Instagram now allows businesses to schedule their posts.

Over the last few years, Instagram has been consistently innovative, as well as continuously working on a good user experience. However, there was one thing that was lacking – a free tool to allow marketers to schedule content.

In comparison with other social media channels which offered free tools like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite that allows people to schedule Tweets for free, as well as Facebook, there was nothing on Instagram.

Imagine the frustration when its holiday season or over a weekend.  You would need to set a reminder so as not to forget to publish the posts manually. There are scheduling tools like Later that would send out a push notification to remind you to publish a post at a given time. But no functionality was available on Instagram itself. The good news is that HootSuite is one of the first partners to implement a scheduling functionality.

“The scheduling and publishing of Instagram content has been the number one request for our 16 million customers,” said Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes, in a statement. “Now, they can manage large volumes of content, multiple team members and multiple Instagram accounts with ease and security. HootSuite is excited to partner with Instagram to make this happen.”

Read the full article on Tech Crunch

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Is Instagram the right platform for your brand?

By Lebogang Mgiba, Digital Director at The Press Office.

A lot of organisations love ticking boxes so you will be asked which social media platforms you use and the answer will be “We’re on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat and LinkedIn”. But does being on Instagram makes sense for your organisation or brand? Do you have an Instagram strategy that outlines what you will post, how it will be posted and what are the results that you hope to achieve?

Some questions you should also consider before starting your Instagram account:

  • What will Instagram allow you to do that other platforms don’t?
  • Who is your target audience and which members of your audience are active on Instagram?
  • How will Instagram integrate with the other networks in your social media strategy?

Now imagine your target audience is men between the ages of 30-55 and you open an Instagram account but you haven’t done much research about their social media behaviour, chances of success are quite low.  An article by Omnicore Agency outlines that 59% of internet users between the ages of 18 and 29 use Instagram and 38% of female internet users use Instagram and 26% of male internet users use Instagram.

So it’s very critical to understand your audience and the different social media platforms they engage with the most so that you’re able to get the best results that you desire to achieve your goals.

The good news is that if you think Instagram is a platform you can best utilise, then the Sensible Insights article will be very useful for your strategy. One big thing that it also mentions is the usage of hashtags but also hashtagging correctly. “It is best practice to use between three to five hashtags, despite the fact that the maximum you can add is 30 per Instagram post.

Use your own, campaign specific hashtags as well as the more popular hashtags to increase the discoverability of your content. For example, try adding hashtags like #instagood (used is 300 million posts), or #tbt (Throwback Thursday), and don’t forget about industry-specific ones. If you are in IT, the hashtag #IT or #tech will do just fine”.