The complete guide to scheduling Instagram posts in 2020

Welcome to your guide to what you need to know about scheduling Instagram posts in 2020.

We’ll explore why it should be part of your social media strategy, tools you can use to schedule posts, and strategies to ensure you’re doing it right.

By the end of this guide, you’ll have a thorough understanding of why it’s worth scheduling your posts on Instagram, which tool will work best for you to do so, and how to use scheduled posts to help you achieve your specific goals.

Why should you schedule your Instagram posts?

We’ll explore the specific benefits of Instagram post scheduling in the next section, but first let’s address the general “why” behind this discipline.

Social media has, for influencers, content creators and brands, become a crucial weapon in growth and marketing strategy.

There are few platforms that have as much potential reach, nor as much room for meaningful interaction between you and your audience, as Instagram.

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guide - planification - publications - Instagram - photos - feed
guide - planification - publications - Instagram - photos - feed

Organizing for a more coherent feed

As such, one of the most important elements of any social media strategy is to ensure that your approach to publishing content is both consistent and high quality.

Instagram post scheduling, by definition, allows you to predetermine when a specific post will be published and at what time.

As a result, you can prepare a lot of content ahead of time, without having to worry about being there to post it at the exact time you want it, because you can simply use a social media management tool to post it for you at the right time.

The convenience of scheduling posts on Instagram may seem obvious in some ways, but there are other benefits that can also be quite surprising.

What are the benefits of scheduling your publications?

This saves time

What’s the alternative to scheduling Instagram posts in advance?

Publish them all in real time.

Even if you’re busy with other tasks in between posts, publishing them manually can mean spending a lot of time at your computer, or interrupting your other projects to get back to your posts.

When you are able to plan your posts in advance, you can dedicate a block of time to creating and planning posts, but leave the rest of your day free.

This extra time can easily be used to complete other projects or to focus on more organic interactions with your audience.

You can do what best develops your online community and focus on your business at the same time.

Publish from your PC

While Instagram does not natively support posting content on a desktop computer, it is possible to do so.

Many of the social media management tools we’ll look at below can be used on a PC as easily as on a smartphone.

This has a multitude of advantages.

For example, you won’t need to constantly switch between your laptop and computer.

While preparing Instagram posts, you may want to work at your desk rather than hunched over your laptop the entire time.

Take a break from social media

Managing a social media account requires a certain amount of energy.

First and foremost, you have to stay in the right frame of mind to create posts that will help grow your brand.


Just having to keep your laptop nearby, with notifications turned on and social media ready to open at a moment’s notice can be exhausting.

For community managers and influencers who are constantly online, scheduling Instagram posts can allow them to relax for a while.

To lighten your workday, you can write your posts ahead of time and come back to them once they’re published

Organize the way you publish your content

One of the biggest benefits of Instagram post scheduling is that it allows you to manage not only your existing account, but all the other Instagram accounts you manage in a much more organized and thoughtful way.

You can get an overview of the day’s posts, making sure that you schedule posting at times when they are more likely to catch the attention of your target audience.

If you don’t have to post in real time, you also have the opportunity to review your posts before they are published, making sure the photos and descriptions are of good quality, instead of publishing them at the last minute.

Make sure you are posting regularly

An essential element of social media success is that you post content regularly.

Posting more often can lead to great engagement in general and create an expectation within the audience. If you fail to meet that expectation by posting less regularly, it can lead to your audience members becoming bored and disinterested.

Scheduling Instagram posts allows you to maintain an active account and continued growth.

As long as you can find the time to create content and decide when it will go live, you don’t have to worry about not always being able to access your phone.

This allows you to plan a varied content strategy

When someone arrives on your Instagram page, you want to make sure they have a good idea of the type of content you are posting.

Many Instagram accounts post content in a variety of styles, from infographics to a graphically dense page to simple photos and videos.

Even if you only post photos, some of them may be fashion related, some may be food related, etc.

If you post five consecutive images of the same type of content, people who visit your page at that time might think that’s the only type of content you post.

By scheduling Instagram posts, you can ensure that you organize them in a way that gives a complete picture of your account at any given time.

Perfect for planning campaign launches and other timed events

If you have an engaged audience, planning a timed launch campaign can be a great way to ensure that, more eyes are on you when the time for launch finally arrives.

This is also true for any other timed content campaign.

By scheduling Instagram posts ahead of time, you can ensure that each post leading up to the launch is spaced in the perfect way.

Teaser images, countdown shots, etc. can help build even more anticipation.

Of course, you need to make sure that the launch post itself is timed just right.

Imagine setting up a launch for 5pm, only to lose access to the net at 4:55pm.

It’s a lot less stressful if you at least know that your post has to go out, no matter what.

How to plan your publications?

Now that you have an idea of why you should use software that can help you schedule Instagram posts, you will also need to decide which software you want to use.

Here, we’ll look at four options, as well as how you can choose the one that works best for you.


Designed primarily for Twitter, but compatible with Instagram posting scheduling, as well as Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn, Buffer is one of the most popular social media management tools.

Available as a browser extension (with web portal) and mobile app, it allows for easy publishing at any time.

It also has all the content scheduling tools you need, as well as some basic options for monitoring analytics and seeing results.

However, for specific Instagram features like publishing Instagram stories, you have to pay for a premium account.

It also doesn’t allow multiple users, so only one account holder can have access to associated social media accounts.

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Agora Pulse

Another of the most expensive tools on the list, Agora Pulse is also another of the most comprehensive options.

In addition to scheduling Instagram posts, it has functionality with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.

It is also one of the most collaboration-oriented tools, allowing multiple accounts to schedule, share a social inbox, generate analytics reports and even perform competitor analysis by accessing and comparing visible results from selected accounts.

One of the best tools for managing a team workflow.

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Sprout Social

Sprout Social was originally designed to be a versatile analytics tool for various social media platforms.

Since then, the features have expanded to include scheduling for Instagram posts, Facebook posts, Twitter posts, LinkedIn posts, Pinterest posts and Google+ posts.

This is one of the more expensive packages on this list, but for that price, it comes with features that include scheduling of posts and much more, such as analytics, engagement metrics, collaboration tools and even social media automation tools.

However, while comprehensive in all other respects, it doesn’t have the ability to let you choose specific times to post content.

Instead, you choose a frequency and it automates the publishing process to match the frequency.

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Designed primarily for Twitter, but since expanding into Instagram post scheduling, as well as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest, Hootsuite is another one of the most comprehensive social media management tools.

In addition to scheduling posts, it also allows you to monitor your feeds with many specific criteria to ensure you keep an eye on the posts that matter most to you from other accounts.

However, it does not have the ability to tag accounts and locations in the posts you schedule with it.

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How to choose among these tools?

Now that we’ve outlined four of the main Instagram post scheduling tools, we should also look at how you can decide which one is best for your needs.

As such, here are some of the criteria you should consider:

While all of the tools mentioned above allow you to schedule posts on Instagram, most of them also work with other platforms like Twitter and Facebook. If you need to schedule posts for other platforms as well, you should choose one that does.


Some software allows access to social network analysis, which allows you to see more in depth the performance of your publications and with whom without having to change the window on your browser.


Partly a matter of personal preference, does the layout of the tool make it easy for you to see and understand your content calendar your feed, what content is queued up and other features?

Page layout

If you use it with other account holders, can you easily collaborate on publications and schedules?


Depending on how many team members are using it, you want to make sure the tool is simple enough that everyone can understand it quickly.

Budget and payment plans

You need to consider not only the costs, but also what you get for each price of the plan. Some solutions will require you to pay more to get more account holders to use it, such as

Plan your flow

What sets your Instagram account apart?

What allows the most successful accounts with the most organic followers and highest engagement rates to succeed?

There are a few different factors, of course, but a good feed that organizes its aesthetic well to show a unique sense of style is perhaps one of the key points.

As mentioned, Instagram post scheduling can help you plan your feed better.

By creating all posts ahead of time and deciding when and in what order they will be published, you have better control over how your feed will look at any given time.

As such, here are some tips to help you use this power well:

Determine your visual brand

Your visual brand, or aesthetic, will have a big impact on the people who visit your page.

Instagram is a visual medium, so giving people the opportunity to connect with you through a shared taste in aesthetics is a great way to gain new followers.

There’s no shortage of aesthetic inspiration by browsing other users’ profiles, whether they’re bright and colorful, poppy and cute, mature and sophisticated, or whatever.

You can define your aesthetic by tagging the images and colors you use regularly.

There’s plenty of room to experiment, but some consistency will keep it recognizable.

Different styles for different types of posts

As mentioned above, some Instagram accounts will have different types of visual content.

Some will post a mix of articles, infographics and typography-based photos.

Others will post photos, but with different compositions and subject matter.

Deciding on different formats and publishing styles for each type of post can help them stand out, distinct from one another, making them more likely to catch the attention of the audience they are most relevant to.

When planning Instagram posts, you can mix and match your different post types to give your feed a diverse look and avoid everything looking too similar.

Add your touch with filters

Whether you take your own photography or use edited stock images (with the right permissions of course), you can help posts blend in with the rest of your aesthetic by finding the right filters.

Instagram and tools like the VSCO app allow you to save mixes of different filter effects so you can set, save, upload, and adjust your look to each photo without too much trouble.

Plan your feed

With the tips above, you should have a general aesthetic nailed down, as well as a few different categories of posts that look similar visually.

Whether you have defined categories or not, it’s important to plan your feed, to plan images that contrast or coordinate well together.

This can help you have a much more pleasing aesthetic, instead of just posting several photos that all look relatively the same one after the other.

Most of the apps mentioned above that allow you to schedule Instagram posts also allow you to view your profile as you schedule them.

You can drag and drop posts into different parts of the feed and the app will make sure they are posted in the right order to fulfill those plans.

With a well-planned and executed aesthetic, you can much better manage your Instagram brand and the first impression it gives to visitors.

Instagram post scheduling tools can make this much easier to achieve.

Content curation

Content curation refers to sharing content on your feed that you did not create.

It’s a method of sharing content published by others in a way that fits your aesthetic, while building your community and using your platform to boost other influencers, brands, creatives and content creators.

With tools that allow you to schedule posts on Instagram, you can ensure that you are using curated content alongside original content in a conscious and effective way.

Deciding on your ratio

When it comes to deciding how much content will be organized and how much will be original, there are no firm numbers.

Some recommend a ¾ share of original and ¼ share of organized content.

Others will go ⅘ original and ⅕ organized.

Some will even recommend that you organize sparingly.

It’s true that relying too heavily on organized content can make it seem like you’re not producing an original aesthetic, which can quickly lose your audience’s interest.

Make sure it fits your aesthetic

It doesn’t have to be a one-to-one match, and a little contrast can help you stand out a little more.

However, in general, you don’t want organized content to make your feed look disorganized.

If you get permission from the original creator (if applicable), you can also consider using filters and image editing software to make it match your original content a little better.

Keep an eye on the right sources

If you’ve used accounts as inspiration for your own aesthetic, it’s also worth monitoring them for potential organized content.

Likewise, if you discover other accounts from which you choose to manage content, keep a tab on them as well.

If you can find a few regulars that you return to, finding great organized content can be much easier.

Discovering new accounts is always a good thing, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore quality content just because it comes from a creator whose content you’ve already organized.

Also, don’t forget to always share the source of organized content.

Go with your gut

This may sound easy to say, but as long as you follow the other tips mentioned above, it’s worth considering.

If a piece of content grabs your attention and fits your audience and aesthetic, then you should consider why it’s getting so much attention.

Is there something inherently engaging or interesting about it?

If so, it’s likely to appeal to the same audience engaged by your original content.

There is no specific strategy for sharing organized content that works for everyone.

However, with Instagram post scheduling tools, you can make sure it’s used in your original content, no matter what type of content you curate or how often you share it.

Planning Instagram posts in 2020

Developing an Instagram marketing strategy requires a lot of thought and planning, from making sure your feed always matches the aesthetic you want to post to getting that perfect match of organized and original content.

This planning is much easier when you don’t have to worry about when you post, only what you post.

Instagram post scheduling allows you to create and manage all content in advance, automating the actual posting.

In terms of practical benefits for social network managers, influencers and content creators, it saves you time, allows you to work from your PC and can allow you to collaborate with other account holders.

When it comes to your account, Instagram post scheduling allows you to better plan your feed, ensure you’re posting at times when you’re most likely to reach more people, and ensure a consistent posting schedule.

Summary of this guide

Above, we’ve explored the uses, benefits, and different platforms for Instagram post scheduling.

You will decide which of these platforms you decide to use and the strategies you implement will take a little more consideration.

However, you will be able to use the information provided here to greatly improve your Instagram feed and the results you get from it.



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