With over 400 million users, Instagram is a powerhouse for brands. So if you are not already leveraging the almighty power of Instagram to promote your products and services then now is definitely the time to get started. I love Instagram, it’s one of the most fun and inspiring of all the social media sites. However up until recently the only thing I did not love was the inability to schedule my posts. Instagram, for the majority, is a place to post your photos as and when the opportunity to take a beautiful, fun or interesting photo arises. For most users spontaneity and inspiration is what it's all about, however for businesses it’s not so easy to post regularly if you can’t schedule in advance. I find that the best time to post is often early evening, but the problem with this is I am often not working at this time so it’s a bit of a drag to have to tear myself away from whatever I am doing to create and post to Instagram at this time. I would rather be able to create content in my working hours and and then schedule at the optimum time or whenever I prefer.
Here's how it works:
1. Find and add the App to your mobile device. The three available are; Hootsuite, Latergramme or Viraltag
2. Choose or create the image you would like in the way you usually do.
3. Upload your image to the app and add your caption and hashtags.
4. Select the time you want to post your image to Instagram.
5. At the scheduled time you receive a push notification on your phone advising you that your image is due to be posted on Instagram
6. Tap on the Push notification on your phone to be directed to the App and then review your post and tapp one in Instagram
7. Once in Instagram you can add your favorite filters, tag users and add a location as usual. The caption you composed in the App for the image will be copied to your phone’s clipboard. Simply tap again and select paste to add the caption.
8. Finally tap and share your image to Instagram as you would usually do.
For business using these apps is a great bonus. It means you can plan and create your posts in advance which makes it so much easier to post regularly and offer your followers a more consistent brand experience. You now keep your brand in your followers minds with ease.
So here are the Apps in a bit more detail;
I am a big, big fan of Hootsuite. In addition to the obvious multi platform scheduling benefits it also allows you to monitor all your social media platforms including Instagram. The even better news is it's still free for up to 3 social media accounts. From Hootsuite you can view your own Instagram stream, comment and like as well as view photos of the people you follow. Setting up your streams is really easy on Hootsuite and you can also follow and unfollow accounts from Hootsuite. This takes away the hassle of having to use your mobile as well as your desktop or laptop. Here is a great resource from Hootsuite on how to set all this up
Later gramme was ahead of the game as first to offer Instagram posting functionality. It’s free for one account and allows you to do all of the following:
Upload posts from your computer, iPhone, Tablet or Android
Manage Multiple Instagram accounts
Add team members to collaborate on Instagram accounts
Search and repost content from the web
Upload video posts to be scheduled later (this is a paid option)
ViralTag is a tool you can use for sharing and scheduling you images to your social media accounts, Pinterest, Facebook, Linkedin , Twitter and now Instagram. You can also share from your mobile too. Like Buffer you can queue your images to post or schedule them. With Instagram, VitalTag also uses the method above to help you post your content. Plans start from $29 per month.
Are you using Instagram for Business? Would you find being able to use these Apps to schedule your posts to Instagram useful? Or are you already using any of the Apps mentioned above? Would love to hear about your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.