For a long time, it wasn’t possible to use automation for Instagram scheduling. People could use an application called Buffer that would send reminders that it was TIME to post an Instagram update, but that was as far as it went.
Other applications got into the game. One of the main issues is, it is hard enough to manage content on your phone, so apps like Buffer made it possible to control things from your PC. It was a big game changer as it also allows collaboration by members of a team.
It has been shown a regular posting window can be beneficial in terms of one’s audience on Instagram. You begin to encounter some of the same users in a specific time window. For example, I have a tendency to post pretty late at night (anywhere from 9 PM up until midnight), so that means many of my followers and those with whom I most actively engage are either night owls in the United States (except Hawaii, which is 3 hours earlier!) or those in Asian, Europe or even in the southern hemisphere.
So predictable posting times can work in one’s favor if cultivating a dedicated audience is one of your objectives. Buffer is able to schedule photo posts as well as video updates including captions and hashtags.
There are scheduling and monitoring/engagement “deck” platforms similar to Twitter’s Tweetdeck, with Hootsuite being a long-established and versatile application for scheduling/monitoring; engagement with content; and allows oversight of specific account streams, hashtags and more.
Hootsuite is an expansive tool and allows connection to myriad social accounts if you have a paid subscription. Otherwise, free account users are allowed three connections and basic analytics reporting and message scheduling. Some of the additional social profiles that can be used with Hootsuite include Facebook profiles/pages/groups, Twitter pages, LinkedIn profiles/groups/companies, YouTube, WordPress and Instagram accounts. It’s also possible to connect to Tumblr, Flickr and others.
A few other Instagram scheduling apps you might wish to explore include SkedSocial, OnlyPult, BufferGram (soon to relaunch as BUSY.IO) and AutoGrammer.
Again, Buffergram has announced on its website that it will be relaunching as BUSY.IO
One or more team members, or accounts?
If you are new to Instagram, or work as a social media assistant to a small business, it is important to note many apps have free versions for a single user.
If you are working with a team with numerous people curating content, it may be worthwhile to investigate Enterprise or Team options. Also, depending on your needs, services such as Buffer and Hootsuite allow scheduling and monitoring across many platforms. Click the links to find out more.
For information on other useful tools, check out How to Monitor Your Instagram.