How to Use Strategic Scheduling to Drive Engagement on Instagram

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Melissa Megginson
September 23, 2021
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September 23, 2021
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How to Use Strategic Scheduling to Drive Engagement on Instagram

As a creator, you can’t be on Instagram 24/7. And when you’re online, you want to spend your time interacting with followers, not writing the perfect Instagram caption and finding the right hashtags.

Yet Instagram keeps feeds relevant by giving higher priority to fresh content, so posting when your fans are active boosts your visibility. But what if your audience doesn’t share your time zone? Or you simply can’t get online to publish at the optimal time? An Instagram scheduling strategy can solve these problems.

Strategic scheduling helps you make effective use of your time, catch followers at the best moments, and skyrocket post interactions. Optimize your Instagram channels by scheduling posts ahead of time to grow engagement and brand awareness.

What is strategic scheduling?

Strategic scheduling means you figure out your long-term Instagram goals and make a plan for how you’ll achieve them. In this case, your objective is to increase engagement. Scheduling Instagram posts is a vital step towards building higher interaction rates.

But strategic also means using data to make decisions. After all, you can’t assume your audience is online at a certain time, especially with all the disruptions stemming from the past year. Instead, select user-friendly tools and collect information to use while developing your Instagram scheduling strategy.

4 Benefits of Scheduling Instagram Posts

Uploading posts in advance gives your fans the freshest content. But it also supports creators and brands. A workflow with some automation helps teams focus on real-time engagement. Being able to schedule a post or multiple content pieces in one sitting offers creators several advantages over competitors.

1. Increase Instagram post engagement

Organic engagement rates on social media channels rarely top a couple of percentage points. However, scheduling your Instagram posts at a suitable date and time increases your opportunities because when Instagrammers open the app, the newest posts rank higher in their feed.

Combine scheduled posts with interactive elements, such as Instagram Stickers and GIFs, and you can delight your followers, resulting in improved engagement rates.

2. Improve Instagram feed aesthetics

Scheduling posts ahead of time is always better than leaving things to the last minute. It helps curate the best possible first impression and keeps your visual grid consistent. Having a cohesive look and feel leads to higher engagement, increases brand awareness, and provides a memorable impression.

Creators use an Instagram scheduling tool with an integrated visual planner to design an engaging content mix that fits nicely into their existing grid.

3. Write better Instagram captions

Instagram captions and hashtags can drive engagement and increase Instagram profile views. But it’s easy to make errors if you’re rushing. Scheduling posts in advance helps you build a workflow with time for editing.

You also can plan your content calendar to ensure you’re covering audience-focused topics. Add multiple posts in various formats using the best Instagram practices instead of waiting until the last minute.

4. Use your time effectively

Posting on Instagram can be time-intensive. It’s easy to get lost in the creative work of finding the right picture, writing an engaging caption, and selecting the best hashtags. Without scheduling, you need to stop what you’re doing and upload content.

Wouldn’t you rather engage with your fans during peak times? For example, you could schedule Instagram posts and handle the background work when your audience isn’t online. While your content automatically posts to Instagram, you can interact with followers, comment on posts, and respond to mentions. In short, scheduling tools help small businesses save time and get the most out of every minute.

How to develop an Instagram scheduling strategy

The word strategy can give some people a sense of dread. But really, you’re just making a simple plan to reach your goals. And scheduling posts ahead of time is one tactic used to earn higher engagement rates.

According to Pew Research, “six-in-ten Instagram users” get on the platform “at least once a day,” so you want your content to come up first when they get online. Enhance your feed by following these steps to build your Instagram marketing plan and scheduling strategy.

1. Identify your Instagram goals and how you’ll achieve them

You want to increase engagement, and that’s a great goal. But let’s make it a little more specific. What do you want people to do more of? Comment on your posts, visit your profile, browse items in your Instagram shop, or click through your website?

Each of these goals requires a slightly different approach, and you’ll want to schedule posts to help you meet each objective. Let’s say you want to increase the frequency of everything mentioned above happening. Tactics to reach these goals may include:

  • Add a weekly Instagram post to increase comments, such as using the Quiz sticker, creating a caption-this contest, or sharing Instagram Reels.
  • Grow your Instagram business profile views by partnering with an influencer or promoting your post using the Instagram ad goal labeled “More Profile Visits.”
  • Draw people to your Instagram shop by scheduling posts that use product tags or Instagram shopping stickers.
  • Boost website traffic by showcasing a new product via a video or carousel post with a call to action (CTA) to learn more on your site.

2. Decide what posting frequency works for you

On Instagram, content quality trumps quantity. How many posts per day or week can you realistically design? Remember, each piece of content translates into time spent on content creation, scheduling, post engagement, and measurement.

Pick a goal that’s attainable and reliable. It’s better to share five posts consistently than three one week and 10 the next. Use your social media management platform to visualize your posting cadence and plan your time.

3. Find the best times to post on Instagram

It’s easy to get confused by the range of recommended posting times for social channels. With Instagram Insights, you can view your audience’s behavior patterns and time zones to find the best time to post. But, a scheduling tool like Tailwind simplifies this process.

Tailwind uses SmartSchedule to pull the latest details from your Instagram analytics. When scheduling your posts, you can choose from a unique-to-you list of posting times. This extra timesaver gives you even more minutes to interact with followers.

4. Create and schedule engaging Instagram posts

Designing engaging content is more than selecting the right picture or video. It’s about mixing up your post types, writing compelling captions, and choosing hashtags. Fortunately, an Instagram scheduler can help.

For instance, Tailwind provides intuitive hashtag recommendations, a drag-and-drop visual planner, font formatting, smart scheduling, and user tagging all in one program. Plus, you drive engagement by digging into your content library and scheduling a variety of post formats. Create multiple social media posts, such as:

  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Instagram Stories
  • Photo collages
  • Carousels
  • Quote posts

5. Analyze and tweak your Instagram posting schedule

To truly capture attention and boost engagement on Instagram, you need to assess your posting schedule regularly. Take a look at your Instagram analytics to see how your scheduled Instagram posts performed.

Use your insights to fill your content calendar with fan-favorite content proven to increase interactions on business profiles and individual Instagram posts.

Publish posts to Instagram at the best time

Save time and publish Instagram posts consistently using a social media scheduling tool. Doing so allows you to create content on a schedule that works for you, using your desktop or mobile device. Plus, you can add content at optimal times to improve engagement on your Instagram account. Take advantage of scheduling tools to reclaim your time and get more out of every post.