Among deadlines and approvals, there is one thing that marketers often struggle to accomplish.
It’s neither creativity nor is it fewer conversions. It’s being consistent and getting things done on time.
Marketers often struggle to draw a balance between putting out quality content and putting out quality content consistently. Consistency is often regarded as one of the critical determinants of a project’s success or failure. It can make or break your brand.
Fortunately, many tools came into existence that can solve the above-stated problems.
One category of such tools are Instagram scheduler tools.
For a long time, Instagram didn’t allow third-party interventions, which means you couldn’t post on Instagram without actually doing it manually. Luckily enough, Instagram changed that in 2018 by allowing businesses to schedule their posts well in advance using API integrations.
In this blog, we’ll discuss what are the best Instagram schedulers, their benefits, the best practices for using them, and some common mistakes that you can avoid to schedule your posts on Instagram.
Let’s get going!
What are Instagram Schedulers?
Audience attention is an exiguous commodity. With over one billion monthly active users and more than 25 million business profiles, Instagram is the buzziest social media platform for establishing your business presence. The popularity of the platform presents you with the opportunity to cater to millions of your target audience from a single platform. However, it’s not as easy to woo customers as it sounds.
You have to put on your A-game while competing with thousands of your competitors to capture your audience’ attention.
Creativity, engagement, consistent messaging, uploading posts on time- there is so much to take care of as a social media marketer. Managing Instagram marketing is often overwhelming, but recent technological developments have proved to be a boon for marketers.
Instagram Schedulers are a great example of advanced digital marketing tools.
As the name suggests, an Instagram Scheduler, also called Instagram post scheduler, is a tool that helps you schedule your Instagram posts in advance. It also performs secondary functions like automation, suggestions for hashtags, in-built editing options, and analytics.
Why Schedule Instagram Posts?
Scheduling Instagram posts in advance comes with a lot of benefits. Time is a precious commodity, and every business owner aims at saving it. Instagram Schedulers help with precisely that.
Some specific benefits of scheduling Instagram posts in advance include:
1. It helps save time and effort
Scheduling in advance helps you save on the time spent daily for posting on Instagram manually. With schedulers, you just need to drag and drop your graphics and content for the entire time frame you wish to schedule for in advance (weeks, months, or even an entire quarter.) All in a few minutes.
The saved time can be utilized to alter the content and make it more appealing. You can even revamp your Instagram strategy, ideate on giveaways, or add more content on your content calendar using this time.
2. It helps create better content
Scheduling posts in advance means you need to bulk-create. Now creating in bulk doesn’t mean a lack of quality. On the contrary, when you are creating content in bulk or at once, it helps capitalize on the continuity to create better content that is consistent with your brand’s overarching message.
The quality of your Instagram copy marks the difference between you gaining engagement or losing it. Thus, in a way, using Instagram Schedulers helps get you in the momentum of creating quality content and also saves time for the same.
3. It helps you visualize and imagine your feed look in advance that enables you to optimize and plan better for the future
Planning and designing your posts in advance is a prerequisite for scheduling in advance. Thus, scheduling helps you imagine what your feed might look like when your posts actually go up.
You can preview the chain of posts in your content scheduler and think of the possible edits that will present the bigger picture more appropriately. Ultimately, that’s what matters. Scheduling is always better because it provides ample room for corrections and modifications and puts out the best content possible.
What Are The Ways of Scheduling an Instagram post?
As stated above, there are two ways through which you can schedule Instagram posts.
Facebook’s creator studio
The Facebook creator studio is limited to business accounts and comes with a truckload of features. Everything happens on the creator dashboard. From editing and cropping your images to putting captions with suitable hashtags-Facebook creator studio is a one-stop tool for business owners. You can schedule your Instagram posts using Facebook creator studio up to six months in advance.
However, it has some drawbacks. Some cons of using this Facebook service are that it is not available for regular Instagram accounts and is limited to only influencers and brands linked to a Facebook page. Also, you cannot avail of this service for Instagram stories which acts as a significant hindrance considering the prevalence of this feature in the Instagram Marketing domain.
How to schedule Instagram posts from Creator Studio?
– Go to the creator studio and switch to Instagram
– Click on the “Create Post” button and then choose from Instagram Post and IGTV
– Then, you can add a caption, hashtags, tag other accounts, and edit your image
– Once done, you can publish your post instantaneously or schedule it for later by specifying the date and time
Third-Party web apps
Considering the pitfalls of Facebook creator studio, third-Party tools are gaining increasing prominence in the marketing arena. The best Instagram scheduler solutions, like those offered by SocialPilot, have features that help you fast-track scheduling-related processes and manage voluminous content in a matter of minutes.
The Best Process of Scheduling Instagram Posts
Now that we have covered the basics, it’s time to delve deeper into how you can maximize your potential using Instagram Schedulers.
If you are new to this domain, follow the process given below to get the best results.
Create a content calendar
Randomly scheduling posts using a tool is of no relevance unless you have a content calendar. A content calendar can be a spreadsheet, a Word doc, or any other format that contains details like date, day, time, content, captions, and hashtags related to a particular post. It is an organized dump of ideas for your Instagram profile and makes scheduling easier. In addition, a content calendar helps you visualize your feed in advance and provides time to make changes.
Imagine having a week-long content ready in advance. Then, all you have to do is schedule it, and you’re done for the week. That’s the power of having calendars.
Curate bulk content in one shot
Would you prefer spending 30-40 mins every day curating Instagram content or spend 2-3 hours on just one day and ideate on content for the entire week?
We feel the latter seems feasible. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a brand or an influencer. It’s always good to have “shoot days” or “ideation days” where you create a bunch of Instagram content in a particular period. This helps you save the everyday effort and enables you to come up with quality content.
Once the content is ready, you can bulk-upload or schedule your posts using tools and software in a matter of minutes.
Following this strategy will provide you with more time to refine your content and post the best version of it on your feed.
Figure out when’s the best time to post
Instagram is a very competitive platform.To get more engagement and increased activity on your account, you need to thoroughly study your target customers. You can do this by analyzing what’s the best time to post. But how do you do this?
The best time to post will be different for each domain and brand.
To find your personalized best time to post on the platform, consider the following methods:
– A/B testing: Try posting through different times of the day and see when you get the maximum engagement.
– Another option is to go through your Instagram Insights. Instagram Insights is an excellent analytical tool that allows you to plan better. Insights show you the whole picture of your audience’s demographics in a visually appealing way.
– The last method is third-party Instagram Scheduler apps, such as SocialPilot. They give you the exact data on your best-performing months, days, and hours that help you break down your Instagram Strategy.
Decide on how you want your Instagram feed to look like
Now that you have your audience’s insights and content in place, it’s time to collate everything and plan how you want your feed to look. Instagram is a visual platform, and often the first impression is the last impression for users. People make engagement decisions primarily by looking at your profile, so planning it well in advance is essential.
Instagram Scheduler apps have visual planners that help you understand the target audience in the best way possible. Then, all you need to do is drag and drop your posts on the planner, rearrange them, and save the changes.
Using this feature effectively helps you make a seamless and consistent feed that is ultimately bound to attract more followers. But, of course, a good understanding of design would help in this regard.
Write awesome captions and use hashtags
After selecting the date and time of a particular post, it’s time to add captions and hashtags. Writing captions and researching hashtags are some of the most time-consuming and challenging aspects of Instagram marketing. However, captions and hashtags help you with boosting visibility and engagement.
Scheduling posts in advance helps you write compelling captions with CTAs as you’re not busy or thinking afresh. You can take your time and fully structure your captions without hurrying.
Some Instagram schedulers also provide you with a hashtag suggestions feature that helps you find relevant and niche hashtags in a matter of seconds. You can also create a hashtag pool based on frequently used categories to help you with your future posts and campaigns.
Schedule your Instagram posts
After taking care of the above, it’s time for you to schedule your posts using the Instagram Scheduler. Again, your content calendar would help in doing so effectively. Just refer to your calendar and select the date and time you want a particular post to go up on your profile, and rest assured of the post going live on time.
Track results, alter, and repeat
One of the most underrated aspects of Instagram marketing is using analytics to monitor performance.
The job of a social media marketer doesn’t end with posting. It kind of starts there as their caliber is determined by the success of their posts.
Tracking conversions and finding loopholes in the performance of the posts is as essential as posting consistently. Making compelling reports of how your social media business account is performing keeps your team on track and helps them plan the future better.
Mistakes to avoid while scheduling Instagram Posts
Instagram scheduler tools can act as a catalyst for businesses to improve marketing efficiency, but it is also easy to get carried away in the process of maximizing their use.
Here are some mistakes you can avoid before and after scheduling your Instagram posts using a scheduling tool:
Scheduling too far in advance
Scheduling posts for several months in advance might seem like a tempting idea. The truth is you shouldn’t. It is impossible to predict what might happen in the future, so bulk-scheduling so much in advance can lead to branding disasters.
After all, no one wants to see your brand post a joke during an international dispute. Moment marketing is something that consistently earns you brownie points in the social media domain. Therefore, it is essential to bring a balance between scheduled posts and manually posted creatives.
Not interacting with your audience
Once you’ve scheduled your posts, you don’t need to be online when the post goes up. This can lead to you forgetting to engage with your audience. And that can lead to decreased engagement rates and lack of audience retention.
Interacting with your audience and nurturing your community is an essential aspect of growing your social media influence. Thus, you should always take out time to reply to comments and re-share your audience’s content to boost brand visibility and engagement.
Posting too much or too little
Once you get your hands on scheduler tools for Instagram, it might make you schedule too many posts for a single day and too little for another. It is essential to bring a balance in your posting schedule so that your audience is consistently engaged.
Posting too little negatively impacts your visibility, while posting too often can annoy your target audience. It thus becomes critical to use the Instagram Scheduler tool to your absolute advantage while bringing an optimal balance in your post activities.
Start Scheduling Now!
Instagram post schedulers are a blessing for marketers amid their ever-increasing workload and heightened requirement for curating out-of-the-box content.
There are several free instagram scheduling tools in the market that charge a handsome sum by including features that. That’s extra money out of your wallet without any value addition for your marketing campaign.
Therefore, it is very important to understand your requirements first and then decide upon a tool that offers advanced Instagram scheduling features and provides value for money, like the scheduling tools offered by SocialPilot.
SocialPilot provides a comprehensive social media scheduling tool that allows your team to schedule and publish posts using a single unified dashboard on Instagram as well as other major social media platforms.
Visit SocialPilot to learn more about scheduling posts on Instagram!
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re looking forward to simply trying out a new tool for scheduling Instagram posts, then it’s likely that you won’t be allocating a significant budget to it since you are just experimenting with how the tool works for you. Thus, it would help if you searched for free instagram schedulers that have a user-friendly interface so that you’re able to schedule posts without any external help.
Technically speaking, no. Once you have scheduled posts on the scheduling tool, they go live automatically. However, remember to check the posts and respond to comments and reactions once your post is published on your page.
There’s no one-time-suits-all formula for all brands, and it varies depending on several factors, such as the industry, target audience, and brand goal. However, generally speaking, the best time to post on Instagram is between 6 am and 11 pm on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Scheduling Instagram saves time and helps you stay consistent in publishing posts, which further enables you to grow your audience and generate more engagement.
Scheduling Instagram posts way in advance might lead to branding disasters. It is recommended to schedule posts on a monthly or a bi-monthly basis so that your content is relatable and fresh.