Social Media

How to Schedule Instagram Posts: Reels, Stories, & More [2024]

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Scheduling Instagram posts, reels, stories, and more can be a complex task, particularly when you’re trying to consistently deliver fresh and engaging content at peak engagement times–that competes against all the other posts on there. 

As of 2022, there are 1.3 billion monthly Instagram users worldwide, with numbers rising, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. To reach this new audience, businesses must ensure their Instagram posts, reels, and stories are well-timed, engaging, and visually appealing. 

This not only attracts new followers but also keeps your existing ones engaged. However, the task of creating and scheduling Instagram content can often be time-consuming. One solution is scheduling Instagram posts through the platform or with a social media scheduler. By effectively scheduling your posts, reels, and stories in advance and automating their publication, you can free up time to focus on other areas of your marketing strategy.

In this article, learn how to schedule Instagram posts and the best practices to help marketing teams get the most engagement from their content. Let’s get started!

Can You Schedule Instagram Posts?

Yes, it is possible to schedule Instagram posts.

Instagram has a built-in scheduler that allows users to publish their posts on their desired dates and times. However, there are limitations, which we’ll discuss later. 

The best way to schedule posts on Instagram right now would be through a third-party social media scheduler. It gives users more control over scheduling posts on Instagram and other social media platforms.

Bonus: Design an Instagram Post in Minutes

Why You Should Schedule Instagram Posts

There are a lot of benefits to scheduling posts, not just for businesses but for content creators, too. Here are a couple of reasons why scheduling Instagram posts is the best way to go.

Reach Your Audience at the Right Time

Brands with a global reach need to schedule posts when their followers are most active. If you’re not using a scheduler, that might mean staying up till the wee hours of the morning. 

But with a social media scheduler, just set posts to go live when needed. How convenient is that?

Plan a Social Media Calendar in Advance

You can only dedicate so much of your time to social media. With proper planning, you could prepare content weeks in advance in one day. It’s a more productive way of doing things.

Once they’re set, all that’s left to do is check in on your Instagram feed once in a while to see how it’s performing. 

Scheduling posts also let users know if there are gaps in the content calendar. Posting new photos, Reels, and Stories on a consistent schedule enables brands to grow their followers and generate more audience engagement. Even more so with Instagram Threads in the mix.

More importantly, it enables the algorithm to suggest the posts to others, potentially securing more followers.

Access Bulk Scheduling Features

Using a social media scheduler lets businesses create posts on a spreadsheet and import the list to the platform. For some, this is a more convenient way of scheduling content.

As of now, Instagram doesn’t have this functionality. That means businesses must schedule their posts manually through the app. Also, not all social media schedulers have a bulk upload feature.

Bonus: Create viral Reels with our AI-powered Instagram Reels Maker Tool

How to Schedule Instagram Posts In-app (Without a Third-party App)

Ready to schedule posts on Instagram? Great!

Here’s how to schedule posts on Instagram from your desktop or mobile device.

Before starting, be sure to sign up for a business account for the following steps below to work.

How to Schedule Instagram Posts on iPhone or Mobile

schedule instagram posts on iphone or mobile

  1. Open the Instagram account.
  2. Create a new post or Reel.
  3. Select a media file, then tap Next.
  4. Make your edits. Tap Next when you’re done.
  5. Write a caption, add music, enter a location, or tag people.
  6. Go to Advanced Settings.
  7. Turn on Schedule This Post.
  8. Select a date and time, then tap Done.
  9. Tap the Back button.
  10. Tap Schedule.

How to Schedule Instagram Posts from Desktop

Unfortunately, there’s no way to schedule posts on Instagram through a desktop computer or laptop without using a third-party tool.

One workaround was to use Facebook Creator Studio. However, that feature is going away soon. Using a third-party app to schedule posts on the computer is the best solution for now.

Limitations to Native Instagram Scheduler

Instagram’s scheduler isn’t perfect—not even close. These are some challenges that brands encounter when scheduling posts on the Instagram app.

Must Have a Business Instagram Account

Regular Instagram users cannot schedule posts on Instagram. The platform requires users to have a professional account to use its scheduling feature.

Those with a business account can schedule up to 25 daily posts and up to 75 days in advance.

Can’t Schedule Carousels or Stories 

At this time, scheduling Carousels or Stories on Instagram is impossible. The only types of content you can schedule are posts and Reels. 

Carousel posts and Stories often contain multiple images or videos, making them more complex to schedule in advance. However, despite this limitation on the native app, there are several third-party tools available that allow you to schedule carousel posts and even stories in advance, offering a solution for more organized content planning.

Related: 10 Must-Know Instagram Features to Elevate Your Marketing

How to Schedule Instagram Posts with an Instagram Post Scheduler: Personal & Business Accounts

For those serious about scheduling their Instagram posts, we highly suggest Simplified as the social media calendar tool of choice. Sign up for free, connect your Instagram account, and give it a try.

Once done, proceed with the following steps below.

1. Select Social Media Scheduler 

From the Simplified dashboard, hover over to the social media scheduler and click Get Started. 

simplified social media scheduler

2. Click “New Post” 

Once you’re in your Content Calendar, click New Post.

simplified new post

Users can also create a new post by going to their preferred date and clicking the plus icon. 

simplified new post

3. Select Your Instagram Account 

After clicking New Post, a window will pop up. Users can then select which platforms they want the post to appear in.

Click on the Instagram profile to select it.

simplified select instagram account

4. Add Your Content 

After choosing Instagram, users add their content. Import photos and videos, or choose any asset within Simplified’s media library.

simplified schedule posts

Simplified has a free graphic design tool that people can use to make images and videos look amazing. It lets them resize images to optimize them for Instagram and animate elements to make cool intros and outros.

The tool even removes background elements in seconds.

5. Create Your Caption 

This is where users add Instagram captions. To make this part much easier, Simplified’s AI Assistant helps users create compelling copy for their posts in a few clicks.

simplified schedule posts

There’s no need to worry about plagiarism when using the AI Assistant. It only provides unique content for social media posts, blogs, and articles.

6. Click Schedule 

Once the post is done, click Schedule. 

simplified schedule posts

Users then have the option to select the date and time they want the Instagram post to go live. 

Pro tip: schedule your posts when your audience is most active. Users can refer to their Instagram analytics to see their peak engagement metrics.

7. Edit if Needed

Users who made a mistake or changed their mind after scheduling the post can look and select it in the calendar. They will return to the post editor to make the necessary edits.

Instagram Scheduling Best Practices

It’s not enough to have an Instagram scheduler. Brands also need to know how to use it correctly. Here are some social media tips and best practices to get better engagement from old and new followers.

1. Know the Right Days & Times to Post 

Knowing the right days and times to post on social media is critical for maximizing engagement with your content. Timing plays a significant role in your content’s visibility and interaction levels due to the algorithms that social media platforms use to feed content to users. These algorithms favor recent and engaging content, hence posting at peak times can increase your chances of visibility and interaction.

Optimal posting times can vary based on factors like your specific audience and their time zone, but generally, Instagram users are most active Monday through Friday, from 9 AM to 4 PM. Interaction tends to be highest on Wednesdays overall and lowest on Sundays.

However, it’s vital to analyze your own audience’s behavior to find the best days and times to post for your specific case. 

Instagram has a feature that shows when a brand’s audience is most active on the platform. However, it needs a professional account to access that information. Simplified’s Social Media Analytics tool aids in this analysis, helping you to optimize your posting schedule effectively.

date and time to post

Go to your Instagram profile and tap the hamburger menu. Look for Insights and tap it. 

Users should see an overview of your account. Tap Total Followers. 

The next screen will show details like your total number of followers, their locations, and your account’s growth pattern. Scrolling down, users will find Most Active Times. They can use this data as your basis when scheduling your Instagram posts.

2. Simplify External Client Approval 

It’s a good idea for social media marketers and managers who work with clients to establish an approval system to ensure all posts align with the brand or client’s vision and editorial guidelines.

With Simplified, managers communicate directly with clients and team members without leaving the app. And there’s no need to send posts individually. 

By creating an approval package, they send everything that needs approval in one go, speeding up the whole process and saving the team from a lot of back-and-forth messaging.

From your social media scheduler, select the posts that need to be sent for approval. Go to Request Approval > External Approval. Click Add Package. Simplified will then give marketers and managers a link that they can send to clients.

3. Take Advantage of Bulk Scheduling 

Bulk scheduling refers to the ability to program multiple content posts at once for future automatic publication. It’s a feature that takes away the need for manual post-by-post scheduling and saves considerable time when dealing with extensive content calendars.

Bulk scheduling cuts down the time spent on scheduling individual posts, and ensures a consistent online presence by enabling you to maintain regular posting schedules. 

In essence, bulk scheduling allows you to take control of your content strategy, making social media management less daunting and more organized.

Say goodbye to the time-consuming process of scheduling posts individually, and say hello to Simplified’s bulk scheduling feature! 

From the Content Calendar, go to New Post. Click the drop-down menu and click Bulk Schedule Posts.

bulk schedule posts

Users will see a guide that shows how to format their spreadsheets. This is also where users upload files.

bulk schedule posts

After uploading the posts, click Next.

As much as your followers might like your brand, you don’t want to overstay your welcome. Posting once a day or every other day should be enough–anything more than that borders on spammy.

Also, it’s not a good idea to schedule too far ahead. Some posts may fall on days that coincide with real-world events that could make brands look insensitive. So, it’s best to publish posts at reasonable times ahead of schedule.

4. Engage With Your Audience After Posting

The whole point of posting content is to engage your community. So, don’t forget to reply to comments, mentions, and direct messages.

While that might seem daunting, Simplified has a feature called Social Inbox. This allows teams to respond to all messages across all your social platforms from one location.

engage with audience

They can even use this feature to redirect messages to specific people in your organization. For example, if there’s a question about sales, the manager can hand off the query to a member of your sales team.

Bonus: How To Edit An Instagram Post After It’s Published [+Tips Inside]

Schedule Instagram Posts For Free

Instagram has a built-in scheduling tool, but it has limitations. Not only do users need a business account to unlock this feature, but they also need to use the native app. That can be challenging for desktop users. Plus, there’s also no way to schedule posts in bulk or schedule carousels and stories.

The best way to schedule on Instagram would be through a third-party app like Simplified. It has all the features needed to streamline the process so you can plan, schedule, and automate your Instagram posts, reels, and stories efficiently.

By harnessing the power of Simplified’s extensive features, you not only save valuable time but also enhance the overall quality of your Instagram content. It’s time to simplify your social media management and elevate your Instagram game. 

PS: You can also schedule Instagram posts using Postfity (by Simplified).

One Free app to design, collaborate, and scale your work 

Sign up today.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Vipin Kanwal
Design, Write, Edit videos, and Publish Content. Built For Teams.

You may also like

Comments are closed.

More in:Social Media