Ultimate Guide to Setting Multi User Access for Instagram

If you own a business or run a small agency that manages a lot of Instagram accounts, you might have more than one social media manager that wants access to your social accounts. The problem with the Instagram app is that it wasn’t designed to be used by more than one user.

Don’t worry. Though Instagram wasn’t explicitly designed for small businesses, a study by eMarketer revealed that an estimated 71% of US businesses would adopt Instagram by 2017.

Instagram businesses are also well adopted by Instagram users. According to Instagram, 80% of users say they follow at least one business on the app, with 60% hearing about a product and service through the platform.

As of March 2017, over 120 million Instagram users visited a website, got directions, called a business, emailed or direct messaged a business.

It’s a no-brainer that you should start to think about scaling your social media team on Instagram. The simple solution is to share one login and password to your team members, but this has its risks. You never know when your team members might post something inappropriate or random change all the passwords before quitting the role.

For a more scalable solution to set up multi-user access for Instagram, you need to rely on 3rd party applications such as Buffer or Hootsuite. Just as a heads up, it’s not cheap if you want to use Buffer or Hootsuite as a team.

The plans start at $99 USD per month for both of these platforms. Buffer allows for up to 5 additional users versus Hootsuite only allows for 3. If you manage a larger team, the pricing scales significantly to $199 – $499 a month.

Before we get started to how to set it up, let’s discuss if investing in these platforms is right for you.

Benefits of Multi-User Access

Individual Logins and Passwords

To keep your Instagram account secure, you should only have a handful of trusted people that have access to the email and password. Having your Instagram account is critical if you want to prevent theft or fraud on your account, undoing years of effort building up your social following.

With Buffer or Hootsuite, you no longer have to share your Instagram usernames, emails, and passwords amongst your team. Each of your team members will have access to Instagram via a Hootsuite or Buffer profile and hence, keeping your Instagram account safe.

In addition to just enabling personal logins, Buffer and Hootsuite can further secure their accounts with 2-Step Authentication.

Here’s how it works: whenever you log into your account, after entering your username and password, you’ll be asked for a second authentication code that will be sent to your mobile phone via text.

Setup Account Permissions

Mistakes happen. There are times where a simple typo or a picture gets released by accident on your social accounts. With Buffer or Hootsuite teams, you will have more control over reviewing and approving posts.

There are three types of accounts: Manager accounts that have full posting access, working level accounts with approvals required, and administrative accounts that has both full posting access and the ability to manage other social accounts.

Administrative/manager accounts have access to post without any controls, and the ability to approve or reject posts that are submitted by the working level. In comparison, the working level accounts have the ability to submit posts, but all the posts will end up in a queue for the administrative account to approve.

Manage more than just Instagram

As a business, you will most likely have a Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and many other social profiles. With Buffer and Hootsuite, you can manage all these accounts under a single profile.

The best part is you have control over which Buffer and Hootsuite accounts have access rights to specific social accounts.

For example, if you have one social manager dedicated to managing your Instagram, and another managing your Facebook page. You can set up their Buffer or Hootsuite profiles where your Instagram manager can only manage your Instagram account, and your Facebook manager can only manage your Facebook page.

Getting Started with Buffer Small Business

For a detailed guide to setting up your Buffer team account, please refer to: How to Use Buffer for Social Media Teams: The Complete Guide. We have summarized the main points below:

Inviting new team members to Buffer

Step 1: Go to ‘Admin’ → ‘Team Members’

When you’re ready to add a team member to your Buffer account, start by clicking the Admin link at the top of your Buffer dashboard, and then selecting Team Members.

Step 2: Click the ‘Invite a New Team Member’ button

From here, click on the blue Invite a New Team Member button on the top right-hand side of the screen.

Step 3: Enter their name and email address

Now you’ll need to type in your new team member’s name as well as the email address you’d like to send their invite to.

On this page, you’ll also notice there are three other fields to fill out and options to choose:

1. Assigning which social accounts this team member has access to
2. Setting the access level for each social account
3. Granting admin access

Step 4: Assign a social account

At this point, you’re able to decide which social media profiles your team member should have access to.

Just type in the name and select each social account to assign the team member to each of the profiles you’d like to give them access to.

Step 5: Set the access level for that account

Once you’ve selected a profile, you can set the level of access you’d like this team member to have:

Full Posting Access – If a team member is invited with Full Posting Access, they’ll be able to post directly to the queue, as well as help you with approvals and managing your posting schedule

Approval Required – If a team member is invited with the Approval Required access level, they’ll be able to suggest new content, which you (or anyone else with Full Posting Access) can then review and edit if needed, before approving it to be added to your queue of posts

You can then continue assigning your team member to as many social profiles as you’d like. And you can set a different access level for each account.

So for example, you can give someone full posting access to Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest, while also requiring their posts to be approved before posting to Instagram.

Step 6: Set Admin Access

If you’d like this team member to be able to connect social media profiles and manage other team members on your Buffer account, you can provide them with full Admin Access.

To do this, just flip the toggle to turn this option on or off.

Note: Be careful with the Admin Access option and only grant it if your team member is familiar with Buffer. As an admin, they’ll have full control over all the profiles you’ve already connected.

Step 7: Click the ‘Invite Team Member’ button

Once you’ve entered your team member’s name and email, given them access to all the appropriate social media accounts, and decided whether to make them an admin – click on the blue Invite Team Member button at the bottom of the page.

Step 8: Your team member will receive an invite email

Finally, once you’ve sent the invite, your team member will immediately receive an email prompting them to create a new Buffer account, get set up, and start posting.

Here’s what they’ll see:

And there you have it! Once they create their account, they’ll be fully ready to start creating content for the social accounts you give them access to.