outright evil. It involves paying to have bots like or comment on random strangers’ posts in order to falsely inflate your analytics. Not so surprisingly, automation doesn’t deliver on its promises. Not only is it harmful to your brand’s relationships with partners and audiences, it’s usually a scam.
Instagram has been very, very effective in its ongoing crackdown on bots, spam and scams. So, these days spending budget on shady activities is not only ineffective, it’s actually quite difficult. For instance, in our recent automation experiment, the services we tried to hire often just… didn’t work.
On the bright side, there are plenty of legitimate tools that use automation to help you get off the hamster wheel of repetitive tasks. Check out our list of white-hat social media automation tools for inspiration.
Best practices for scheduling Instagram posts
If you’re ready to take the plunge and get real efficient with your posting habits, these tips will help keep you ahead of the game.
Post at the best time
In general, posting when your followers are online is key, because the Instagram algorithm prioritizes recency. This means that, generally, a newer post will show up higher on your followers’ newsfeed than an older one.
But, the right Instagram analytics tool will tell you when your audience is most likely to be online and/or engage with your post.
For the Hootsuite social media team, that time is 8AM-12PM PST, or 4-5PM PST on weekdays. For you, it might be different.
Luckily Hootsuite’s Best Time to Publish feature can show you your best time to post on Instagram based on your posts from the past 30 days. It groups them by weekday and hour, then calculates the average impressions or engagement rate to identify the time slots where your posts had the highest impact. Then it suggests the best times for you to post moving forward.
It will also suggest time slots that you haven’t used in the last 30 days so that you can shake up your posting habits and test new tactics.
But don’t schedule too far in advance
If we’ve learned anything in 2020, it’s that the world is changing faster and faster.
When it comes to Instagram scheduling, going much farther than a week in advance can start to increase the risk of something going sideways. You don’t want to cause a social media crisis for your brand by posting something insensitive. In fact, if something unexpected occurs you may need to pause your posting calendar entirely and use your social channels to communicate through a crisis.
Our advice: keep your finger on the pulse, and stay nimble.
Be ready to press pause
If you do schedule your posts far in advance, it’s not the end of the world. Sometimes you need a full two weeks of vacation!
Just make sure you’re using an Instagram scheduler that allows you to press pause on all upcoming content if a crisis or emergency suddenly occurs.
With Hootsuite, pausing your scheduled social media content is as simple as clicking the pause symbol on your organization’s profile and then entering a reason for the suspension. (This is actually one of our favorite Hootsuite hacks. )
Don’t get spammy
Yes, the miracle of Instagram scheduling means you can now increase your quantity of posts without sacrificing quality. But should you?
The short answer is “maybe. ” The long answer is “maybe, if you can maintain consistent quality at that pace over the long term. ”
But great engagement rates have more to do with consistency than frequency. Remember that the Instagram algorithm prioritizes good relationships: if your followers are engaging with your content, the algorithm will show more of it to them.
Optimize and edit
No matter how busy you are, make sure you take a fresh look at that copy before it goes live.
And for big teams with a lot of moving parts, an internal multi-stage approval system is ideal for preventing a gaffe.
But though words are important to any social media post, visuals are key on Instagram. Get yourself an Instagram scheduler that allows you to edit your photos in the same dashboard you publish from. It’ll save you that much more time and ensure that your images are fully optimized before you post.
Shout out to Hootsuite’s image editor, which can crop your image to the correct size for any social network. It also has an extensive filter library (useful for those of us who would rather leave photo editing up to the professionals). Watch the video below for a preview of the tool.
Upload and organize your visuals ahead of time
Not very many people talk about this part of the Instagram scheduling process, but any social media manager will tell you that organizing your content assets saves a ton of time.
How do you organize your social media content? Dropbox, Google Drive? A few folders titled ‘misc social’ on your desktop?
Using a dedicated content library is better: there are tags, permissions, and a truck-load of metadata to help you find what you need fast.
Here’s how to use Hootsuite’s content library, in case you were wondering:
Plan your Instagram grid
The grid of photos on your Instagram profile is like the front window display of your business. And like a window display, it should be inviting, intriguing, and — most importantly — on brand.
What better use of Instagram scheduling than to make sure your Instagram grid layout is fully planned and organized to give the best possible first impression?
Analyze and adjust
The best part about scheduling Instagram posts is that it frees up your time to take a look at the big picture. What’s earning likes? What’s falling flat? Maybe you could even run some A/B tests, get mathy about it. Choose your preferred Instagram analytics tool and get cracking.
Use Hootsuite to schedule Instagram posts at the best time, respond to comments, track competitors, and measure performance—all from the same dashboard you use to manage your other social networks. Start your free trial today.
Easily create, analyze, and schedule Instagram posts with Hootsuite. Save time and get results.
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The Ultimate Guide to Scheduling Instagram Posts – Later
A lot of business owners are at a loss when it comes to picking the best app to schedule Instagram features are most important? Should you use a scheduler that can automatically post for you? What about reporting and analytics? We’ve got you covered. In our Ultimate Guide to Scheduling Instagram Posts, we explain exactly how you can save time, increase engagement, grow your following, and schedule Instagram posts for free:Table of Contents:Why Schedule Instagram PostsHow to Schedule Instagram PostsCreate & Curate Your Instagram ContentFind Your Best Time to Post on InstagramPlan Your Instagram FeedQuick Schedule Your Instagram PostsOptimize Your Captions and HashtagsAuto Publish Your Instagram PostsUse to Drive More Traffic and SalesWhy Schedule Instagram Posts? Every business owner knows that time is money. And if you’re looking to make better use of that ever-so-precious commodity, it makes sense to enlist the help of a free Instagram of it this way: would you rather spend 30 minutes every day rummaging through your photos, creating a caption, adding hashtags, and more? Or spend 1-2 hours in one day to schedule your Instagram posts for the entire week? We’re willing to bet it’s the second you’re still unconvinced, here are 3 more reasons to schedule Instagram posts for business:#1: Schedule Instagram Posts to Save TimeWith Later, you can quickly drag and drop all your photos and videos to your Media Library and immediately start scheduling your Instagram posts in just a few think about all the things you can do with that saved time! Whether it’s growing your reach with an effective Instagram hashtag strategy, hosting an Instagram contest or giveaway, or curating a gorgeous Instagram feed, using a free Instagram scheduler can help you focus more on your strategy and less on logistics. #2: Schedule Instagram Posts to Create Better CaptionsA good Instagram caption can be the difference in whether someone clicks on the link in your bio or engages with your post. But coming up with quality Instagram captions can be a challenge — especially if you’re writing them on the than coming up with new, clever captions every single day, a better option is to sign up for a free Later account and write your captions in advance from your desktop! That way, you can sit down at your computer when you’re feeling creative or in the “writing zone, ” and spend a few minutes writing out your captions for the entire you want to share your Instagram content to other social networks like Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, you can also use Later to easily customize, schedule, and optimize your captions for each social do this, simply click the “+” sign at the top of your Later calendar to select the social profiles you’re scheduling posts, drag and drop the photo you want to schedule and customize the caption to optimize each post for Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Later makes it easy to shorten your caption for Twitter, or remove the tagged @usernames in your Instagram caption for with your Instagram captions, it’s important to spend a good amount of time researching Instagram hashtags. And luckily, this is another area where using a free Instagram scheduler can help! For example, with Later’s Saved Captions feature, you can create multiple hashtag lists based on your frequently used hashtag categories and then insert them into your captions with just a single you’re a travel brand that shares photos of beautiful locations around the world. Instead of trying to remember (or find) relevant hashtags for every post, you can use Saved Captions to keep them all organized, so you can quickly add them when scheduling in the if you need some help finding niche and industry-specific hashtags, you can use Later’s Hashtag Suggestions feature, which works by automatically finding relevant hashtags for your posts based on other hashtags that you example, if you’re posting a photo of a dog wearing your new line of bandanas, all you have to do is put one relevant hashtag (like #westie), put it into Hashtag Suggestions, hit “Suggest, ” and the feature will immediately generate 30 other hashtags, sorted by can then pick and choose which of these hashtags to add you to your post. All you have to do is click “Insert Hashtags” and they’ll be added to the end of your caption. #3: Schedule Instagram Posts to Plan a Beautiful Instagram FeedWhen someone new lands on your profile, you only have a few seconds to grab their attention and convince them to follow your account. A curated look and feel of your Instagram profile is one of the best ways to get more followers. Fortunately, this is another area where using a free Instagram scheduler can help! Later’s Visual Instagram Planner makes it easy to plan and design your feed by dragging and dropping photos you’ll use in future posts onto your planner and rearranging them until you find the perfect look or can also give a better “big picture” perspective of your social media strategy and feed as a whole. For example, you’ll be able to see if you’re posting too many product and promotional photos and not enough lifestyle shots, or if you need to space out your darker photos with some brighter can help you create a more consistent brand experience on your Instagram feed, which is key to getting more Instagram to learn how to plan your Instagram content like the pros? We teamed up with Puno, founder of ilovecreatives to show how to put a personal spin on your content. Check out our free video course:How to Schedule Instagram Posts in 7 Steps:Now that we covered why you should schedule Instagram posts, let’s look at a few ways that you can maximize your Instagram posting potential:#1: Create & Curate Your Instagram ContentIf you’re creating your own content for Instagram, a great way to maximize your time is to have “shoot days” where you create a bunch of content for your Instagram account on a single day. Whether you’re creating filler content for your account or doing a full-on product photoshoot, thinking ahead can help you plan and create a better flow in your Instagram you’ve gathered all your photos and videos, you can use Later to easily bulk upload your content to your Media Library, and then store them there until you’re ready to can also add labels to help organize your content better, whether it’s by campaign, photoshoot, color, or theme. This makes it much easier to pull the right photo or video when you need you’re curating content for Instagram or doing a mix of both, it’s important to gather all your content in one place so you can view it together before you post to help you out with this, we released a collection of user-generated content (UGC) features that make sourcing, sharing, and crediting content a cinch! Now you can find on-brand content and add it to your Later Media Library for resharing in just a few clicks – whether it’s photos and videos you’ve been tagged in on Instagram, or any image from the don’t worry: we help you give proper credit every only will sharing UGC add an authentic voice to your content, it’ll keep you on top of your tags and mentions. That means you’ll never miss a chance to engage with your fans and followers. #2: Find Your Best Time to Post on InstagramIf you want to beat the Instagram algorithm in 2021, you need to optimize your posting time for when the majority of your followers are of it this way: since Instagram is now prioritizing “new” content on people’s feeds, your best shot at getting your content in front of your followers is by posting when most of them are actively scrolling the ’s why it’s so important to find your own personalized best time to post on Instagram — you can hack the algorithm to increase your reach and get more likes and how do you do this? Well, one option is to go into your Instagram Insights (you’ll need an Instagram business account to do this), review your audience metrics to find your best times, and then remind yourself to post at those times each day. But this is far from ideal when you’re busy running a business! If you want to skip the experiments and get right to the good data, an Instagram marketing platform like Later can do the work for you! Later’s Best Time to Post feature automatically calculates your 7 top posting times based on your best performing posts from the recent month:Since every Instagram account is different, we created a feature that would give you your personalized best posting times — and that’s exactly what Best Time to Post does! If you’re on one of Later’s paid plans, your best times to post will automatically be highlighted in your weekly content calendar, making it super easy to schedule your Instagram posts for when your audience is most active! #3: Plan Your Instagram FeedNow that you know when your Instagram audience is most active, and you’ve collected a bunch of awesome visuals that truly represent your brand, the last step before scheduling your Instagram posts is to plan out your Instagram anning the look of your feed is important if you want to get more engagement and increase followers — and you can easily do this with Later’s free Visual Instagram Planner! All you have to do is drag and drop your photos onto the visual planner, re-arrange them to see how they’ll look in your feed, and click makes it easier to build a seamless and visually cohesive Instagram feed that’s bound to help you attract more followers. But how do you order your photos to create a seamless feed? Take a look at your Instagram feed as a whole: how do all of your photos fit together? The best feeds have a good variety of subjects that are evenly spaced out. The goal is to create balance and depth of field with your Instagram feed, just like you would in a you post a busy photo, you’ll want to balance it out with a lighter photo or a photo with a lot of white space around it. Avoid posting the same shots close together, so switch up the top-down flat-lay photos with other content or a different angle. #4: Quick Schedule Your Instagram PostsAfter you’ve spent time finding the best time to post on Instagram, collecting content, and planning your feed, the last thing you want to do is spend a ton of time actually scheduling your ckily, there’s an easier solution: Later’s free Quick Schedule feature. It lets you create your own Instagram queue based on your best times to post and then easily bulk schedule multiple posts at once:To Quick Schedule Instagram posts, you’ll want to start by creating your Instagram queue on the “weekly” tab of Later’s content calendar. To create your queue, simply double-click on the timeslot that you’d like to add, and a grey box will appear. To adjust your time, just drag the timeslot to the desired you’ve created a queue of your personal best times to post, just select multiple photos or videos from your media library and drag and drop them at the top of your what about Instagram Stories? Yep, you schedule those too! Start by visually planning them with our storyboard tool. Drag and drop stories on to the storyboard tool, and then re-arrange them to fit the order and look that you can also crop and resize images to fit the Instagram Stories 9:16, add any links or captions to your scheduled stories, which will be copied to your phone when it’s time to Create trackable links for your Instagram Stories to monitor traffic and sales from Instagram. Later makes it easy to keep track of those long URLs, so you never have to scramble to find the right link schedule Instagram Stories, simply select the time and date from the drop-down menu beside the Save Story nally, when it’s time to post, you’ll get a notification on your phone! Later makes it easy to post your stories in seconds: your photos, videos, captions, and links are sent to your phone when it’s time to post. Available now on all paid plans:#5: Optimize Your Captions & HashtagsBeyond planning the look of your feed, one of the most time-consuming (and challenging! ) parts of posting to Instagram is writing your is another reason for using a free Instagram scheduler. When you schedule a post with Later, you can take the time to write compelling captions and CTAs from your desktop, rather than when you’re busy or on-the-go. In fact, many Later users will pick a day to sit down at their computers and spend a few minutes writing out their captions for the entire On the days when you’re struggling to write a caption, having content pillars to reference can be a huge help. Establishing content pillars will help you stay organized, be consistent, and create content your audience will when it comes to finding highly relevant and niche hashtags for your posts, there’s no better tool than Later’s Hashtag you have to do is find one relevant hashtag (like #archdesign), put it into Hashtag Suggestions, hit “Suggest, ” and the feature will immediately generate 30 other hashtags, sorted by can then pick and choose which of these hashtags to add to your post. Once you find some really high-converting hashtags, you can use Later’s Saved Captions to keep them organized and add them when scheduling in the future. #6: Auto Publish Your Instagram PostsBack in the day, you could only schedule videos to Instagram via push notifications, as it wasn’t offered in the official Instagram Graph thanks to several changes to their API, you can now schedule Instagram posts directly to Instagram, no push notifications required! Just upload your photo or video, select a date and time, and your post will automatically publish to help setting up your Later account for auto publishing to Instagram? Check out our step-by-step help guide here or watch the video below:There are limitations to the Instagram API to note, and notifications may still be needed depending on the type of post you want to schedule. Here’s a few things to keep in mind: Auto publishing to Instagram is only available to Instagram business profiles. In order to switch, you’ll need to connect your Instagram account to a Facebook page. You can learn how to set up an Instagram business profile stagram creator profiles aren’t connected to the Instagram API, which means they can’t use features such as Auto Publish. You can only schedule single photos and videos directly to Instagram. To schedule carousel posts or Instagram Stories, you will need to use publishing to Instagram is available on all Later plans, and can be done from your desktop or the mobile app. Note: free plans cannot schedule scheduling your posts and videos directly to Instagram, no push notification required! #7: Use to Drive More Sales and TrafficWith your Instagram posts prepped and scheduled, the final step is to use to optimize your posts for traffic and Instagram only gives you one clickable link in the app (the link in your bio), getting users to click-through to your website or online store can be a difficult while Instagram offers a few tools to help with this, we recommend using Later’s you can add links to any of the Instagram posts that you’ve published through Later, which is perfect for directing your Instagram audience to the right content or products on your someone clicks on the link in your bio, they’ll be taken to a web and mobile-optimized landing page that resembles your Instagram feed (example:). Clicking on a photo will take them to a specific URL like a product page or blog “Link in bio” CTAs in your Instagram captions will encourage your audience to browse your products, learn more about your brand, and shop your best part? We released a free version of, so everyone can drive website traffic and reach their sales goals through Instagram. Plus, it can be set up on the web or Later’s iOS and Android apps! Set up by Later right now for free – no trials or credit card needed! Here’s a quick recap:How to Schedule Instagram PostsFind your best time to post on Instagram with Later’s Best Time to Post featureCreate and curate your Instagram contentPlan the “look” of your Instagram feed with Later’s Visual PlannerQuick Schedule your Instagram posts to save timeOptimize your captions and hashtags to get more engagementAuto publish your Instagram postsUse to drive more traffic and salesScheduling your Instagram posts is one of the best ways to save time while achieving your larger goals and objectives — which is a double win for businesses that use Instagram to make sales or generate picking the right Instagram scheduler for you, it’s important to think about what features meet your needs, whether it’s curating user-generated content, planning your Instagram aesthetic, or finding your best times to to plan your feed, schedule your Instagram posts, save time, and more? Get started for free now!
Frequently Asked Questions about instagram post automation
Can you automate Instagram posts?
You can only schedule single photos and videos directly to Instagram. To schedule carousel posts or Instagram Stories, you will need to use notifications. Auto publishing to Instagram is available on all Later plans, and can be done from your desktop or the mobile app. Note: free plans cannot schedule videos.Nov 15, 2020
How do you automate on Instagram?
What actions can be automated on Instagram?Likes. With care, Likes are arguably the safest front-facing interaction with followers to automate on Instagram. … Comments. … Find Followers. … Follows (and unfollows) … Direct Messages (DMs) … Story Views. … Scheduling and publishing. … Reporting.More items…•Jun 29, 2020