How To Schedule Instagram Posts (And Why You Should)

How do you schedule Instagram posts? It’s a question we hear amongst Instagram users far and wide, which is why we put together this step-by-step guide.

In this article, we’ll talk you through how to schedule Instagram posts, and why you should get started right away!

Knowing how to use an Instagram scheduler is perhaps one of the most integral marketing strategies you can use to help the growth of your Instagram account.

It’s a simple formula: the more consistently active you are on Instagram, the better your account will perform. Your followers want to see great content, and they want to see it often!

Simple Post, Story + Reel Scheduling ✨

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How to Schedule Instagram Posts: A Step-By-Step Guide

It’s important to note that only Instagram business accounts possess the capability to schedule posts; personal accounts do not offer this feature.

Instagram provides users with three distinct account types: Personal, Creator, and Business. When you initially join Instagram, you automatically have a Personal Instagram account.

Nevertheless, you retain the flexibility to transition it into a Professional Account, which includes the Business and Creator account options, at your convenience.

The primary distinction between a Professional and a Personal Instagram Account is that the latter lacks access to analytics or API functionalities. In essence, it means you cannot pre-schedule your posts, access third-party analytical tools, or utilize Facebook Creator Studio to manage your account effectively.

However, with an Instagram Business account, you gain the convenience of scheduling posts in advance for automated publishing. Therefore, even if you are still in the process of shaping your Instagram marketing strategy and your follower count is on the rise, considering the transition to a business account is a prudent choice.

Schedule content from your Instagram profile:

  1. Go to your Instagram profile and create a new post
  2. Select the content that you want to post on your gallery 
  3. Add any filter or effects that you wish to use 
  4. Then scroll down and click on “Advance Settings” 
  5. Move the toggle on “Schedule this post” 
  6. Choose your desired date and time
  7. Go back to your post and click “schedule”

How to schedule Instagram posts with Hopper Hq

Although you may now schedule posts straight from the Instagram app, you may want to consider using a Social Media scheduling tool instead.

There are many benefits that you may experience by using a tool like Hopper HQ:

Cross-platform scheduling: With a scheduling tool, you can streamline your posting process, by publishing content on different social media platforms simultaneously.

Boosted Productivity: Pre-planning and scheduling your feed posts in batches means you won’t be racing against the clock, allowing you to adopt a more strategic approach to your Instagram content.

Timely Approvals: Instagram scheduling empowers you to secure approvals for your posts well in advance, ensuring you stay ahead of deadlines and experience the satisfaction of being well-prepared.

Schedule content using Hopper HQ:

Step 1: Create a Hopper HQ account

First thing’s first, to schedule Instagram posts you’ll need a Hopper HQ account. Signing up only takes a few minutes, and the best part is you’ll receive a free 14 day trial to test it out!

Step 2: Connect your Instagram Account

Once you’ve registered with Hopper HQ, you’ll be taken to a dashboard where you can connect your social accounts in order to manage and schedule your posts.

Plan & schedule social media ahead of time.

> Video, gallery & image posts
> Calendar, feed & grid preview
> Instagram, Facebook & Twitter

Step 3: Upload Photos & Videos

Now you’re connected and verified with Hopper HQ you can begin to schedule Instagram posts…

Select Images/Videos — Head to the dashboard and click ‘Create Posts’.

From here you’ll be able to bulk upload up to 50 files from your computer, a URL, the web, or from Dropbox, Google Drive, Google Photos or Box.

schedule instagram posts
Bulk upload your photos and videos to schedule them to Instagram

Edit Images — Once uploaded, you’re taken to the bulk edit view where you can add more images to make a gallery post, as well as crop, and edit your images.

If your files are not the correct size for Instagram, you will see an alert to crop using the pre-set dimensions. Click on the crop icon to make your image square, portrait or landscape.

schedule instagram posts
We’ll let you know if your image is the wrong dimensions for Instagram and you can fix it straight away.
Crop your image using Instagram’s pre-set ratios.

Click on the paintbrush icon to go to Hopper HQ’s in-app editing software! Here you can add filters, edit brightness, and even add light leaks, text and stickers.

schedule instagram posts
Editing software in Hopper HQ
Plan & Schedule Your Social Media Posts

Visually plan your posts. Drag & drop everywhere in seconds ✨

Step 4: Final touches

Captions & Hashtags — Once you’ve finished editing, you can write out both your captions and first comments for all of your posts. These will be published with your post at its scheduled time. 

You can add hashtags, emojis, and tag users you’re mentioning in your captions on Hopper HQ.

Also add location tags to increase your reach! Instagram posts with locations receive 79% more engagement than those without, so we’d recommend using this feature.

Schedule Instagram Posts — Now you’re happy with your posts, you have the choice to Post Now, Schedule a date & time, or save it as a draft (a handy feature if you’re working within a team).

schedule instagram posts
Select your date and time to schedule to Instagram, or post instantly.

Done! — Click ‘Save Changes’ to schedule your posts.

Your posts will all appear in the Posts and the Calendar view, and any changes can be easily made by drag and dropping.

The Hopper HQ calendar allows you to ensure posting consistency when you schedule Instagram posts! View your content by month or week, and drag and drop to move things around.

schedule instagram posts
The content calendar planner on Hopper HQ – visually manage what posts are going out when, and easily drag and drop to change their scheduled date!

Video Tutorial: How To Schedule Instagram Posts

Why You Should Schedule Instagram Posts:

As well as being a fundamental strategy for growth and organisation, scheduling your posts to Instagram has many benefits, including:

1. Saving Time ⏰

Scheduling Instagram posts saves you a great deal of time! Having to open the Instagram app, upload a photo, write a caption and then post it is a tedious task.

Uploading, managing and planning your content in advance streamlines this process, as you’re able to schedule multiple Instagram posts at once, with captions and hashtags, and don’t have to be anywhere near a phone when you want the posts to go out.

2. Content Management 📱

Organising your content on social media can be a big task, especially if you’re managing multiple accounts. Schedule Instagram posts to help manage what content is going out when, posting consistency, feed aesthetic and much more!

This prevents any rushed or last-minute posts, which will improve the overall quality of content going out.

Simple Post, Story + Reel Scheduling ✨

Visually plan your social content. Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn + Pinterest.

3. Posting From PC 🖥

One of the many limitations of Instagram is the inability to post content via a desktop web browser. This is naturally problematic for brands, photographers, influencers and any users who have to juggle between their phones and desktops to post content.

Using an Instagram scheduler allows you to cut out these steps and upload your posts straight from your computer files, Dropbox, Google Photos and many other online storage systems.

4. Planning Your Instagram Feed 🎨

If you’re looking to take your Instagram to the next level, you need to start planning your feed in advance to maintain the aesthetic your followers love to see!

Using an Instagram scheduler allows you to visually plan your feed, ensuring your posts are cohesive, do not clash, and keep any patterns or themes intact on your profile.

5. Engaging Instagram Followers

Sometime back, we analyzed several millions of Instagram posts made by our users across 70+ countries.

What we found was that your Instagram followers are most active during their morning commutes, lunch hours, the evening rush hours and at bedtime. These are typically the best times to post on Instagram.

It is however not always possible to publish your posts at these exact times. This is particularly challenging if your followers are in a different timezone.

Social media scheduling tools like HopperHQ can help you with automating Instagram submissions so that you do not have to manually post them when your audience is online.

6. Managing Multiple Accounts 👥

Having more than one Instagram account has become a common trend, whether you have separate accounts for business, are a social media manager for other brands, or even have accounts for your hobbies! Managing multiple accounts and maintaining posting regularity requires a huge amount of time and organisation.

Using software to schedule Instagram posts takes away the burden of account management, and allows you to focus more time on the fun creative parts, like content creation!

Explore The Data Behind Your Social Media Accounts 📊

Find the best time to post, track your follower growth, and understand what content works best with post and account analytics.

Plan Your Instagram Feed

Another benefit of scheduling Instagram posts is being able to plan your feed in advance.

There are huge advantages to knowing what your posts will look like next to each other once they’re published on your Instagram feed:

  • Content variety

Posting manually (and often in a rush) means you can end up posting too much of the same type of content.

Whether it’s text posts, product shots, or employee photos, a good Instagram feed is one with a variety of content. Scheduling and planning your feed in advance means you can ensure your content does not look repetitive.

  • Feed colour scheme

Many Instagram accounts stick to a colour scheme to give their profiles an impressive cohesive look. Remember, when people land on your Instagram profile, they see the feed as a whole rather than individual posts.

By planning your feed with an Instagram scheduler, you can easily maintain a colour scheme by checking your scheduled posts match your existing ones.

Examples of Instagram feeds with consistent colour schemes

With our drag and drop Instagram Grid Planner, you can perfect your feed aesthetic as you schedule Instagram posts.

If you think one of your scheduled posts would look better next to a different post, you can drag and drop it and it will automatically change the posting order.


Schedule Captions And Hashtags

Another advantage of scheduling Instagram posts is the ability to plan your captions and hashtags in advance!

Captions are one of the most time-consuming areas of Instagram marketing, and therefore should never be rushed on the spot! Especially as a good caption can be vital for high engagement on a post:

  • Ask questions

Encourage interaction with your followers by asking questions in your captions! Generally people like offering their opinion about things they’re interested in. If you know the kinds of conversations your target audience are having on Instagram, cater your questions around those topics.

  • Tell stories

Don’t be afraid of a long caption! As humans, we love stories and storytellers. Try and weave a personal story into your Instagram caption — it will make you seem more human to your followers and also keep people on your post for longer!

  • ‘Tag a friend’

A classic but a goodie, ask your followers to tag a friend who ought to see your post! If you know your target audience well you’ll know the kind of content that will appeal, and the subtle call to action will result in an influx of comments on your post!

In terms of hashtags, we recommend splitting them between your caption and first comment, and always keeping them highly relevant to what you’re posting.

The right hashtags can increase your reach and engagement significantly. But how can you find the best hashtags to use?

  • Related hashtag search

On the Instagram app, if you search any hashtags in the Tag search bar, Instagram will provide suggestions of similar and related hashtags. This is a great way to find new popular hashtags in your industry.

  • Audience hashtag research

Another sure-fire way of finding the best hashtags is by researching which ones your target audience are using. Take some time exploring your target demographic and customers on Instagram to see what they hashtag their posts with.

Grow Your Audience With #Hashtags

Discover better hashtags to reach the more people, grow your follower count and get more engagement on your posts.

  • Competitor research

Your competitors will have also done this research, so take a look at which hashtags they’re using and compare them to yours. They might be finding the right people that you’re missing out on!

💡 TIP 💡 It’s good to have a mixture of high-volume (1 mil+) hashtags, and smaller more niche and relevant hashtags.

Using the hashtag tool on Hopper HQ, you can explore each hashtag and find new relevant ones to include!

#️⃣ Check out our All In One Guide To Instagram Hashtags for more tips! #️⃣

How Often Should You Post To Instagram?

There is no right or wrong answer for how often to post on Instagram, as it does vary from user to user. At Hopper HQ we’d advise between 1-3 posts a day, with anything over 10 leaning into the spam zone.

On average, brands are posting on Instagram between 1-2 times a day — although posting frequency can vary by sector, so it’s worthwhile checking out your competition to see how often they’re posting.

Remember: posting consistency is actually more important than posting frequency. If you decide you have enough content resources to post 5 times a day, that’s amazing, but just ensure you can maintain that level of publishing!

By staying consistent in your Instagram posts, your audience will become accustomed to your content, and in turn, you will be perceived as a reliable and stable brand.

When Is The Best Time To Schedule Instagram Posts?

Again, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question.

Using Hopper HQ’s Best Time To Post analytics tool tracks your follower activity to see when most oof them are active on Instagram. You can connect your business Instagram account and check the Hopper HQ follower analytics to find the best times to post for you and your audience, then schedule your posts for those times to boost engagement!

⭐ Find out how to create a winning Instagram marketing strategy here

Related: Check our latest blog to find out the best time to post on TikTok

Happy Scheduling! 👋

If you have any questions about how to schedule Instagram posts, and specifically using Hopper HQ, please get in touch in the comments!

Hopper HQ is an Instagram content scheduling and management platform that saves social media managers and agencies time. Start your 14-day trial today!

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Visually plan all your social channels. Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook + LinkedIn.

Simple Post, Story + Reel Scheduling ✨

Visually plan your social content. Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn + Pinterest.