Yesterday news broke that you’ll soon be able to schedule Instagram posts to go live directly from popular third-party tools and programmes, like Hootsuite and Buffer. This is currently limited to business accounts but Instagram are reported as saying it’ll go live for all accounts by 2019.
That’s amazing news for us marketers, especially when we’re managing multiple accounts for different clients. It’s good news for bloggers and casual users too, if they’re looking for somewhere to save a little time each day.
There are definitely plus points to being able to schedule Instagram posts from your existing social media management tools. But are there downsides too?
Here are a handful of pros and cons to scheduling your Instagram posts…
Scheduling on Instagram – The Pros
#1 – It saves time
Whether you’re doing it already through a notification system or a tool like Grum, scheduling Instagram posts can really save time – especially if you’re a fan of batch tasking. It’s easier to get things done and make progress if you can set time aside specifically for it, as I find with other activities like creating graphics for Pinterest.
#2 – It helps you be more consistent
Have you ever posted every day at 8pm for five days, then let it all slip at the weekend? That’s definitely happened to me, and here’s a great reason for scheduling your content – it helps you stay consistent. With Instagram consistency is a factor that not only helps you stay memorable and there for your audience, but it’s a bonus when it comes to the algorithm too. Planning out your content in advance and scheduling it means that your post goes live, you’re staying visible and everything’s continuing as it should.
#3 – It’s easier to manage multiple accounts
If you’re a social media manager, blogger or you run more than one account you’ll know how time consuming Instagram can be. It’s even more demanding if you’re trying to post everything live, stay consistent and be active on every profile. Scheduling your Instagram posts for at least one of those accounts takes some of the pressure away, leaving you more time to engage with your audience.
Scheduling on Instagram – The Cons
While there are plenty of reasons that scheduling your Instagram content makes sense, there are a few that might make you reconsider… or at least be savvy about how you manage it.
#1 – Engagement is everything
Instagram rewards engagement, and early engagement is especially useful when deciding which posts to feature on the discovery page or as the top posts in a hashtag. If you’re scheduling content and then popping in when it’s live to like your replies and respond to commenters then everything’s good, but if you’re posting and not engaging your post isn’t going to do as well. If you do start scheduling your content make sure you’re around for at least 10 minutes afterwards to keep the conversation going in the comments.
#2 – It could make you less creative
This isn’t always true, but automating things can often lead to us not giving them as much attention as they deserve. It’s especially noticeable on creative platforms like Instagram, where the image and the caption is everything. Don’t let things get too ‘planned’ and set in stone, and continue to stay inspired by each day – don’t be afraid to upset your schedule every now and then.
#3 – Is it a step towards becoming the next Twitter?
Twitter used to be a place where conversations happened. It still is in some circles, but in others it’s become a place where you drop a promo and run. Scheduling done well replicates that in-the-moment content that Instagram fans love, but treating the platform like a place to just post is doing a disservice to your audience. Instagram’s all about the community and engagement, so keep that in mind when you’re scheduling and keep things natural and low on the promotion.
What do you think about scheduling content on Instagram? Love it? Hate it? Not bothered either way? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.