How do you schedule Instagram posts? It’s a question we hear amongst Instagrammers far and wide, which is why we put together this handy guide (that rhymed). Read on to find out why you should be scheduling your Instagram posts and how you can get started right away!
Knowing how to schedule Instagram posts is perhaps one of the most integral marketing strategies you could use to help the growth of your Instagram account. It’s a simple formula: the more 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.
Why You Should Schedule Instagram Posts
As well as being a fundamental strategy for growth and general organisation, scheduling your content to Instagram has many benefits, including:
Saving You Time ⏰
When you schedule Instagram posts in advance, it 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. Scheduling your content streamlines this process as you’re able to schedule multiple posts all at once and don’t have to be anywhere near a phone when you want the posts to go out.
Content Management 📱
Organising your content on social media can be a big task, especially if you’re managing multiple accounts. Scheduling Instagram posts can help you manage what content is going out when, posting consistency, feed aesthetic and much more! This prevents against any rushed or last minute posts, which will improve the overall quality of content going out.
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 general users who may have to juggle between their phones and desktop to post content. Using a scheduling tool allows you to cut these steps out and upload all your Instagram content straight from your computer files, Dropbox, Google Photos and many other online storage systems.
Planning a Better 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! To schedule Instagram posts is a great visual way of planning your feed, ensuring your content does not clash before it’s published.
Managing Multiple Accounts 👥
Having more than one Instagram account has become a common trend, whether you have separate accounts for business, work as 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. Having a scheduling tool takes away the burden of account management and allows you to focus more time on the fun bit: content creation.
Video Tutorial: How To Schedule Instagram Posts
How to Schedule Instagram Posts: Step By Step Guide
Scheduling posts to Instagram cannot be done through the mobile app. In order to be able to schedule Instagram posts, you need to use an Instagram scheduling tool. We will naturally be favouring our own tool, Hopper HQ, for fully automated Instagram scheduling. You can also check out a full independent review of Hopper HQ here.
Without further ado, here’s how to get started:
(I’ve created a brand new account to show how easy it is to get set up from beginning to end!)
Step 1: Create a Hopper HQ account
First thing’s first, 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: Select Your Plan
Choose how many Instagram accounts you want to manage on Hopper HQ, and whether you want to pay annually or monthly. You will have to enter your card details to proceed, but you will not be charged until the end of your 14-day trial, and can cancel at any time. For the purpose of this example, I’ve selected 1 account.
Step 3: Connect your Instagram Account(s)
Once you’ve registered with Hopper HQ, you’ll be taken to a dashboard where you can connect your Instagram account(s).
From here you will be able to add your Instagram (and Facebook) accounts to the platform. Note: Facebook accounts are included with the number of Instagram accounts you choose on your plan. For example, a 2 x Monthly plan includes 2 Instagram and 2 Facebook accounts.
If your Instagram account is a Business account (i.e linked to a Business Facebook page), you can log in with Facebook and Hopper HQ will show you all the linked Instagram accounts you can add.
Select a business Instagram account from the list after logging in with Facebook. You can also add non-business accounts to Hopper HQ, however, you will not have access to Hopper HQ Analytics! To do this, manually enter your Instagram details into the yellow box.
💡 Note: If at any point you’re struggling with these steps, you can click on the chat icon in the bottom right hand corner of the platform to chat directly to one of the Hopper HQ team. Someone will be happy to help and talk you through it! 💡
Step 4: Verify Your Account
I chose to connect a business account that I manage to my new Hopper HQ account. Due to the link with Facebook, your account will automatically be connected to Instagram. This process will be slightly different if you chose to manually add a non-business account.
Once connected, you need to enable auto-posting by entering your login details. This will kick start the verification process, and you’ll shortly get an email asking you to verify your Hopper HQ account with Instagram. Follow the link in the email, or simply click on the smiley face notification in the top right hand corner of the platform.
I then went to my email inbox and clicked on the ‘Verify [@account] here’ link. From here, login to your Instagram account and approve the login attempt from the Android device by selecting ‘This Was Me’. This will enable Hopper HQ to auto-post on your behald from one of our physical devices! Note: we have physical posting devices in locations all over the world, so don’t be alarmed if it’s far away from where you are!
As soon as this is done, auto-posting will be enabled and you’ll be able to schedule Instagram posts with Hopper HQ 🎉🙌
Step 5: Upload & Start to Schedule Instagram Posts
On to the good stuff! Now you’re connected and verified with Hopper HQ you can begin to schedule Instagram posts!
- Select Images/Videos – Head to the Hopper HQ Queue and click ‘New 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.
- Edit Image – If your images are not the correct size for Instagram, you will see an alert and be taken to the photo editor. Here you can crop your photo with Hopper HQ’s easy pre-set dimensions for portrait and landscape photos, as well as apply any filters or edits.
- Add Captions and First Comments – You can now write out both your captions AND first comments for all of your uploads (with emojis!). We recommend splitting your hashtags between your caption and first comment, and always keeping them relevant to what you’re posting. Using our hashtag tool, you can explore each hashtag and find new relevant ones to include!
- Schedule Instagram Post – Once you’re happy with your posts you have the choice to ‘Post Now’, schedule a time, or save as a draft (a handy feature if you’re working in a team). If you decide you want to post the same photo to another Instagram account, or even a Facebook page, you can easily add accounts underneath the photo using the plus icon.
- Done – Hopper HQ will take care of the rest and your posts will automatically be published at your scheduled time. Your scheduled posts will all appear in the queue, and any changes can be easily made by drag and dropping without being redirected. Hopper HQ also has a calendar view to easily keep track of your posting consistency, and a phone grid preview to see how your posts will look next to one another!
Schedule your Instagram posts.
Fully automated posts. No phone required.
One Final Thing…
Two common questions we hear at Hopper HQ are:
‘How often should I be posting to Instagram?’
‘What is the best time to post on Instagram?’.
There’s no right or wrong answer for how often to post. At Hopper HQ we’d advise between 1-5 posts a day, with anything over 10 stepping 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!
As for the second question, the best time to post will truly depend on your followers and the audience you are trying to attract. Using Analytics on Hopper HQ, you can find the best time of day to post in order to get maximum engagement from your audience, and therefore plan your calendar around that data! For a deeper explanation, check out our blog on the best time to post on Instagram.
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.
Happy Scheduling! 👋
If you have any questions about scheduling to Instagram and specifically using Hopper HQ, please get in touch with us 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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Free for Hopper HQ customers • Updated October 2017