I’m not a huge fan of scheduling social media content. However, I think for any organization to function at high level, there has to be some scheduling of content so you can focus on other tasks. So it’s easy to see why tools like Hootsuite and Buffer have exploded in popularity.
Of course, the main attraction of these tools is that you can schedule and manage your Twitter and Facebook content from one easy to use dashboard. But what about Instagram? Well until now, Instagram users have been left out out in the cold.
Part of the reason for this is Instagram’s insistence on only being able to post from inside the app on either your phone or tablet. I’m not sure why they have this limitation, but I do know that it has caused a headache for those of us who have manage multiple accounts and need to schedule content.
Now there are few tools out there that do allow scheduling, however I’m ready to fork out more cash for another produce when I’m already invested in apps like Hootsuite and CoSchedule. So when Hootsuite announced you can now schedule Instagram from your Hootsuite dashboard, I got real excited.
So how does it work and is it everything I hoped it would be? Well, yes and no. To give you a full run down of how Hootsuite and Instagram work together, I’ve written up this quick tutorial to guide you through how to set this up for yourself. Check it out…
Schedule Instagram Posts with Hootsuite Tutorial
Step 1. Log into your Hootsuite account (or sign up for one). Once, you’ve logged in you should be greeted by a screen that looks like this (my default screen is my Twitter account):
Step 2. Click on the option to “Add Social Network”.
Step 3. Click on “Instagram”.
Step 4. Click on “Connect with Instagram”.
Step 5. Insert your Instagram username and password. Click “Log In”.
Step 6. Click “Authorize”.
Step 7. Click “Setup Publishing Now”.
Step 8. If you don’t have Hootsuite on your iPhone or Android device, insert your mobile phone number and click “Next step” to get the app. If you already do the app, then just click “Next step”.
Step 9. At this point you’ll need to get your mobile device. On your mobile device, log into the Hootsuite app (if you’re not already logged in).
Step 10. Once the app is open, click on “Settings”.
Step 11. Click on “Notifications Settings”.
Step 12. Click on your Instagram account so the slider is green. (Note, you might be asked to go into your mobile device’s general settings and turn on notifications for Hootsuite.)
Step 13. Now go back to your desktop browser. You should be greated with a window saying the setup was successful. Click “Done”.
Step 14. Now we want add a new tab for just our Instagram feed. Click the “+” sign.
Step 15. Now let’s select our Instagram account.
Step 16. You should see something like this. You can add additional streams as you like.
Step 17. Now let’s schedule a post. First thing we need to is to click the upper left area of your screen and select your Instagram account. Then, click the paperclip icon so we can attach a picture.
Step 18. Select an image from your hard drive.
Step 19. Now let’s add some text that will be our caption on Instagram and click the calendar icon to schedule our Instagram post. Then click “Schedule”.
Step 20. Now if you setup a “Scheduled” stream, you should see your scheduled post.
Step 21. Now when your post is scheduled to be posted to Instagram, you should get a notification on mobile device. Click on the notification.
Step 22. Click through the next three screens.
Step 23. Keep clicking… (Notice that your caption does not automatically appear in Instagram. You’ll need to paste it.).
Step 24. Keep clicking…
Step 25. Now click on “Instagram” on the share menu. (On an Android device this will look different.)
Step 26. Now go through the normal process of posting to Instagram and you’re done!
Final Thoughts on Schedule Instagram Posts with Hootsuite
So what’s the verdict? Well, it’s not truly automatized scheduling. You’re still required to post from your mobile device when you want the post to go live. Essentially, all your doing is setting up a reminder to post to Instagram with the ability to preload the content.
While it’s disappointing that you can’t truly schedule Instagram content, it’s a step in the right direction. However, there are still a few features that I am looking for:
- Scheduling of Instagram content without my mobile device.
- Management of multiple Instagram accounts from the same device.
- Easier embedding of call to actions (links, etc…)
So what do you think? Try scheduling Instagram with Hootsuite and let me know what you think by commenting below.