8 Reasons You Should Be Scheduling Instagram Posts in 2018

It’s 2018, and you probably know that by now, you should be scheduling Instagram posts.

But your to-do list is long, and you just haven’t gotten around to figuring out how to get started.

After all, between finding photos to post, writing captions, researching hashtags, and knowing when to post, there’s a lot of effort that goes into just one Instagram post in 2018.

But what if there was a way for you to save time, have your posts perform better, grow your following, and leave you with enough time to regularly post to Instagram Stories?

There is!

Scheduling Instagram posts with an all-in-one Instagram marketing platform doesn’t just save you time, it can also take a lot of the headache out of creating a successful Instagram marketing strategy, freeing up your time for more important things to help you build your brand.

Plus, scheduling Instagram posts in 2018 is better than ever before, because Instagram now allows business profiles to schedule posts directly to Instagram. Using Later you can safely schedule Instagram posts and they will automatically publish when you want them to, no notifications or reminders needed!

Still not convinced? Here’s a few reasons why you should be scheduling Instagram posts in 2018:

schedule instagram posts

1. Get Rid of “Oh Sh**, What Do I Post?!” Moments by Scheduling Instagram Posts

We’ve all been there: you’re wrapping up your day and the only thing left on your to-do list is to post to Instagram, but… you have no idea what to post.

You’re left scrolling through your camera roll, frantically editing images and trying to come up with a witty caption while staring blankly at your screen.

This is the biggest waste of time and should be avoided at all costs.

Chances are, the content you’re creating last minute isn’t going to be your best content. When you’re  trying to come up with a post on the whim, you end up posting just to post, instead of posting to align with your Instagram marketing strategy. 

By scheduling Instagram posts, you can make sure these “oh sh**” moments don’t happen to you.

Spending just 20 minutes a week planning out your content will save you significant time and effort, and help you achieve your business goals through Instagram because all of your content will be optimized.

Wondering how to schedule Instagram posts?

Instead of coming up with new posts daily, you can add your photos, captions and hashtags directly to a free Instagram scheduler like Later.

Once your content is uploaded, simply drag & drop your photos and videos onto your Instagram calendar. You can select the time manually or you can use Later’s Best Time to Post feature which automatically calculates your 7 top posting times based on how much engagement your posts get. 

And thank’s to Later’s new Auto Publish feature, you photos will automatically post to Instagram at the scheduled time — no push notifications required! 

Learn all about Auto Publish in the video below:

 

Scheduling your posts will save you a lot of time (and sanity), leaving you plenty of extra time to focus on other important areas of your Instagram marketing strategy. 

2. Schedule Instagram Posts to Save Time so You Can Grow Your Reach With a Hashtag Strategy

One of the best ways to grow your reach and attract new Instagram followers is through the use of Instagram hashtags.

When used correctly, hashtags can help you increase the engagement of your post, but you can also strategically use hashtags to get the attention of potential new followers.

schedule instagram posts

Once you’ve done your research and found the right Instagram hashtags for your business,  you can organize them by category or “content bucket” to use later.  You can save them to a spreadsheet, note document or wherever you can easily find them for when you’re ready to post.

By scheduling Instagram posts, you can research and add unique hashtags to each photo, instead of just copying and pasting the same hashtags over and over. 

First, sort your hashtags into different categories for the different types of content you post most often.

Using popular hashtags that don’t necessarily relate to the photo tend to make posts look spammy. The key is to use hashtags sparingly and only when they add value.

Southern California photographer, @ariellevey makes sure to use different sets of hashtags for different images.

You can see the difference in hashtags in her post with a photo of her apartment:

scheduling instagram posts

Compared to her dreamy travel photo:

scheduling instagram posts

 

Using the right hashtags helps put your content in front of people searching for keywords and phrases associated with your account or business.

Later’s Saved Captions feature makes it easy for you to insert all your saved hashtags to your scheduled Instagram post with the click of a button.

You can create templates to save your most commonly used hashtags, and when it’s time to schedule, simply select one of your saved hashtags to add it to your post.

Best of all? It’s free to use!

 

3. Attract New Followers With a Consistent Instagram Aesthetic

If you want gain more Instagram followers this year, you’ll need to start paying attention to what your feed looks like.

Scheduling Instagram posts ahead of time gives you a better ‘big picture’ perspective of your Instagram feed and social media strategy as a whole.

Take a step back from posting one photo, and look at your Instagram feed as a whole: how do all of your photos fit together? Does it look cluttered? Is there a color-theme? Does it speak to you or your business?

@artifactuprising’s instagram aesthetic

The first impression of your Instagram feed is in the first three rows of your grid, and its aesthetic is your chance to catch your viewers eye within a matter of seconds.

Potential new followers coming to your page want to know exactly what they can expect if they follow you. It’s important that your Instagram aesthetic is curated and consistent, showing off what you have to offer.


Take for example, @basebodybabes Instagram feed. I can point out already that their key colors are black and white, with small pops of color. The overall aesthetic has a clean and sleek feel, making sure to break up fitness, food and fashion posts.  

scheduling instagram posts

Felicia and Diana create a perfectly balanced-look by posting photos with lots going on next to photos with more blank space. Breaking up their profile by choosing photos with different angles, subjects and dominate colors creates a “flow” and cohesive aesthetic.

While creating your perfectly curated aesthetic, it’s important to know what each photo will look like alongside the other.

Choosing images that complement each other allows the eye to move freely through your feed without interruption.

When choosing an Instagram scheduler, you’ll want a visual planner like Later’s that makes it easy for you to drag and drop your images until you find the look and feel that you want.

visual planner instagram

It’s great that planning posts saves you time, but if you ask us, the ability to see your future Instagram feed and ensure that everything looks good together is one of the main benefits of scheduling Instagram posts.

4. Spend Less Time Posting and More Time Engaging by Scheduling Instagram Posts

Instagram’s algorithm will continue to change in 2018, making it harder than ever for your content to reach your audience.

Because of this, engagement strategies should be a high priority in your Instagram marketing strategy this year.

Deciding what you’re going to post, crafting a perfect caption and choosing all your hashtags daily can end up wasting an hour of your time.

But if you’re scheduling Instagram posts, you can spend this hour engaging with your audience and building deeper connections with your followers instead.

By creating a workflow for your content creation, scheduling, and posting, you’ll save valuable time each week, while also ensuring that you maintain a consistent presence on the platform.

Engaging your audience includes DM’s to reply to, comments to respond to, and hashtags that you can be targeting to engage with your ideal customer and get new followers.

Simply “liking” or commenting on a potential new followers account can drive traffic to your profile and encourage them to hit the “follow” button.

It’s important that you’re not passively posting into the abyss, but rather using Instagram to make new connections and engage with your audience.

The best way to make sure you’re continuing to make engagement a priority is to set aside time each day to dedicate to connecting with your audience — and an easy way to do this is by setting a daily reminder on your phone!

5. Easily Manage Multiple Instagram Accounts 

While managing your own Instagram account can feel like work in itself, managing multiple accounts can become quite the juggling act.

Between making sure you’re posting regularly, engaging with your audience, tracking analytics and responding to DM’s, it’s important you have a fine tuned system set in place.

Scheduling your Instagram posts is a must to manage the madness. Setting aside separate time to schedule out your feeds will also help you make sure you’re applying the right voice and style to each account.

If you’re feeling like Instagram is taking up too much time, sign up for our free Instagram challenge, Get Your Instagram Together in 30 Days!

We’ll show you how to create a time-saving workflow for your entire Instagram marketing process, and hold your hand the entire time. 

 

6. Optimize Performance for the Algorithm by Scheduling Instagram Posts

Understanding your Instagram analytics is important because once you know what’s working, you can plan out your future posts with confidence!

Another great benefit of scheduling Instagram posts is the extra time you have to dedicate to tracking your success.

When it comes to engagement, posting at times your audience is most active can be a huge push in making sure your content is seen.

But how do you find your best time to post on Instagram?

You can follow the steps in this blog post, or you can log into your Later account and activate the Best Time to Post feature, which automatically gives you your top 7 posting times throughout the week for maximum engagement. 

Once you know your best time to post on Instagram, you can create time slots in Later (see above) so that your posts will “AutoSchedule” to your best times, saving you from actually having to schedule every single post, over and over again.

 

Later’s Analytics Tool also allows you to see how your posts are performing and discover which types of content get the most likes and comments.

Taking on your Instagram strategy with a better understanding of what’s working (and what isn’t) will help you come up with a fine-tuned strategy, saving you even more time.

7. Take the Time To Create Good Instagram Captions

Coming up with a good Instagram caption is tough for everyone, but it’s even harder if you have to write the caption on the spot.

Are you constantly defaulting to an overused motivational quote or a favorite song lyric when you’re in a pinch?

One of the factors that determines how well your post will perform in the Instagram algorithm is “time spent on post.”

By having an engaging Instagram caption that catches peoples attention, instead of having them scroll on by your photo, your caption can actually help your post do better in the algorithm.

The extra second that someone spends reading your Instagram caption has the potential to make or break that Instagram post for you, so spend time on your captions!

You can even write Instagram captions from your desktop using Later, if you don’t like writing out full captions on your phone.

Our best tip for writing engaging Instagram captions is to sit down when you’re feeling creative, or in the “writing zone,” and spend a few minutes writing out your captions for the entire week.

By writing Instagram captions ahead of time and then scheduling Instagram posts, you can save yourself the daily pressure to be creative and dedicate your time and energy to other important strategies.

8. Spend More Time Posting to Instagram Stories by Scheduling Instagram Posts 

In 2018, you can expect Instagram Stories to continue to dominate and become an essential part of your Instagram marketing strategy. 

Instagram Stories has over 300 million daily active users, which is almost double that of Snapchat!

As the algorithm continues to change and users are frustrated by their lack of engagement, it’s no surprise more and more users are spending more time on stories than the feed.

Instagram Stories are a sure way to connect your followers, drive traffic to your posts, and they’re a chance for you to take back control of your reach.

That’s why scheduling Instagram posts in 2018 will be more important than ever.

While regular Instagram posts take more time to create, it’s much easier to plan them out in advance, saving you time to focus on Instagram Stories day-to-day. 

Instagram Stories usually show a “less-filtered” view of you or your business, requiring less time for planning and a lot more room to post on-the-go, without the pressure of having a perfectly crafted Instagram post. 

Instagram Stories are a fun, free, and effective way for you to engage with your followers every day and stay top of mind, even if they don’t see your regular posts in their feed.

Ready to save time with Instagram? Get started for free now!

Written By

Lexie Carbone

Lexie is a content marketer at Later. She’s helped dozens of brands build their social presence and take their content strategy to the next level. You can connect with her on Instagram @lexiecarbone.