From freeing up time in your workday to driving traffic to your website and increasing productivity, scheduling Instagram posts and stories is a sure-fire way to boost your engagement and grow your following.
And thanks to Later’s easy to use scheduling tools, you can schedule a whole week’s worth of Instagram content in minutes!
If that’s not enough, here are 8 more reasons why scheduling Instagram posts should be at the top of your 2021 to do list:
Why Schedule Instagram Posts #1: Create a Cohesive Aesthetic
Your Instagram aesthetic is one of the best ways to get more followers and grow your account.
And while the no-edit edit is still trending, it’s still important to create a cohesive Instagram aesthetic for your Instagram profile.
More and more people are turning to Instagram to search for their favorite businesses. That means, your Instagram profile is now just as important as your website’s homepage.
Your Instagram feed is the first thing a visitor sees when they land on a new profile, so it’s important you make a good impression.
Instagram influencer Jasmine Star suggests aiming for 9-12 different content categories to make up your profile, and to alternate between them when planning out your grid.
Why? Because when we start to think of our Instagram content in grid-format, 9-12 categories is the magic number that represents each post in your feed as a new follower scrolls through your profile.
So when a visitor lands on your profile and knows exactly what they can expect to see on your feed, they’re much more likely to hit that “follow” button.
Of course, your aesthetic now extends to your Instagram Stories, Reels, and IGTV videos too — everything you post to your profile should all have a cohesive and complementary design theme.
Check out how jewelry brand Chupi has matched their grid and Instagram Stories aesthetic to their IGTV videos perfectly:
So in 2021, it’s time to focus beyond your grid!
Of course, you should continue to consider what your posts look like next to each other (side-by-side and below or on top), but also go wider and start incorporating Instagram Stories and videos in your aesthetics plan!
And the key to creating a cohesive aesthetic is to plan out your content in advance!
The best way to pre-plan your feed and make sure everything’s flowing together is by using a visual planner like Later.
Later’s visual Instagram planner shows you exactly what your Instagram feed would look like — and it’s seriously a game changer. The visual planner lets you easily rearrange or swap out photos to find that perfect balance for your Instagram feed.
Plus with scheduling Instagram Stories (more on this later in this blog!) you can storyboard your stories posts and get a snapshot of your stories content alongside your feed content for the day!
Scheduling your posts ahead of time doesn’t just help you maintain a consistent aesthetic, but it also helps you to post regularly, which is also really important when you’re trying to get more followers.
Again, new visitors on your profile are much more likely to convert into followers when they know exactly what they can expect from your feed, and your Instagram Stories.
Why Schedule Instagram Posts #2: Win Back Time for Other Business Projects
If you’re still manually posting to Instagram, you might find that you’re spending more time than you’d like on your phone.
And if you’re a small business owner, this could be tapping into your precious work hours — time that could be used for other projects, like working on your 2021 goals or building a stronger online community!
But when you can schedule your posts to automatically publish to Instagram with a tool like Later, you’ll soon be able to win back time.
With just 20 minutes each week, you could plan, schedule, and set your content to auto publish — so there’s no need to set aside time each day to post to your grid!
Note: If you do still like to “post in the moment,” you can set your posts to publish via notification with Later. That means we’ll send you a message when it’s time to post to your feed and you can add the finishing touches to your post in app.
Here’s a quick video on how set up Instagram scheduling with Later:
Why Schedule Instagram Posts #3: Take Downtime Away from Your Phone
We’ve already mentioned that by scheduling your Instagram content you can win back precious time for your work week.
But we also want you to be able to completely step away from your phone and notifications sometimes. Social media managers, we’re looking at you!
When you schedule your Instagram content, you can give yourself some well-deserved downtime! Yes, even over the weekends!
With Later working behind the scenes to publish your content — regardless of the time of the day or time zone you’re in — you can power down after hours and get some quality time away from the social buzz.
And that’s something we take very seriously here at Later — just check out our 7 Mental Health Tips for Social Media Managers blog post!
If you want to get set up with Auto Publish with Later, check out this step-by-step guide.
Why Schedule Instagram Posts #4: Post More Often to Improve Engagement
There’s no denying the importance of consistency on Instagram.
By keeping to a regular posting schedule, you’re essentially letting your followers know what to expect from you. It builds a consistent experience for your audience.
Posting more consistently can also help with your Instagram engagement. When your followers expect you to post, they’re more likely to interact and engage with your content.
View this post on Instagram
‘Most liked’ is *so* 2019. We’re stepping into 2020 with a top 9 reflective of what good content is made of: ‘highest reach’. ????????⠀ ⠀ We took a peek at our monthly reports from the past year (which we pulled from our Later analytics), and curated a top 9 that reflected a metric we could stand behind; a metric that tells us these posts reached more people through actions like shares, saves, likes or comments, or maybe because they ended up on the Explore Page. These posts had that magic ‘je ne sais quoi’, which told the algorithm, “yep, let’s give the people what they want”, and showed it to more people, increasing our reach and supporting us in growing our business. ✨⠀ ⠀ So cheers to 2019! We have a special (and last of 2019) newsletter, landing in your inbox tomorrow. ????⠀ ⠀ ⤴ Link in bio: Instagram Is Now Hiding Likes: Here’s Everything You Need to Know ⤴ ⠀ ⠀ ????: tagged all UGC in the photo above ????⠀ ⠀ #top9 #top92019 #instagramtop9 #instagramstrategy #instagramforbusiness
You’ll be more top of mind and, thanks to the algorithm, top of their feeds too!
That being said, keeping a consistent posting schedule isn’t always the easiest to do. Life sometimes gets in the way and that post that was supposed to go out on Tuesday — well, it’s getting pushed further and further into the week.
But if you can plan and schedule your Instagram posts in advance, you can build a regular posting schedule and get content out even on days when you’re super busy.
Why Schedule Instagram Posts #5: Post at the Times Your Audience is Most Active
With Instagram engagement and reach steadily declining, optimizing your posting times is more important than ever before.
But considering that every account has a different audience, in different time zones, calculating the best time to post on Instagram for your account hasn’t been an easy process…until now.
Later’s Best Time to Post feature makes it easy to find out when you should schedule your Instagram posts for maximum engagement.
If you’re on one of Later’s business plans, your best times will be highlighted in your weekly content calendar, making it easy for you to schedule Instagram posts for when your audience is most active.
If you post when your audience is most active on Instagram, you’re more likely to drive engagement on that post.
And that engagement will translate into Instagram bumping your post higher up on users’ feeds and potentially getting a spot on the Instagram Explore page, which, in turn, will result in even more engagement on your post!
It’s a cyclical process: higher engagement leads to more visibility, which leads to higher engagement, which leads to more visibility. But it all starts with when you post on Instagram!
Why Schedule Instagram Posts #6: Craft Longer, More Engaging Captions
Instagram used to be all about the visuals, but now, long-form captions are taking center stage.
Influencers were the first to jump on the trend — Elise Darma, Quigley Goode, and Sarah Nicole Landry of @thebirdspapaya all share lengthy captions on their posts to give greater insight into their world or to share their knowledge.
And now, with Instagram’s new keyword search, longer captions could actually help your content get discovered by more users.
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The world of social media can be so funny to me sometimes. We see iconic landmarks and pretty photo ops just swarmed with people ready to take their pic and post it. And it feels like it’s all a little over the top. But remember when you were a child and your mom would ask you to stand in front of a landmark or a pretty flower garden? She took that photo and she put it in a book, sealed behind a plastic static cover. She showed it to her friends, had it on the coffee tables, on the shelves to stay forever. We looked back on them for years. The markers of our childhood. Then we grew up. The photo albums, they got digital. The sharing became in social media. Sure, a lot of it got vain. But never forget, these are still our memories and our albums. And it’s ok to take the picture, to post it, and remember it. Not all of us are doing it for status. Some of us just want to freeze a moment in time. For the days that memories won’t serve us so easily, anymore. ????
Even brands are jumping on the trend too — especially when it comes to raising awareness for the causes that they stand for.
Take, for example, sustainable clothing brand and environmental activists, Patagonia. As part of their campaign to highlight the issues around fish farming, Patagonia released an IGTV and film series that discusses the challenges the environment faces:
And according to influencer research by Fohr, the average caption length has more than doubled since 2016, and those with longer captions got the most engagement!
So if you’re not crafting long-form captions in 2021, now’s the time!
However, crafting captions can be tedious — it’s often hard to write a caption on a whim, you need to be in the “writing mode” to get it right and really get your thoughts out on virtual paper.
The caption editing box in the Instagram app isn’t the most user-friendly and it’s very difficult to review and edit your copy in such a tiny window on your phone! Plus, let’s face it: writing Instagram captions is hard.
Instead of constantly trying to come up with a caption on-the-go when you need to post, you can save time and write better captions by scheduling Instagram posts for free and creating all your captions at once.
Scheduling your posts using a free Instagram scheduler like Later means that you can write your captions from the comfort of your desktop computer, and you can wait until you’re in the right creative zone for writing.
Plus, if you’ve ever been frustrated with how Instagram removes your line breaks from a caption when you publish, you’ll be happy to hear that will never happen with Later!
Why Schedule Instagram Posts #7: Drive More Traffic to Your Website
For most businesses, the ultimate goal of Instagram marketing is to drive followers to their website, where they can learn more, make a purchase or engage with their other content online.
So it’s easy to forget in the hustle of creating great Instagram content and fine tuning your aesthetic, that the goal is to guide more viewers away from Instagram and onto your homepage or product pages.
But that’s where planning and scheduling your content comes into play, for both your grid posts, and your Instagram Stories.
When you can plan in advance, you can get a bird’s eye view on how you’re driving traffic to your website — and more importantly how often you’re doing it.
It could be as simple as adding a swipe up in your Instagram Stories posts, or by adding a call-to-action to check out the link in your bio, however you choose to guide your audience back to your website, it all starts with planning out your content.
One of the easiest ways to drive traffic to your website is to strategically use your link in bio.
As it has prime real estate in your profile’s bio, it’s super easy to find and readily clickable, making it one of the most valuable traffic-drivers on your Instagram profile.
And the good news is, you can make your link in bio work even harder for your brand!
With Linkin.bio by Later, you can turn your whole Instagram feed into a clickable landing page, that updates with every new post you share.
You can tag your Instagram posts with any link you want (think product pages, articles, and blog posts!) to turn your feed into a clickable, optimized landing page.
And the best news, it’s free — no trials or credit card needed!
Plus, when you schedule your Instagram posts with Later and include a Linkin.bio link, you’ll get access to Linkin.bio analytics! You can find out exactly how much traffic you’re driving from Instagram, and what content is converting the best.
With the free version of Linkin.bio, you’ll find a small branded banner at the bottom of your landing page. If you want to remove the banner, you can upgrade to any Later business plan.
When you upgrade, you’ll also get access to the Pro features like a Shopify integration or multiple links on posts.
Ready to get more traffic and sales from Instagram with Linkin.bio by Later? It all starts with scheduling your posts with Later — it’s free!
Why Schedule Instagram Posts #8: Plan Campaign Launches to Perfection
If you’re planning a new product launch or special campaign for 2021, you want to make sure you have every announcement planned to perfection.
Plus, there’s teaser content you might want to share on the run up to the big day to raise some hype on Instagram and get your followers engaged and curious.
Not forgetting that campaigns don’t end on launch day — there’s plenty of campaign aftercare to make sure the conversation keeps going on Instagram and you can continue to remind your followers of your new products or services.
And all this campaign planning comes down to a very thought out content plan! Luckily, you can plan and schedule all of your campaign content (yep, even Instagram Stories!) ahead of time with Later!
From mapping out your announcement feed posts to scheduling in your Instagram Stories reveals, you can plan it all from Later’s dashboard.
Don’t believe us? Here’s a quick video on how to schedule your Instagram Stories with Later!
These are just some reasons why scheduling your Instagram posts and stories in advance can be a great strategy for your business in 2021.
In a nutshell, it can help you spend less time posting, and more time growing your business and community. And with Later, we make scheduling seriously easy!
Start scheduling your Instagram content with Later today!
Nikki is Later’s Editorial Manager. She’s worked in digital media in Dublin, London, and Sydney and loves nothing more than hitting “publish” on a new post. When she’s not writing blogs with the Later team, you’ll find her outdoors with her dog, Arlie, or planning her next adventure — follow along on @nikkitravelled.