This week was an exciting one in the world of social media automation. Hootsuite rolled out integration with Instagram! I was beyond excited, because every now and then there is something I want to make sure is posted at a certain time, but I’m not always able to stop and actually make the post at that time. That’s what automation is about, right? Sometimes in business you just don’t have time to post on the fly, you’re running the 300 other parts of your business. But I digress, that is a topic for another time.
If you are a Hootsuite user, it’s easy enough to add your Instagram account. Currently they have a prompt at the top of their page when you login on the desktop, so it’s even easier. This on the left is a shot of my desktop. You can look at your feed, like posts, and yes, schedule them too. However, you can see I currently don’t have anything scheduled. This is what disappointed me a bit when I tried it out.
I linked to the Hootsuite app on my iPhone (I’m specifically saying iPhone since it might be different for Android users), which you have to do for this to work. It guides you pretty well in setting this up. Then you can go ahead and create your post and schedule, and here’s the catch- it only sends you a reminder that you have a scheduled post. Hootsuite will not automatically post. You receive the reminder on your phone, and when you click on the reminder you are brought into the app where you click your post, then you are prompted to go into the Instagram app. Once in the Instagram app, your scheduled post is automatically created, and you just have to post it.
Plenty of steps, right? By the time I went through all of them, I could have created my post, added my photo, and made the post live. Now, I’m not putting down Hootsuite, I’ve said in the past I love this service so much I pay for it monthly. I don’t think this is a Hootsuite issue, it’s an Instagram one. There is probably something within the app that keeps Hootsuite from actually posting at the scheduled time.
So, is it worth it? I’m going to continue playing around with it, and seeing if setting up posts in advance makes the process easier. I think it’s a good reminder system if you are able to post when you receive the reminder. If you happen to be somewhere and you can’t post, you might forget about it altogether. This would be my problem, I tend to gloss over reminders. I know, I shouldn’t, but this post isn’t about analyzing my bad habits.
Here is Hootsuite’s post on how to add and use Instagram in their app. If you’ve tried it, I want to know what you think, so let me know in the comments or over on Facebook or Twitter.
Oh, and a side note: Please schedule your posts responsibly. Having scheduled posts does not mean that you can just forget about them. Check accounts at least twice a day for interaction. Continue to post live too! (especially on Twitter and Instagram.)
Two good points made in your article, Dani, nice job!
Point #1: is the “scheduling” process with Instagram too cumbersome, too many steps? I think you’re right about the process being an Instagram-thing and not Hootsuite, but might have been done to measure the popularity of post scheduling in a platform that pretty much succeeds from spontaneity.
Point #2: Is it worth it, generally speaking? This may become a bullet point under “too much automation”, time will tell and I will be observing. If you automate too much, the ability to do real engagement is lost and/or gone – then what becomes the point of all this online stuff?
In the past week I have scheduled out a few more posts. It has become a little easier. I will say it is nice to have the post completely ready to go, and then once you are notified by Hootsuite, you only have to open Hootsuite, then Instagram, then paste your content and post. That way you don’t have to find the photo and create the text to accompany it. I think if there are a few posts you absolutely do not want to forget to post each day, it is worth it overall. We can also hope that integration will be made a smoother process in the future!