An exciting new update is coming to Instagram - the ability to schedule posts!
Now, it’s been available in external tools like Creator Studio for a while, but it’s likely that soon you’ll be able to schedule posts - including Reels and Stories - via the Instagram app itself.
Although there has been the ability to schedule Instagram content via various other platforms for a while now, being able to do so direct from the in-app creation flow could make it much easier as it means that content creators and business owners need not stray from the platform itself, and can make the most of all the tools available.
This exciting news has been shared thanks to social media app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi, who has tweeted about the new functionality!
The function is yet to launch to users, so keep your eyes peeled and let us know if you give it a go!
Benefits of Scheduling
You may now be wondering why people schedule their posts and what the benefits are, so here are a few of our favourite reasons to schedule posts:
Save time later
One of the biggest benefits is saving time. By scheduling your posts in a block when you have a spare hour or two it can save you logging in, navigating and organising posts in between jobs, cutting down on the time actually spent scheduling. We all have busy lives and jobs, and often posting here and there to your business's social media page can end up at the bottom of the pile and be forgotten about. Utilising scheduling tools enables you to schedule content ahead of time, which gives you peace of mind that you have great content going out every day!
The key to a successful social media campaign is planning ahead. Scheduling tools let you see the whole month at a glance so you can plan the frequency of your posts and see the campaign take shape. Spreading out your posts is way more effective than posting several pieces of content at once or within a short space of time. You can also plan posts for national days and holidays and think about how to get creative for them ahead of time.
Often when creating and scheduling content in batches you'll have a better idea of tone, branding and messaging too, so your campaigns can be more structured and well thought out, as well as more consistent and cohesive for your audience too!
We all know that posting regularly is positive for those social media algorithms and it can even contribute to your Google ranking too! Scheduling can help with this, as you’ll be able to write and schedule posts to go out at regular intervals o there arent any gaps in content. What’s more, if you are taking some time off or going on holiday for a few weeks you can still have posts going out whilst you are away.
Put thought into your content
Scheduling ahead of time allows you to think through your content a bit more, research trends and proof your content. Sometimes rushing to post, grabbing a stock image and putting it on social media can be a bit chaotic and reduce the quality and impact of your content. With time to think about it, your posts are much more likely to be engaging and you’ll be able to put lots more value into your content. You can also allow time to double-check your content for any errors, broken links or inaccuracies!
Take well-needed time from your phone
No one wants to be constantly juggling home life with their business, and many of us often want to switch off when we are away from work. Scheduling your social media posts means you can have content going out over the weekend or outside of business hours without needing to log in or manage your page, so you can disconnect and spend less time on your phone and more time with friends and family. A win-win!
Post more frequently
A big part of engagement on social media is like having a regular posting schedule. So, by scheduling your posts to go out ahead of time you can plan out a month of content, spread them out and you'll often find once you are in the swing of things that you can increase that frequency and see your engagement rise.
Post at optimum times
Depending on your audience, it’s likely that some times will be better than others when it comes to posting. For some businesses, it could be Mondays at 11am, and for others it could be Fridays at 9pm - but of course, we don’t expect you to be sat waiting for this time to come by in order to post! You can instead use this data to help inform your posting times and make use of a scheduling tool to ensure content goes out at those specified times. A lot of scheduling tools give users recommended post times based on your insights, which can save time researching too!
Free Scheduling Tools
Native scheduling tools
You can actually schedule tweets directly on Twitter via the browser which is helpful if you are planning a campaign or collection of tweets. Twitter is mainly considered a platform that is ‘in the moment’ though, so whilst scheduling can help with frequency, make sure to check in on those trending topics and hashtags from time to time.
As mentioned earlier in this blog Instagram should be introducing native scheduling within the app itself too, so it’s likely that Facebook will follow suit before long!
Meta Suite is a handy little platform for scheduling Instagram and Facebook content, and also lets you see page notifications, inbox and insights at a glance.
By heading over to the planner section you can look at your posts in weekly or monthly view and drop posts in as and where you would like them and attach your graphics, a video and location to your posts. What’s more, you can reschedule, edit and boost posts all from the planner section too!
It’s also really handy if you have an Instagram account connected to your Facebook page as you can easily schedule posts for both simultaneously and tweak them for each platform all within the same window. This cuts down time as you're not having to go to each platform individually and can see both Instagram and Facebook schedules in the same place.
Hootsuite is another great scheduling tool, especially if you want to connect a Twitter or Linkedin account. It is however worth noting, that currently the free version only allows you to manage two social media accounts and schedule up to 5 posts in advance. For some businesses, it may be handy to use Meta Suite for their Facebook and Instagram accounts and Hootsuite for LinkedIn/Twitter.
Later’s free offerings are a bit broader. You can connect one ‘social set’ which includes one account of each of the following platforms - Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest and Tiktok. Later is one of the few scheduling tools that currently allows you to schedule to Tiktok and schedule reels on Instagram which is a win if you’re a video whizz!
Buffer also offers Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest and Tiktok too but you can only have up to three of those channels and schedule 10 posts on the free plan. The platform also automatically shortens links and allows you to post Instagram Reels and Carousels.
Whilst scheduling is great, it’s still important to check in on your page regularly, to ensure you are replying to comments, reviewing insights and jumping on anything time-sensitive where possible. And, don’t feel like you can’t post more sporadic and ad-hoc content in between either!
Hopefully, this blog has given you a bit of insight into the world of scheduling and how beneficial it can be to you and your business. As always, if you want to learn more about our marketing services and how we could help support you with social campaigns please don’t hesitate to get in touch.