Instagram is a powerful and useful marketing tool and should be an essential part of your social media marketing. With many benefits and added ways to get your product or message out there in front of your target audience, finding the time and resources to continue posting on Instagram can seem like a challenge.
Whether you are posting for your own business account or the account of a client, taking the time to invest and build your brand's presence on Instagram is paramount.
A vital element within your Instagram marketing strategy, you may question how you can find the time to post and harness its power when you are lacking in precious time
For those wanting to start scheduling on Instagram, one way to ensure maximum success and that is to use some great Instagram tools.
Within this blog, we will take a look at the best Instagram Scheduling Tools available that are either free or paid for and that are available for a wide range of different budgets.
The Power of Instagram
Chances are, you are already aware of the power of Instagram and its ever growing popularity. Whether you are a business or an influencer, creating an account and posting regularly is essential in remaining relevant. With over 1 billion active users on Instagram every month, with 500 million account holders checking their accounts daily; Instagram is not just for posting images of trendy houseplants and funny cat videos.
Instead, Instagram is a social media platform that can connect you with audiences and help build brand presence, whether for lead generation or for an increase in revenue.
Through evolution over the years, users can now create shoppable pins, live videos and even create a video channel, all on their account. This development has in turn seen Instagram tools being created to help users schedule posts, view their analytics, report on their activity, as well as conduct hashtag research and discover when their audiences are more active.
To help you discover which Instagram scheduling tools are right for you, we have done the research on your behalf and have put together our findings so that you can find the right tool for your budget.
Top 10 Paid and Free Instagram Scheduling Tools
- Connect 25 accounts at $30/month
- Directly publish to your Instagram business accounts
- Design instantly with Canva integration
- Schedule multiple images, GIFs & videos
- In-depth analytics & reporting
$30 per month
A reliable and trusted Instagram scheduling tool when it comes to social media scheduling is SocialPilot. A comprehensive and thorough tool that combines all the required elements with direct Instagram scheduling into one handy place. Straightforward and simple to use, SocialPilot is at present the only site that allows users to schedule posts on their TikTok, Google My Business, Tumblr, VK, as well as, Instagram accounts besides the major social media platforms.
Allowing users to create and schedule posts all in one handy place, users can use the handy analyze, monitor and report function. This ensures that all customers are publishing worthy content that can aid and support their ongoing targets. You can directly schedule and publish posts to Instagram via the Zapier integration, SocialPilot recently launched.
Users can also be confident that when using SocialPilot that they can receive around the clock customer support from the SocialPilot team, either by phone, email, chat or through social media.
Features of SocialPilot:
- Schedule customized posts for different social media platforms at once.
- Review your social performance through deep social media analytics and reporting.
- Instagram direct publishing to your business accounts.
- Manage about 100 social media profiles all at one dashboard.
- Schedule Facebook boost posts to expand your brand’s reach
- Manage your clients social media accounts hassle-free.
- Create an effective content strategy with the social media content calendar
- Invite team members and manage social media scheduling remotely.
- Create engaging interactive images with the help of Canva integration right from the post composer.
What social media marketers say about SocialPilot
SocialPilot's ability to bulk schedule content is a giant time-saver. Having that feature plus an intuitive dashboard that was friendly to the new and intermediate user is a recipe for success. Lastly, SP is on the forefront of advancements and new technology.
I run many social accounts, set up of these accounts are so easy in SocialPilot. I use this on a daily basis and can keep track of all my scheduled posts. I switched from Buffer as someone recommended to use SP for the ease of use and after the free trial I just decided to stick by forever.
I like that I can schedule a post that I find from Facebook to a later date. I also like that it does not cost anything to look at analytics for your posts. Hootsuite was not as easy to use and every time you wanted an analytic report it was an extra $20 and the reason for switching to a better hootsuite alternative - SocialPilot.
$99 per month
One of the popular Instagram scheduling tools used by experienced marketeers is Hootsuite. A popular choice for Instagram scheduling, but that can also be used with other social media accounts on media workstations.
Fairly a complex tool to use compared to other Instagram posting tools, to connect your Instagram account to Hootsuite. Allowing you to create your social posts within the tool, you can create, preview and schedule all posts through Hootsuite. Hootsuite is not just for Instagram, users can schedule and post onto Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest and even YouTube.
- You can monitor all activity and view all the results from the dashboard. This allows for swift and effortless reporting and reviewing which campaign within the social media marketing strategy was successful.
- You can connect with over 150 apps for a more efficient scheduling process.
As a Hootsuite user for 7 years now, it is by far my favorite social media management software. Creating, optimizing, and posting social media for different platforms, etc.
- Hootsuite offers only a limited plan that covers up to three social media accounts and includes up to 20 scheduled messages.
- Difficult to use for beginners and the vast options that it offers could become overwhelming to new and small business owners. It's a more enterprise focused tool.
- The customer service team can be difficult to get hold of. To upgrade the customer service support that you receive, there is an option to upgrade and pay more money monthly.
The user interface is weak, it's not user-friendly nor is it practical or modern looking. It has a tendency to leg, it also isn't mobile friendly, they do have an app, but again it's not easy to navigate.
$99 per month
Offering a simple and effective method to publish and schedule onto a selection of social media channels, Buffer is often a recommended tool ideal for beginners and those starting out with few social media channels. Along with the ability to schedule onto Instagram directly, users can also post onto Facebook and Twitter. With the option to choose and change the time and the date of the posts, ideal for those smaller companies wanting an adjustable tool for their convenience.
- Ability to schedule and publish posts to your intended time and date.
- Offers basic analytics, as well as link shortening.
- Comes with a basic free version for those starting out and wanting to test their services
Over many projects and jobs, I've used Buffer as my go-to social media management tool. Link your InstaGram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts (others, if you wish) and you are ready to rock and roll.
- No bulk upload feature yet available. For customers to conduct bulk uploads, customers will need to require a third-party app called BulkBuffer
- To analyze your social media accounts you need a whole different plan that can definitely make a hole in your pocket.
- To access the hashtag manager and publish Instagram stories and shop grid, this feature comes at a different $65 monthly plan.
Raised their price for individual accounts from 10 to 15 a month. Went to the free plan because of it then you lose posting abilities. Software has always had issues with it as each "upgrade" can result in loss of features. I hesitate to upgrade because of this.
$14.99 per month
A social media software aimed at small businesses, for those new to the social media marketing world consider using Tailwind. Up until recently, Tailwind was primarily used for posting and scheduling Pinterest boards, however, a much needed development is now allowing customers to schedule their Instagram posts too. Easy to use and simple to navigate for even the less techy people, Tailwind offers something that many other apps lack, the ability to bulk upload posts through a drag and drop tool. A useful addition for agencies, this can be seen through the profile metrics, trending reporting, as well as the engagement benchmarks that Tailwind offers.
- The ability to bulk upload Instagram and Pinterest posts.
- Offers the ability to schedule the date and time of your posts.
- Simple and clear design.
This software is mostly beneficial for planning, tracking and evaluating progress for posts on Instagram and pins on Pinterest. This software address the issue of posting scheduled pins to Pinterest, which for a long time was not an option with other scheduling sites.
- Only available to be used for Pinterest and Instagram.
- Tailwind for Pinterest and for Instagram are two separate products and will need to be purchased separately. You can’t manage both social media accounts from one dashboard.
- Cannot be used to schedule posts for other social media accounts like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter. Quite a lot of limitations when using this as a complete social media tool.
The main menu could be a little more basic, then offering options to navigate away from the main screen. I feel the main screen jumps right into the product, which can be a bit overwhelming.
$99 per month
Another popular Instagram scheduling tool that allows users to directly schedule both images and videos, as well as other social media posts is Sendible.
It allows users to choose and select their specific times before adding them to a queue to be posted automatically.
Sendible even offers users the ability to recycle their old content and promote popular posts back out to their audience.
An all in one tool that allows users to schedule, design, create and promote posts across a range of platforms. This Instagram posting tool is not just compatible with Instagram, users can also post on Facebook, Twitter and even Tumblr.
- Comes with a built in inbox that allows users to manage and response to comments and mentions across a range of social media platforms
- Sendible also features a built in CRM with a team management system that makes it perfect for managing teams
- There is even the function to review keywords and ensure that you are targeting the right hashtags as searched by your target audience
Sendible provides the features most important to me at a price that doesn't break my budget. I feel their support team has been responsive, and I look forward to continued improvements with this product.
- Users have highlighted that adding and setting up new users and teammates to the tool can be confusing and time consuming.
- The mobile app has been reported to be prone to glitches and crashes, while editing Instagram posts can be a difficult challenge.
- It has also been found that sometimes images for posts do not always feed through and end up being posted. This requires monitoring.
This software is so glitchy. I often have to log out and back in to make features work. Sometimes the disappear altogether, or when I click them they don't fire.
$49 per month
Another recommended free Instagram scheduling tool and an official partner of Instagram is Later. This software is used by over 1 million users worldwide and comes with a handful of handy features. Whether you are an agency, influencer or a small business, this free tool can prove useful. With some of the main features including the ability to plan and prepare content through a calendar view, you can also preview posts and see how they will be published through Laters’ Instagram Planner.
- Users are able to bulk upload posts at one time and can sync images from Dropbox, Drive or even their desktop
- Offers users the ability to track and review their exposure through the in tool analytics option
- For users within eCommerce, there is an added option to sell your products through the include Linkin.bio integration
Later has legitimately changed the way I do business and how I think about social media as a whole. Social media is not a burden anymore, but something that I am very intentional with.
- Later is definitely more focused towards Instagram and this can be seen in the features that it offers. Users have noticed a lack in options and tools available when scheduling and posting onto Facebook.
- Some scheduled Instagram posts are not always processing and being posted. However, this appears to be a fault within the app.
- The analytics option available is fairly limited and is nowhere as in depth as that offered by other Instagram scheduling tools.
The analytics part would improve if it could give more details about the overall engagement of our profile. This means it would be great if we could have graphics that sum up all the reactions for our stories, posts and clicks on our link all together
Hopper HQ is one of the simple to use Instagram scheduling tools for businesses of all sizes. An effective Instagram tool that allows you to schedule and prepare posts in advance through the use of bulk editing and uploading of posts. Hopper allows users to post, track and review the analytics of their Instagram activity. Within this Instagram scheduling tool users can also collaborate with other team members and auto publish straight onto Instagram without the use of their mobile phones.
A free Instagram scheduling tool, when compared to other free options available for scheduling social media posts, Hopper is in a league of its own.
- Allows teams to collaborate, create, schedule and post in bulk to their Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts
- Mentioned and endorsed by the BBC
- Hopper allows users to automatically post and schedule videos onto carousels in Instagram.
I find Hopper to have a functionality and ease of use that I've not had before. When we have had issues with the software, customer service has always been top notch!
- Some users have found that the software disconnects from the login details. Regular checking that the scheduling tool is connected is recommended.
- Hopper at present does not allow the option to tag people within the posts
- The paid version can prove to be expensive for influencers and those on a budget
It's constantly disconnecting. There is no point in scheduling posts if you have to go check that your scheduling tool is working every day.
$135 per month
Previously known as Schedugram, Sked Social is viewed by many to be the all-in-one time saving tool. This Instagram scheduling tool allows users to schedule, auto-post, as well as track the performance of the post, along with measuring the ROI of social media efforts in line with targets in place.
Like many other Instagram posting tools, Sked Social offers bulk uploading of content. Sked Social also comes with an included in-app photo editor allowing users to edit both text, filters, while adding stickers and fun overlays to images. Along with the posting of Instagram images, Sked Social features the ability to post onto Facebook, Twitter as well as stories, carousels and even videos.
- As only one link is allowed to be added in the bio section, with Sked you can create a Sked link which by clicking will show multiple destinations a user can go.
- They offer a free 7 day trial to those wanting to see all that Sked Social has to offer
- Option to add stickers and overlays onto images
The interface is very fast, and is very user-friendly software. Has all the features that you need to post on Instagram. The calendar view allows you to plan ahead of time. I just put the information there and Schedugram do all the work for me!
- Some users have found that it would be useful if this scheduling tool offered them the option to edit and update posts before scheduling them
- To register more users and social accounts, the monthly cost of Sked Social can rapidly add up
Even though it has IG story options, it doesn't have all the options to add the links of polls. which we all know are very powerful. Also, the customer support isn't the greatest, I was a loyal customer on an 'old' plan paying £32/month where on their website it's advertised from £19.
$21 per month
Another basic Instagram scheduling tool for those unsure where to start or not yet ready to commit to a more developed app is Combin. With stories also able to be created and scheduled within Combin, this software allows users to drag and drop images into the tool before combining the images into a story and publishing directly.
- Allows users the option to schedule ahead or post immediately.
- Along with the ability to create and schedule bulk posts, Combin allows users to edit the sizes of the images.
- Users can even choose the locations of followers so that their posts can target a specific area, geo targeting
I like how much time it saves me to like photos, comment and follow users. I like how I can add in my own comments, select specific accounts and hashtags, and automate a lot of the tedious parts of growing an Instagram account.
- Lacks analytics options and to review which followers have engaged with your posts.
- Some users have discovered that by using Combin, Instagram will sign them out of their account and regularly ask them to change their password
- The free accounts comes with limits and the ability to only connect with a few social profiles
Most features did not work properly. After contacting support and tried their alternative ways it didn't really change much at all. In the end it didn't work at all even to like one image.
$30 per month
A simple tool that allows users to schedule multiple Instagram posts all in one handy place, Apphi is ideal for those Instagram users with a tight deadline and limited time available.
It offers the ability to save their most used captions and hashtags into the tool. This Instagram scheduling tool can be used on both desktop and mobile, and offers an analytics option for Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. What sets this Instagram software tool apart from others and that is its ability to schedule not just Instagram posts, but also videos, stories and even IGTVs while receiving valuable information on the activity of their followers to ensure content is being received and viewed and the optimal, prime time.
- Along with being able to schedule posts on Instagram, Apphi allows users to schedule videos, stories and IGTVs
- Users can also gain insight into the activity of their followers to ensure that they are sending content at the prime time”
- Manage Instagram, Facebook and Twitter all in one location
I have been using this app for a few days now managing more than one IG account and when they say you can schedule your posts in advance you literally plan, schedule and then forget about it, it does it FOR YOU!
- Many users have found that the auto scheduling doesn’t always work and that the free option available will not feed through to their Instagram accounts
- Some users have even found that their Instagram accounts have been blocked through the use of this third party app
- Customer service is not always helpful when fixing and recommending a solution to the bugs and failures within the tool.
However, autopost doesn't work for me as whenever I schedule something to post, after it's supposed to have been posted it just says expired and doesn't post, even though I haven't used any of my free autoposts.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best Instagram scheduling tools are
- Hopper HQ
- Sked Social
Yes there are a couple of free Instagram scheduling tools which let you post to Instagram directly for free. Though it will let you only publish single photos and videos directly. To post carousel posts you will still need to use the notifications. Hopper HQ and Later are the tools that let you do it for free.
Yes! With SocialPilot you can now directly publish to your Instagram business account. You can automatically schedule image and video posts without using a remindr or third-party tool.
There you are, the ten best Instagram Scheduling Tools suited to a range of different abilities and budgets. Whether you are looking for a free, simple to use tool, or a multi tasking programme that can review the most popular hashtags, inform you of your audiences activities while recommending the best time and date to post, you can remain confident that there is a tool for you.
With the functions of Instagram constantly changing and with our uses and requirements of this social media device adjusting over time, keeping up to date with these advances while choosing a scheduling tool that is relevant is a must.
Along with making sure that your chosen tool can complete your requested tasks, finding a tool on an appropriate budget is essential in ensuring that your marketing efforts are in line with the requirements of your company.
We would love to hear your thoughts and discover if you have any first hand experience of using these tools and which of the above you found the easiest and most effective in your Instagram marketing efforts.