In the last few years Instagram has become the queen of social media platforms – people somehow can’t get enough of Instagramming! From celebrities to your next door neighbor every second person is rocking the Instagram, and how!
If you thought Instagram is just a place to share pretty pictures of what you eat or what you do then you have not realized the potential of this platform.
Did You Know?
Instagram users “like” or “double tap” 4.2 billion posts per day!
Instagram is used by 48.8% of brands—a number that is expected to rise to 70.7% by 2017
75% of Instagram users take action, such as visiting a website, after looking at an Instagram advertising post – This is huge!
Why Should a Blogger Use Instagram Extensively?
- Instagram is the platform for Visual Marketing – perfect place for marketing your posts
- Your Audience IS on Instagram – it doesn’t matter what you blog about, you will find your audience here ‘Link in Bio’ is your invitation to audience – use it well to get traffic in your blog
- ‘Hashtags’ are the best way to get noticed by relevant people – use it well to get people to your feed
- Instead of using Instagram for posting just your regular photos use it well as a strategy to drive traffic to your blog.
I however find posting from the Instagram app a tedious task. Instagram doesn’t allow you to post from the web. They expect you to do everything on their app, in real-time! Most of my graphics for the food blog or the lifestyle blog are edited in the laptop.
Now posting it on Instagram in the normal way means:
1. Transferring the images to phone
2. Writing all the description in the app using the swipe keypad
3. Adding Hashtags
4. Adding the link in bio (this, however, can be done through the web)
All of that for me is too much work. I completely hate typing a paragraph on the phone! And I like to plan things ahead.
So do we leave posting on Instagram because it’s tedious? Do we keep swiping through the touch keyboard to write a description?
Technology is meant to make life easy and not the other way round. I am going to share free tools and sites that will allow you to schedule and automate your photos on Instagram from the web. And do you know what the best part is – all of these are FREE – so no pinch in pocket! How cool is that?
Here are Top 5 FREE tools to Automate and Schedule Instagram Posts
Later which was previously known as Latergramme, is a very useful tool for scheduling Instagram posts.
They have a free plan where you can
1. Connect 2 Instagram accounts
2. Schedule and Post 30 Photos a month
3. Search and Repost Content
Later is extremely user friendly. You can create an account in the site using your Instagram Log in credentials. Download the Later mobile app on your device. It is available for both iOS and Android.
You can simply drag and drop your photos in the Library and add relevant text and hashtags. Schedule your photos in the Calendar. When it is time to post the site sends a push notification in the mobile app. You simply click on the notification to post! You are sorted. No typing on phone at all!
I have been using Buffer for some time now to schedule Tweets and Instagram Posts.
With their Free Account you can
1. Connect one Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin , and Google Plus account
2. See Instagram account analytics
3. Scheduling recurring posts
Use Buffer to put your photos in Queue with filters, description and hashtags. You can then schedule all your posts with the calendar. You can even post it multiple times. Like Later you will have to download the Buffer mobile app which is available for both iOS and Android.
Buffer sends a push notification on your phone/device for posting the photo on Instagram at the scheduled time. All you need to do is swipe on the push notification and post.
Planoly is an extremely feature rich site and app. You can do great stuff using Panoly. This is mostly a paid site but they have a free plan as well.
Under the Planoly Free plan you can
1. Add one Instagram account
2. Upload 30 photos a month
3. Upload photos only – no video or gif
4. See analytics for last 1 month
What I love is their grid view for my stream. You can also see a little S and U on top of your photos which denote Scheduled and Unscheduled! The mobile app is available on iOS and Android.
You can check analytics, check your latest comments all from your desktop.
Hootsuite works in the same way as Later and Buffer.
Under Hootsuite free plan you can
1. Add 3 social media accounts
2. Schedule and post as many posts you want
While posting on Instagram through Later, Buffer and Planoly is super easy Hootsuite makes you do a little more work. You can schedule your posts according to time and Hootsuite sends a push notification in the mobile app. But then all the work starts after that. Hootsuite asks you to copy the caption, copy the hashtags, edit photos, add filters in Instagram itself!
Ultimately it simply reminds you that you have scheduled a post and you have to do everything on Instagram! No filters, no caption, no tagging, no locations, no automated posting!!! But it’s free!
Gramblr is not a site or a mobile app. It is a desktop application that allows you to upload and post photos and videos to Instagram, all from your desktop. It is available both for Windows (XP,Vista,7,8,8.1,10) and Mac OSX.
With Gramblr you can
1. Connect your Instagram Account for free
2. Post Photos and videos
3. Add caption and Hashtags
4. Add in-built filters and stickers
5. Directly posts on Instagram – no push notification
This is the only application I have found that posts directly to your Instagram without going through all the push notifications. But there are some limitations with the software. It supports only .jpeg photos within 500 KB size. You can crop the photos in the software to 650 x 650 pixels. Without that it might not upload the photo!
You can schedule photos according to time. I prefer adding edited photos in Gramblr in scheduled time so that they get posted directly.
The software is a bit slow! But still it’s a good application to post directly.
So now you have 5 sites through which you can plan, schedule and automate your Instagram posts. What are you waiting for share some awesome photos and drive people to your blog. Happy Instagramming!
Tina Basu is a freelance writer, author, blogger, graphic designer and a food enthusiast. When she is not running around a little hyper active munchkin she blogs at Tina Basu – Being Real Not Perfect where she writes, fictions, girly stuffs and hosts link parties and tutorials. Tina is a self-confessed food obsessed girl and all her love for food is reflected in her food blog Twinkling Tina Cooks. Tina has been in the FMCG industry for over seven years working as a trade marketing and branding expert.