While Instagram is seen primarily as a social media channel to give followers real-time, in-the-moment visual snapshots of a brand or organization, more and more marketers are seeing the value of making deliberate decisions to schedule Instagram posts.
Perhaps it’s time for you to start thinking about a broader view of when you should share — and schedule to share — your nonprofit’s Instagram posts.
Why should my nonprofit schedule Instagram posts?
The primary reason most marketers schedule anything to social media is so that they don’t have to be in a constant frenzy of publishing to social. If you take a brief “timeout” to plan, load, and schedule content for say, a week’s worth of content, that’s one week where you don’t have to scratch your head wondering, “What on Earth should I post today?”
When it comes to Instagram, scheduling your posts for optimal views will also maximize your chance for engagement – and isn’t that why most of our organizations are on Instagram to begin with?
This timing-for-engagement is especially important for Instagram these days as the social channel now serves posts based on an engagement-based algorithm rather than chronology.
If you use a social media management tool, you should be able to see which of your posts get the highest engagement. Looks like my top post – sent out at one in the morning – has received the greatest number of likes.
Start using the timings you see in your most engaged posts to attract similar rates of likes and comments.
What kind of posts should I schedule in advance?
If your follower base reacts well to inspirational quotes, consider scheduling these type of posts on Mondays with the hashtag #motivationalmonday. (Over 2.2 million posts are on Instagram thus far with this popular hashtag!) Pine Street Inn, an organization who fights homelessness, starts each work week with one of these posts.
Consider scheduling archival photos for the nostalgic #throwbackthursday (most commonly known as #tbt) or #flashbackfriday (#fbf). You can see how far back you can go in these two examples from The Jimmy Fund, an organization that helps fun the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Are there are any down sides to scheduling Instagram posts?
You might be used to scheduling posts to “set it and forget it” on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. While you can certainly “set” posts to go on Instagram, you can’t “forget” about them – this is an unfortunate rule set by Instagram. No third-party platform – heck, not even the native Instagram platform – can automatically post to Instagram for you.
Huh? Does that mean I have to forget about planning my Instagram posts in advance?
Not at all!
You should still get in the habit of planning out at least a month’s worth of content with some pieces, like a #mondaymotivation or #tbt created in advance of its publication.
Preparing all this content in advance will save you all the last-minute panic of getting a post out on the right day to catch the right audience.
Best of all, if you use a social media management tool like Agorapulse, you’ll be able to queue all your visual content in advance and then be reminded when it’s time to set it free to your Instagram followers. When you get your reminder, simply click on the app to transfer your content to Instagram, add a filter if that suits your organization, and send that post on its way!
What advantages do you see if scheduling your Instagram posts?
Let us know in the comments!