The secret ingredients to Instagram’s success are consistency, quality, and high levels of engagement. But, it needs dedication and proper organization to make a cut through the noise and let your voice be heard.
This post discusses how you can schedule your Instagram stories through Hootsuite and what is the best time for scheduling posts/stories.
According to the Founder of Neil Patel Digital and so-called the “God” of digital marketing- Neil Patel, it’s crucial to include Instagram in your marketing strategy. It would be foolish to ignore the 1.4 billion user base of this platform offering the highest engagement rates.
He further adds in his post on neilpatel.com that being a part of the Instagram community is vital for social proofing. A small step towards this popular social platform would drastically take conversions to the next level.
What is Hootsuite?
Hootsuite is a social media management tool that allows you to connect with all your social media accounts through one dashboard.
Hootsuite is perfect for people in business, entrepreneurs, and marketers. It makes your life a hell of a lot easier. With Hootsuite, you can easily bulk schedule your social media posts/stories across all your social channels.
In this post, you will learn how to connect Hootsuite with Instagram and schedule your stories.
Don’t miss out on the best time to publish your Instagram posts/stories at the end of the tutorial.
Why should I Develop Instagram Stories?
This Instagram feature allows users to share multiple photos and videos with all their followers and other members in a slideshow format. The stories don’t show up in the Instagram news feed.
On average, about half of Instagram users are posting stories every day. This means that around 500 million users are posting around one billion stories per day. The statistics are interesting and impressive!
Instagram stories help brands understand their audience 10x more than normal posts. This incredible Instagram feature allows businesses to stand on top of the mind game. Instagram stories have become the first interaction point for businesses.
Followers and audiences directly interact with the brands after watching the stories.
Can I Schedule my Instagram Stories?
Probably you are used to scheduling your stories on Facebook or Snapchat and forgetting them as they are automatically published. Things are not the same with Instagram!
You will receive a push notification/alert in your phone that “It’s time to Publish!” As you have already done the homework, just a touch and the stories are published.
Hootsuite helps you to avoid the last-minute rush of emailing photos, finding captions, and hashtags, and remembering the perfect times to post.
How to Schedule Instagram Posts with HootSuite?
Step1: Get your Business Instagram Profile
- It’s always better to convert your profile into an Instagram business profile. This helps you get access to Instagram’s advanced analytics, which could help you know more about your followers and their interests. Apart from that, it allows you to add links to your stories.
- The business account is the only insta account that can schedule and publish posts/stories using Hootsuite.
- For that, open your Instagram account. Tap the hamburger icon (three lines)> settings>Account.
- Now, tap on the switch to a professional account. Select Business and follow as directed.
You would be required to connect to your Facebook account to complete the account setup.
To use the Hootsuite Instagram stories scheduling feature, you need to have an updated version of both applications.
Step2: Sign Up/Login with your Hootsuite account
If you don’t have an account, then sign up with Hootsuite, else log in to your account and start scheduling.
Step3: Link your Instagram Account
- Now it’s time to connect your Instagram business profile to Hootsuite.
- From the Hootsuite dashboard, click on the “ Add a social network” button. You can see this option under the “Private Social Network” section.
- Then choose Instagram as your social network option.
- Log in to your Instagram account when the dialogue box appears.
- Now your Instagram account is all ready for scheduled stories.
Step 4: Create Instagram Story
- Under the Hootsuite dashboard icon, you will find the streams dashboard.
- Select the Instagram profile (in case you have multiple profiles) where you want to schedule the story.
- Add the relevant captain and hashtags to make it more attractive and enhance the public reach. You can type # to get some AI-powered hashtags suggestions.
- The next step is to add a photo/video. Click on the paperclip icon under the space for the caption.
- You can upload a maximum of 10 videos/pictures into the media area. You can either choose the “select file” option or simply drag and drop the files.
- The acceptable image file size is up to 5MB and a 60-second long video.
- You can even change the sequence of the photos/videos using the drag-and-drop option.
- If you want to create a story using the Enterprise content library, then click “Open Media Library”.
- Now you can use “Edit Image”, “Transform Menu” and other inbuilt editing tools for customizing the images. You can enhance the focus and change the adjustments of the image.
- However, the links and text added during the “Edit Image” will not be clickable.
- After making the relevant changes, save the post.
Step 5: Add the Interactive Elements
- You can add any links or interactive text to the story and copy it into the clipboard text box.
- And you can use it when posting the story on Instagram.
- You can check the final details of your Instagram post/story from the “Preview Pane” on the right side.
Step 6: Scheduling the Story
- Click on the “Schedule for later” option.
- Select the time and date from the calendar.
- Click on the “Schedule” button to post the Instagram story.
Bingo! Your Story is scheduled.
Now, what to do when you receive a push notification to publish an Instagram story?
You will receive a push notification on your mobile phone when your story (scheduled) is ready to go live. Make sure that you have enabled push notifications for the app.
- Hootsuite cannot differentiate between multiple Instagram users. So, you need to make sure that the right profile has been signed into the Instagram app to publish the story.
- Now, what you need to do is:
- Open the notification on your Hootsuite app.
- Select streams and now click on notifications in the top right-hand side corner.
- Tap on “New Publishing Notification”, preview your post, and select “Open in Instagram”.
- Now click on the camera roll icon (top-left corner), then click on the gallery (bottom-right).
- All the images and videos prepared on Hootsuite will appear there as the most recent items.
- The text added on Hootsuite is now copied to your clipboard. Just a long tap to paste at the right location.
- After a quick tweak, you are ready to publish. Click “Share”.
Congratulations! Your story is now live!
What are the Best times to post on Instagram?
There are two approaches to follow. Let’s discuss them.
- Identify the best times to make your post/story live
- The best times would be different for each brand and niche. The best way to analyze this is to follow Instagram insights.
- By tracking and experimenting, you would be able to know what times work best for your brand.
- Just tap the hamburger icon on your Instagram profile and click on “Insights”. Scroll down and click on “Audience”.
The insights would give you information that at what time of the day your audience is most active and engaging. By tapping on the graph, Instagram would list the exact number of active audiences at those times.
But, what if you don’t have a large audience base? The second approach is for you.
- Most common best times to make your Instagram post go live
- According to Oberlo (infographic), Wednesdays are perfect to get the highest level of engagement followed by Mondays and Thursdays.
- Sunday is the week’s worst-performing day with fewer engagements only.
- And the best times are certainly lunchtimes (11 am to 1 pm) and after work hours, usually the commuting times (7 pm to 9 pm).
If your business involves selling consumer products, then the best time to schedule your posts is from Wednesday till peaking on Sunday. Monday is the worst day, while Saturday grabs the lion’s share according to Sprout Social.
People like to shop more on weekends as a stress reliever and it is the best time to entice customers.
Creating a killer Instagram story is not a cup of tea. Batching them or scheduling posts and stories ahead of time would give you plenty of time to refine and tweak them for a striking engagement.
If you are struggling to reach a larger customer base, it is time to rethink your strategies.
The blogging Hacks is one of the projects of Digital Kangaroos– a leading web development and digital marketing agency. Its award-winning web development and digital marketing services have helped hundreds of clients reach the pinnacle of revenue generation.
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