Is scheduling Instagram posts on your to-do list for 2021?
It should be!
Scheduling Instagram posts (and your Instagram Stories!) with an all-in-one Instagram marketing platform is a great way to save time, but it can also help you attract more followers, get more traffic and sales, and drive better results with your Instagram Stories.
You can start scheduling Instagram posts in only 2 minutes with Later’s easy to use, drag and drop calendar!
Here are 8 more reasons why you should be scheduling Instagram posts and stories in 2021:
#1: Save Yourself a Ton of Time by Scheduling Instagram Posts and Stories
Rather than spending 30 minutes every day coming up with new content for your account, you can use a free Instagram scheduler like Later to prep a week’s worth of posts and stories in under an hour!
For example, many of our users will set time aside on Sunday or Monday mornings to prepare and schedule Instagram content for the week, including posts, stories, captions, hashtags, and more.
This helps them free up a ton of time during the week — time they can spend growing their business, engaging with their community, and planning future Instagram campaigns!
All you have to do is sign up for a free account (or a business account if you’re looking for advanced growth features), upload your photos and videos to your Media Library, and you can immediately start scheduling Instagram posts and stories.
It’s as simple as dragging and dropping content onto your Later calendar, and only takes 2 minutes to set up!
If you don’t have a business profile, you won’t be able to schedule your posts automatically and will have to receive a mobile push notification when it’s time to post instead.
Start scheduling Instagram posts for FREE now with Later, the #1 Instagram scheduler with over 2 million users!
Save Time by Scheduling Instagram Stories
When you’re planning and scheduling Instagram posts, you can also plan out all your Instagram Stories for the week!
Instagram Stories are an incredible channel for increasing your brand awareness and engagement, and by using an Instagram Stories scheduler like Later, you’ll be able to create better stories by planning ahead and optimizing your stories for traffic or sales using analytics, CTAs, and trackable URLs.
Instagram Stories scheduling is available on all Later paid plans, starting at $9/month.
#2: Design a Visually Stunning Feed by Scheduling Instagram Posts Ahead of Time
When someone lands on your profile, you only have a few seconds to convert them into a follower, and this is often decided by a quick glance or scroll of your feed.
That’s why it’s so important to curate the look and feel of your Instagram profile! It’s one of the best ways to get more followers.
Here’s the good news: by scheduling Instagram posts, you can actively plan the look of your feed before you post, and create on-brand Instagram Stories that fit your Instagram aesthetic.
For example, Later’s Visual Instagram Planner makes it super easy to plan and design the perfect Instagram feed:
All you have to do is drag & drop your photos onto the visual planner, re-arrange them to see how they’ll look in your feed, and save to schedule them!
This makes it easier to build a seamless and visually cohesive Instagram feed that’s bound to help you attract more followers.
You can also visually plan your Instagram Stories with Later! Simply drag & drop your stories onto the storyboard tool and then re-arrange them to fit the order and look that you want.
You can then crop and resize your stories or add your links and captions. And when you’re all done, just set the time and hit Save Story to schedule!
#3: Get More Engagement and Views by Scheduling Instagram Posts for Optimal Times
With new Instagram accounts popping up every single day, capturing and holding onto your audience’s attention is getting more and more difficult.
Thankfully, there are still a few ways to break through all the noise. And one of the best steps you can take is to post when your audience is actively scrolling on Instagram.
So how do you do this?
Well, one option is to go into your Instagram Insights (you’ll need an Instagram business account to do this), review your audience metrics to find your best times, and then remind yourself to post at those times each day. But this is far from ideal when you’re busy running a business!
A much more effective option is to use Later’s Best Time to Post feature, which automatically calculates your top 7 posting times each week and then highlights these times on your Later calendar.
Once you know when your audience is most actively engaging with your account, you can manually schedule your Instagram posts at the highlighted times. Or you can use Later’s Quick Schedule feature to save yourself from choosing the time and date for every single post, over and over again!
With Quick Schedule, you can create your own Instagram queue based on your best times to post. All you have to do is select your ideal posting times on your calendar, choose your photos and videos, and then drag and drop onto the calendar to bulk schedule Instagram posts at once:
By using a tool like Best Time to Post, you’re more likely to rack up a lot of quick engagement on your posts because they’re publishing when your audience is actually scrolling through Instagram.
And the great thing is that you can use your best times when scheduling your Instagram Stories too! All you have to do is select an optimized time and date from the drop-down menu when scheduling your story, and voilà, you’ll receive a notification on your phone when it’s time to post, making it easy to post your stories in seconds.
#4: Write Captions that Convert by Creating CTA’s Ahead of Time
Beyond planning the look of your feed, one of the most time-consuming (and challenging!) parts of posting to Instagram is writing your captions.
A good caption can be the difference in whether someone clicks on the link in your bio, comments on your post, or takes some other kind action on your account. And it’s not something that can be typed out on a whim!
Rather than coming up with new, clever captions every single day, a better option is to write your captions in advance when you’re feeling creative or in the “writing zone.”
That way, you can sit down at your computer (instead of trying to come up with a witty caption on the fly from your phone) and spend a few minutes writing out your captions for the entire week.
By writing Instagram captions ahead of time, you’re able to not only create better captions, but you can also plan out your calls-to-action and take the time to make sure you have a variety of CTAs spread out throughout the week.
If you want to share your Instagram content to other social networks like Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, you can also use Later to easily customize, schedule, and optimize your captions for each social network.
To do this, simply click the “+” sign at the top of your Later calendar to select the social profiles you’re scheduling posts for.
Next, drag & drop the photo you want to schedule and customize the caption to optimize each post for Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Later makes it easy to shorten your caption for Twitter, or remove the tagged @usernames in your Instagram caption for Facebook.
#5: Make Your Instagram Posts More Discoverable by Managing Your Hashtags
When used correctly, Instagram hashtags can help you grow your reach, get more engagement, and attract more followers.
But in order to be successful with hashtags on Instagram, you need to be strategic about what hashtags you use and when you use them.
For example, instead of using the most popular Instagram hashtags like #love and #ootd, you should be looking for the top hashtags that have an engaging community behind them and are specific to your audience or industry.
Need some help finding these niche and industry-specific hashtags? Then you may want to check out Later’s Hashtag Suggestions feature.
Hashtag Suggestions works by automatically finding relevant hashtags for your posts based on other hashtags that you use.
For example, let’s say you’re posting a photo of a beautiful bedroom to promote your business that sells linens. All you have to do is know one relevant hashtag (like #livesimply), put it into Hashtag Suggestions, hit “Suggest,” and the feature will immediately generate 30 other hashtags, sorted by relevance.
You can then pick and choose which of these hashtags to add you to your post. All you have to do is click “Insert Hashtags” and they’ll be added to the end of your caption.
And when it comes to organizing all your new found hashtags, there’s no better tool than Later’s Saved Captions feature.
With Saved Captions, you can create hashtag lists based on your frequently used hashtags, all from your Later account.
You can organize your hashtags by category, location, or product, and then insert up to 30 Instagram hashtags with just one click!
For example, if you run a travel brand and often post photos of beautiful locations around the world, instead of using generic travel hashtags on every photo, you’ll want to add location-specific hashtags for each city, state, or country.
You could also have hashtag categories for the different types of photos you post, like mountains, beaches, or city shots.
Instead of trying to remember (or find) these hashtags for every post, you can use Saved Captions to keep them all organized so you can quickly add them when scheduling Instagram posts in the future.
If you want to schedule a photo of a beach in San Diego, since we’ve already saved hashtags for different categories, we can we can insert relevant hashtags for beaches, California, travel, and San Diego with just the click of a button!
When you’re ready to schedule your post, just click on “saved captions” and select one of your hashtag lists to instantly add those hashtags to your captions.
#6: Scheduling Instagram Posts and Stories Improves Your Instagram ROI
Your Instagram Insights are filled to the brim with useful data about your followers, account, and the performance of the stories and posts you’ve shared. But taking those insights and actually applying them your strategy can be difficult!
Your Instagram analytics can only be accessed from within the Instagram mobile app, so you either need to constantly open the app to review your Insights or manually copy them to a different location.
A much easier way to optimize your posts before they go live is to use Later’s Instagram Analytics feature, which is conveniently located on your Later dashboard.
When you track your account’s analytics with Later, you can easily review your insights and apply your learnings to your strategy when you’re scheduling Instagram posts and planning your feed.
For example, if you notice that you get more comments on Instagram posts that feature people in them, you can take that insight and immediately apply it your content strategy by scheduling more people-focused posts.
Tracking your Instagram engagement rate is one of the best ways to identify which types of content resonate the most with your audience. And once you pinpoint what works best for your audience, you can easily integrate more of that content into your strategy.
Later’s Instagram Analytics also tracks up to 3 months’ worth of Instagram Stories metrics, so you can easily find insights related to your stories and optimize them to get more views, reach, replies, and more!
For example, you can find out what times of day your Instagram Stories get the most views and then schedule your future stories at those times. Or you can review your analytics to find the optimal number of stories you should be posting each day or week.
#7: Use an Instagram Scheduler to Post More Consistently on Instagram Stories
One of the most important ingredients for a successful Instagram account is consistency — aka posting on a regular basis.
By keeping a consistent flow of posting, you’re essentially letting your followers know what to expect from you on a regular basis — you’ll be more top of mind, and thanks to the algorithm, top of their feed too!
This is another great reason to schedule Instagram Stories. By planning and scheduling Instagram stories in advance, you can build consistency and get content out there even on days when you don’t have time to create stories.
If you have over 10,000 Instagram followers, then you can add links to Instagram Stories too! One of the best ways to track your Instagram ROI is by creating trackable links for your Instagram Stories, but keeping track of all these long links is hard (and annoying!).
You’ll never lose a referral or trackable link again by scheduling Instagram Stories with Later, since you can add captions or links which will be automatically copied to your phone when it’s time to post.
Here’s how to schedule Instagram Stories with Later:
1. Start by dragging & dropping your stories on to the storyboard tool, and then re-arrange them to fit the order and look that you want.
You can also easily crop and resize images to fit Instagram Stories 9:16 ratio.
2. Next, you can add links or captions to your scheduled stories, which will be copied to your phone when it’s time to post. This helps you drive more traffic and sales by taking the time to write compelling captions and CTAs from your desktop.
3. Next, schedule your Instagram Stories by selecting the time and date from the drop down menu beside the Save Story button.
4. When it’s time to post, you’ll receive a notification on your phone. And once you open the notification, your stories will be downloaded to your phone and caption or links copied to your clipboard, making it easy to post Instagram Stories in seconds.
#8: Drive More Traffic and Sales by Scheduling Instagram Posts & Stories
Since Instagram only gives you one clickable link in the app (the link in your bio), it can very difficult to drive traffic and sales from your account.
Sure, you can use some of Instagram’s latest shopping features, but if your goal is to get users off your profile and onto your website, there’s not a lot you can do.
With Linkin.bio, you can add links to any of the Instagram posts that you’ve published through Later, which helps direct your Instagram audience to the right content or products on your site.
When someone clicks on the link in your bio, they’ll be taken to a web and mobile-optimized landing page that resembles your Instagram feed, and clicking on a photo will take you to a specific URL (example: https://linkin.bio/latermedia)
If you’re a retail store, you could add the link to buy a specific product to your Instagram post. And when people click the link in your bio, they can browse all your products and shop your feed.
Of course, simply creating a Linkin.bio page isn’t enough to guarantee better results.
If you want to get more traffic and sales from Instagram, you need to track your Instagram analytics and find out where your strategy is working and where it isn’t.
That’s why we recommend using Later’s Instagram Analytics tool. With it, you can track website clicks from your Instagram bio overtime, and if you’re using Linkin.bio to drive traffic from Instagram, you’ll also be able to see traffic from Linkin.bio (including how much traffic each individual Instagram post is generating) and your average click-through rate.
We’ve also integrated Linkin.bio traffic analytics into our overall post performance analytics, allowing you to track clicks at a glance, get detailed data on clicks over time, and even rank your Instagram posts by how much traffic they drove.
This makes it super easy to refine your Instagram strategy for traffic and sales by finding out which posts are generating the best ROI for you, and then creating more of that type of content.
These are just a few reasons why you should schedule Instagram posts and stories this year.
At the end of the day, it’s about spending less time posting to Instagram and more time growing your business and community. If scheduling Instagram posts and stories can help you do that, then you should sign up for Later – it’s free!
You can set up Linkin.bio by Later right now for free – no trials or credit card needed!