Sometimes now is not the right time. We’re talking about when to post on social media platforms in order to promote a blog post or any other. It would be great to post at the ideal time ot the customers, but sometimes that could be in the middle of the night. Good news: Instagram finally have come up with a new way to help.
Summary: 5 Minutes read, Level: Advanced
It’s been possible on Twitter and Facebook for a long time, if you can manage to navigate the complicated settings in order to do it, and now Instagram have announced that they too will allow users to schedule their posts. Initially this feature will only be available for businesses, but that’s exactly what you need.
This is the first time users have been able to do this through the Instagram website or app. Previously it was possible to do it by using tools, but none of them were official or in any way affiliated with Instagram. The problem sometimes associated with using unofficial tools is that they can prove to be unreliable. ‘Free tool that allows this’ can sometimes let you down or there are annoying pop up ads when you try to use it. There are a whole host of reasons why you wouldn’t want to use some of these tools, but now it’s no longer an issue.
Instagram did have the facility to use their drafts feature before now. This allowed users to pre-prepare a post to save for later. It could than just be posted with one single click, but it was not possible to schedule a time for it. Scheduling was what people asked for though, and the good people at Instagram have listened and answered their wishes.
The new feature is being added to Instagram’s API. This essentially means that Hootsuite and other similar social media software apps will have access to it and that they can each add it to their own products. Instagram have promised that the API will be available to all Instagram Partners and Facebook Marketing Partners. It will not be possible to schedule ads using this function, only regular posts, but the ore cunning among you will know that a post can soon be turned into an ad.
Hootsuite’s CEO, Ryan Holmes, had this to say about the development: “The scheduling and publishing of Instagram content has been the number one request for our 16 million customers. Now they can manage large volumes of content, multiple team members and multiple Instagram accounts with ease and security. Hootsuite is excited to partner with Instagram to make this happen.”
It’s hard to imagine that this news could in any way have a negative impact, but unfortunately it will affect some. Larger companies who are posting thousands of times a month will welcome the ability to schedule everything in one session, but smaller business might not be so lucky.
Large companies will generally use a third party software programme for everything they do using Instagram, but small businesses usually just choose just a standard Instagram account.
The feature is not yet available when using an ordinary Instagram account and this means businesses which use them and private individuals cannot schedule their posts. Yet. That’s right, yet, because there are plans to make the feature available on Instagram’s regular app and website and then everyone can schedule to their heart’s content. It is hoped that Instagram will enable scheduling for all by the early part of 2019.
There are two good reasons why a business would wish to be able to schedule their posts on Instagram.
Let’s say your business is based in Europe. A lot of your customers will probably be in Europe too, but if you’re a truly global business you could well have a significant number of customers in North America or Asia too. This makes choosing a time to post can be quite tricky. If it’s lunchtime in London, it’s not even breakfast time in San Francisco, and customers in Tokyo might already be going to be.
It is of course possible to post the same thing at several times in order to better reach your customers, but you can’t work 24/7 in order to do this. Being able to schedule posts means that you can post when the most customers in other parts of the world can see it. This will help you to engage with more people in more places.
If you’re a large business who regularly uses Instagram to reach customers you could be sending literally thousands of posts each month. This means that whoever is responsible for posting needs to stay on top of what to post and when and they might have a diary full of information about this as well as a series of alarm alerts to remind them when it’s time to post the next ones.
Thanks to Instagram making scheduling posts possible, it can all be done at once. It might involve two or three days of quite intensive working every month for the person involved, but it means once it’s done, it’s done. Everything is prescheduled and this person can focus on something else for the next 27 days.
With their new feature to allow you to schedule your posts, Instagram have taken a lot of the difficulty and hardship out of digital marketing and promotion. By next year every single user could be taking advantage of this feature and we’ll all struggle to remember what it used to be like.