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Scheduling Instagram posts and Facebook posts at the same time is now possible from within Facebook!
I’m a big fan of scheduled social media posts – especially for brands and people who have a lot to say.
I’ve used Hootsuite, Facebook and Social Oomph for the most part for scheduling tasks in the past. Currently, I use Buffer. Scheduling works well for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, but posting to Instagram has been more difficult prior to 2018. Third-party scheduling rolled out in 2018 and is explained further below.
But let’s dive into the the new feature that Facebook has rolled out in fall 2020. You can now publish Instagram posts directly from your Facebook Pages Manager (now called Business Suite on iOS).
Here’s the announcement:
To get started, make sure your Instagram account is connected to your Facebook page. That means it needs to be a business or creator account.
Then go into settings on Instagram and under creator/business connect your Facebook page.
You can also add an Instagram account from desktop from the Facebook Business Suite here.
In theory it’s a relatively easy setup and especially worthwhile if Facebook and Instagram are your preferred methods to connect with your audiences. I discuss the topic and strategic consideration further on this episode of the Business Storytelling Podcast. Interestingly, you still can’t schedule directly in Instagram only.
Third-party scheduling Instagram posts
(Written in 2018)
Instagram didn’t allow third-party scheduling until a couple of years ago. Starting in February 2018 they do allow third-party scheduling without that extra step. Interestingly, it’s only allowed for business accounts. (Here’s how you change an Instagram account to a business account.)
Related side opinion: With Instagram feeds being dictated by algorithms the actual time of when something is published is less and less important than that something interesting IS being published. I gave this opinion in this roundup post of expert opinions in late 2017, too!
To get going you have to give permission to the third-party platform. I used Hootsuite, which I used often from mobile. I had to give it permission but the directions given on the iPhone seemed to not work. Maybe there was an iOS update since they were written. I don’t know. Long story short: I couldn’t figure it out so I headed for Hootsuite on desktop Chrome.
How to set up to schedule Instagram posts from desktop
It immediately asked me to start the process:
Authenticate with Facebook, but make sure the account you are logged into is an admin to the page tied to the Instagram business account. Say that sentence three times fast!
Simply follow the steps and you should be set. It also appears to carry over to the mobile app, so no reason to get stuck on the mobile setup.
The auto schedule function – where Hootsuite picks the next best publishing time – also seems to work here. This is how I use Hootsuite often, especially for Twitter and I’m thinking I’ll give Instagram another shot here with this update.
I might use it when I have a number of photos to share and don’t want to publish them all at once.
Either way, I know of many brands who scheduled Instagram posts in the previous – not so perfect workflow. This should help make the scheduling easier.