Building a successful brand image is about being at the right place at the right time. And currently that right place looks a lot like Instagram. With an estimated 25 million brands on the network, it’s no wonder why companies continue to look for ways to schedule Instagram posts and ultimately produce great content.

Just as you would on any other social media channel, learning how to schedule Instagram posts is a vital role for strategists. However, having ideal Instagram scheduling leads some marketers to invest in multiple social tools.

We’re here to nix that and show you how to schedule Instagram posts with Sprout Social so all of your social media engagement, publishing and analytics tools are all in one place.

How to schedule Instagram posts using Sprout Social

To schedule Instagram posts, you have to use a social media publishing tool like Sprout. We make it easy to upload your image, finalize your content and schedule it. Schedule your post from Sprout, and when it’s time to post you’ll receive a push notification from our mobile app.

When you get the notification, tap “Share on Instagram” from the Sprout mobile app to send the post to Instagram. There you can paste the caption (which is automatically copied to your clipboard after you tap to Share) and make your final edits to the post.

Instagram scheduling in Sprout

Here’s a precise, step-by-step process of how to schedule Instagram posts on Sprout:

1. Create your Instagram image

The first step to scheduling Instagram posts is generating great content. This starts with you creating your image to post. If you need help with what to publish, check out our guide on Instagram post ideas.

Through Sprout’s Publishing toolset, you can easily upload your Instagram image on all Sprout plans. Additionally, you don’t have to schedule your post to just Instagram. The fully integrated feature lets you schedule to LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at the same time.

Scheduling for Instagram in Sprout

2. Edit & polish your Instagram post

After you upload your perfect Instagram picture, it’s time to edit your image. You can edit images in Compose with an integrated Image Editor tool from Adobe Creative SDK.

editing images in the Sprout platform

Here you can crop, add effects, overlays, change lighting and focus. Instagram is commonly known as a place for creative content. Make sure you don’t post hastily-edited images to your profile.

After you finish polishing your image, you can tag other Instagram users directly in your photo or add hashtags to the first Instagram comment.

Users recognize when your content is polished and looks its best. To increase your shares, likes and comments, make sure your posts go through a thorough round of edits before going live.

instagram management gif

3. Select the Instagram account & publisher

Once you’ve edited your content, select what account you wish to post to. You can manage multiple Instagram accounts in Sprout when scheduling your content. This makes it much easier to not only select your preferred Instagram account, but other social networks connected to your Sprout dashboard as well.

For many businesses, there’s a need to publish to multiple Instagram accounts. Managing the publishing for these accounts requires the content creator to receive content approval, coordinate the post’s timing and ensure that someone is logged into the correct account to publish the post.

Luckily with Sprout, your social media team can select a designated publisher for each post who receives the push notification reminder when it’s time to post.

Assign to specific team member in Sprout compose

Click the alarm clock icon in the Compose window to select your publisher. This process helps companies delegate publishing duties for multiple accounts and decide who will publish the post at its scheduled time.

4. Stage your post for publishing

After you have your content edited and approved, you’ll want to send the post to Draft, Queue, schedule, submit for approval or send the push notification immediately. Let’s take a look at each option and how it works for you:

  • Draft: Not sure if you’re ready for this type of Instagram post? What if you want to create multiple posts ready to publish at any time? Draft is a great spot to put your unfinished content or things that still need approval.
  • Queue: Placing content in the Sprout Queue is ideal for edited posts ready to go live. Some content might seem appropriate on certain days or you could simply get Instagram images ready for the weekend in the Queue. When you queue your Instagram posts, Sprout picks the best time to publish within the window you specify.
  • Schedule: Use the schedule feature when you want to publish your Instagram posts at a specific time. This is great for when you’re launching an Instagram contest and want the post to go live right when it starts. It’s also helpful if you’re scheduling an Instagram post as a part of a larger campaign, and need content to go out at a specific time of the day. Plan finished content for the future and see your scheduled posts in Sprout’s Publishing Calendar.
  • Submit for Approval: Choosing an approver ensures your content is properly edited, grammatically correct, timely and on brand. Select specific approvers to review your content before it goes live.
  • Send: If you don’t need an approval process and are ready to publish right away, click send.

5. Receive notification to post

For those scheduling or submitting an Instagram post through Sprout, you’ll receive a mobile notification at the selected time or immediately after clicking Send. Because Instagram’s API doesn’t allow for other platforms to post directly to its network, Sprout developed a notification system that takes the pain out of scheduling content.

publishing notifications in Sprout mobile app

To receive these alerts, you have to select “Allow Notifications” on your mobile device. All alerts for scheduled content are sent out to the appropriate users. From the notification, you can easily open Sprout’s mobile app to send the image and caption to Instagram.

6. Easily send content to Instagram

When the Instagram Publisher receives the notification to post, they can tap on the notification to open the Sprout mobile app. From there, they’ll see a preview of the image and description and which Instagram account the post is going to. They tap Share on Instagram, which opens the Instagram app with the appropriate profile.

sprout notification for IG publishing

Then, the Instagram Publisher can paste the Instagram caption from their clipboard into the description field in Instagram. After they take a final look at the content, add a specific location and finalize any image edits, they can tap Share.

Sprout IG publishing from mobile

The process is quick and easy for brands looking to schedule Instagram posts. Save time and money on your Instagram scheduling efforts through Sprout Social. Want to give it a test run?

Sign up for a free 30-day trial to use Sprout Social’s Instagram Scheduling tools.

Publish and schedule on every network

Ready to streamline how you schedule and publish social content across channels? Read these guides for even more tips:

Monitor & measure your Instagram content

Scheduling Instagram content is simple, but knowing what image resonates with your audience can be more challenging. Sure, you can track vanity metrics such as likes and comments, but using Instagram analytics tools allows users to track and monitor hashtags, posts and comments all within a single inbox. Learn how to reach your Instagram audience more effectively so you produce the best and most engaging content.