If you have a business, you have to be online. And by online, I mean not only having a business website, but the social media presence is also as important.
In the past years, social media users have grown so exponentially that even the most credible brands who are household names use social media marketing to grow their business.
From startups to established firms, every business wants to promote their business on social media. While Facebook, Twitter, and Google Adwords are the most preferred medium of marketing for businesses, Instagram has become the new favorite of marketing gurus.
With over 1 Billion users, Instagram is among the top five social media companies in the world. And the majority of the user base is made up of the younger generation and millennials.
With all the hype around social media marketing, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if you want to join Instagram marketing bandwagon and start posting on a regular basis.
However, what we all soon realize is the fact that unlike other social media sites, Instagram takes a lot of time to manage the account with consistent posts and updates.
This is where the Instagram schedule software helps you get more productive. Social media management and scheduling tools allow you to schedule posts as per your convenience, and let the tool publish the photo according to the schedule automatically.
There are a ton of social media management and scheduling tools online. While no single tool fits all sizes, we have selected five of the best Instagram schedule software with a different set of features to help you find the best tool that meets your requirement.
Let’s have a look at the best software for direct Instagram posting and scheduling. Most of the tools have a free plan or trial period that will help you determine the value of the tools for your business.
Note: For any social media and scheduling service to work with your Instagram account, you need a business profile. Creating a business profile on Instagram is easy. Jump to the end of the article to read instructions on how to convert your normal Instagram profile to business profile.
Scheduling and content creation does take a lot of time. But when you got the right tool, you can really grow your business.
This tool can be mastered pretty fast and once it becomes a part of your working routine, you can plan everything and massively reduce the time spent before.
Beyond words are the facts, and you can test it yourself for free without a credit card to benefit its efficiency.
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- Price – Free / Premium starts at $9
Later is among the most popular application for scheduling and posting. It is a social media management service that offers direct scheduling and publishing to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more.
It is a premium service, but anyone can get started for free. The free account offers 1 social profile per platform, 1 user access, 30 Instagram posts, 50 twitter post, 30 Facebook and Pinterest post.
With premium plans, you get more posting slots as well as additional features such as video and stories scheduling, tag locations and users in photos, Basic + Pro Instagram and Pinterest analytics, multi-photo posts, hashtag suggestion, conversations, contributors, the best time to post and more.
Note that, the feature varies across plans, so read the official pricing page for the detailed features list.
After creating an account, proceed with setting up the Instagram account using Later. It asks you to link your Instagram account with Later for direct posting.
You can now start uploading photos from your PC to your Later calendar and schedule them for direct publishing on your Instagram business account. You can also upload media from Google Drive and Dropbox account.
Later is an excellent tool for new users to learn social media automation. You can always upgrade to the premium account if you need more features.
- Price – Free / Premium
Buffer is a social media management and scheduling software with the Instagram scheduling feature. You can manage Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram account through the dashboard.
It is a premium service but offers a free starter account for the new users. Buffer makes it easy to business and marketing teams to analyze social media performance, schedule posts and manage multiple accounts from one place.
Premium account members can add multiple team members and assign each account different access right. Buffer is also available as a smartphone app for Android and iOS and browser extension for Chrome.
Using the free account, you can use three social media accounts and schedule 10 posts per profile. While the free account has access to the image editor and GIF and video uploader, it misses out on RSS feed, Calendar access, and advanced social media analytics features.
The Pro account is divided between the premium, small and medium plans that offer more user access, posting slots, etc. depending on your business size.
The working of Buffer is similar to Later. After creating an account, you need to link your Instagram account with the service. Next, schedule a post with media, and a caption and buffer will post the content to your account on time.
- Price – Limited free / Premium plan starts at $19/mo
Hootsuite is another premium social media management platform that allows you to schedule and post on multiple social media accounts at the same or different time.
Hootsuite offers a limited free plan to the new users that offers access to 3 social profile, 30 scheduled messages, and 1 user access. Thirty scheduled messages mean you can only schedule 30 messages at any point unless the scheduled messages are deleted or published.
The premium plans, on the other hand, comes with more features. It includes key performance metrics, automated post scheduling (no limit), increased ad spent limit, team message assignments, custom analytics reports that can be exported and increased user access with up to 35 social profiles limit.
The Hootlet extension allows you to find contents on any web page and curate a post from it. In addition, Hootsuite also allows you to import content from third-party cloud storage services including OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, Box and more.
Hootsuite is a powerful social media management and scheduling platform with analytics and collaboration features. You can begin with the free plan to understand if it is something that can benefit your business and solves your social media management woes.
- Price – Free / Premium starts at $10/mo
Zoho Social is a social media management and scheduling service from Zoho. Apart from scheduling and publishing content, Zoho offers a powerful set of tools for businesses and agencies to grow their presence on the social media platforms
Zoho offers a free account for a new user with limited features. The free account offers 1 user access, social profile set up for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google my Business and Linkedin account and publish feature alongside engagement insights from the earlier mentioned social media accounts.
Unfortunately, the free account does not support post scheduling. Scheduling and other features like SmartQ, Pause/Resume Scheduled post, bulk scheduler, repeat post, publishing calendar, custom audience targeting, URL shortener, basic and advanced analytics stats, custom report, scheduled reports, and Zoho CRM integration are only available for premium users.
Note that not all the premium accounts have all the features.
Zoho Social is an excellent social media management service with Zoho CRM integration. If you are already using Zoho tools for your business, Zoho Social might just fit your bill.
- Price – Free trial / $29 /mo (yearly plans are cheaper)
Sendible is an all excellent social media management and scheduling solution for agencies offering the best of tools for teams to manage social media accounts of multiple clients.
Unlike other SM automation tool, Sendible does not offer a free account, but there is a free trial account that you can try.
The software offers a unified social inbox for each brand to keep everything on priority mode. The content recommendation engine analyses your posting patterns and profiles and suggests the best content for your brand.
With the calendar, you can create a workflow to approve your teams’ content. When it’s time to make a presentation show the progress reports generated from social media analytics.
Sendible is specifically designed for social media agencies rather than individuals. If you are an agency looking for a social media automation tool, give Sendible a shot.
- Price – Free trial / Premium plan starts at $15
Tailwind is another visual marketing platform that works with Pinterest and Instagram. The tool offers smart scheduling, profile and board metrics and 30-days history archive to the users.
There are no free plans on offer with Tailwind as well. But, you can take the tool for a spin using the free trial.
You can begin by creating a free trial account and link your Instagram account to Tailwind. To schedule a post, start by uploading media files to your account.
You can capture media and customize it with hashtags, and schedule it. Tailwind will automatically publish the post when it is time. You can easily manage the time slots from the Calendar.
While social media management for your business is important, you can’t have all of your resources allocated for this task only. These social management tools help you to better organize your social media accounts without having to wait for the right time to publish a post.
What do you think? Have you used any of the direct posting and scheduling services for Instagram? Share your experience with us in the comments.
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