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Since so many digital consumers are extremely visual, it’s no surprise that Instagram quickly became one of the fastest-growing social networks on the internet. Companies quickly caught on to the Instagram frenzy, creating their own accounts and posting pictures regularly. While casual users like to update their Instagram feeds on-the-fly, businesses prefer to plan and schedule their posts. Unfortunately, until extremely recently, businesses have been largely unable to schedule their posts since no social scheduling platform has integrated with Instagram.

That has all changed. Hootsuite, which has always been a popular way to manage social feeds, now offers Instagram integration!

How Hootsuite Works

From one dashboard, Hootsuite allows you to manage the feeds of every major social media network including Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, and now Instagram. You can use it to schedule posts for your social media accounts as well as track their success. It is also a great way to follow hashtags and lists on Twitter and follow keywords (such as your company name) on every network. Hootsuite is easy to use and robust enough to manage several active profiles for large companies.

Hootsuite for Instagram

Now that you’re aware of Hootsuite’s integration with Instagram, you’re surely wondering how to automate your Instagram posts with Hootsuite. If you’re already using Hootsuite, connecting your Instagram account is easy: just click the “Add a Social Network” from your profile, choose Instagram from the pop-up menu, and click “Connect with Instagram.”

Next, you’ll have to setup Instagram publishing with the use of a smartphone or tablet, so make sure you have yours nearby. First, install the Hootsuite app for Android or iPhone and log in. Your device should automatically complete the Instagram setup; if it does not, follow the prompts on your screen to complete the setup.

Posting to Instagram

To add a post to your Instagram feed, follow these steps provided by Hootsuite’s Resource Library:

1. From the Compose box, attach your photo and type the caption into the text box. Hootsuite supports hashtags and emojis for Instagram so be sure to drop those in, too.

2. Schedule the post by clicking the calendar icon and setting the date and time you would like your photo to post.

3. When your scheduled time approaches, you will get a notification on your mobile device. Your photo will automatically populate into the post. From there, you can add filters. To retrieve the caption, click into the caption box, tap once, and select “paste” to drop in your caption.

4. Once you are ready to post, click “share.”

Important note: You must have your phone nearby and click the “share” button when your scheduled time arrives. Unlike its integration with other social media platforms, Hootsuite does not automatically post to Instagram without the user manually clicking “share.”

Why Automate?

Automating your social feeds with Hootsuite does a lot more than just making sure you never forget to update a social feed. You will also gain access to a variety of tools to make your social media management simpler and more effective. Large companies can add multiple users to their Hootsuite dashboards and delegate tasks to those users. Small companies will benefit from the simple analytics tools and the security of knowing that nothing will be forgotten or overlooked. In other words, management tools like Hootsuite turn a complex scene of multiple social media feeds into one easy-to-manage task. Rather than checking in on a half-dozen profiles, you can simply log in to Hootsuite and see your entire social scene in one glance. It’s easy to scale up when you are ready to add more profiles or use more tools, and is a huge time-saver.