The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Planning and Scheduling

Like many things in life, planning is crucial.

If you’ve skipped out on planning, you may find yourself struggling. It’s no different when it comes to using Instagram as a social media marketer.

Here, we’ll show you how to make Sked (formerly Schedugram) work best for you when it comes to planning and scheduling. We’ll run you through Sked’s Queue, Visual Planner, Photo Editor, click-tracking and exporting and how they can simplify your workflow.

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The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Planning and Scheduling

 

Time is Precious — Using Queue to Schedule Your Posts

As a social media manager, you’re likely managing many accounts and are short on time.

That’s why using the Sked’s Queue feature is so handy. Queue allows you to save lots of time. It also grows your Instagram followers via consistent posting. Consistent posting on your Instagram is key to building an audience.

The more you post, the more your audience will grow. It’s that simple.

To set up your Queue, click on the Queue menu icon in Sked’s main navigation menu.

Sked Social Queue

You can set Queue settings for multiple accounts by selecting them prior to adding posting times. You can also set them individually for your Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram accounts as well.

Next, add your desired posting times. To activate your Queue for a particular account make sure the feature is enabled by swinging the “Enable Queue” toggle to the right until it turns blue.

Instagram Scheduling - Sked Social

Tools like Social Insider can help you establish the best posting times for your audience.

You will also start to see when your best times to post are from comparing how well posts at different times perform. It is key to try and post your content when you know your audience will be online. If you are a brand with a global audience, this is trickier. You have users who are active at different times.

When it comes to reaching users in different time zones posting a collage is a nice workaround.

Sked’s Planner can help you with that (more on that later). You can split one original image into nine unique tiles on your profile page. This gives you eight more chances to get your message seen by your audience. Many huge brands (Adidas, Nike etc.) do this as an innovative way to launch a new product on Instagram. This is for those that may have missed it.

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Your time is precious, so planning ahead is the name of the game with social media.

Sked’s Queue feature is helpful because it posts your videos and photos directly to Instagram, and without notifications. There are no nudges or confirmations. Sked will post at any time for you, even when you are asleep.

Using Planner to Plan Your Grid

Using Sked’s Planner can help you perfect your profile’s page grid.

Planner allows you to visualize how your posts are going to look on an Instagram grid. It’s a simple and straightforward feature that helps you achieve that perfect grid!

Easily drag content from your drafts into the grid, and then move the posts around as you see fit. This includes scheduled, queued and draft posts.

Here’s a look at how the Sked planner works.

Doing this without Sked’s Planner feature would be difficult, and would take a few attempts to get right. This should definitely save you time in the long run.

To start planning your grid, go into your Sked account, then click on “Planner” on the left sidebar menu.

Instagram Scheduling - Sked Social

Once it opens, you’ll see your draft posts on the left and the planner interface in the center (it’s the one that looks like a smartphone displaying an Instagram grid).

All you have to do now is drag your draft posts over to the planner and arrange them to create the perfect grid!

Instagram Scheduling - Sked Social

Once you’ve got you’re grid right, click “submit changes”, as in the image below, and you’re done.

Instagram Scheduling - Sked Social

Using Sked’s Visual Planner also allows you to see an overview of your page, which can be helpful.

Instagram is a visual social platform, so you have to make sure that all your content is on point and cohesive.

A large part of building your Instagram brand is developing a posting style and an identity. If you’re looking for inspiration, take a look at 9 Brilliant Instagram Feed Ideas That Can Make Your Profile Stand Out.

Picture Perfect – Using Sked’s Image Editor

Before using Sked’s image editor, I used to go through a laborious process to edit photos. I would email the photo to myself so I could save it on my phone, and then edit it via the Instagram app. I would then put my phone into flight mode, and post the image so that it would save it to my phone. Then, I would email it back to my work email address so that I would be able to post it via desktop. Crazy, right? With Sked’s image editor, I no longer need to do this, which saves me a lot of time.

Instagram Scheduling - Sked Social

Sked’s in-browser image editor allows you to do the things you can do on Instagram.

The Sked image editor gives you the option to crop, adjust and add filters. The filters are in different categories, depending on what kind of look you are going for. You can also add text, stickers and use the brush tool for adding different effects to your image. Using text, stickers and brushes is an effective way to personalize your Instagram content.

Finally, you can adjust the focus of your image, and add different frames to your post.

Instagram’s “Lo-fi” filter on Instagram has always been one of my favorites, and I tend to use that a lot when posting content. I recreate this when I am using the Sked image editor, and I find that the “Lomo” filter has a similar effect. I can then tweak to get it right according to my personal preference.

If you are new to Sked’s image editor, you can take a look at this blog post which runs through its useful features and how to use them. It is also worth noting here that you should always be uploading the highest quality image you can. Sked will resize that down to the correct size for Instagram, 1080 by 1080 pixels.

What you should not try doing is uploading an image that is smaller than 1080 by 1080 pixels. You are running the risk of the image becoming pixelated, which will not look good on your page. Making sure everything you do on Instagram is the best quality it can be is of the utmost importance.

Add Multiple Links To Your Bio & Track Clicks With Sked Link

You’ll likely agree that Instagram’s restrictions on bio links are a pain!

At Sked, we understand your need for multiple links, and so we created the useful Sked Link.

With Sked Link, we do all the heavy “linking” for you. Simply place your unique Sked Link in your bio to share more than 1 link with your followers.

Your Sked Link dashboard consists of three main sections – build, design and integrate. All of which come in very handy to create that killer Sked Link for driving more traffic, sales, newsletter sign-ups and opportunities.

To get started, head over to app.sked.link or browse the feature’s setup guide.

One of Sked Link’s best features is the ability to add your Facebook Pixel and Google Analytics ID on your personalized Sked Link. This is fantastic for remarketing purposes and tracking the traffic you’re attracting to your Sked Link directly from Instagram.

Instagram for Business 101

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Exporting – using PDF exports as reports

If you use Sked to do work for clients or a company, the export feature could prove to be useful. You can export to CSV or PDF, allowing you to share your planned or posted Instagram content. This way, your clients and colleagues can see what is going on. If you need to do some reporting via Sked, the export feature means you can get the content you need. Then, you can incorporate it as part of your reporting documentation. Using this will make it much clearer to see what is being done for your client. It will translate better than a load of figures and statistics on a document. It could also prove useful if you want to show your future plans for a client’s Instagram page.

One of the biggest challenges of doing a client’s social media is making sure everyone is on the same page. You want to streamline everything as much as possible, and make sure it runs smooth. Using the export feature will allow you to show the people you are working with what is coming up next. There is nothing worse than coming up with some content that you think is good to go and then having to delete it. You could use the export feature to lay out what is being posted in the coming week, and send it to your client. This will ensure everyone is working toward the same goal.

On To You

Well, until next time, that is me done. I hope you enjoyed reading this guide to scheduling and planning on Instagram. I hope you find it useful in your future work. If you think the guide may help someone, please send it to them. Spread the word. For more informative content like this post I have done, please do visit the Sked blog. There is a wealth of resources there to help you with Instagram and much more. The resources come from experienced social marketers who know their stuff.

If you’re looking to carve out hours in your social media workflow, sign 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.

Picture of Patrick SwiftPatrick Swift

Patrick Swift

Hi, my name is Patrick Swift, and I work for Juno Records’ marketing department as Social Media and Content Assistant, which includes handling all of their social media networks.

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