Struggling to cope with your social media content schedule? Overwhelmed by the content you need to produce to stay on par with your competitors? Find yourself able to prepare and schedule content for almost every social media platform - except for Instagram? Well things have changed!
With a number of updates to the Instagram API yesterday, Facebook announced that users can now schedule Instagram posts ahead of time. This means that Instagram brands can schedule their content to be automatically posted at any given time!
“But I’ve been scheduling Instagram posts for ages!”
Yeah, so here’s the thing. While third-party platforms have allowed users and brands to schedule posts – they’ve done so with a few sacrifices. For instance, some platforms will just send you a notification at a given time, reminding you to press a button. These were more likely glorified social media alarm clocks. Yikes.
This is just one example. Other platforms involved walls and walls of mobile phones, each connected to individual brand accounts – and each manually posting your content at the given time.
But worst of all, many of these platforms went against Instagram’s use policy, so it was kind of… not allowed. Developers of these third-party platforms and software could have their access to the Instagram API revoked at any given moment – leaving users and their Instagram accounts at risk.
What does the Instagram API update mean for brands?
Basically, you can now schedule Instagram content and post automatically at a given time, and you won’t get in trouble! Sah-weet!
If you’re already using a third-party scheduling platform or software, it probably wasn’t as automatic as you had hoped. Some platforms offered reminder functionality, while others helped with planning, but very few offered true content scheduling functionality.
The good news is, there’s no more need for these pesky, sub-par reminder platforms! With this update, using industry-leading social platforms (e.g. Hootsuite, Sprout Social), you can now schedule your content and forget about it – knowing that it’s going to be posted automatically.
At the moment, this functionality is only available to business accounts. So, if there’s anyone wanting this for a personal account, Facebook announced that your time will come in early 2019.
So, what’s the point of scheduling Instagram posts?
- Get it all out of the way in one go, for starters. Trying to remember to manually post content on a regular basis is stress you don’t need as not everyone has time to think about Instagram every day.
- Control the quality of your posts. In-the-moment posts can sometimes lack thought and strategy. The higher quality your content is, the more likely you are to get increase followers and keep them engaged with your brand. Creating a calendar of posts in advance allows you to put more focus on:
- The types of posts you create
- The quality of the post content
- How frequently they’re published
- At what time of day they’re posted
- The best hashtags for searchability
- Keep a consistent aesthetic. Scheduling your posts allows you to see the overall picture of what you’re putting out there. Are you consistent with your brand colours? Are there too many of the one type of post? Are the images really representative of who you are as a brand? Being able to see all of your content at once allows you to edit more effectively.
- Have more time to engage your followers. Once scheduling is out of the way, you have your hands free to interact with the people who engage your brand. This means you can more successfully foster that business/customer relationship. Getting followers is one thing, but keeping them is another!
How do I go about scheduling Instagram posts?
Instagram doesn’t have its own in-built scheduling function – so you’ll need to use one of the third-party platforms we’ve mentioned. Hootsuite and Sprout Social both already offer Instagram in the mix of social media platforms that can be managed in one place. Social Flow has advised that, while they don’t offer scheduling functionality for Instagram yet, they are currently working to add it to their list of supported platforms – but they don’t have a firm launch date as of yet. The other software you can use is Schedugram. This platform is purely for managing your Instagram, as opposed to the others where you can manage all your platforms in one place.
So go ahead – schedule your Instagram posts and be done with it! But if you find that this is something you need help with, get in touch with our team. We’ll get you sorted.