How to Schedule Instagram Stories Quickly with Sked

  • 7 Minutes
Instagram Stories are meant to be 'in-the-moment' snapshots. But sometimes, even spontaneity requires a bit of planning. Schedule your stories with Sked.

Instagram Stories is one of the biggest Instagram trends right now. Marketers want to know how to schedule stories without the nuisance of reminders or notifications to post – luckily, Sked has the answer.

Why schedule Instagram stories?

The debate is still out as to whether it was just a rip off of Snapchat (probably), it has grown like crazy.

Recode reported in 2017 about the first 12 months of Instagram stories, when there were 250 million (!) posted each day, compared to just 166 million Snapchat stories.

In January 2019, Instagram announced that stories had surpassed 500 million users. That’s a lot of people to reach!

Companies and influencers have rushed to Instagram stories as part of their social media marketing, with some reporting millions in revenue from Instagram Story-specific “episodes” and others reporting it as an excellent conversion channel to get more readers, email signups or purchases from their Instagram audiences.

Like the early days of Facebook Pages, there was once a time that organic feed posts would often be seen by a meaningful number of people who follow your account. As users have followed more and more people on Instagram, and things like the (continuous) changes to the Instagram algorithm, it’s become harder to get that cut-through that you need without simply resorting to advertising.

Need ideas for what to feature in your Instagram stories? Check out our post with 20 creative ideas for Instagram stories.

Can you schedule Instagram stories?

Yes you can! There are two ways of scheduling Instagram stories:

  • Reminder applications 

    These apps or platforms let you pre-load your content and then send you a push notification/alarm to remind you to post in the Instagram app from your camera roll. That does limit you a bit in that you will need to be near your phone at the time and available to post the story.They suit individuals or influencers best, as you can usually find them for free.

  • Auto-posting applicationsTo the best of our knowledge, Sked is the only Instagram scheduler that offers automatically posted Instagram stories. That means that you upload your content to Sked Social, and at the time and date you want the story to publish, it publishes!

    No extra actions on your part, and we can publish at 2am your time on a Sunday morning without any dramas, whether it’s an Instagram feed post or a story.

    We even support adding a ‘swipe up’ link to your story (if your account has these enabled by Instagram).

You can find various options for reminder applications. At a very basic level, some users just use a Google Sheet or document with information on what they want to publish when.

Others are a bit more integrated – however not all social media scheduling software

Make sure when you are evaluating the best Instagram scheduling app for your Instagram posts and stories, it’s worth thinking about how important stories are to your social media strategy.

If stories are an important part of the strategy – it might be worth ensuring that you have at least a platform that lets you schedule reminders, and at best one that automatically posts your stories.

Keep in mind some … less scrupulous … tools will confuse the idea of sending a reminder and actually posting your stories. You should make sure you know what you’re buying!

Scheduling Instagram stories on Sked’s dashboard

Sked has supported Instagram story scheduling and auto-posting since January 2017 for both image and video stories.

Let’s go through step by step on how to schedule a story.

Once you’ve created your Instagram story content (here are some great apps that might help), you’ll have a image or video file.

You can also schedule stories from our mobile apps for iOS and Android. Just pick ‘story’ when uploading – the process is similar to our desktop dashboard!

Scheduling stories from desktop with Sked’s dashboard

1. Head to the Sked Social dashboard and go to ‘Upload’.

Scheduling stories isn’t possible on the Planner view, because your profile grid will not show stories!

Choose your Instagram account(s) that you want to schedule the story to from the left hand side.

2. Choose ‘story post’ as the content type

At the top of the page, pick ‘story post’ as the type of content. You can upload either images or videos after you pick story post – we support both.

3. Upload your file

Pick your file from your computer, Google Drive or Dropbox. If you’re creating your stories in Canva or another graphics application, export it to JPG (preferred) or PNG then upload from your computer.

Keep an eye on the right aspect ratio for your content. Instagram stories are displayed differently across different devices (for example a story will ‘crop’ differently on an iPhone 8 compare to an iPhone X) because of different phone screen aspect ratios. You can read more about this here.

5. Add a ‘swipe up’ link

If you have an Instagram business account with more than 10,000 followers (you must have 10,000 followers for Instagram to enable the feature…), you can add a ‘swipe up’ link. This link lets viewers ‘swipe up’ to get more information. For example, if you had a story about a recipe you were promoting, you would link the ‘swipe up’ to the recipe itself.

To add the swipe up link, simply put it in the URL box:

Sked will show you a preview of the link so that you can make sure that you have the right one:

If you are looking to have an easy way to view analytics for the number of ‘swipe ups’ from your story, you might consider using a link shortening service like Bitly to track these links!

6. (Optionally) Try ‘story chains’ for scheduling multiple stories together

Instagram now lets you post multiple stories at once. We call these ‘story chains’, and the feature is currently in beta.

Usually the story chain feature is used when you have 3-5 stories that go together in a particular order, usually to tell a bit of a story.

If you want to give the feature a try, click ‘edit story chain’ and add the second and further stories when scheduling.

7. Choose a date and time and submit

You can either send your posts to drafts, add them to your Queue, send it out now or schedule them to be deployed at a later date.

Finally, click ‘Submit & create posts’ to schedule your stories. You will see scheduled stories in your upcoming posts page in Sked Social, labelled as an Instagram story:

In your Sked Social calendar view, a small story icon is displayed:

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Things to keep in mind when scheduling Instagram stories

The one thing to keep in mind when you schedule Instagram Stories is the various screen ratios that phones have. The ratio that your story will display as will be different depending on whether the person watching it uses an iPhone (~9:16 aspect ratio) versus an iPhone X (~9:19) or Android (pretty much anything goes). In order to get the best result, make sure any text you include is toward the center of the image horizontally, and that you don’t put anything important right at the edges. This will mean that your audience will still see the main messages regardless of what they use.

Want to get some inspiration for what you might include in your stories? Check out our basic how to use Instagram Stories article.

Not sure if you’re succeeding at Instagram Stories? Read about the various ways to measure ROI for Instagram stories.

After helping 10,000 of the world’s most innovative companies with the best Instagram planner on the market, Sked is now helping you plan and deliver content across all of your social media channels.

Sked is your all-in-one social media management tool that simplifies your workflow and optimizes your content to achieve your goals. Create, plan, publish, analyze and collaborate across Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and soon Twitter—all on one platform that cares about driving social conversations, buzz and results.

Now that you know how to schedule Instagram stories, why not start carving out hours in your social media workflow by signing up for Sked’s 7-day trial. Our all-in-one Instagram scheduler allows you to automatically post images, carousels, Stories, videos and more. Tag locations, users and products and manage all your hashtags in one place to save 5+ hours every week.

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