How To schedule instagram posts

Learning how to schedule Instagram posts in advance is the easiest way to save time on the platform so that you can focus on what matters.

The more complex your Instagram marketing efforts are, the more helpful a scheduling tool becomes. This is true whether you own a small business or manage a global team. Consistent, high-quality content is easier to plan, craft and share when you automate some of the grunt work.

In this article, we’ll go through how to schedule posts on Instagram, including the best Instagram scheduling tools for Business, Creator and personal accounts.

Also Read: The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Marketing 

How to schedule Instagram posts

How to schedule Instagram Posts using Hootsuite(for Business accounts)

Can you schedule posts on Instagram Business? You sure can!

Visual learners: Watch this video for demos of how to schedule Instagram posts and Stories with Creator Studio and Hootsuite. Everyone else: keep reading.

Brands with business profiles can use third-party apps like Hootsuite to schedule posts across multiple social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest.

You can schedule feed posts, Stories, carousel posts, and Instagram ads with Hootsuite.

Before you start, make sure to switch to an Instagram Business or Creator account — it’s free, and it only takes a minute. If you’d rather stick to a personal account, we have a section for you coming up.

1. Add your Instagram Business account to your social media management platform

If you’re using Hootsuite, it’s easy to link your Instagram account. From the Hootsuite dashboard:

  • Click your profile icon in the bottom left corner
  • Next, click Social Networks and Teams
  • Select + Private Network in the bottom-left corner
  • Choose Instagram from the list of networks, and then click Connect with Instagram
  • Input your account credentials

schedule instagram posts

For more details on this process, check out our very thorough help article.

2. Compose your Instagram post

In your Hootsuite dashboard, click the Create icon, then select Post.

In the Post To field, choose your preferred Instagram account from the list.

Now go ahead and upload your visuals (or select them from your content library). You’ll also want to write an engagement-driving caption, add your hashtags, tag relevant accounts, and add your location.

Your draft will show up as a preview on the right.

Hootsuite upload visuals or select from content library to schedule Instagram posts

If you haven’t already prepared your image for Instagram, it’s easy. Click Edit Image to crop your visual to the required aspect ratios (that is: 1.91:1 or 4:5), filter it, and otherwise perfect it.

 

You can also edit your image using Canva’s editor inside the Hootsuite dashboard. No more switching tabs, digging through your “Downloads” folder, and reuploading files — you can seamlessly create beautiful visuals from start to finish without leaving Hootsuite Composer.

To use Canva in Hootsuite:

  1. Log in to your Hootsuite account and head to Composer.
  2. Click on the purple Canva icon in the bottom right corner of the content editor.
  3. Select the type of visual you want to create. You can pick a network-optimized size from the drop-down list or start a new custom design.
  4. When you make your selection, a login pop-up window will open. Sign in using your Canva credentials or follow the prompts to start a new Canva account. (In case you were wondering — yes, this feature does work with free Canva accounts!)
  5. Design your image in the Canva editor.
  6. When you’re done editing, click Add to post in the top right corner. The image will automatically be uploaded to the social post you’re building in Composer.

Using Canva in Hootsuite Composer

3. Find the best time to post

Posting at the right time can help you reach your audience when they’re online. Plus, early engagement tells the Instagram algorithm that people like your content (a.k.a. gives it a nudge to surface it in more users’ feeds).

Hootsuite’s Best Time to Publish feature shows you your best time to post on Instagram based on your posts from the past 30 days. It groups posts by weekday and hour to identify when your posts had the highest impact, based on average impressions or engagement rate.

To find your best times to post, save your post draft and follow the instructions below:

  1. In the left-hand side menu, click Analytics.
  2. Then, click Best time to publish.
  3. In the dropdown menu at the top of your screen, select the Instagram account you’re posting to.

You will see a heatmap highlighting your best times to post (based on your account’s historical performance). You can switch between two tabs: “Build awareness” and “Boost engagement” to find the time that will work best for your specific goals.

Find the best time to schedule Instagram posts

4. Schedule your post

All right, now comes the easy part. Click Schedule for Later in the bottom right, and select the date and time you’d like your post to go live.

If you skipped the step above and didn’t go to analytics to look up your best times to publish, you will see a couple of recommended posting times once you select a date. You can pick one or manually set a time.

screenshot showing the feature in Hootsuite to help schedule Instagram posts

That’s it! You can review your scheduled posts in the Hootsuite Planner, and edit them there before they go live, as well.

Wait for scheduled post to be published to Instagram

 

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