Content Upgrade Box: This should be able to be defined in the post editior with a short code or something to make this yellow box display.

Schedule Instagram Posts: The Definitive Guide

Scheduling posts on Instagram is now possible.

And it’s just the beginning.

The question is:

How do you schedule posts on Instagram?

I’ll cover exactly how you can not only schedule, but automate posting content to your Instagram account in this guide.

So if you’ve wanted to schedule your updates on Instagram but weren’t sure how, you’ll love this guide.

Let’s jump in.

schedule posts on instagram 1

Chapter 1

Can You Schedule Instagram Posts?

should you schedule posts on instagram

Yes, despite what you might have heard you can schedule Instagram posts in advance.

Many people use and view Instagram as an in-the-moment type of social channel. You snap a shot, maybe crop it or add some filters, and post it, right then and there.

Most businesses plan out a photoshoot or spend blocks of time taking product shots…but then they save them to a file on their laptops and post them manually.

How efficient is that?

Not at all, considering that most people are on and off phone calls, in and out of meetings, and using the rest of their work time to focus on bigger projects.

Writing and posting fresh copy and pictures for Instagram posts can get lost in the shuffle. Or end up being a last minute endeavor that could have been better, had there been more thought put into the copy, images, hashtags and post time.

But, believe it or not, scheduling posts to go out on Instagram is actually a real thing.

Various Instagram post schedulers have been around for awhile.

Some tools claim that you can schedule Instagram posts – but in reality, they send a push notification to your phone to “remind” you it’s time to post.

To me, that’s not efficient.

Real Instagram scheduling means that you create your status update and it get’s published to your account at a later date without the nudge of a notification to schedule it sent to your phone.

But the capability to directly schedule Instagram posts via third-party apps like Buffer hasn’t been possible (you can schedule instagram posts free on Buffer).

Until now.

Instagram recently updated its API to allow for this capability, thus making scheduling much more easy and convenient. And if you’re already using the Buffer app for your other social channels, you can add Instagram to essentially “do it all” from a single app.

Before we get into how to actually use Buffer to schedule your Instagram updates, it’s important to note some additional benefits of scheduling in advance vs. posting in real time.

Chapter 2

Why You Should Schedule Instagram Posts

Why You Should Schedule Instagram Posts 1

Even though many people post directly to Instagram, in real time, there are quite a few significant reasons why planning and scheduling out updates ahead of time is beneficial to your overall strategy.

Save time due to efficiency

Before we take a look at the efficiency of scheduling updates on Instagram and the time you’ll save, here’s a reason you will want to have a consistent Instagram presence.

time spent on instagram

Android users spend 53 minutes a day in the Instagram app.

Yep, 53 minutes.

And if you want to have extra time to skim Instagram like these users, then automation can help you find a few extra minutes you would not have otherwise had.

So here’s the deal…I’ve already mentioned this one above – it’s pretty obvious.

Each time you sit down to create and post an Instagram update, it’s like you’re starting from scratch to do the same process, over and over.

  • Think about what you want to post.
  • Capture an image.
  • Think about the right copy and hashtags that complement the rest of your posts and your social strategy.
  • Write copy and add hashtags.
  • Post to Instagram.

It may seem like a few minutes a day, but multiply that by the number of Instagram updates you post and you’re talking about hours of time.

What if you could shave a few minutes off each of those updates?

You’d be gaining hours back. Hours you can reinvest into your business (or have more time to browse Instagram).

When you sit down to schedule out Instagram posts for the week, month, etc., you’re already in the mindset of what you want to post and why. So your time is spent focusing on new copy and new images, rather than revisiting past posts and rethinking about your strategy and refocusing on your hashtag strategy… you’re no longer re-doing anything.

With the investment of that single block of time, you’ve covered your Instagram updates for the next week/month/etc. – without having to waste those extra minutes manually writing and posting each update.

So it might make sense for you to automate Instagram posts in your account.

Make less mistakes

 

How many times have you pulled the trigger on an update that wasn’t ready to share and you had to do the crazy scramble to delete it before anyone saw?

Or those times you didn’t realize something was misspelled or an image was off and it sat on there until a colleague or a follower pointed out the mistake?

We’re all human. And we all forget to double-check our work.

But when you take the time to schedule out updates in advance, you can carefully review, make edits and ask others for feedback before any of them see the light of day.

You’ll also be less pressed for time than when you’re trying to post an update in the middle of your work day, meaning you’ll have more time to give thought to what you’re sharing and how you’re sharing it.

Some mistakes, like missing punctuation or a commonly misspelled word, may be no big deal.

But when you’re posting a potentially damaging image by accident or flubbing industry terms that make you look unprofessional and unknowledgeable as a business owner…those aren’t so easy to brush off.

Post more consistently

 

In addition to the occasional “oops” update, there’s also probably been a time or two (or more) where you thought you posted and you didn’t, or maybe you just forgot entirely.

Not exactly the best strategy for looking professional.

And how often should you post on Instagram?

 

Well, according to Buffer, you should be posting on Instagram at least 1.5 times per day, or more.

Followers are bored quickly and gravitate toward Instagram accounts that regularly post new updates. Additionally, if you share certain updates at regular intervals, followers come to trust that you’ll be sharing that update consistently. They expect it.

So when they come looking for your regular Tuesday at 9 am “recipe of the week” or whatever, and they don’t find it, their trust in you as a knowledge source takes a hit.

One time won’t kill you. But when you get busy and missed updates become a thing, you’re going to start losing your follower base.

On the other hand, when you schedule posts in advance, you can preserve that trust by making sure that there will always be an update going out when your followers expect it.

Regularly engage with your followers

 

When all of your time is tied up in the daily administrative to-dos, you barely have time to grab lunch or take a call, let alone chat it up with your Instagram followers.

According to Mention, all post types on Instagram get roughly the same amount of engagement.

instagram engagement rates

So no matter what you schedule on Instagram (images, videos, carousels) – for the most part, you can expect similar engagement for each type.

And when your Instagram followers are engaging, are you returning the interaction?

How much time do you spend engaging on Instagram, right now?

And I don’t mean just “liking” an image or following someone interesting, but really getting into thoughtful conversations.

Aside from the occasional customer service issue or complaint, probably not as much as you should.

Then why did you get into this business in the first place?

To push some papers and stay compliant with government and industry regulations?

Ugh, no.

You probably do what you do because you really have a passion for it or you’re particularly knowledgeable on the subject.

Getting your Instagram posts scheduled out in advance affords you the extra bandwidth to start talking about what you know and love with other like-minded followers.

Doing so can help boost your brand image by establishing yourself as an industry thought leader. It builds trust between yourself and new followers.

And at the end of the day, you might even convert a few leads into loyal customers.

Actually research, plan and organize your hashtags

 

Hashtags are so underrated and overrated, at the same time.

And according to SimplyMeasured, posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6% more engagement.

instagram hashtag usage

No, using hashtags isn’t going to skyrocket your Instagram account to celebrity status. But thoughtfully used, they can help increase engagement and attract new followers.

But in order to reap the benefits of hashtags, you’ve got to be using the right ones in the right way.

A lot of people seem to create their own or pick a handful of obvious industry hashtags and proceed to crowd the end of every post with a whole swarm of them.

Firstly, hashtags are used to group conversations across Instagram. So if you’re coming up with original ones all the time, chances are, you’ll be the only one using them. Aka, not effective.

Secondly, if you’re absentmindedly applying the same collection of hashtags to EVERY Instagram post, you run the risk of coming across as automated or “spammy”, as there may be hashtags in the collection that either subtly or obviously have nothing to do with the image.

Scheduling out your Instagram posts in advance gives you time to research a list of very specific hashtags that are regularly used by your target audience, will generate interest from new followers and that are closely related to your images. Then you can thoughtfully plan out hashtags for each post as you queue them up for future posting.

It also helps to keep a running list of all the hashtags you’ve researched and used over time. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just a document or spreadsheet that organizes them the way you find most effective.

In doing so, you’ll have an ever-growing collection to use moving forward, which can end up saving you even more time and effort in the future.

Maintain your Instagram aesthetic

 

A first impression can make or break you.

And Instagram accounts are no exception to the rule.

Have you ever gone out of your way to look at an Instagram account for a company, brand or public figure you’re interested in, only to find that it’s a jumbled mess of crazy? How does that look to potential customers or clients?

Unprofessional. Big time.

I’m not saying that every account on Instagram needs to maintain the professionalism of a law firm or a doctor’s office. But even for “fun” or “laid-back” businesses, a disorganized and haphazard Instagram account comes across like you don’t know what you’re doing.

And, whether that impression applies to the rest of your business or not, that’s the immediate impression you’re giving to new followers and potential customers.

We get so wrapped up in the myopic details of singular posts that we forget to stop and look at the bigger picture – the look and feel of our Instagram account in its entirety.

Remember that the first three rows of your grid are the first thing people see. Are your images balanced in terms of color and style? Mix solid colors and “emptier” images with busy photos and designs.

Or mix up your approach with making 3 images work together to draw even more attention like BarkBox did…

barkbox

But overall, your should keep these questions in mind for your Instagram account:

  • Does the style of your shots adhere to your brand image?
  • Is this consistent throughout your grid?
  • What’s missing?
  • What needs to be moved or removed?

I know what you’re thinking. Who has time for that?

Right now, you’re just hoping to share effective posts in real time without forgetting or making a careless mistake.

But when your posts have been scheduled out ahead of time, you’ve suddenly got some breathing room to take a step back and evaluate your overall Instagram aesthetic.

When you spend less time on your day-to-day posting responsibilities, you have more time left over to nail the overall impression you’re giving your followers.

Aka, less time on the miniscule details equals more time for big picture initiatives that really move the needle.

Chapter 3

How to Schedule Instagram Posts

how to schedule on instagram

How to schedule Instagram posts with Buffer

 

If you don’t already have a Buffer account, you’ll need to create one.

I recommend getting the “Pro” plan which currently runs $15 a month…but you can easily do this with the “Free” plan if you wanted to.

The “Pro” plan will allow you to connect more social accounts as well as more posts scheduled in your queue.

So create a Buffer account now if you don’t already have one.

Setting up your Buffer account to post to Instagram

After you have created your Buffer account, you’ll need to connect your Instagram account to Buffer.

So head on over to your Buffer account and click the “Add a Social Account” button.

add instagram account to buffer

Then you’ll need to click on the “Instagram” icon and connect directly to Instagram.

connect instagram account to buffer

You’ll then be directed back to Buffer where you’ll be asked how you want to share on Instagram. You’ll want to click on “Setup Instagram Direct Posting”.

how to share on instagram

Next, Buffer will take you through a 3 step checklist to complete your Instagram setup.

If you haven’t already, in order to complete step 1 you’ll need to be sure to convert your Instagram profile to a business profile.

Then you’ll need to authenticate with Facebook for step 2.

authenticate buffer with facebook

For the final step, you will need to setup Instagram reminders by clicking the blue button and following the directions to complete the process.

setup instagram reminders in buffer

And once you’re complete, you’ll see a confirmation screen letting you know the Instagram account setup process is complete.

completing instagram setup in buffer

One final step you will need to do in Buffer is to create your posting schedule for your Instagram. In order to do this, you will need to click on the “Settings > Posting Schedule” link in the drop down menu.

set instagram posting schedule

On the following screen you will need to select the days and times you want Buffer to post your updates to Instagram.

create instagram posting schedule

Add content to schedule Instagram updates on Buffer

 

The process of adding content to share on Instagram is pretty straight forward in Buffer.

Simply login to your Buffer account and open the sharer by clicking “alt + b”.

scheduling instagram content in buffer

Once the sharer opens up, you’ll need to do the following:

  1. Select your Instagram account to schedule this status update for
  2. Add the image you want to use in this Instagram status update
  3. Type in the text that will be used on Instagram (including any hashtags)
  4. Add an optional location to geotag the update with
  5. And when you are ready, click the “Add to Queue” button

Your update will be added to the next available spot in your Buffer queue.

instagram post manually added to buffer

If you have evergreen content that can be shared again and again, you can go through your countless blog posts and keep manually scheduling them to be used again.

But you know there has to be a better and more efficient way to share evergreen content again and again on Instagram.

And there is.

Let me show you how to do it in the next chapter.

Chapter 4

Automatically Recycle Evergreen Content on Instagram

reuse and recycle instagram updates

In the previous chapter, you should have created a Buffer account if you didn’t have one already (if you haven’t done so, you’ll need to do it in order to recycle your Instagram status updates).

As you were reading up on how to schedule Instagram updates in Buffer, chances are you would like to do this at mass scale as opposed to manually adding each update one by one.

So here’s how you can do it.

How to automate & recycle evergreen Instagram updates

 

The first thing you will need to do is connect your Buffer account to Bulkly. If you aren’t familiar with Bulkly, here are a few things you can do with it:

  • Upload CSV files of status updates to automatically drip into your Buffer account
  • Organize your social media updates into groups and set individual schedules of how often to send these updates to Buffer for you
  • Option to automatically recycle your social media updates back into your Buffer account
  • You can view a complete list of features here

All Bulkly accounts come with a 7 day free trial (pricing can be found here).

And if you are serious about scheduling Instagram posts, it’s a must have.

Click on the button below to start your free trial.

Once you have connected your Buffer account to Bulkly, you will be ready to start setting up your Bulkly account to handle the heavy lifting of scheduling your Instagram posts.

With Bulkly, you’ll have a few ways to add the content you want to share on Instagram. I’ll cover how to:

  • Importing your past 100 social media updates sent by your Buffer account
  • Create an Excel file of all your blog content in a few clicks to share on Instagram
  • Leveraging RSS feeds to share content from virtually any website

Excited?

Let’s jump in.

Chapter 5

Recycling Previous Instagram Updates

recycle previous instagram status updates

If you’ve already used Buffer to schedule Instagram posts, this is probably the easiest way to add content into Bulkly in order to be recycled back into Buffer.

In your Bulkly account, click on the “Content Upload” link and then on the “Import From Buffer” button.

import buffer updates

Bulkly will then import all the social media updates sent by Buffer for each of your social media accounts. So if you have 10 social media accounts, Bulkly will import a maximum of 1,000 total updates across all your accounts.

Don’t worry though, Bulkly will automatically create a group within Bulkly for each social media account and updates for the specific account. So no need to worry about sifting through content you don’t plan on using for Instagram.

And depending on how many social accounts you have in Buffer, it can take a minute or two to import the data.

Once it is imported you will see the groups of status updates created for each social media account.

imported buffer content

You’ll notice the naming convention denoting the content came from importing from Buffer, the social media channel and the account name.

In this example, we can see that I was already using Instagram scheduling through Buffer so I’ll click into that group to see what was imported.

bulkly pending group for buffer import

We can see that all the text (and hashtags) along with a URL for the image that was shared.

Now, you might be wondering why there is an image for the URL?

Well, with Bulkly you can automatically use a URL for an image and have that image get attached to your status update.

There’s no need to manually upload images one by one in order to schedule them.

From here you can make any edits you want.

And when you are ready, you’ll need to create the settings for this group so Bulkly will know how often to drip them into your Buffer account(s).

How to Recycle Instagram Updates on Buffer With Bulkly

Within a few clicks, you’ll be able to have Bulkly automatically drip your Instagram updates into your Buffer account. So here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Select which Instagram account(s) you would like to send these updates to.
  2. Enable recycling – this will allow Bulkly to send your updates again and again to Buffer. Within this setting you can also set a delay in how long you would like to wait before sending the same update again to Buffer.
  3. The “Add Auto Image” feature can be left as disabled for this example. When it is enabled, it will try to automatically attach and image from the URL your status update is sharing. But since we already have the image URLs, it’s recommended to leave this function as disabled.
  4. You’ll want to enable the “Shuffle Posts” option if you would like Bulkly to randomly send an update from your group. If you leave it as disabled, status updates will be sent to Buffer in the order they are listed in your group.
  5. The “Hashtags” drop down allows you to automatically append hashtags to your status updates. Simply enter the hashtags you want to use under the Instagram section. A bonus tip is that you can enter multiple hashtags separated by a pipe symbol to have hashtags selected at random. For example, hashtag1|hashtag2|hashtag3.
  6. Under the “Schedule” drop down you will configure how often you would like Bulkly to drip these updates into your Buffer account. You’ll also have the option to create a start and/or stop date to only drip content to Buffer during a certain timeframe.
  7. And when you are all done with your settings, you’ll need to click on the “Activate” button and Bulkly will take care of the rest.

schedule imported instagram posts in buffer

Depending on your group settings, your first update should appear in your Buffer account within an hour, but it can take up to a day if your posting frequency is set to a longer time frame.

Chapter 6

Recycle Your Evergreen Blog Posts on Instagram

Recycle your evergreen blog posts on Instagram 1

Chances are that your blog is full of evergreen blog content.

And that makes it a perfect source for creating evergreen Instagram content.

There’s just one small problem…

You don’t have time to go through your blog and create dozens or even hundreds of updates for your content.

I mean, do you really want to copy and paste a bunch of stuff to create your Instagram status updates?

I guess you could…but I’m not going to cover how to do that as there is a more efficient way to do it.

Check this out.

Your website has a sitemap, right?

If so, you’re halfway there to instantly creating Instagram status updates.

And if you have a sitemap, the first thing you need to do is find the URL of the sitemap that contains your blog posts.

For example, the blog post sitemap URL of Bulkly is https://bulk.ly/post-sitemap.xml.

blog post sitemap

And the next thing you’ll want to do is install a Chrome extension called “Scraper“.

Once you have it installed, you’ll want to visit your sitemap and right-click and select “Scrape Similar”.

Then click “Export to Google Docs.”

scrape blog post urls

Your scraped data will be placed in a new Google Sheet. Within this sheet you will need to delete one of the columns as they are both duplicates of each other.

Then go through the URLs and delete any blog post that you don’t think can be shared again and again on Instagram.

Basically, you only want to be left with evergreen content URLs in the spreadsheet.

Next up, you’ll want to visit this Google Sheet and make a copy of it by clicking “File >Make a copy…”

instagram content generator

And once you have made a copy, go into your Google Sheet that contained the scraped URLs, copy your URLs and paste them into Column C.

Just wait for it, it’s magical 🙂

create instagram content from blog posts

You’ll notice that this Google Sheet imports your:

  • Blog post title
  • Open graph image of the blog post

Additionally, you’ll see that Column A has name automatically entered. This is important in that when you upload this CSV file to Bulkly, it will put all of these status updates together for easy organization.

So in order to create the file to be imported to Bulkly, in your Google Sheet click on “File > Download As > Comma-separated values (.csv, current sheet)”.

csv of instagram status updates

Your Google Sheet will be downloaded to your computer.

How to Upload a CSV File of Instagram Updates to Your Buffer Account

Now that you have a CSV file with the Instagram updates you want to add to Buffer, you’ll need to upload the file to Bulkly. And Bulkly will use this upload to drip these status updates to your Buffer account.

Here’s how to do it.

Create a Bulkly account if you have not already.

Inside Bulkly, click on the Content Upload menu button.

Then from your Content Upload Overview page, click on the “Upload Content (CSV)” button and select the CSV file you downloaded from Google Sheets.

upload csv of instagram updates to bulkly

 

Within a few seconds you’ll see all of your evergreen blog content status updates appear in your Bulkly dashboard.

And within a few clicks, you’ll be able to schedule these Instagram updates to get automatically dripped into your Buffer account again and again.

So here’s what you’ll need to do to get it set up:

  1. Account Selection – Choose the Instagram account(s) you want to drip these updates to.
  2. Recycle Posts – When you enable this setting, Bulkly will recycle (or resend) theses updates continuously into your Buffer account. This option also allows you set a delay for how long you would like to wait before sending the same update again to Buffer.
  3. Add Auto Image – For this Bulkly group you can leave this disabled. When you enable it, Bulkly will try to automatically attach and image from the URL your status update is sharing. But since we already have the image URLs, it’s recommended to leave this function as disabled.
  4. Shuffle Posts – You’ll definitely want to enable this option if you don’t want your Instagram Status updates sent in the same order everytime. If you leave it as disabled, status updates will be sent to Buffer in the order they are listed in your group.
  5. Hashtags – If you want to automatically add hashtags to all your updates, you can enter the hashtags you want to use under the Instagram section. A bonus tip is that you can enter multiple hashtags separated by a pipe symbol to have hashtags selected at random. For example, hashtag1|hashtag2|hashtag3.
  6. Schedule – This drop down will allow you to set up how often you would like Bulkly to drip these updates into your Buffer account. You’ll also have the option to create a start and/or stop date to only drip content to Buffer during a certain timeframe.
  7. Activate – The last step is to click on the “Activate” button and Bulkly will take care of the rest.

use bulkly to add csv of instagram updates to buffer

Depending on your group settings, your first update should appear in your Buffer account within an hour, but it can take up to a day if your posting frequency is set to a longer time frame.

Chapter 7

Use RSS Feeds to Create Instagram Updates

Use RSS Feeds to Create Instagram Updates

I’m willing to bet that you have a handful of websites that you always share content from. These websites are always publishing relevant and well-written content that would appeal to your audience.

It’s no secret that you shouldn’t just share your own content on social media.

Instead, it should contain a good mix of updates from your website as well as others.

And if you aren’t sure what the right mix is, I’ve covered a few of these social sharing strategies here.

But did you know that you can actually leverage content from other websites and share them on your Instagram account automatically?

Of course, if you decide to use this method you need to be 100% confident that the content they create is top-notch.

Interested in seeing how to use RSS feeds to create status updates on Instagram?

Let’s dig in.

If you’re not familiar with RSS feeds, the acronym stands for “Really Simple Syndication” or also referred to as “Rich Site Summary.”

A RSS feed is data presented in a standard web format (XML) which is compatible with a variety of programs and interfaces. It will look something like this:

rss xml code

Now that might not make a whole lot of sense to you, but it provides you with an opportunity automate the creating and scheduling of status updates on Instagram.

Since it’s a standard web format, it means that sites that use it all have to do it the same way. And because it is a consistent format, Bulkly can read the data and create status updates from it.

Here’s how.

How to Find RSS Feeds of Your Favorite Websites

Before I get deep into how RSS feeds can be used to create updates on Instagram, let’s take a look on how you can find the RSS feed of a website.

For the most part, the majority of RSS feed URLs can be found by adding “/feed” to the root domain of a site.

As an example, let’s take a look at Bulkly using this method.

Go ahead and put https://bulk.ly/feed in your address bar.

You should see the XML formatting similar to what I posted above.

Now what if a site gives you a 404 error or doesn’t load anything up at all?

There’s an awesome Chrome Extension called “RSS Subscription Extension” that will easily show you the RSS URL for a website (if they have one).

find any rss feed url

Simply install the extension and then click on it when visiting one of you favorite websites.

Then copy the RSS link.

Pretty simple, huh?

Well let’s take a handful of RSS feeds from your favorite websites and go next-level with some automation.

How to use RSS Feeds to Automatically Create Status Updates on Instagram

 

Now that you know how to find the RSS feed for any website, let’s leverage a handful of them to automatically create status updates to be shared on Instagram.

You’ll want to have at least 5-10 of your favorite website RSS feeds to get the most out of this approach – so be sure to have some sites in mind.

Ready to get started?

Great!

Login to your Bulkly account, or create a free account by clicking the button below.

 

Once you have logged into Bulkly, click on the RSS Automation button on the left.

Then click on “Add RSS Feed Online”.

use rss feed for instagram posts

You’ll then get an overlay that asks for you to enter a RSS URL, so copy and paste one of the feed URLs from one of your favorite websites. Then click “Save”.

enter rss feed url for instagram posts

Bulkly will then create a new group for your status updates. As a reminder, Bulkly allows you to organize status updates into groups for easier management.

Within this new group you can also add additional RSS feed URLs by clicking on the “Add RSS Feeds Online” button and then copy and pasting the additional feed you would like to add. Repeat this step until you have at least 5 RSS feeds saved in Bulky.

add more rss urls for instagram

And within a few clicks, you’ll be able to schedule these Instagram updates to get automatically dripped into your Buffer account again and again.

So here’s what you’ll need to do to get it set up:

  1. Account Selection – Pick the Instagram account(s) you want to drip these updates to.
  2. Recycle Posts – If you want to continuously recycle (resend) these updates to Buffer, you’ll want to enable this feature. This option also allows you set a delay for how long you would like to wait before sending the same update again to Buffer.
  3. Add Auto Image – You will need to enable this option as it is what Bulkly will need to do in order to find and attach an image to your Instagram update.
  4. Shuffle Posts – You’ll definitely want to enable this option if you don’t want your Instagram Status updates sent in the same order everytime. If you leave it as disabled, status updates will be sent to Buffer in the order they are listed in your group.
  5. Schedule – This option will allow you to set up how often you would like Bulkly to drip these updates into your Buffer account. You’ll also have the ability to create a start and/or stop date to only drip content to Buffer during a certain timeframe.
  6. Activate – The last step is to click on the “Activate” button and Bulkly will take care of the rest.

scheduliing instagram posts with rss feeds

That’s it.

And depending on your group settings, your first update should appear in your Buffer account within an hour, but it can take up to a day if your posting frequency is set to a longer time frame.

Chapter 8

BONUS: Instagram Automation Tips

instagram scheduling tips

Instagram Scheduling Tip #1

 

One thing to keep in mind when it comes to scheduling posts in Instagram, is your image sizes. If the status update you have scheduled falls outside of an aspect ratio range of 4:5 to 1.91:1, you’ll have to manually post the update inside Buffer.

instagram aspect ratio image sizes

But, if your images are within this range, there’s nothing you have to do. Buffer will post the update automatically at your scheduled time.

instagram scheduled post

 

Instagram Scheduling Tip #2

 

It’s no secret that hashtags play an important role on Instagram. So it makes sense to use them in your scheduled status updates.

But you probably don’t want to use the same hashtags over and over again.

Instead, you might want to mix them up.

And if you are using a tool like Bulkly to schedule your Instagram updates, there’s a neat feature that allows you to randomize hashtags when it gets added into your Buffer queue.

For example, let’s say you want to use the following hashtags:

  • #socialmediaplanning
  • #socialmediastrategy
  • #socialmediatips
  • #socialmediastrategytips
  • #socialmediaforbusinesses

But you only want to use 1 hashtag at a time.

With Bulkly, you can set it up so that a random hashtag gets used when sending your content to Buffer.

To do this, you’ll need to create a hashtag like this:

  • {#socialmediaplanning|#socialmediastrategy|#socialmediatips|#socialmediastrategytips|#socialmediaforbusinesses}

You’ll notice that each hashtag is separated by a pipe “|” symbol and all are enclosed in brackets { }.

This will need to be entered in the hashtag field for Instagram on Bulky, like this:

instagram hashtags

Then each time your Instagram status update is scheduled into Buffer, Bulkly will pick a random hashtag to append to your update. So it will look like this:

scheduled instagram post with hashtags

And if you want to “next level” your hashtags, you can randomize multiple within the pipes. For example:

  • {#goviral #content #productivity|#socialmediamarketing #smtips #entrepreneurs #socialmediatips #socialmediastrategytips|#socialmediatips #socialmediastrategytips|#socialmediatips #startuplife #socialmediastrategytips  #socialmediamarketing #entrepreneurs|#productivity #socialmediatips #socialmediamarketing}

Boom!

Instagram Scheduling Tip #3

 

In order to do your automation right, I recommend taking some getting organized in Excel or Google Sheets. As shown in the previous chapters, Bulkly allows for CSV uploads of your Instagram updates.

For me, using a spreadsheet I can easily build out formulas to help generate hashtags, group organization, and more.

creating instagram updates in excel

It’s also a great way to create multiple updates for a single blog post.

In fact, you can even use my social media content creator to build out these additional status updates.

Instagram Scheduling Tip #4

 

Unfortunately with Instagram you can’t have clickable URLs in your status updates. So I recommend creating branded links for your scheduled Instagram posts.

You can use a free tool like Bitly, or you can use your own branded links.

My choice for creating branded links is Rebrandly (which integrates with Bulkly).

And once you have your own branded links, simply add them to your Instagram updates.

For example, with Bulkly I have created branded links like:

  • https://bulkly.social/calendars
  • https://bulkly.social/design
  • https://bulkly.social/tracking

The key is to keep them short and simple since users will have to type in the URL to visit your pages.

Instagram Scheduling Tip #5

 

With Instagram, images are the most important part of your status update.

If you don’t have an eye-catching image, your followers will scroll right past your Instagram post.

So it goes without saying, you need some awesome images.

If you are a designer or work with an in house design team, you are probably covered.

But if you are flying solo, ballin’ on a budget, or just haven’t found a designer to create your images – there are some great options out there that can help you create the perfect Instagram image.

Some of the most notable ones are:

  • Canva
  • RelayThat
  • DesignWizard

Within a few minutes you can create shareable Instagram images that you can reuse again and again for your scheduled Instagram updates.

Here’s an example I created in no time at all:

rss feeds social media updates

Now It’s Your Turn

So that’s how you schedule posts on Instagram.

Let me ask you: What method for Instagram scheduling are you most excited to try?

Are you going to leverage your existing blog content to create Instagram updates? Or use RSS feeds to automatically create Instagram content for you?

Leave a quick comment below to let me know your thoughts on scheduling posts on Instagram.

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Smarter social media automation is possible with Bulkly

Get back more of your time by eliminating unneccessary repetitive and manual social media scheduling tasks.