People spend, on average, 29 minutes a day on Instagram. The unfortunate thing is, you don’t know what part of the day they’ll be on there.
That’s why it’s so important to have your content coming out around the clock. Especially when you start taking time zones into account, it can become a nightmare to send off your own posts in the hope of reaching all of your potential customers.
There is so much content that is being constantly consumed that staying relevant is a constantly ongoing task for businesses. If you just go quiet for a couple of days you can be replaced in a potential customer’s mind by a competitor or new interest.
Instagram users scroll through countless videos and photos and it’s up to you to have enough of a presence for your brand to shine through all of the other bright lights.
Luckily, that doesn’t mean you have to set up an alarm for every hour throughout the night for you to think of new content ideas and send them out. In fact, there are some great tools available that mean you can have a constant online presence at any time of day and any day of the week.
Having a life outside of your phone whilst your business has an important Instagram presence is easier than ever now with post-scheduling tools. These let you upload or create your post, mark it in a calendar and then go off to do other things in the knowledge it’ll automatically be sent out when the time comes.
Here are some of the best options available to you for scheduling Instagram posts.
Facebook Creator Studio
That’s not a typo, Facebook and Instagram are now part of the same company, remember!
You need to connect the Instagram page that you want to create a schedule for to your Facebook account. At the top of the page, you should see the Instagram icon next to the Facebook Icon.
The Instagram icon will take you to a page where you can see things like your account content and insights.
The blue Create Post on the left is your friend here. This will let you schedule something to be put on either your Instagram Feed or IGTV, but you’re not able to do Stories yet.
You can add your caption including hashtags but there’s no option to post an automatic comment yet if that’s where you normally put them. You can add a location too and then once you’ve uploaded your picture and chosen a date and time, you’re ready to go!
Attaching a good caption can be the difference between a successful post and a mediocre one. It can be a challenge to formulate the right thing though. That’s why those who are determined for their posts to do well take Flick’s Instagram caption-writing course, which will give you the skills to boost impressions and engagement.
This option only works on computers, so if you’re looking for something you can control on the move, check out one of the other possibilities.
However, Creator Studio is free and simple to use. Sometimes, especially if you’re just getting started, it’s okay to stick with the basics. This will have more than enough for you to give Instagram post scheduling a try.
These are two of the biggest names in social media post scheduling. Both offer the same scheduling capabilities as Creator Studio and a whole lot more on top.
Flick has an Instagram scheduler and a hashtag manager that allows you to schedule posts that can reach more people through a smart use of hashtags.
Buffer keeps things fairly simple but its mobile app means you can use it on the go and it has a simple, clean interface. Scheduling is free up to a point but if you want to queue up a lot of content then you’ll need a paid plan.
Hootsuite is even more ambitious, providing the usual scheduling options as well as a wealth of analytics tools so you can make the right decisions about how to plan your content schedule out.
You can edit your posts before putting them in the queue and the overall experience on Hootsuite has a very premium feel. It also has a mobile app for scheduling on the go. They usually have offers on for free trials so you can see what all the hype’s about before paying up.
Both tools let you easily link your Instagram business account, make the necessary adjustments to your post, pick when you want it posted and sit back to watch your online consistency peak.
How to make the most of Instagram post scheduling
There’s a sweet spot with your target audience that you’ll need to find to get the most out of post scheduling.
You want to post often enough that you’re on people’s minds and getting their attention, but not so much that they start getting annoyed and unfollowing you.
To get a ballpark estimate of how often you should be posting, check out how often successful businesses in your niche are online. Maybe try to beat their frequency slightly, but not by an extra amount a casual Instagram scroller will notice. If you’re feeling less bold, you can start with posting less often and measuring the reception you get.
The reception you get will also depend on what time you’re posting. If everyone’s asleep when you send out your message to the world, then it will mostly fall on deaf ears. You also want to be wary of posting at peak hours, normally in the evening, when competition is fierce and you risk getting drowned out in the noise.
The only sure-fire way to know your post-timing is optimal is to consistently pay close attention to the data. If you post frequently, then you can build up an idea quickly of what times are working well for you.
Don’t be put off by one post with few likes or get overexcited when something goes viral. You need multiple reference points to know for sure what works.
So, if a 4 pm post does do well, use that time for the next few days and work out if it was an anomaly. If that’s a time where your posts always gain attention, then great, stick with it!
You may also find that certain times work on certain days. The 8 am morning rush is probably less fruitful on a Sunday when people might still be asleep.
Hootsuite’s analytics tools make finding these things out a lot easier so it’s many people’s go-to for scheduling Instagram posts but you’re also more than able to fill up your Calendar using Buffer and Creator Studio.
New tools like Facebook’s Business Suite are always coming out and improving too! There’s never been a better time to have your business online, all the time.