Although the exact day and time you post content to Instagram matters less than it used to — since your followers’ newsfeeds are now organized by relevance, engagement, and other factors versus post age — it’s definitely still important.
Here’s why. Let’s say 10% of your audience is online on Tuesday at 3 p.m. You post a creative GIF showcasing your latest product. Because not many people are scrolling through Instagram, it gets fewer likes and comments than your average post. Instagram’s algorithm interprets this as the post is less appealing than your typical content, so it’s displayed to a smaller percentage of your network.
While having this information is useful, you do have to wait — poised over your phone or computer — for the specific hour to strike. I don’t know about you, but I prefer the “set it and forget it” approach.
Luckily, Instagram’s latest update makes that a reality. The company announced a change to its API that will let third-party tools enable post scheduling. In other words, if you use an app like Hootsuite, you can upload your content and choose when it will go live on Instagram.
Post scheduling isn’t available for Ads, nor will you be able to use it within Instagram itself (meaning that unless you’ve got a tool hooked up to your personal account, you’ll still have to time that picture from brunch strategically).
How to schedule a post on Instagram
- Step 1: Connect your business Instagram profile to a third-party tool like Hootsuite.
- Step 2: Go to your tool’s dashboard.
- Step 3: Compose a new post with the visual assets, captions, and/or hashtags as you want them to appear on Instagram.
- Step 4: Preview your post to make sure it looks right.
- Step 5: Use the scheduling feature to select the date and time you’d like the post to go live.