Scheduling Instagram content in Hootsuite, is it a help or hindrance?

Instagram & Hootsuite

The news of Hootsuite incorporating the scheduling function for Instagram is sure to have marketers and business owners all over reeling with joy. The Facebook owned photo and video sharing app has become incredibly popular in the last few years with an estimated 75 million daily users and has become a strong medium for brands to engage with their target audience. However one major flaw which made using it somewhat of an inconvenience was the inability to schedule content, meaning uploading content had to be done as and when you wanted to post it. However this looks to be a stress of the past with the ability to schedule posts now being introduced.

So what are the benefits and drawbacks of this new addition to Instagram?

Easier to post whenever you want

The most obvious benefit to come from scheduling Instagram posts is the ease it will allow brands to publish content with for most of the day. So now posting outside of office hours will be far more realistic, allowing you catch those peak times where most brands experience the highest levels of engagement such as in the early morning and evening. It should be noted that while you can schedule content it does still need to be confirmed via the app on a smartphone, however this process is far quicker and easier than uploading content from scratch.

Potential for an increase in competition at peak times

With the ability to now post at peak times a lot easier there is a good chance that we’ll gradually see not only brands but also photographers attempt to take advantage of this. Unlike Facebook’s news feed algorithm which provided users with the most relevant stories from the people and pages they follow, Instagram provides every single post from every followed user on your news feed. This could prove detrimental in a number of ways. Firstly it could mean your content is scrolled past, with so much being uploaded at one time users could speed up the process of searching through their news feed to get through all of the content. To add to this with other brands also uploading at peak times there will need to be a greater onus placed on not only improving the content of your post but also the quality in regards to how it looks. To stand out amongst other posts your content will have to be somewhat visually appealing.

Threat of losing focus

Just because the process of uploading content is now easier shouldn’t mean you lose focus of the strategy implemented for your Instagram content. You might feel a need to upload more content which is fine but be sure not to overload your followers with too much as this will be likely to work against you. Additionally don’t become solely reliant on pre planning all of your content, some of the most engaging content is that which involves breaking news and current affairs so be sure to still upload as and when events unfold.

Better planning allowing improved quality of posts

Being able to really pre plan you schedule will certainly provide a more structured approach to the publishing of your Instagram content. No longer will there be a need to rely on someone being available to upload a post, add a caption and then publish it at inconvenient times during the day. The ability to plan now allows brands to focus on improving the quality of the content they release. Knowing which posts will be released at peak times can then be focused on to ensure they’ll not only be engaging but also visually appealing.

Inability to edit pictures

A focal point of Instagram is the image editing options it provides. The use of the various filters and other options to fine tune your image aren’t available within Hootsuite, meaning that images will have to be edited beforehand and then scheduled through Hootsuite. This isn’t a great inconvenience however for those who prefer to use Instagram’s options as opposed to programmes such as Photoshop will face a bit more of a niggly task.

All in all it’s certainly a step in the right direction for Instagram from the perspective of brands and general users. Be sure to let us know if scheduling content on Instagram has made a difference for you.

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Ian is the founder of Opportunity Marketing marketing, with over 18 years of experience in successfully setting up marketing departments, creating marketing strategies and implementing these strategies across a wide number of SME companies in both the B2B and B2C sectors through a variety of channels.
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