Instagram Strategy How To Schedule Instagram Posts [and Stories]: The Ultimate Step by Step Guide By Sylvia Ogweng Posted September 18, 2018 Share on Pinterest Share on Facebook Share on Twitter 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. ContentsMastering Instagram With SchedulingWhy Schedule Instagram Posts?Save Yourself A Lot Of TimeEnhance Your OptimizationKeep Your Feed ConsistentBreak Free From Your PhoneSchedule Instagram Posts As A TeamHow To Schedule Instagram Posts1. Choose the Right Account and Upload Your Content2. Edit Your Instagram Photos3. Tag Users, Locations and Products4. Crafting the Perfect Caption5. Schedule Instagram Posts: Queue and Drafts6. Visually Plan & Schedule Instagram Posts7. Don’t Leave Your Community BehindConclusion 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. What’s more, when you’ve determined your optimal posting times, you can simplify your scheduling workflow further by taking advantage of Sked’s queue feature. Simply input your best posting times, bulk upload your media, create your captions, add your hashtags and tags, and then set your posting mechanism to “Queue.” 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? With Sked, teams can add unlimited users to their accounts, making it easier than ever to collaborate. And if you need to share a preview of your feed for an upcoming meeting, take advantage of Sked’s PDF export to impress your boss. 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 “Upload Posts” option in your “Home” dashboard. Next, select the account(s) to which you want to post your images. Sked allows you to schedule multiple or single images to as many or as few accounts as you would like. If you want to post all of your uploads to ALL of your accounts, slide the toggle option to the right. Proceed by clicking the blue “Upload +” button at the bottom of your browser window. Sked allows you to upload from several different sources such as your computer, an Instagram url, Google drive, Dropbox & Canva. Pick the option that optimizes your workflow best. If you prefer to share your image(s) in a square format, enable the option by sliding the toggle to the right. 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. 2. Edit Your Instagram Photos Now that you’ve uploaded your image(s) or video(s), it’s time to perfect your posts! Sked’s post editor provides you with so many options. whether it’s editing, cropping or tagging, our full-featured editor offers plenty of options. Note: If you’re looking to schedule posts to your Instagram Story and tag your products, you must first convert your account to an Instagram business profile, and then enable the feature. To create a carousel post, we recommend adding your set of images and videos before proceeding with editing and tagging. Do so by clicking the carousel icon at the far right, below the image preview. You have the option of uploading up to 10 images per carousel, as per Instagram’s limitations. To open the image editor, select the pen icon. Sked’s Photo Editor allows you to add filters, text, stickers, frames and more. To crop your images to preselected ratios such as “tall”, “wide” or “Instagram Story” click on the crop icon. 3. 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. Similarly, to take advantage of location tagging, you must first enable this feature in your “Profile Settings” dashboard (under Beta Features). Once you’ve covered these steps, it’s time to tag some Instagram users! Click on the “Tag People” icon to begin tagging. Next, click anywhere on the image (note: tagging near the edges may not render correctly, so it’s best to keep tags in the center) and enter the username (without the @). Make sure that the account tagged is correct since Sked does not search for it. Once they are added, click “Save”. To tag your products, click the “Tag Products” icon. For further details on this feature read our thorough guide. You may also like: The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Planning and Scheduling How to Increase E-Commerce Sales For Your Business With Instagram 10 Instagram Metrics That Matter (And How To Track Them) 4. Crafting the Perfect Caption Now that you’ve taken care of tagging and editing, 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 now 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 Hashtag Manager? Save yourself even more minutes by grouping hashtags and mentions, and saving them for one-click access during the scheduling process. 5. 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 “Send to Drafts”. To schedule your post to go out now or at a later date, click “Time/Date” 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 sliding the toggle to the right in your Queue dashboard. If you’ve scheduled or queued the post, why not give it one final check by clicking the preview icon. Once you’re done editing your post(s), send it off by clicking the “Submit” button in the top right corner of your browser. 6. 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 green 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! 7. 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 Analytics 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!