We know that Instagram doesn’t stop when we all leave the office at 5:30pm, and at the weekend, when we’re all making the most of our two days off, it’s especially alive.
Whilst there have been unofficial solutions like Schedugram, which we’ve made the most of, we’ve always been dumbfounded that there hasn’t been an official and truly reliable way for brands to schedule content outside of office hours.
All that changed this week when Instagram announced changes to its API. One of those changes allows third-party apps to schedule posts on business profiles. Hootsuite is the first tool to implement the change, and so now you’ll be able to schedule content right from the planner, as with Facebook and Twitter.
Whilst this API update is designed to make posting content at any time of day easier, it also has an added security benefit. You’ll no longer need to share Instagram login details amongst your team, and it’ll reduce the risk of posting on the wrong account (we’ve all heard tales of eager Social Media Managers posting content to a brand’s social profiles instead of their own). Content scheduling AND increased account security? What’s not to love!
Aside from posting content outside of office hours, a reliable scheduling tool could have great benefits for marketing campaigns. Undertaking a multi-image campaign? You’ll be able to post your pictures at the exact same time every day, or exactly 1 hour apart. Want to take advantage of an event or special occasion? You can schedule content ahead of time to coincide with other activities.
In our minds, the next logical step for the Instagram API will be to allow brands to schedule Stories – it does go against the ethos of the feature somewhat, but most brands will already have a plan for Stories as part of their wider Instagram strategy, and will already be creating content ahead of time. Branded Stories that could be scheduled would make for far more compelling content at the right time to hit the people who want to see it.
For now, if you’re using a third-party app like Hootsuite, schedule with (reliable) abandon, test optimal posting times and take advantage of out of hours engagement!