Welcome to Later
Social media management doesn’t need to be complicated. Whether you’re a social media beginner or seasoned pro, Later’s collection of tools will supercharge your social strategy and help you reach your goals faster.
Ready to start but unsure where to begin? You’ve come to the right place! In this guide, you’ll learn:
- How to connect your social profiles to Later
- How to set up your Linkin.bio
- How to upload and manage media items
- How to create, schedule, and publish your first post
- How to start measuring your success with Analytics
Before we dive into features, let’s get our bearings and learn our way around. When you first log in to Later, you’ll see your Calendar page:
- Calendar View: View and manage all of your scheduled posts here. Week View will show your posts by the hour, while Month View will show your posts by day.
- Calendar Settings: Select this gear to customize your Calendar. Here, you can choose your timezone, find your best times to post, and allow Calendar Notes.
- Side Menu: Later is more than just a scheduling app. The side menu gives you access to a host of features that help drive engagement and boost sales through your social media.
- Learning Center: Explore the Learning Center to access a ton of resources that help optimize Later’s features to reach your goals.
- Account Settings: Manage your account, subscription, profiles, and more within your Account Settings.
- Later’s Chatbot: Have a question about how to use Later? Fear not! Later’s Chatbot is here to guide you through commonly asked questions. Depending on your plan, it can also connect you to a Later team member if your issue requires a closer look.
- Side Library: Here, you can access all the items in your Media Library without having to exit the Calendar.
- Social Set: Keep your social profiles organized with Social Sets. Each set can contain one profile from each social platform. Select the check mark on any profile to schedule to that platform.
- Access Group: When managing multiple brands, Access Groups allow you to control access to media and social profiles. Depending on your plan, you can create multiple Access Groups. Switch between groups, or create new ones, here.
Now that you know your way around, let’s learn how to use Later!
The first step to scheduling and publishing through Later is connecting your social profiles. To connect your Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Pinterest, LinkedIn, or Twitter account to your Later account, follow these three steps:
- Select the + on the empty profile icon within your Social Set
- Follow the prompts and log in to your social profile
- Authorize Later to access your account
Amazing! You’ve just completed the first step in setting up your Later account. Now, just repeat these steps to connect any other social profiles you’d like to manage through Later.
TIP: While you don’t need an Instagram or TikTok Business Account to use Later, we highly recommend using one to take advantage of features like Auto Publish, Analytics, and more.
All of your connected social profiles will belong to a Social Set and all Social Sets belong to an Access Group. Social Sets and Access Groups are handy for managing multiple brands and clients.
To learn more about Social Sets and Access Groups, check out this short video (or keep scrolling to continue setting up your account):
Set Up Your Linkin.bio
Now it’s time to set up your Linkin.bio. Later’s Linkin.bio is a mini-web page built right into your Instagram and TikTok feeds. This is a great opportunity to seamlessly direct your audience to your online store, newsletter, blog, or more!
To enable Linkin.bio for your Instagram profile:
- Select Linkin.bio from the side menu
- Ensure you are connecting your intended Instagram profile
- Choose a username for your Linkin.bio page (this will form your Linkin.bio URL)
- Select Get Started
Depending on your plan, you can also add a TikTok profile to your Linkin.bio page. Here’s how:
- Select Linkin.bio from the side menu
- Choose Linked Social Posts from the blocks menu
- Select Add next to your TikTok account
NOTE: To connect your TikTok profile, it must be within the same Social Set as your connected Instagram account.
When you land on the Linkin.bio management page, you’ll have options to:
- Customize the overall aesthetic of your page
- Choose a profile name, bio, and photo
- Add links to your social channels
- Design a featured banner to highlight your most important link
- Add a Mailchimp account to collect your audience’s email addresses
- Create buttons to drive traffic to any web page of your choice
- Select a featured media item, like your latest social post or YouTube video
- Link social posts on both your Instagram and TikTok feeds
NOTE: Feature availability will depend on your Later plan.
Under Linkin.bio Settings, you can also:
- Connect your Shopify store to create a shoppable Linkin.bio feed
- Enable UTM tracking for Google Analytics to track clicks and sales
To learn more about Linkin.bio, check out our guide:How to Use Linkin.bio
Upload & Manage Media
Now that you’ve connected your social profiles and set up your Linkin.bio, you’re ready to start building your Media Library.
Your Media Library stores all of the photos and videos used to create your posts. The library syncs across all of your connected devices, so you can upload and schedule from both Later for Desktop and the Later mobile app.
There are two ways to access your Media Library within Later for Desktop:
- Through the side library via the Calendar page, or
- Through the side menu by selecting Media, then Manage Your Media
To access the Media Library within the Later mobile app, just tap the Media tab.
Uploading Media to Your Media Library
There are three ways to upload photos and videos to your Media Library in Later for Desktop:
- Drag and drop media items from your computer onto either the Media Library or Calendar page
- Select the Upload Media button above your side library and choose the files to upload from your computer
- Select the Dropbox or Google Drive integration buttons above your side library and choose the files to upload
Want to add a media file straight from your phone? No problem! Within the Later mobile app’s Media tab, select the + button and either upload from your phone’s library, or take a new photo or video.
And there you go—so simple!
NOTE: There is no limit to the number of photos or videos you can upload to your Media Library. Uploaded photos and videos do not count toward your plan’s post limit until they are scheduled.
Managing Your Media
Organizing your Media Library from the very beginning will make your life easier down the road. From categorizing content to keeping important info (like photo credits or approval status) on hand, the following three tools help keep you sorted:
- Media Notes: Save time preparing future posts and efficiently communicate with your team by adding Media Notes. When scheduling, Media Notes will automatically be added as post captions, making this a great place to add any credits or draft captions in advance.
- Labels: Labeling media by your content pillars or keywords (like source, campaign, color scheme, etc.) will make your items easier to filter and search. They can also be used to communicate which images are approved for posting, and which are not.
- Starred Media: For items you want to find quickly within your library, hit the Star icon. When you select the Star icon above your side library, only the starred media will appear.
And there you have it—a well organized and fully functional media library!
TIP: Don’t have media to upload yet? Later makes it easy to collect user generated content and stock images with its Collect features. Learn more about the Collect features included in your plan here.
Schedule & Publish Your Posts
Way to go! You’ve finished setting yourself up and are ready to schedule your first post.
There are two ways to schedule and publish your posts in Later: automatically or through push notifications via the Later mobile app.
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn posts will always be published automatically via Auto Publish. TikTok and Instagram Business Accounts will also have the option to Auto Publish feed, multi-photo, and Reels posts.
When you set a post to Auto Publish, your content will automatically be published to your chosen platform at the scheduled date and time—no further action from you required!
NOTE: Switching to a TikTok or Instagram Business account is easy (and free!) to do. Check out the following Help Center articles to learn more.
Enabling Auto Publish
To Auto Publish posts on Instagram and TikTok, you’ll first need to enable the feature. Before we do this, take a moment to confirm that:
- You’re using a TikTok or Instagram Business Account
- You’ve disabled any pop-up blockers on your browser
If you’re setting up Auto Publish for your Instagram account, you will also need:
- A Facebook page connected to your Instagram account (this is required by Instagram)
- Admin access to the connected Facebook page
To enable Auto Publish in Later for Desktop:
- Head to your Account Settings page and select Social Sets & Access Groups
- Select Edit next to the Access Group containing your Instagram or TikTok profile
- Select Enable next to your profile
If enabling Auto Publish for Instagram, a pop-up will appear asking you to log into Facebook. Follow the prompts and grant all permissions to Later (not granting all permissions will result in connectivity issues).
TIP: You can also enable Auto Publish for Instagram Business Accounts through the Later mobile app. Just head to the Social Sets section of your Account Settings, select Instagram, and hit Auto Publish Settings.
Notification Publishing must be used for all Personal or Creator TikTok and Instagram accounts, as well as all Instagram Stories.
When you publish via Notification Publishing, a push notification will be sent to your mobile device at your post’s scheduled date and time. To publish your post, follow the steps outlined in the Help Center:Publish Instagram Posts Using Notification PublishingPublish Your TikTok Post via Notification Publishing
TIP: To never miss a notification when it’s time to publish, make sure that you download the Later mobile app to the device you’ll be publishing from.
Alright, now that you understand the difference between Later’s two publishing methods and have enabled Auto Publish for your Instagram and TikTok Business Accounts, let’s go ahead and schedule your first post!
Publishing Your First Post
Scheduling and publishing posts in Later is a breeze. First, drag any media item from the side library onto the Calendar. This will open the Post Builder:
- Publishing Method: This is where you will determine whether you’d like to publish your post automatically or through push notification.
- Publishing Date & Time: Select the down arrow to open the dropdown calendar and choose the exact day and time you’d like to publish your post.
- Caption: Enter your caption and hashtags here. Check out this Later blog post to learn how to write the ultimate caption.
- Editing Tools: Later offers a variety of in-app tools to further customize your content with filters and text. You can also resize your image or video according to the posting platform.
- More Options: The options available under this section will differ depending on your plan and the social platform you are posting to. For example, when posting to Instagram, you’ll have the option to tag people, products, and locations or add a first comment or Linkin.bio link, whereas when posting to Pinterest, you’ll have the option to add a website link.
To summarize, to schedule a post in Later for Desktop:
- Select the social profiles you would like to post to
- Choose a media item from the side library and drag it to the Calendar
- Add a caption and hashtags
- Set a date and time
- Determine your publishing method
- Select Schedule
Way to go— you’ve successfully scheduled your first post! You’re now well on your way to simplifying your social media management and reaching your business goals.
TIP: On the go? You can schedule and publish posts right from your phone with the Later mobile app. Just select the Create Post button under the Schedule tab, choose your social profile and media item, then build your post. Choose to schedule it for later, or publish right then and there.
Save Time Scheduling with Later
Now that you’re a scheduling pro, you can start using Later to make your life even easier.
Let’s say you have a big sale coming up and want to promote the details across your social channels. With Later, you can simultaneously cross-schedule the same post across all your social profiles in just a few simple steps.
By cross-scheduling the same content across multiple social platforms, you’ll not only save time, but also maintain brand consistency and reach new audiences. Check out this video to learn more:
Later also makes it easy to bulk schedule posts with its Quick Schedule feature. Quick Scheduling allows you to schedule a week or more of posts in just a few clicks. Learn how at the Help Center:How to Quick Schedule Your Week of Posts
An Introduction to Later Analytics
Measuring the impact of your posts is an important aspect of social media management. Learning more about your audience, and what content resonates with them, will help you develop a successful social strategy.
Just like with scheduling, Later makes measuring the success of your social strategy streamlined and simple across all your social channels.
Later Analytics are available for Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, and Twitter accounts. To access your analytics for each of these profiles:
- Select Analytics from the side menu
- Open the dropdown menu at the top of your screen
- Choose the social profile you’d like to analyze
Later’s Analytics can be divided into three main categories:
- Discovery: These metrics measure the number of unique users who saw your content (reach) and the number of times your content was viewed (impressions). This can help you understand your overall exposure.
- Action: Likes, comments, saves, and plays all reveal how engaged your audience is with your content.
- Conversion: How successfully are you directing users from your social profile to external websites like an online store, YouTube channel, or newsletter sign up? Post clicks, button clicks, and post revenue can tell you.
The metrics within these categories can then be combined to give you more complex insights, such as Engagement Rate and Click-through Percentage, which calculate overall engagement and conversion respectively.
Below are some of the questions that Later Analytics can help you answer:
- What time of day should I post to drive the most engagement?
- Do my followers prefer Reels to feed posts?
- What kind of content is resonating most with my community?
- How much has my audience grown in the last month?
The data available to you will depend on your plan and social profile. Take some time to explore the Analytics page. The information will become more fulsome and offer more insight the more content you post. Be sure to check back in regularly to adjust your social strategy as needed.
Want to learn more about Later’s Analytics and how they can be used to achieve your goals? Check out Learn With Later’s All About Analytics course and start developing a social strategy backed by science.
Now that you’ve mastered the basics, supercharge your social strategy with these helpful resources:
Become Later Product Pro Certified
Boost your social media skills and Later knowledge with this free interactive course. By the end, you’ll confidently use Later to reach your social goals sooner.Read More >
How to Use Later to Manage Your Social Media Accounts
This Later app tutorial dives deep into Later’s features, giving you a comprehensive walkthrough of the apps ins and outs.Read More >
Save Time Working with Clients and Team Members in Later
Learn how to work with others to save time when you are planning posts, sharing a content calendar, and analyzing analytics.Read More >