Learning to schedule Instagram posts is the easiest way to save time so that you can focus on creating incredible content.
Yes. Here are all the types of Instagram posts you can schedule in 2021, plus the tools you can use to schedule them with:
- Instagram feed posts (image and video): Hootsuite, Creator Studio
- Instagram Carousels: Creator Studio
If you have a business or creator profile on Instagram, you can use Facebook’s native Creator Studio to craft and schedule Instagram posts from your computer desktop.
For influencers with creator accounts, Creator Studio is actually the only place you can schedule your Instagram posts. Instagram designed this tool with influencers in mind, which means that its free, no-frills features are focused on ease of use for growth-oriented pros.
On the other hand, if you’re a brand with a business account — or simply a power user looking for some extra time-saving “frills” — you can choose between Creator Studio and any number of third-party tools with more robust, long-range features. (If this is you, skip to the next section.)
Here’s a quick overview of how to schedule Instagram posts with Creator Studio:
- Link your Instagram account to Creator Studio
- Click Create Post
- Upload your visuals
- Craft your post (write your caption, add mentions and hashtags)
- Click the arrow beside the blue Publish button, and select Schedule
Keep reading for a more detailed explanation of each step of the process below.
The steps will differ if your Instagram account is already linked to a Facebook page or not.
Once you’re all set up, click the Instagram icon in the top bar, then click create post. Then click Instagram Feed.
Note that you also have the option to post to IGTV.
Pro Tip: Alas, it’s not possible to post or schedule an Instagram Story from Creator Studio.
Now that you’re building your post, you can select a photo to upload as a post to your feed. (You can upload many and make a carousel post, and you can also upload video).
To do so, click the blue Add Content link in the grey box, and choose a file to upload (or else select a photo from Facebook to share.)
This is a good place for us to mention that there’s no content library in Creator Studio, so you won’t be able to store or manage your visual assets or templates here. (Depending on your workflow, this could be a massive inconvenience or a negligible one.)
Also, if you want to add multiple photos or videos to make a carousel post, note that once you’ve uploaded one photo, the Add Content button moves to the upper right corner. Like this:
Now do your usual magic: write a good caption, use the right hashtags, tag relevant accounts (up to 30), and add your location (optional)
Note: Instagram captions must be a max of 2,200 characters, including emojis.
You can also click over to Advanced Settings to turn off comments and/or add some alt text for people with visual impairments:
Now it’s time to schedule. In the lower right corner, click the arrow beside the blue Publish button, and select Schedule. (You can also click Publish Now or Save as Draft.)
Be warned that Creator Studio won’t give you much guidance as to the best time to post. You’ll want to check your own Instagram analytics to see when your audience is online.
That’s it! Now you can lean back and check your DMs.
Next up, we’re going to look at how brands with business profiles can use third-party apps like Hootsuite to schedule Instagram posts.
Aside from being able to use a tool that schedules content in advance, the advantages of a business profile over a regular profile include advanced analytics (not just Instagram Insights, but also access to third-party analytics, which have their own advantages) as well as the ability to run ads, add links to your Stories, et cetera.
Instagram makes this pretty simple:
- In the Instagram app on your phone, go to your profile
- Tap the so-called “hamburger” icon (three stacked lines) in the upper right corner
- Tap Settings
- Tap Account
- Tap Switch to Professional Account
- Choose Business
- You’ll want to take the extra step and connect your Facebook business page to Hootsuite as well: even if you aren’t planning on posting to Facebook, doing so will allow you to access all the useful business features: analytics, ads, and scheduling.
- Add your business’s public contact information
- Tap Done.
Pro Tip: The business category you select (i.e., Personal Blog, Art, Grocery Store, etc.) will be public and visible on your profile, so don’t get too snarky.