Gather ‘round your digital screen of choice and let me tell you a juicy secret.
I don’t upload my own Instagram posts.
*Cue the audible gasp*
That’s right, people. I’ve got my feed on autopilot.
Just because I’m such an Instagram cheerleader doesn’t mean I live inside the app. I’ve got things to do, a life to live, a belly to feed, a cat to imagine… you get the idea.
Plus, scheduling my Instagram posts ahead of time gives me major Olivia Pope vibes: it’s handled. 🤛
Here are the reasons why you should schedule your Instagram posts so you never have an “oh, crap — gotta post to IG” moment again (*cough speaking from experience cough*).
Plus, I’m sharing why BATCHING is the best way to get on top of your Instagram game, and how to do it.
Why batching your Instagram work is the BEST way to save time and your sanity
If you aren’t familiar with the latest productivity buzzword, ‘batch work’, let me catch you up.
In simple terms, ‘batch work’ is a system that involves dividing your projects or workflows into specified chunks of time where you’re doing the same activity over and over, instead of jumping around from task to task.
For example: sitting down and cranking out a blog post in one dedicated sitting takes way less time than random 10-minute chunks throughout the week.
Ain’t nobody got time for wasted time.
Curating your Instagram photos, writing engaging captions and scheduling your posts for the week in one fell swoop gives you more time to focus on all the other aspects of your business.
Instead of Instagram taking up multiple chunks of time during the week and driving you mad, batching your Instagram work ensures it’s done and out of the way.
Set it, forget it and then you don’t have to think about your IG posts until the next week (or month, if you’re THAT ahead of the game).
Stop multitasking and focus on one task at a time, including your Instagram feed. Autopilot, activated!
Now that you’re all caught up on the productivity craze of ‘batch work,’ here’s how I batch my Instagram content in one sitting for an entire week (or more) of content, step by step so you can follow along and do it yourself, too!
How to batch schedule your Instagram posts
Step 1: Collect your photos and quote cards
It’s time to gather! Whether it’s a photo of that gorgeous salad you ate last week, a new product you’re offering or a funny quote card you whipped up in Canva — collect whatever makes sense to share in your feed.
It could be one photo or it could be twelve (maybe you ate LOTS of Insta-worthy salads recently).
Step 2: Write the captions
Now it’s time to let the creative juices flow.
Need help with captions? Check out my full guide on cranking out double-tap-worthy captions here.
When you focus all your energy for an hour or two on writing for Instagram instead of switching between multiple tasks, you can do a deep dive into what you want to talk about. Whether it’s an inspirational story or a knock-knock joke, just remember to make it valuable for your audience.
Step 3: Research your target hashtags
If you’re making up your captions on the fly, then you’re likely copying and pasting the same hashtags over and over again.
When you schedule your posts in advance, you’re able to access your bank of saved hashtags, plus research a range of unique hashtags that are specific to what’s going on in your post.
Changing them up slightly each time allows you to hit a larger scope of audience. Get those new followers!
Step 4: Upload to Later, my favorite scheduling tool
The hard part is over. Time to automate that Instagram account.
Using my go-to scheduling tool, Later, I upload the photos with their captions and hashtags to be automatically posted throughout the week during the days and times my audience is most likely to be on the Instagram app.
P.S. use the code “ELISEDARMA” for 100% off your first month of any Later plan!
Step 5: Rinse and repeat
You just automated your Instagram account for an entire week in one hyper-focused sitting. Do it again next week — same time, same place.
Why you need to schedule your Instagram posts
You schedule your doctor’s appointments in advance, so why not your Instagram posts? While the situations may vary in importance, the outcome is the same.
The appointment is set, and you don’t have to think about it until it’s time to go.
Same with scheduling your Instagram posts!
Make the “appointment” and move on with the rest of your week. I love a good “set it and forget it” approach.
Here are a handful of reasons why I highly recommend scheduling your Instagram posts ahead of time:
1. Consistency, consistency, consistency
Give the people what they want!
If your followers know you post daily or 4 times a week, don’t let them down!
Automating your Instagram with a scheduling tool like Later allows you to maintain a consistent posting plan, no matter what lemons life gives you that day (or week… or month…).
Most scheduling tools also display a feed planner so you can preview what your upcoming posts are going to look like in your feed.
Consistent posting and a thoughtfully curated feed are ingredients for a great ‘gram!
2. Focus on being more engaged
When you schedule your posts ahead of time, it allows time for the ultimate name of the Instagram game: engagement.
What do you think builds a better community amongst you and your followers:
spending an hour a day crafting an engaging caption?
or spending an hour actually engaging directly with them?
If you answered the latter, congrats – you are an Instagram marketing whiz!
Trust me, I love a good Instagram caption (and they are essential), but by focusing on daily engagement goals instead of time-consuming captions every single day, you are able to connect with your audience even more.
Taking the time to engage with your followers and making the effort to further engage with other accounts will drive more traffic to your page, resulting in more followers, more lead and more sales.
Are you picking up what I’m putting down?
3. Produce more Instagram Stories
While we’re chatting about engagement, let’s talk Instagram Stories.
When you only spend one day of the week focused on what’s going into your Instagram feed, you’re able to spend the rest of the week producing more authentic and relatable Instagram Stories.
Commit to scheduling your posts in advance so that you can hang out where the party is happening — Instagram Stories!
Instagram Stories are a dangerously effective way to engage with your audience by breaking away from the picture-perfect curated feed and sharing a filter-free peek into your everyday life.
I’m always hopping onto Instagram Stories… sharing what I’m up to, talking to my audience and making sure I’m at the top of their newsfeeds by sharing to my Stories multiple times a day.
4. Post when your audience is active (even if you’re not)
You are not a robot and can’t be active on social media 24/7. Breathe a sigh of relief.
If you’re based in the UK and your Instagram analytics show that your audience is based in Australia, schedule those Instagram posts for when your audience is alive and scrolling.
Posting when your audience is active = more engagement = more reach = more leads = more $$$ to your business.
No need to ruin your beauty rest for an Insta-post. Schedule it ahead of time and keep snoozing.
If you’re a traveling entrepreneur like myself, your optimal posting time may be when you’re flying over the Atlantic or even worse — without data.
Schedule your posts before you travel so you can focus on the more important things like not forgetting your passport or the Airbnb address you’re heading to upon arrival.
It’s a total lifesaver.
How to use the Later scheduling tool like a pro
Here’s how to schedule your Instagram posts with Later:
Open up the Later app on desktop or mobile.
Add your desired photos to the Media Library.
Go to your Instagram calendar and start selecting which photos you want to upload and for what day and time.
From there, write or paste your caption in and add your hashtags.
Once the photo is perfectly cropped and your caption is on point — click Save!
Pro tip: If you have your Instagram profile set to business and are only uploading one photo at a time (no video posts or carousels of multiple images), you can set your scheduled post to auto-publish at your desired time (yep, no notifications or manually posting from your phone!).
Repeat this process for all your posts for the week. Then sit back, relax and move on with your life. Later’s got it under control.
The combination of batch-creating my Instagram posts and captions, and using Later as a scheduling tool has changed my productivity game.
Have you used the batching method to complete lengthy or on-going tasks?
Drop me a line below and tell me any other productivity hacks you find handy.
Ready to hear more secrets and truth bombs to maximize your Instagram-for-business strategy?
Okay, so you’re convinced that you should be batching and scheduling your Instagram posts. Awesome!
Now, let’s get you up to speed on some fantastic Instagram strategies that have been working for me.
Sign up for my free Instagram masterclass and learn my three secret tactics that have helped me grow my own account to over 75,000 followers.