You can finally schedule posts on Instagram. Here’s how

You read that correctly. The day has finally come, and now, you can schedule your posts ahead of time on Instagram. Say goodbye to those notifications that remind you to hit “post now” on that image in the queue!

This latest update will also allow your business to see public posts that mention or tag you and view other business profiles. If you’re a social media manager, you can now manage multiple accounts from a single dashboard.

But, as always with these updates, there is a catch. This functionality is not built into Instagram itself but Instagram’s Graph API. To schedule posts on Instagram, you need to work with a Facebook Marketing Partner or Instagram Partner, such as SocialFlow, Sprout Social or Hootsuite.

“The scheduling and publishing of Instagram content has been the number one request for our 16 million customers,” said Ryan Holmes, Hootsuite’s CEO, in a statement. “Now, they can manage large volumes of content, multiple team members and multiple Instagram accounts with ease and security.”

While scheduling posts ahead of time is smart, you can optimize the newfound benefits of this update with the five tips below.

5 Ways to Better Schedule Content on Every Social Platform

1. Invest in the right tools

If you don’t already use a social media scheduling tool, now is the time to change that! If you save two hours a week by scheduling posts (which is a modest estimate), you’ll gain 13 full work days a year.

2. Have a plan

Now that you can schedule all your content across every platform, an editorial calendar is more important than ever. Using one will allow you to create a diverse, strategic plan that accounts for the 30/60/10 rule.

30 percent of your social content should be made by your company, 60 percent should be curated and 10 percent should be self-promotional. In short, you want to deliver educational, entertaining content that piques your users’ interests. Even though it’s technically your business’ account, it’s not all about you. It’s about your followers.

3. Keep it fresh

Just because most of your content is scheduled out, that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook! You should still monitor daily social media trends so that you can join in on buzzworthy moments.

Also, news stories (either those that are relevant to your followers or that feature your company) should be shared as soon as possible. What’s news today won’t be news tomorrow.

4. Book the best

With the power of scheduling tools, you can have posts automatically publish at the best possible day and time. Try this feature out, but also, monitor and manually post at times you know work well. See what way delivers better results.

5. Set aside time to engage

Liking each comment or responding to each message in real time can be a time suck. Instead, try engaging in bulk several times a day.

Set aside 15 minutes in the morning, afternoon and early evening to answer, listen and connect with your audience. Then, you’ll have the rest of the day to focus on other priorities.

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