Buffer Update: Direct Scheduling for Instagram

We long waited for Buffer to catch up to Hootsuite on the ability to directly schedule posts for Instagram. Buffer has been our preferred platform to use when scheduling posts for many reasons.

Just to name a few, we love the ability to buffer articles we read on Flipboard. We love the ability to easily identify our top articles or posts we shared, and re-queue them to be shared again in the future. There’s many more, but we’ll keep the comparison for an article another time.

5 benefits of scheduling your Instagram posts

1. Save Hours a Day

If you use Buffer, Hootsuite or any Instagram platform in the past, you know what I’m talking about. Before these updates, when it comes time to post your content, you’ll get a notification on your phone that tells you, “it’s time to post.”

That’s easy to manage if you have one account, but when you manage five or more accounts, it’s crazy the number of notifications you get a day. You have to click on the notification, copy the caption, go to your Instagram app, paste the caption, add a filter, then share the post. Now you can avoid all that since Buffer can post directly to your Instagram (with a few limitations)

2. Never Miss a Post

If you are a solopreneur, you can’t be on your phone 24/7, attending to your Instagram posts. For example, you might be on a business trip in China with a 12+ hour time difference or spending quality time with your family. If you miss a few posts, you have to end up catching back up by posting all the backlog in a single day.

3. Increase your Engagement

Consistency plays a key role in social media success. When you’re consistently and frequently publishing new content, your audience will learn what to expect from your and when it’ll be posted. Based on an article by Coschedule, you should share between 1 to 3 Instagram posts per day. Might not seem like a lot but if you run 4-5 accounts, that’s 15 posts a day spread at various times throughout the day.

As an entrepreneur or business owner, you’re flooded with things to do in your everyday life. You won’t always have the time to post on Instagram. Missing a few posts might not seem much, but your followers rely on you for your content. If you’re not posting, your followers might leave to find other sources to populate their feed.

Having the ability to schedule Instagram posts automatically also gives you the flexibility to post at times when it’s least competitive. For example, 3 am can be a time that drives the most engagement depending on your audience. But it’s unlikely you would stay up to 3 am every day just to post that one image on your Instagram account.

4. Upload Content from your Desktop

There’s one peripheral that a desktop still has an advantage over smartphones, the keyboard. You might be a millennial that grew up on smartphones, but unless you have the old school Blackberrys with the physical keyboards, it’s always a hassle typing on a touchscreen.

SproutSocial shows that if you want to maximize engagement on your Instagram posts, stick to 138-150 characters in your captions. Doesn’t seem that much for a single post, but the characters will add up with multiple posts.

5. Manage Multiple Accounts with Ease

You’re probably not just managing one Instagram account or even one social account. You will have Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook and many more social networks to manage on top of Instagram. Now with Buffer, you can manage all these accounts without the use of an annoying app.

The One Disadvantage to Scheduling Posts

Instagram filters. When your scheduling posts directly from Buffer or Hootsuite, you lose the ability to add a filter before posting your images. Not a concern if you are a professional photographer with a $3000 DSLR. Problem for the rest of us taking photos with our smartphones.

A study by Canvas shows that by using the right Instagram filters, you can also get upwards to 200% more likes on your photos. That is quite impressive since Instagram filters are free to use, and simple to add to your photos. Learn more about the Instagram filters to maximize your engagement here.

How to schedule Instagram posts: Getting set up for both direct scheduling and reminders

Step 1: If your Instagram profile is for an organization, switch it to a business profile

Step 2: Connect your Instagram account

That’s it. You can schedule your Instagram posts the same way s you would previously. But instead of sending you notifications when it’s time to post, Buffer will post directly to your Instagram page.