How To Schedule Instagram Posts for Easy, Consistent Content

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Karen Lin

Instagram 101 | May 23, 2024

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Posting consistently on Instagram is a must if you want to succeed on the platform. However, uploading posts throughout the day can be a hassle, especially if you have a packed schedule. You miss a posting schedule once, and your entire content plan might suffer. Luckily, you can schedule posts in advance to ensure your content goes up on time, even if you’re not online. In this guide, we’ll tell you step-by-step how to schedule Instagram posts.

But scheduling social media posts isn’t just choosing a time to publish your content and setting up automatic posting. Plenty of other creative and strategic factors go into it, too. So, we’re sharing best practices every digital marketer and social media manager needs to remember when scheduling posts, too. Let’s jump right into it!

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Can You Schedule Instagram Posts?

Most social channels have scheduling features to help busy creators consistently post content, even during stressful times. You can do this on Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, and more. But can you schedule Instagram posts, too?

Yes, many busy business owners and content creators might be happy to learn that Instagram allows users to schedule posts.

Brand owners can get busy running business operations, creating content, and engaging their customers. Sometimes, there’s not enough time to open the Instagram app and post content manually at your desired time.

That’s why Instagram makes it possible to plan and line up posts in advance. You get to set up your regular feed posts, carousel posts and even Reels up to 75 days in advance. That way, you don’t have to stress about constantly going online during a busy workday just to publish content.

Instagram’s scheduling feature has plenty of benefits. First, it allows brands and creators to maintain a consistent posting schedule. This is perfect for times when it might be inconvenient for these accounts to upload content manually. That’s important if you want to be able to post content during optimal times, even if you can’t be online.

Another huge benefit of scheduling posts in advance is being able to allocate more time for other tasks. Any wise social media manager will schedule multiple posts in bulk. That way, it buys them weeks to focus on audience engagement, content creation, and other pressing social media demands. Scheduling posts in advance helps reduce stress for the busiest Instagram creators and social media managers.

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How To Schedule Posts on Instagram for Free

The best part about scheduling content on Instagram in advance is that you can do it straight from the app. Plus, it’s free! All you need is a professional account (an Instagram Business or Creator account), and you’re ready to go. Here’s how to schedule posts on Instagram for free, step by step.

1. Open the Instagram app and click the plus icon at the bottom of the home page.

2. Select Post or Reel, whichever kind of post you want to schedule.

3. Choose the photos or videos you want to upload from your camera roll. Then, hit Next.

4. Customize your post’s filters, captions, hashtags, geotags, and other elements to spice up your content.

5. Click Advanced settings, then click Schedule.

6. Choose the exact date and time you want to schedule that content. Remember that you can only choose a date up to 75 days in advance. Then, click Done and go back to the previous page.

7. Double-check all the details of your post and click Schedule.

You can schedule up to 25 individual Instagram posts per day. That means you can bulk upload enough content for a few weeks or even a full month in one go!

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How To See Scheduled Posts on Instagram

Do you need to go back to your scheduled Instagram posts? Perhaps you want to add hashtags to captions or realize you used the wrong filter on your photo. Don’t worry. It’s super easy to manage your scheduled posts and make the necessary edits to improve them before they’re published. Here’s how to see scheduled posts on Instagram.

1. Open Instagram and head to your profile.

2. Click on the hamburger menu (three horizontal lines) on the top-right corner of the screen. Scroll and click Scheduled content. This should bring you to a page where you see all your scheduled posts.

3. Click the three dots beside the scheduled post you want to manage or edit.

4. Edit the details of your post. You can also choose to Reschedule, Share now, or Delete your content.

An alternative way to see your scheduled posts is to go back to the “New post” page. Click the plus sign at the bottom of your Instagram home screen and choose between post or Reel. Then, click “Scheduled” to see all your posts lined up for future publishing.

When Is the Best Time To Post on Instagram?

The most crucial part of scheduling posts in advance is choosing the time of day those posts will be published. It’s important to know the optimal times to schedule content. That way, your posts are uploaded when your followers are online to see and engage with them. If you publish your content at a dead hour, it might not gain traction or engagement. The algorithm will then de-prioritize it on the feed, lessening its visibility. Yikes!

So, when is the best time to post on Instagram to maximize reach and engagement? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Your brand’s optimal posting time will depend on your target audience, location, and many other factors. This context is key when picking a time to schedule your posts.

For example, if you’re targeting working professionals, you might want to schedule content outside work hours or on weekends. According to Buffer, the best time to post on weekdays is from 7:00 to 8:00 AM. That’s because people are just waking up and taking the time to scroll through social media before work.

If you want stay-at-home moms to see your posts, schedule them in the middle of the day. That way, the kids are at school, and mom has downtime to be on her phone, scrolling through Instagram.

To be extra sure that you’re scheduling content at optimal upload times, take a look at your Instagram Insights page. Scroll until you see the Audience section to see insights on when your followers are most active. Schedule your posts during the times of the day with the most activity among your followers.

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Other Tips for Scheduling Instagram Posts in Advance

Scheduling social media posts in advance on Instagram may be super easy. But don’t be tempted to do it mindlessly because it takes only a few clicks to set up. It’s also important to strategically plan post schedules to get the most reach and engagement. Here are some of our best tips for scheduling posts to make your content plan more impactful and effective.

Create a Content Calendar To Make Scheduling Posts Easier

A content calendar is a social media management tool that helps you organize the content you want to publish. This visual tool consists of a calendar grid where you list the posts you want to publish per day. You can add notes such as the time of day these posts need to be uploaded, content themes, captions, etc.

The content calendar is your blueprint and roadmap for what post goes up on what day. It’s important to perfect your calendar first before scheduling any Instagram posts. That way, you see a snapshot of how your content flows throughout days or weeks. It also lets you see if you have a good mix of post formats and content pillars.

When you’re happy with your content plan, use it to guide your bulk upload of scheduled content. It leaves less room for errors and edits during the process.

Someone writing notes on a content planner page.

Consider Your Audience’s Time Zones When Scheduling Content

If you have followers from around the world, consider the different time zones your content has to cater to.

You’ll want the most content to go up during the optimal times in the locations where you have the most followers. But that doesn’t mean you should forget about your followers from other time zones. If you can, publish some of your scheduled content according to those time zones. That’s especially important for localized content tailor-made for a specific city or country.

Whatever you do, avoid scheduling posts for off-peak hours in any of the time zones your followers are in. As much as possible, schedule content for optimal times in at least one location where you have plenty of followers. That way, you can gain traction and maximize potential engagement as soon as your post is published.

Four clocks on the wall showing the time for different cities worldwide.

Use a Third-Party, Automated Social Media Management Tool for Content

Scheduling posts in advance straight from Instagram may be super convenient, but it does have its fair share of limits. You can only schedule a maximum of 25 posts per day. Plus, content can only be lined up 75 days in advance.

These numbers might not be enough for big brands with huge calendars and multiple campaigns running simultaneously. To get around these limits, you should consider using automated social media management tools to help you schedule more content.

Instagram automation—when relating to content scheduling—refers to tools that automatically publish posts for you. There are plenty of tools available online to help automate your scheduling and posting far beyond Instagram’s limits. It helps you streamline the content scheduling process without waiting around for those limits to reset.

Working with a third-party scheduling tool is similar to doing it straight from the Instagram app. Of course, you’ll need to link your account to the third-party tool before scheduling any posts. This is generally quite safe if you use a renowned, trusted automation tool and never provide your password. Then, upload your content on the software and set up the date and time you want it published.

And that’s it! Focus on other digital marketing tasks while waiting for the tool to publish your posts on the day you set.

A laptop displaying insights and data from a social media management website.

Use Meta Business Suite To Schedule Posts for Both Instagram and Facebook

Many brands cross-post their content on Instagram and Facebook. By being present on two social channels instead of one, they can reach a wider audience with the same content. But is it possible to schedule content in advance for both platforms?

Yes, with Meta Business Suite, it’s super easy to plan content ahead of time for both Instagram and Facebook. And it’s not just regular feed posts. You can also use the website to schedule Stories, too.

Before scheduling content through Meta Business Suite, ensure your professional Instagram profile and Facebook business page are linked. Then, you can do the following steps to schedule content that will show up on both platforms:

1. Head to the Meta Business Suite website. Remember that you can only access it via desktop.

2. On the home page, click Create post.

3. Choose the platforms where you want your scheduled posts published. You can select Facebook, Instagram, or both (we recommend both!).

4. Upload the media you want to post and fill in all the additional details, like captions or location tags.

5. Look at the Preview section to double-check the post’s elements and see how it will look once published.

6. Click Schedule to publish the post at a later time.

7. Choose the date and time you want the post published. Then, click Done.

8. Click Schedule one last time to finalize your content that will be uploaded at the time you choose.

If you select both platforms, you’ll see your content published on your Instagram and Facebook feeds.

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Keep Viral Trends and Holidays in Mind

Even if you already have scheduled content lined up on Instagram, you should still monitor any trends and upcoming seasons. If there’s an opportunity to do a trendjacking post, take it—don’t let the scheduled posts stop you. You can always adjust or reschedule the posts you have lined up to accommodate moment marketing posts.

When planning your content calendar, remember big holidays and seasons. This will likely affect what types of posts you need to schedule, especially if you have special sales or holiday promos. So, don’t plan too far in advance in the months prior to important seasons.

For example, most brands post a ton of Christmas-themed content in December. So, by October, you should already carve out space for holiday posts in your content calendar. Don’t schedule too much always-on or evergreen content for the next few months. Instead, leave room for possible promos centered on the holidays. That way, you won’t waste time scheduling advanced posts and then deleting them later to make room for seasonal content.

Someone taking a photo of a lit-up Christmas tree with their smartphone.

Use a Visual Planner Tool To See How Your IG Grid Will Look Like

Having a visually pleasing aesthetic feed is super important on Instagram. You should always keep your brand’s overall look and aesthetic in mind, even when scheduling posts.

Our last tip for scheduling content in advance is to use a visual planner. This can help you see what your Instagram grid will look like once all your scheduled content has been published. It’s like getting a preview of the layouts and patterns people will see in your feed in the future. And if you want to improve your feed’s overall look, you can edit your scheduled posts before they’re published.

Later’s visual planner tool is perfect for this. Not only can you schedule content on their dashboard, but you can also see how it will look on your feed. Getting this sneak peek of your grid allows you to curate content around your aesthetic and avoid visual clutter.

Someone scrolling through an aesthetically cohesive Instagram feed on their phone.

That’s Everything You Need To Know About How To Schedule Instagram Posts

Life can get pretty busy as an Instagram business owner or content creator. But that doesn’t give you an excuse to miss out on consistently posting content on your page. If your busy schedule takes a toll on your posting, consider lining up posts in advance. That way, you’ll always have well-thought-out content published for your followers to see, and they won’t miss you too much!

Now that you know how to schedule Instagram posts, it’s time to ensure people see them. Expand your audience and get more eyes on your content with the help of Path Social.

Our proprietary targeting algorithm matches your profile with the niche audience most likely to enjoy your content. Then, we use top-notch promotional strategies to get your content on their screens. That means more people in your target audience will see your posts, ultimately leading to more followers for your page! So, what are you waiting for? Grow your community today with Path Social.