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Uncovering the truth behind Instagram scheduling for B2B marketers

Social Media is becoming increasingly more visual, and with the finding that engaging imagery increases page views by 94%*, it’s hard to not want to incorporate this into your marketing model. For B2B marketers, using an image-based social channel such as Instagram can be crucial in building a brand’s presence. With more than 300 million users currently on the mobile app, the simple act of posting relevant images is an easy and sure found way to reach and grow your audience.

The increase in the use of Instagram across the world has led to many management applications trying to provide a way to post and schedule to Instagram, without having to use the actual mobile app itself. After much trial, and error, there has been an ‘across the board’ conclusion on what third party applications can do within the strict restrictions imposed by Instagram. As a social media management tool ourselves, we’ve been at the forefront of trying to integrate with this mobile app, so we discovered the truth in the process. Here, we thought we’d share what we’ve learnt, and what you need to know, when it comes to scheduling posts to Instagram.

Don’t be deceived
Many Social Media Management Tools are claiming to offer automatic scheduling to Instagram. This means companies would be able to schedule Instagram posts in their management tool toautomatically appear in Instagram at the scheduled time. However if we dig a little deeper, we find that all is not really as it seems.  Let’s take a look at an example of a comment left on an article announcing a recent feature release for Instagram scheduling:

As this marketer found out the hard way, it pays to be informed. Always check the comments of any feature release article. Posting to Instagram through a third party application is simply impossible. After some research you will find that applications claiming otherwise are not all that they seem.

Insta-truth
Instagram does not want to integrate with third party apps, so much so that it will not release an API for posting. This means that it is impossible for anyone to post to Instagram without going through the site on a mobile device.  Previously there were applications that got around this, by having a physical mobile phone on-site that would upload to a person’s account. This took a lot of manpower and resources and Instagram fought back. The company stripped posts of hashtags and finally became tighter on work-arounds. What does this mean for B2B Marketers? Well simply, for now, and the foreseeable future, you will not be able to schedule posts to Instagram.

The light at the end of the tunnel:
We have scoured the technology out there to find a simple solution to schedule to Instagram, within the confines of the company’s restrictions. What B2B marketers therefore need to look out for are management systems which provide a mobile alert when the photo is set to go out. When the alert appears, one click from the user will launch the photo in the Instagram mobile app. This means that the scheduling technology is able to provide users with a record of Instagram posts, authorisation and workflows on their social media management tools, with just one extra click on their mobile device.

There are a number of social media management programs providing this feature, and this is the closest we will get to Instagram scheduling. This obviously isn’t the ideal solution, but it is the only way at the current time to post to Instagram at pre-set times. Until Instagram allows for mainstream integration of all its functionality to the main social media management tools, this is the closest B2B marketers can get to scheduling their content through this growing visual medium.

Gavin Hammar is the founder and CEO of Sendible the UK’s only homegrown social media management technology for businesses:  www.sendible.com