How to schedule Instagram photos, stories, and lives in one hour a week

instagram-batching-guide.jpg

Want to schedule a week's worth of Instagram posts in under an hour? 

Whether you're a business, blogger or creative, the importance of an active presence on Instagram for your brand is enormous. But this does not come as a surprise. Instagram is a powerful visually captivating platform that when mixed with engaging content, can drive sales, prospects, and highly targeted subscribers your way. The best part about Instagram is that this can all happen automatically if you play your cards right by setting the right systems in place.

If you're in need of a streamlined system for scheduling your Instagram photos, look no further.

This is where batching comes in.

Batching is the process of completing similar tasks during a chunk of time. This leads to less distraction and increased productivity.

You can batch your content weekly, biweekly, or monthly. This depends on how you'd like to set up your blog and how often you want to spend your time scheduling your social media content. If you're just starting out, it can be helpful to batch on a weekly basis until you create a backlog of photos to batch on a monthly basis. I'm currently batching my Instagram content on a weekly basis.

Batching is for you if:

  • You're looking to reduce the amount of time you spend creating content for social media

  • Automation is important to you when it comes to your blog to improve efficiency and consistency

  • You'd like to spend less time on social media and more time doing what you enjoy the most in your biz

  • You'd like to curate a clean, cohesive, branded Instagram feed

Before we talk more about batching, there are a few systems I'd like to help you put in place, to make sure you are creating content that your audience craves.

 

How to Connect an Instagram Business Account to Facebook

If you haven't converted your Instagram account into a business account, now is a great time. Business accounts give you access to analytics and tools, which is great if you're interested in what content your audience loves, hates, and engages with.

Step 1: Open the Instagram app on your phone or tablet. This currently can not be done on a desktop interface. Click the settings gear on the top right of the screen.

Step 1: Open the Instagram app on your phone or tablet. This currently can not be done on a desktop interface. Click the settings gear on the top right of the screen.

Step 3: This is what you screen should look like. This information is great for learning about audience behavior. If you look at my followers, they start to become active around 6am.

Step 3: This is what you screen should look like. This information is great for learning about audience behavior. If you look at my followers, they start to become active around 6am.

Step 2: Scroll down until you see "Linked Accounts" and click that menu option. You'll have the option to connect your business Facebook page to your Instagram account. (Not shown)

Step 2: Scroll down until you see "Linked Accounts" and click that menu option. You'll have the option to connect your business Facebook page to your Instagram account. (Not shown)

How to decide what to post on Instagram

How Many Times Should You Post On Instagram Every Week?

The first step to batching your Instagram posts is to make a decision on how active you'd like to be on Instagram. To figure out how many posts to batch for your account each week, take your daily post goal and multiply it by the number of days you'd like to post each week. The total number you calculate will be the required amount of posts you need to generate each week.

But you don't only have to stick to Instagram when batch creating content.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to the art of batching. You can batch create not only Instagram content, but your blog tags, content calendars, Facebook feed, email campaigns, Youtube scripts, graphics and just about anything. 

A simple formula to help you calculate how many posts you need to create each week.

A simple formula to help you calculate how many posts you need to create each week.

Organize How You'll Collect The Data

The process of batching is utterly simple, it may hurt (jk). Throughout any given week, I take photos on my iPhone.

Once a week, I sit down and follow this simple process:

  1. Gather a group of photos you'd like to post for the following week and organize them in the order you'd like to schedule them. The content you shoot for your blog should be evergreen. Define evergreen.

  2. Write compelling captions: Engaging and CTA to comment or click. Next step.

  3. Research hashtags.

  4. Schedule them in your tool of choice. When scheduling, keep in mind: Will this content still be relevant when I post? Are you lacking diversity in your posts? What is your theme? Color palette? What does your audience like the most? What content converts?

You'll be super surprised by how little time the whole process takes. If uninterrupted, this whole process takes an hour. This act seems so simple, but you'll find great pleasure it realizing your Instagram is scheduled out for the week, opening your time to take on other projects or engagements with your time.

 
Here's what content looks like in the preview app. 

Here's what content looks like in the preview app. 

 

Schedule your Instagram posts in from your phone or computer

After you're finished editing your photos, captions, and hashtags, upload them to your scheduling software of choice. Be sure to update your timezone within the app before scheduling to reflect where you're business is based. Additionally, some apps offer the capability to send you a push notification or email reminder when a post goes live. Whatever floats your boat.

How to use Instagram Analytics and how to decide when to post on Instagram

The image on the right shows a screenshot from my Instagram Analytics dashboard. If you notice, my audience gets rather active around 6AM, early right? The reason they're active around 6am is because, on the east coast, where I originally started growing my account, my followers are awake, at work, and starting the day scrolling the gram as many of us do. From 9AM EST on, they become active Instagrammers.

Now when I batch my content, I choose to post only during peak hours, to make sure I'm getting the most reach and chance of engagement.

It is also important to keep in mind when your audience is most active. This won't always line up with your current time zone, especially if you travel often.

How I schedule and upload my Instagram photos with Tailwind

There are dozens of ways to queue your Instagram feed. My current favorite web and iPhone app is Tailwind for Instagram, you can try it for free here. Tailwind allows you to schedule your Instagram photos, captions and hashtags with a minimalistic user face experience. 

This is my favorite app because you can upload photos, write captions, and write hashtags all in one place. What's even better is, Tailwind will actually help you choose your hashtags based on popularity, competition, and niche! It's super easy, suggests a publishing schedule for you, and you can upload your content on a computer or phone and seamlessly push it to Instagram with just one click,  which means you won't have to worry about violating their terms of service. 

A few final Instagram tips:

  1. The easiest way to organize your content while batching your Instagram post is Tailwind or an Excel sheet.

  2. Once your content is scheduled for the week, you still have to push the content to Instagram. Also, once your content is scheduled and posted, your job just begins! Don't forget to nurture your Instagram community with likes, comments, and follows to make sure you're connecting with new people, expanding to new audiences, and growing your account.

  3. Don't forget to use stories, Instagram live and all of the new features. Think of unique ways to incorporate stories and live videos in real time along with your scheduled content.

  4. Although your Instagram photos are now scheduled and can be published with the push of a button, don’t forget to engage with your audience daily.

  5. Never be afraid to go against your schedule and post a spontaneous photo or change a caption. Remember, it's your feed and your rules!

 

Next steps to get started

  1. Download our Instagram batching template.

  2. Calculate how many posts you need to create each week.

  3. Customize our batching organizational system to work best for your brand.

  4. Decide when and how often you'll batch your Instagram posts.

  5. Batch, schedule, and queue your Instagram photos in Tailwind.