However, this can be extremely time consuming.
Planning, creating and posting content on a regular basis can lead to burnout. This is why so many creators fail.
Luckily, there's a way around this endless cycle of posting.
Automatically uploading Instagram posts so you don't kill your own growth.
In this guide I'll show you how to shedule and automatically upload your Instagram posts safely in 2020 by not breaking Instagrams constantly changing rules.
Let's dive in:
You might of looked into a few different scheduling softwares. When deciding which one to use, there's some important factors to keep in mind.
If the scheduling service you use has an Instagram Partnership; that way Instagram has agreed for that service to connect to the Instagram Graph API — so you don't have to worry about breaking the Instagram Terms of Service.
In this guide we'll cover a few of the most popular options, which include:
1. Later — later.com
2. Buffer — buffer.com
3. Hootsuite — hootsuite.com
4. Tailwind — tailwind.com
5. Planoly — planoly.com
Let's start with our favourite choice, Later.com
In this section we'll go over how to use Later to schedule Instagram posts.
Why should you use later?
Well, Later has an official Instagram Partnership, free and paid plans and is trusted by over 600,000+ brands.
What great is that Later has a free plan which lets you:
Of course, if you have the budget you can upgrade to a premium plan which starts at $9/month.
And with anything, you get fantastic features for the price you're paying:
Firstly you will need to create an account and link your Instagram to Later; then you can start scheduling posts.
Head on over to Later.com and click on the big juicy green button that says "Create Account With Instagram" and follow the steps to setup an account.
An important step...
Otherwise you won't be able to post automatically.
Login to Later and press Accept when they ask to authorize access to your Instagram account.
Next you want to connect your business profile as it doesn't do this automatically for you.
Click on "Settings" in the Later Dashboard.
Click on "Social Profiles & Groups" in the sidebar, and then "Edit" on your connected Instagram account.
Finally, click on "Connect Business Profile" and follow the steps that show up.
You've now connected Later to your business profile; this lets you automatically post!
Finally, head on over to the Later Dashboard and click on "Setup Now".
You will be taken through the steps of downloading the Later App to your phone so you can start scheduling posts.
To schedule a post using Later you will need at least 1 post which is ready to be uploaded.
On the left hand side of the Later Dashboard, you will want to drag in your posts to the media manager pannel.
You can see below I've done this for one image and also switched the Calendar view to Month on the right hand side (optional).
Later Dashboard in the Month View with one image uploaded to the Media Manager Panel.
After you've uplaoded your posts, you will want to drag your image or video from the Media Manager Panel to the day you want to upload on.
For example, I'll drag my image to be uploaded on the 29th of January.
Once you do this:
An interface will appear where you can choose your:
Example of a scheduled Instagram post using Later
You've now successfully scheduled a post which will be automatically uploaded to Instagram.
Now just repeat the process for other posts you have...
You'll never worry about having to be on your phone at a specific time, or from being banned due to using third party applications that are not an Instagram Partner.
Before we finish:
Other important features to mention that we didn't cover, which you should check out, is that you can:
In this section, we'll guide you through how to use Buffer to schedule Instagram posts.
Scheduling your content in Buffer is simple.
Just add updates to your Buffer queue and it will be posted for you, well spaced out over the day – according to a posting schedule that you determine.
Once you’ve invited a team member to Buffer, they can start scheduling content right away. Here’s how:
To add a post to the queue, all you have to do is click inside the “what do you want to share?” box at the top of one of the profiles you have access to and either type in or copy/paste your post.
Then choose which profiles you’d like to share the post to by selecting the avatars at the top.
Once your post is ready, the next step is to click Add to Queue at the bottom right of the composer.
Note: If you set up a team member’s account with “Approval Required” access, any posts they submit will appear in the ‘For Review’ tab within the ‘Content’ tab until you (or another team member with full posting access) approves them.
And if you’ve granted a team member “Full Posting” access, any posts they add will go straight into the queue at the next available time slot according to the posting schedule.
Once you’ve invited your team to Buffer and your teammates start contributing posts, any posts from people who’ve been added with “Approval Required” access will show up in a review queue.
Anyone on your team with full posting access can review, edit, approve, or delete them before sharing to your social profiles.
Here’s how each option works:
Any posts submitted by your team members that require approval will appear in the ‘For Review’ tab under ‘Content.’
You and any team members who have full posting access will have the option to edit and approve posts before publishing – as well as delete those which you’d prefer not to share on your social media profiles. More on this below…
If you’d like to approve a post right away, click Approve. The post will be moved into the next available time slot in the queue.
Tip: If you’ve like to receive an email notification when a new contribution is submitted, click My Account at the top of your dashboard and select Email Settings from the drop down list. You’ll see a list of reminders that you can enable/disable. All you have to do is flip on the New Contributions option.
If you’d like adjustments to the post before adding it to the queue, hover over it and click Edit. From here you can change the text, link, or image – and then when you’re done, click Save and Approve.
You also have the option to remove a post if it’s not one that you’d like to share to social media. Just click Delete to remove it from the list of suggested posts.
Like we’ve talked about in previous sections, when you add posts to your Buffer queue, they’ll be sent out automatically – according to the posting schedule that you put in place for each social profile.
So how do you customize the dates and times for that posting schedule?
Select the social account you’d like to customize the posting schedule for on the left-hand side of your dashboard.
Then select the Schedule tab at the top of the page.
From here, you can do a few different things:
Feel free to check out the Optimal Timing Tool, by clicking the link at the bottom of the Schedule page.
As you post via Buffer more and more, the tool will gradually learn what the optimal posting times are for each profile.
We’ve found timing to have a great impact on engagement so we recommend you revisit it every few weeks, especially while you’re starting out with Buffer.
If you have a business or creator profile on Instagram, you can use Facebook’s native Creator Studio to craft and schedule your posts from your computer desktop.
For influencers with creator accounts, Creator Studio is actually the only place you can schedule your posts. Instagram designed this tool with influencers in mind, which means that its free, no-frills features are focused on ease of use for growth-oriented pros.
On the other hand, if you’re a brand with a business account — or simply a power user looking for some extra time-saving “frills” — you can choose between Creator Studio and any number of third-party tools with more robust, long-range features. (If this is you, skip to the next section.)
Follow these steps to use Creator Studio as an Instagram scheduler:
The steps will differ if your Instagram account is already linked to a Facebook page or not.
Once you’re all set up, click the Instagram icon in the top bar, then click create post. Then click Instagram Feed.
Note that you also have the option to post to IGTV: here’s a separate guide on how to schedule your IGTV videos.
Pro Tip: Alas, it’s not possible to post or schedule an Instagram Story from Creator Studio. To do that, you’ll want to check out how to schedule Instagram Stories.
Now that you’re building your post, you can select a photo to upload as a post to your feed. (You can upload many and make a carousel post, and you can also upload video).
To do so, click the blue Add Content link in the grey box, and choose a file to upload (or else select a photo from Facebook to share.)
This is a good place for us to mention that there’s no content library in Creator Studio, so you won’t be able to store or manage your visual assets or templates here. (Depending on your workflow, this could be a massive inconvenience or a negligible one.)
Also, if you want to add multiple photos or videos to make a carousel post, note that once you’ve uploaded one photo, the Add Content button moves to the upper right corner. Like this:
You can use emojis, too, of course.
You can also click over to Advanced Settings to turn off comments and/or add some alt text for people with visual impairments:
Now it’s time to schedule. In the lower right corner, click the arrow beside the blue Publish button, and select Schedule. (You can also click Publish Now or Save as Draft.)
Be warned that Creator Studio won’t give you much guidance as to the best time to post. You’ll want to check your own Instagram analytics to see when your audience is online, or read our industry-by-industry guidelines on the best time to post to Instagram.
That’s it! Now you can lean back and check your DMs.
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