Did someone just say we can schedule to Instagram?
When I discovered this glorious news, I was sitting on my couch trying to find every article and watch every video I could find about this new feature!
For a social media manager, managing 8+ Instagram accounts, it’s a serious blessing! Imagine eight notifications daily (on Saturdays, Sundays, and yes even Holidays) on your phone notifying you it’s time to post on Instagram. That’s one every hour during a ‘regular’ work day. Think about it though, 8+ notifications a day where I have to stop and manually post to Instagram, talk about a serious productivity kill! Also if you’re anything like me… you’re instantly distracted by all the gorgeous Instagram photos…which again kills any form of productivity.
With that in mind, you now have a glimpse into the pure joy on my face when I read that Instagram was going to allow automation through partner platforms.
That’s right PARTNER platforms and only the PAID plans.
I have considered/tested two of the bigger names that you may recognize:
Although Hootsuite is great for engagement, I do not recommend this platform for Instagram. There really isn’t a feature with Hootsuite which allows you to view the overall look of your feed, after scheduling a few photos. As Instagram is the “business card for creatives” the visual look of your feed is SO important! I immediately knew (although disappointed) that Hootsuite was not the right platform for something simple.
Now don’t fret, there is a workaround here! If you’re already using the paid Hootsuite and care about the look of your feed, you can download the app UNUM (app only), which allows you to plan out your grid for FREE.
Although this seemed like a fix at first… it became a very inefficient way to plan eight different clients’ posts, as I would have to upload all the photos to UNUM first and then again to Hootsuite. But for one user this is seriously a great alternative.
With all this in mind, I decided Hootsuite, just wasn’t going to work. I needed something a little more geared towards Instagram.
Here is where I introduce you to the platform beauty Planoly. Although pricey (for more than one user), Planoly is magnificent! It not only offers scheduling and automation (which is what I was searching for), it also offers insight into analytics. It highlights all key metrics needed as well as posts that are most liked and commented on over a selected time frame. What a GREAT way to understand what your audience enjoys and likes to see!
I was a little disappointed that the automation feature is not yet in place (Planoly just released an update that it is coming VERY SOON!)… but this offers some time to master using the program before they decide to implement it.
NOW! Here’s the ultimate truth!
Even though automation is here, this does not mean you can set it and forget it. Instagram at the end of the day is still a SOCIAL platform!
With automation… you will also need to log into your account to add @mentions to the photo, add a geotag and of course engage with your following!!
Even though automation is here this does not mean you can set it and forget it. Instagram at the end of the day is still a SOCIAL platform. Click To Tweet
I highly recommend Planoly for any social media manager. I know it’s pricey… I had to bite the bullet on this one, but it really will offer a sense of work/life balance – which as a business owner is hard to come by!
Thumbs up to the automation Instagram!