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How To Schedule Instagram Posts [and Stories]: The Ultimate Step by Step Guide

  • 13 Minutes
Learning how to schedule Instagram posts is the easiest way to save time and regain your sanity. Are you looking to save 100 hours per year by optimizing your Instagram workflow? If that’s a “yes” (how could it not be?), you’ve come

Learning how to schedule Instagram posts is the easiest way to save time and regain your sanity. Are you looking to save 100 hours per year by optimizing your Instagram workflow? If that’s a “yes” (how could it not be?), you’ve come to the right place!

But there is an art to everything, and scheduling for your Instagram account is no exception.

Mastering Instagram With Scheduling

You’ve definitely heard it before—consistency is key. And when it comes to Instagram, scheduling your posts and choosing the best tool is the fastest way to success. But how do you go about choosing the best tool?

With so many items on the perfect-post checklist, it’s difficult for even the most seasoned of Instagrammers to implement every optimization tactic. Hashtags, location, product and user tags, optimal times to post and more! It can be overwhelming. But with the right scheduling tool, achieving a consistent schedule of posts has never been easier.

There are over 5 million businesses interacting with their customers on Instagram, making the visual channel an essential marketing tool for anyone looking for greater reach. And with Instagram boasting the highest engagement rates of any of the major social networks, your efforts are bound to deliver a return on your investment.

Acing your Instagram posting strategy and building an engaged and dedicated audience, however, comes with its own set of headaches and obstacles. Quickly rectified these with the right scheduling tool.

Thanks to Sked Social’s robust scheduling tools and tagging capabilities, not only can you save over 100 hours per year when you schedule Instagram posts, but you can also customize nearly every aspect of your posts ahead of time.

Not only can you schedule Instagram posts of all kinds of high engagement content, including carousels, videos, and Stories, you can also tag locations, users and products—options that are often not available from other Instagram scheduling applications.

Paired with the ability to achieve consistency via scheduling, you’ll be garnering the maximum reach and engagement in no time. All thanks to Sked’s unique features that aren’t available with other third-party apps & scheduling tools like Hootsuite, Later, Tailwind, Sprout Social or HopperHq.

We even have an iOS & Android mobile app so you can do your work on the go via smartphone! But don’t worry, you won’t need to get a push notification for each post because Sked does that on autopilot. You can also add unlimited team members to your account.

Why Schedule Instagram Posts?

Save Yourself A Lot Of Time

Feeding the beast that is Instagram can become a full-time gig. That’s why using full-featured scheduling posts and tagging tool can easily help you take back control of your content schedule.

Break free from your phone and develop a consistent posting strategy. You’ll not only rack up the ‘likes’ but feeds your users’ undying need for content too.

But with Instagram placing emphasis on quality and quantity, it can be hard to hit that optimal posting checklist.

That’s why scheduling, utilizing Sked’s Hashtag Manager tagging your posts and now using your newfound time to craft quality Instagram content (or repost content from influencers), will set you on the path to Instagram success!

Enhance Your Optimization

With over 95 million photos shared on Instagram daily, standing out from the crowd can be a tall order.

That’s why it’s vital to use reach tactics to increase the number of post impressions.

If you’re unsure about how small yet crucial steps such as tagging and hashtagging can affect your reach, then take a look at these shocking facts:

  • Posts with a location get 79% more engagement.
  • 65% of top performing Instagram posts feature products.
  • 70% of Instagram posts aren’t seen.
  • Including at least one hashtag in your post increases engagement by 12.6%.

The numbers speak for themselves!

But if your Instagram management tool doesn’t allow you to plan for all of these engagement sweet spots, it’s officially time for a new scheduling tool.

Keep Your Feed Consistent

It only takes one post to stray from your desired aesthetic.

With a scheduling tool—especially one with visual planning tools—it has never been easier to craft and the perfect feed.

You can move posts around for a better grid that begs potential followers to tap that “follow” button. And using Sked’s Visual Planner, once you know how to schedule Instagram posts.

Break Free From Your Phone

If you’re a seasoned social media manager, you’ll know that Instagram management is a 24/7 responsibility! Why not regain your freedom (and your Sunday morning)?

Start scheduling your posts when your users are most likely to engage with your content—and not when you can spare a moment to publish.

Schedule Instagram Posts As A Team

If you’re looking to save even more time scheduling Instagram posts, why not enlist the help of your entire team manage your social profiles & content calendar?

How To Schedule Instagram Posts

Because we know you’re in it to win it, before guiding you through the scheduling process, it’s best to have your brand aesthetic perfected!

Whether it’s your color scheme, brand tone, style guide or overall mood, establishing an attention-grabbing brand personality is essential to attracting new followers.

If you don’t know where to start, you should start with Instagram aesthetics 101. But if you’re already a master at crafting the ultimate Instagram feed, then let’s jump right in!

1. Choose the Right Account and Upload Your Content

The first step in learning how to schedule Instagram posts involves logging into your Sked account.

Next, select the red Create Post option in the top left corner of your dashboard.

Next, select the account(s) to which you want to post your images from the dropdown. Sked allows you to schedule multiple or single images to as many or as few accounts as you would like.

Click the blue plus sign to add your media. You can select media from your Sked Library, drag and drop files straight in, or upload files from Dropbox, Google Drive or Canva. After selecting your media, click Use Media in the top right corner.

Before uploading your videos, Sked recommends keeping them small in size. Your videos get resized to a maximum width of 1080 pixels wide upon loading.

Feed videos must be no longer than 60 seconds long (and no shorter than 3 seconds).

Instagram Story videos must be 15 seconds or shorter. We also recommend limiting your video’s file size to 50MB or under. Find further information about Instagram video marketing and choosing your thumbnail.

3. Edit Your Image

With Sked’s built in photo editor, you can make sure your visuals are always perfect. Hover over the image in the Media section and you’ll see a pencil and a trash can. Click the pencil to bring up the photo editor.

From here you can change the size of the image, apply filters and color adjustments, add text, stickers, frames and overlays.

Once your image is ready to go, be sure to click the blue Save button in the top right corner.

4. Add Your Caption, Hashtags and URL

Now it’s time to craft the perfect post caption. With a maximum character limit of 750, there’s plenty of room to impress users with clever words to accompany your eye-catching post.

Feel free to insert emojis and essential hashtags in this section too. If you’re looking to add a group of hashtags, we highly recommend that you take advantage of our first-comment scheduler to maintain a sleek post that is sure to garner the maximum amount of likes.

Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post. You can easily see how many hashtags you’ve used in your caption and first-comment with our hashtag counter.

If you use the same hashtags often, why not take advantage of our handy Templates? Save yourself even more minutes by grouping hashtags and mentions, and saving them for one-click access during the scheduling process.

Sked allows you to add in your IG hashtags and will automatically post them in the first comment. Type out your hashtags, choose from the suggested hashtags, or fill in from your saved hashtag templates.

If you Sked Link link in bio is turned on, you also have the option to add a destination URL. When you add a URL here, the link in your bio can include a clickable gallery of your Instagram Feed.

5. Tag Users, Locations and Products

Before you get started tagging users, locations, and products while you schedule Instagram posts, you need to enable a few features.

To tag your products, you must first convert your account to a Business account and enable the feature in your “Profile Settings” on the Instagram app.

Scroll down to the tagging section of your Create Post page.

To tag the location, start typing the location and select from the choices or add your already existing ones from the dropdown.

When tagging users, try to click away from the edges so the name doesn’t get cut off. Type out the username without the @ and select the desired account. You’ll see successfully tagged users under the section on the right.

Make sure to click the blue Save button at the bottom right corner.

If you have an Instagram shop you can also tag your products in this section.

You can also add your alt-text while you’re creating your posts. Just click on alt-text, add the description and click the blue Save button. 

6. Schedule Instagram Posts: Queue and Drafts

Now that you’ve perfected your post, it’s time to set it off into the (Instagram) world!

At this point, Sked offers you three options. You can either send the post to your Drafts for safekeeping; schedule it for now or later; or thirdly, add the post to your predetermined queued posting times.

To save you post for scheduling at a later date, simply select “Draft” from the dropdown and click Save.

To schedule your post to go out now or at a later date, click “Schedule for” and proceed by selecting your desired time and date (be sure that your account is set to your desired timezone). If you prefer to send the post out immediately, click “Post Now”.

In order to add your posts to your Queue, you must first establish your preferred posting times by editing your settings under the “Queue Settings” dashboard. And don’t forget to enable the feature by checking the box. 

Once you’re done editing your post(s), send it off by clicking the Save button in the bottom right corner.

7. Visually Plan & Schedule Instagram Posts

To ensure your feed looks as best as possible, why not go the extra mile by ensuring your feed looks great all as one. Whether you’re looking to quickly move the order of your posts, group certain images together or re-order the layout of your feed, this is the easiest way to make edits to your posting schedule.

The easiest way to do this is with Sked’s Visual Planner. Access this feature by clicking the phone icon in the left-hand menu.

Here you’ll find a preview of your feed. For optimal freedom when editing your layout, it is highly recommended that you utilize Sked’s queue feature to schedule your posts. Sked makes it easy to preview and edit your content and allows you to move Queued (Q) or Scheduled (S) to your liking. Pro tip: Always remember to submit your changes before moving on to another task!

8. Don’t Leave Your Community Behind

So you’ve saved yourself some time by learning how to schedule Instagram posts, but don’t assume that you can ‘set it, and forget it.’

Return to your feed regularly. Answer pressing questions. And interact with your followers, or simply interact with your biggest fans — or haters, who knows!?

Watch out for controversy while you were away (likely enjoying all of your newfound time), and check in often. It’s important to see how your community enjoying your content.

Also, remember to shake things up every now and then. Predictability is the ultimate brand killer! Keep your feed fresh and timely, while also focusing on consistency and scheduling.

Now that you’ve nailed how to schedule Instagram posts it’s time to analyze them.

We’ve gone through the basics of the optimal post, but it’s important to remember that every audience is different, and optimizing for your niche is what will set you apart.

Next, determine your best posting times and your most engaging content. And don’t forget to experiment with your hashtag strategy.

You can determine these and many more insights via Sked’s Insights dashboard. Find this handy feature in the left-hand menu.

Conclusion

Congratulations! You’ve officially mastered how to schedule Instagram posts on Sked.

After satisfying 10,000 of the world’s most innovative companies with the best Instagram marketing planner on the market, Sked is now helping you plan and deliver content across all of your social media accounts. For both large and small businesses you will find Sked a great personal assistant in executing your marketing strategy.

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 Twitter—all on one platform that cares about driving social conversations, buzz and results.

We’re passing the baton onto to you now! If you haven’t already, open your free Sked account to see how quick and simple it is to schedule your Instagram posts. All accounts come with a 7-day free trial, giving you plenty of time to try out its robust features. Or book a one-to-one demo today to learn more about Sked!

We’ve got great news! After satisfying 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 marketing channels including your Facebook page and Twitter account (but not LinkedIn – yet!).

Now that you know how to schedule Instagram posts, 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 to your Instagram profile. Tag locations, users and products and manage all your hashtags in one place to save 5+ hours every week.

Happy Skeduling!

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