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How to Schedule Instagram Posts for Free in 2023

Whether you have a single account or multiple Instagram profiles, scheduling posts on Instagram will save you from worrying about what to post on the go and help you focus on the most important aspects of your business. No more last-minute panic attacks trying to whip up a post, just to maintain a consistent presence on the gram.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of scheduling posts on Instagram, including the best Instagram scheduling tools and methods for all types of accounts.

Can I schedule Instagram posts?

Yes! You can schedule posts on Instagram both natively and with a third-party Instagram scheduler like Planable which allows direct publishing for posts, Reels, and Stories.

Why can’t I schedule posts on Instagram?

Your account type determines how you plan to schedule your posts on Instagram. Only Instagram business accounts have the ability to schedule posts, not personal accounts.

Instagram offers three account types: Personal, Creator, and Business. When you sign up, you get a Personal Instagram account. You can choose to change it to a Professional Account (Business or Creator account) at any time.

The main difference between Professional and Personal Instagram Accounts is that a Personal Account latter has no analytics or API access. You can’t schedule posts in advance, get third-party access to analytics or use Facebook Creator Studio to manage your account.

However, with Instagram Business, you can easily schedule posts in advance to auto-publish. If you’re still developing your Instagram marketing strategy, you should consider creating a business account even if you’re still growing your following.

Why should you schedule Instagram posts ahead of time?

Scheduling your Instagram posts in advance has numerous benefits:

  • Saves time: Schedule posts and gain more time to work on your social media and content creation strategy. Plus, you’ll never again need to whip up last-minute Instagram posts.
  • Improves consistency: With a clear posting schedule, you’ll be able to maintain consistent quality and presence on your Instagram account.
  • Increase productivity: When you batch-post, plan, and schedule feed posts ahead of time, you’re not racing against a deadline, so you can afford to be more strategic with your IG content.
  • Get approval in time: Instagram scheduling allows you to get the necessary approval before the posts go out. Doesn’t it feel good to be ahead of deadlines?

scheduled social media posts in a social media calendar

How to schedule posts natively on Instagram (in-app)

If you are managing a Professional or Business Instagram account, you can easily schedule posts directly from your Instagram app. 

Here are the simple steps you need to take:

Step 1. Open Instagram and tap the + icon to create a new Post.

The first steps are basically preparing the post you want to publish just like you would for any new post. So don’t worry if this sounds really familiar.

planable account on instagram

Step 2. Select your desired photo or video.

Add your desired Instagram captions, effects, and filters. Remember to keep everything on-brand, right? When you’re happy with your post, tap Next on iOS or hit the arrow button on Android.

image editor in an Instagram post

Step 3. Tap Advanced settings, then Schedule.

Step 4. Select your desired date and time. It can be as far as 75 days in the future. Then tap Done.

date and time selector for publishing an Instagram post in the future

Step 5. Hit the back button to go to the main post-editing screen.

Step 6. Now, finally, tap Schedule. Done, you’re post is now scheduled. 

Step 7. View all your scheduled posts. For this, tap on the Menu icon and go to Scheduled content.

instagram profile settings where you can view scheduled Instagram posts

Scheduling Instagram posts is easy as pie using Hootsuite alternatives like Planable.

How to schedule Instagram posts using Facebook (Meta) Business Suite

If you don’t want to rely on social media scheduling tools, you can use Meta Business Suite to schedule your Instagram posts by following the steps below:

Step 1: Navigate to your Facebook Page and click on “Meta Business Suite” from the menu on the left side.

navigating to "Meta Business Suite" from the menu on the left side of the Facebook Page

Then link your Instagram account to the Facebook Meta Business Suite. You can do it on your desktop or mobile device.

Step 2: Select “Create Post” and click on the “New Post” window.

creating a new post in Meta Business Suite

To schedule your post on Instagram and not on Facebook, ensure that you only select Instagram as a platform under Placements.

how to select a photo or a video to post on Instagram on Meta Business Suite

Then select or drag and drop a photo or a video you want to post on Instagram. You can add up to 10 photos or videos to create a carousel post. However, keep in mind that videos under 15 minutes are classified as Reels.

Step 3: Create your Instagram caption, and add mentions and hashtags.

creating an Instagram caption, adding mentions and hashtags in Meta Business Suite

Step 4: Schedule your Instagram post.

scheduling an Instagram post on Meta Business Suite

Then, select the blue down arrow next to the Publish button. Click “Schedule Post” and choose the date and time you want your post to go out.

After that, click “Save”.

You can find your scheduled Instagram posts under Posts and stories in the left sidebar.

How to Schedule Instagram Posts Using Facebook Creator Studio

Update: Creator Studio will soon not be available. All its features for content creation will migrate to Meta Business Suite. If you still have access to it, here is how to schedule Instagram posts using Creator Studio.

If you have an Instagram Business account or a Creator profile, you can publish, schedule, and edit Instagram posts using Creator Studio. Here is a step-by-step guide to scheduling Instagram posts using Facebook Creator Studio.

Step 1: Click the Instagram icon next to the Facebook icon at the top of your screen to link your Instagram account to the Facebook Creator Studio.

accessing Facebook Creator Studio

Step 2: Click the “Create Post” button and select “Instagram Feed”.

create a post option on Facebook Creator Studio

Pick the Instagram account you want to post to (if you have several Instagram accounts connected).

Step 3: Click” Add Content” to choose the photos or videos you want to post. You can upload multiple files if you want to create a carousel post.

adding content to an Instagram Post on Facebook Creator Studio

You can either upload new content by selecting “From File Upload” or old content you have already shared by selecting “From Facebook Page.”

Step 4: Create a caption, and add mentions and hashtags. You can also add a location if you want.

creating an instagram post caption in Facebook Creator Studio

Step 5: When everything is done, click the arrow next to the blue Publish button and select “Schedule”.

scheduling an instagram post on Facebook Creator Studio

Select the date and time you want to post and click on “Schedule”.

You can find your scheduled Instagram posts under Pre-published in the left sidebar.

How to schedule posts using an Instagram post scheduler

A social media management tool like Planable enables you to schedule Instagram posts in advance, save time, and keep your work organized (especially if you manage multiple Instagram accounts). Scheduling Instagram feed posts, carousel posts, Reels, and Stories does not have to be a cumbersome task, especially with direct publishing.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to schedule Instagram posts using Planable:

1. Create a Planable Account

Web sign up page for Planable App

To start planning and scheduling content for 7 social media networks, you can signup for a free Planable account (no credit card required).

2. Connect your Instagram account to Planable

When you log in to Planable, navigate to “Add pages,” where you will find two options: Add Instagram Business Page and Add Instagram profile.

a) Add Instagram Business pages

To enable direct publishing, you need to have an Instagram business page linked to a Facebook page. These pages will give you access to your Instagram page via Facebook. Note that this will only work with a business account, not a creator account.

b) Add Instagram Profiles

For Instagram accounts that are not linked to a Facebook page, you can publish your posts via Planable’s mobile app. Such accounts may include personal profiles, creator accounts, or business accounts.

You must select the “Add Instagram Profiles” option to connect to such accounts. Then, using the details of each account, you can easily connect to Planable via Instagram. If you need to connect to multiple accounts, ensure to log in one at a time.

3. Compose your Instagram post, story, or reel

This is where the magic begins. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Click the compose button at the right corner of the page.

compose button in the planable app

Step 2: Add an image/video via the media library.

adding an image or video to an instagram post in the planable app

Step 3: (Optional) You can add a GIF by clicking this button in the composer:

option to add a gif when scheduling an instagram post in planable

Step 4: Add labels from the top left corner button to easily organize your posts.

adding labels to organize scheduled instagram posts in planable

Step 5: Schedule the 1st comment using the comment icon.

scheduling the first comment for an instagram post in planable

You must first re-authorize your account to enable Planable to manage comments.

To do so, select all the pages you manage in all the workspaces. Then choose “Yes” for managing comments for Instagram.

Step 6: If you want to schedule posts on Instagram several times, you can use the recycling feature on Planable. Click on the time selector and select “Recycle this post.”

recycle option for scheduling posts multiple times with planable

Choose when to publish the post and how often you’d like to repost it.

4. Schedule your Instagram post

Step 1: Click “Select date & time” at the bottom, and select the date and time you’d like your post to go live.

scheduling an instagram post in the planable app

Step 2: After scheduling your Instagram posts, you can view the posts’ timetable using the Calendar view.

planable calendar view of scheduled instagram posts

Do this by changing the viewing mode of your Planable workspace on the top left corner next to your ID icon.

Step 3: Ensure your scheduled posts are visible to everyone (click on the eye icon next to the Save button) for easy collaboration with clients and teams.

visible to everyone option in planable

Step 4: Your posts will proceed to the approval stage before automatic scheduling. Without further edits, your post will be scheduled for publishing.

approval layers in planable

Why schedule Instagram posts with Planable?

If you are a Social Media Manager, scheduling Instagram posts in advance with Planable provides several benefits:

  • Schedule content for 8 social media platforms: With Planable, you can create and schedule content for different social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Google My Business, Youtube, Pinterest and LinkedIn.
  • Schedule recurring posts: Planable allows you to recycle posts when needed. Ensure you post consistently and have the same posts published many times in a row on a schedule of your choice – be it daily, weekly, or monthly.
  • 4 viewing modes: Planable offers four viewing modes: Feed view, Calendar view, List view, and Grid view.
  • Automatic Scheduling: While using Planable, you can save time by simply enabling the automatic scheduling of approved posts. An Instagram post with a set date and time will automatically be published once approved.
  • Collaboration and approval options: Planable provides four types of approval workflows: none, optional, required, and multi-level approval. These workflows ensure that teams can collaborate effectively to create, approve and schedule social media posts.
  • Flexibility for your team: You can invite any team member to your workspace and give them access to comment, approve, or manage it.

💡 Not sure yet? Planable, a standout Hootsuite alternative, turns scheduling Instagram posts into a delight. Give it a go for free – your experience will speak for itself!

Instagram posts scheduling best practices

Scheduling Instagram content in advance will help maintain consistency in the messaging and theme of your posts. It ensures you don’t miss out on anything, and you can preview your posts before they go live.

Here are some tips to make the most of scheduling future posts for later:

1. Choose the right time to post for your audience

Timing is everything in terms of reaching the intended audience. Posting Instagram content when most of your audience is online can boost engagement.

You can set preferred times in Planable to ensure that your posts go out at the optimum time of the day for your particular audience. Choose your preferred times by analyzing the engagement trends data and patterns from your Instagram account.

2. Curate relevant posts

Instagram growth comes from creating maximum value for your audience. Scaling involves finding, selecting, and cross-posting relevant content. It’s not about sharing just any content. You should curate content that interests and engages your audience: blog posts, user-generated content, or testimonials.

3. Plan ahead

Scheduling posts ahead of time is a good starting point for a consistent Instagram presence and intentional relationship-building with your audience. When you plan your Instagram content calendar ahead of time, you can create a more comprehensive strategy, valuable content, and schedules that align with your optimum engagement times. Buh-bye “What to post on Instagram tomorrow?” questions.

4. Identify gaps in your calendar

Planable’s social media content calendar helps you identify gaps at a glance. You want to strike a balance between under-posting and over-posting. Filling gaps in your content calendar ensures that your Instagram audience sees your content frequently enough to keep you in the back of their heads.

Ready to start scheduling Instagram posts?

Start planning engaging Instagram posts ahead of time and better organize your content calendar.

Now that you know how to schedule Instagram posts using Planable, Meta Business Suite, and Creator Studio, you can choose the best scheduling tool for you.

Now it’s time to schedule those Instagram posts. You can try Planable for free today!

Andreea Stefan

Andreea Stefan

Relentless advocate and practitioner of putting users before Google algorithms since 2016. Geeks out over everything tech SEO. Dabbles in photography and is a natural-born reader.

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