As we’ve previously discussed, consistency is one of the most important factors in growing your Instagram account. In this post, we’ll show you how to use two of our favorite tools to effortlessly schedule your posts.
In our previous post, we discussed the meteoric rise of Instagram along with it’s growing importance to digital marketers. One of the key takeaways was consistency. Not only in appearance & the quality of posts – but in consistent posting.
Many “studies” have been performed to determine an optimal scheduling time. From experience, I can tell you trial & error is your best friend. As with most other things in life, one-size-fits-all rarely works.
Finding the “Sweet Spot”
Ideally, you want to see around 10% engagement on your posts. Meaning, if you have 10,000 followers you’d want to see around 1,000 likes & comments.
I would point out that smaller accounts tend to have better engagement – don’t be surprised if you get 50% or greater engagement as your account begins to grow. This makes sense for a couple of reasons.
- Firstly, you are probably spending more time directly interacting with your followers. This is social media, after all. As your account grows, that becomes more difficult.
- Secondly, you aren’t yet viewed as a “sell out”. It happens to bands & it happens to Instagrammers! Your growth will inevitably alienate some of your earliest – and perhaps most vocal – supporters.
As your account grows, engagement will decrease. Don’t be surprised & don’t be discouraged. It’s perfectly normal.
I’ve found 4 posts per day to be ideal for my accounts. Experiment with more or less to find the frequency that works best for your account.
Why Schedule Posts?
Efficiency! If you’re a business owner you probably understand the power of delegation. Why waste your time handling minor tasks that could easily be handled by others. You should be focused on other matters, such as growing your business.
Automated scheduling tools act as your virtual assistant. I tend to spend a few hours each weekend adding posts to my queues for the coming week. I’m then free to engage with followers or write blog posts. I don’t find myself scrambling to come up with off the cuff posts, meaning the overall quality of my shares remain high as I can devote time to perfecting the message I hope to deliver.
My Preferred Scheduling Tools
There are many options out there & I would encourage you to try as many as you’d like. Find the one that works best for you. I’ve used quite a few & always end up coming back to either Hootsuite or Buffer.
- Wide Variety of Social Networks – In addition to Instagram, Hootsuite connects to most every prominent social network. In fact, so far as I know, it connects to more networks than any other tool. The free version allows you to connect to 3 networks.
- Tabbed Interface – Another advantage is the interface, which is organized by tabs. You’re able to organize activity via social networks & streams.
- Unobtrusive Posting Interface – Simply mouse over the “send to” or “compose message” fields to access posting & scheduling options.
- Costs Can Easily Skyrocket – If you find yourself outgrowing the free plan, adding additional accounts & team members will cost you.
- The Interface Has a Learning Curve – You may find yourself struggling to remember where that “one option” was located. While the interface falls squarely in the Pro column – it does often times suffer from information overload.
Let’s walk through the basics of scheduling posts with Hootsuite.
- Clean & Simple Layout
- Pablo – a free image creation tool. Very useful for creating text-rich image posts.
- Very Useful Analytics – Easily see your best & worst performing posts. What worked? What didn’t?
- Post Scheduling Tool – While Hootsuite offers a similar feature, I’ve found the Buffer schedule to be more in line with user activity on my accounts.
- Sparse – Again, the clean simple layout belongs squarely in the Pros column, Hootsuite is probably the better option if you’re a data geek.
Now, let’s walk through the basics of scheduling posts with Buffer.
Recap: The Benefits of Scheduling Your Instagram Posts
- Time Savings: Scheduling your social feed allows you to devote smaller blocks of time to the task, freeing you up for other, more important matters. You also gain the benefit of having time to properly research hashtags as well as honing the message you’re conveying.
- Consistency: It’s much easier to post regularly & create a consistent feed.
- Organization: You’ll find yourself putting more thought in to your feed. Using the built-in analytics tools, you’re able to more easily spot trends & identify the strategies that work, along with the ones that don’t.
- You’re No Longer Married to Your Account: Schedule your posts & let the software decide when to post. Open the notification on your phone & move on with your life.
- Much Better Workflow: No more keeping track of which photos go with which posts. All media is neatly attached & ready to post.
I hope you’ve found this information useful. Your comments are always appreciated!