Yes, really it’s here! Instagram auto posting is now a real thing.
Which means you could now set + forget your Instagram posts and they’ll go out automatically for you when scheduled.
You probably already know I’m a big fan of planning content in advance…. but, before diving in – there’s a few things you need to know or should consider.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I may (at no additional cost to you) earn a small commission if you sign up or make a purchase. I only recommend what I use + love; and appreciate your support of The Shop Files!
1 | Instagram is only allowing auto posting from approved partners
Any tool that’s not an approved partner could still get you banned/cause trouble with IG.
Right now I’m recommending either Tailwind or Iconosquare, I’m sure there will be updates coming from other platforms soon; but those are two great options approved as of today. If you’re with another scheduler (like Later or Preview), you can still use them as usual of course; but they are not currently able to support automated posting.
I’m personally using Tailwind as I already like them for Pinterest scheduling and they have a few cool features I’ll show you below. Plus their trial gives you 31 free posts, so if you only want to use it now and then (say, for vacations or busy weekends?), you could get by for awhile on the free trial.
Approved Instagram Partners:
2 | Auto posting is only offered on Instagram for Business accounts
Which makes sense, as most regular users don’t have a need to schedule their posts in advance – let alone have them post automatically on their behalf.
So if you’re been on the fence, now would be the time to get off it and switch over to a business account if you’d like access to this feature.
3 | Auto posting currently only supports photos
So things like videos, adding geotags, using the carousel (aka multi-image posts), shopping tag, etc. are not yet supported.
If you often tag other accounts in your images, you’ll only be able to do so in the caption and would have to manually tag people directly in the photo.
I really prefer tagging in the photo AND caption, especially when featuring other brands or regramming. I just think it’s the polite thing to do, so there’s definitely still a manual component.
What WON’T WORK for auto-posting?
- carousel or multi-image posts
- geotags (ie. locations)
- user tags (ie. tagging brands or accounts for features)
- shopping tags
Okay, that was a lot of “ONLY” talk. It can only do this or it can’t do that.
Let’s talk about some other considerations…
This is not an excuse to go hands off on your Instagram account.
I don’t think many of you here would take that approach anyway, but ya know, just in case.
YOU engaging with your followers, being active on the platform still matters a lot.
For social media managers who are working on multiple accounts, I’m sure this is a godsend.
But for most small businesses, being able to schedule and directly post to Instagram automatically should be viewed as a great outsourcing tool so you don’t forget to post or have to interrupt your day to ensure your post goes out at the best time.
Let’s please not forget the human element behind Instagram.
Your people, your followers, your fans still want to connect with you. With all the scheduling and automated posting tools, at least until now, posting on Instagram still meant a human being was sitting there pushing “post”.
Now that it’s changed… it’ll be more important than ever to ensure you’re showing up, talking to your followers, and engaging with others; as your Instagram isn’t much of anything without the community beside it.
If you lose that element of human touch behind your posts, I think you’ll find you start to lose the Instagram game.
So auto post responsibly!
With Tailwind, they use your account’s analytics to create an optimal schedule for you.
You can use their schedule, change the times or create your own from scratch.
Here’s an example of the schedule they suggested for me:
*Some of their verbiage looks off to me as they’re working on this new update (ie. “automatically remind you” is the old scheduler, it’s now posting automatically if you move them out of ‘drafts’.)
When creating a new post, you can also decide right then whether you want to ‘Add to Queue’ or ‘Select a Custom Time’ by hitting the little ‘clock icon’ on the left:
To initially upload your images into Tailwind, you can do so either on desktop or download the free app and upload directly from your phone (which is how I usually prefer to do it).
I’ve found scheduling posts in advance to be one of the best ways to develop a cohesive feed since you can visually see where your gaps are and make adjustments.
If you’re struggling to find a theme or cohesive way to feature your product, try the 3-day Find Your Feed challenge!
You can sign up for free below:
Discover your brand's Instagram theme!
Find your Feed with this free, 3-day email challenge.
At the end of 3 days, you'll walk away:
- with a clear vision of your feed's brand colors
- knowing the exact types of images you want to create
- with your own cohesive 9-grid template to follow