Creating and posting high-quality content on a consistent basis has been the thorn in the side of marketing teams and small business owners for years. Scheduling social media posts in advance is the best way to create brand awareness, save time and company dollars, and showcase all that your business has to offer. The best marketing teams will block out Facebook posts days or weeks in advance, set them to post automatically with third-party services like Later or Hubspot, and let it roll. One problem: That hasn’t been an option for Instagram users. Until now.

This changes everything. According to the CEO of Hootsuite, “The scheduling and publishing of Instagram content has been the number one request for our 16 million customers”. This is a long awaited and highly anticipated update. Hipsters all over the world are rejoicing with extra cups of coffee today (with perfectly ‘grammable latte art, of course.)

When you’re simply using Instagram for personal use, scheduling posts in advance doesn’t have a ton of value. However, if you’re a business that cares about being active on social media (hint: virtually all businesses should be), then you’re going to need to push out a lot of high-quality content. Marketing teams have been finding work-arounds to the Instagram auto-publish issue for a long time. From creating drafts and setting alarms, to using a service to send push notifications at the scheduled time and then copy/pasting to Instagram, each business on Instagram had a unique method. But at the end of the day, it was just too difficult to create consistency and wasted a ton of time. Lots of time that could have been spent doing more productive things, or watching cat videos. To each their own.

Now, if you have an Instagram business account, all you have to do is curate great content with your third party system of choice, then set a time for it to go live. No more derailing your focus every time your phone dings reminding you to post.

Here’s how to take advantage of this exciting new update:

1) Make sure you have an Instagram business account. (This is valuable for a ton of reasons, including analytics, displaying contact info, and paid advertising.) To switch to a business profile, click the settings button on your profile screen, and select “Switch to Business Profile”.

Instagram business account

2) Create a content calendar. Decide how often you want to post and what time of day (use Instagram Analytics to help!), then start to curate content for your feed. Here’s a great article on creating a Social Media content calendar.

3) If you haven’t yet, sign up for a third-party service that supports auto-publishing to Instagram. (Unfortunately, Instagram hasn’t released in-app auto-publishing yet.) We are Hubspot junkies here at JCI, so that will always be our system of choice! 

4) Schedule out your posts a few weeks to a month in advance. We’ve found that this time frame is a good balance between staying relevant with current trends while also saving you loads of time.

5) Take a nap. You deserve it.

Many people would argue that having an active presence on social media is absolutely crucial to the life of your business. Instagram is a powerful tool for displaying your brand, showing off your best work, and giving people a behind-the-scenes look into your business. Many people wouldn’t even think about buying something from you without checking out your Instagram profile first (that’s not just me, right?). Regardless, showing up on Instagram could be a major key to the growth and success of your business. And that just got a whole lot easier with auto-publishing on Instagram.

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