Can you really schedule Instagram posts?

The Truth About Instagram Scheduling

 

The truth about Instagram Marketing? There are a lot of rumors going on about the different features Instagram allows for marketers these days. So how is it, can you really schedule images to be posted at certain times? Can you find out where your followers are from? Can you identify the hashtags that generate the most engagement and virality?

 

Scheduling on Instagram

 

Instagram report: best time to publish

 

The answer is complicated. Yes you can, and no you can’t. The truth is, Instagram limits the use of it’s API (application program interface), even for Facebook Marketing Partners, and these limits include scheduling. This means, that at the moment Instagram doesn’t allow marketers (or even it’s marketing partners) to schedule posts. On top of scheduling posts, any type of automation, including automated following. liking and commenting are not allowed.

At the same time, there are tons of third-party apps that offer the possibility to schedule on Instagram. Some, like Schedugram actually let you schedule a post, and they will publish it on your Instagram account at the defined time. This, however, is against Instagram’s API restrictions and by using an app like this, you are actually violating Instagram’s terms of use and risk getting a temporary suspension for your account.

Many other tools and apps, like Hootsuite, have found a way to work around these restrictions. They say their tool allows you to “schedule” posts on Instagram, but the truth is more complicated. You can upload your picture, include your caption and hashtags and schedule it to be published on your account, but the picture is not actually published without you manually approving the publishing at the set time. This means that at the time you’ve scheduled the post to be published on Instagram, these apps will send you a notification and a link to go and click on “publish” to have your image published. So you’re not really scheduling, just planning ahead and clicking on publish at the right time. This way you are not violating Instagram’s terms of use and the activity remains legal, although manual.

That is also why Allin1Social, being a Facebook Marketing partner with direct access to Instagram API, doesn’t offer Instagram scheduling at the moment. If this feature becomes available on the API in the future, we’ll be among the first to implement it also on our platform. Also post creation & Instagram publishing are not currently available on Allin1Social. In the meanwhile, publishing pictures on Instagram remains manual and “instant”, through Instagram’s own platform, just like Instagram wants it to be.

 

Instagram analytics and reporting

 

Instagram analytics report

 

There’s a simple answer to this: yes, you can get Instagram analytics and performance reports. They’re not available directly from Instagram, but several social media reporting platforms offer detailed stats and data about your Instagram marketing efforts and performance, including Allin1Social.

There are no restrictions for reports & analytics data provided by third-party tools & apps, like there is for scheduling. All the reports available follow the Instagram API terms of use and provide clean statistics and insights into the performance and engagement of your Instagram account. There’s a lot of extremely detailed information that you can find out about your Instagram marketing, your followers, engagement rate, filters, hashtags, publishing time and other details, that you can’t even imagine – let alone count manually.

The amount of data you can get for your Instagram performance is incredible. A marketing manager who sees our Instagram report for the first time is always amazed. There is no way to get these stats from Instagram, and, let’s face it, any serious marketer needs proper performance stats and analytics to back up their strategy, to understand their performance and to get insights for the ways to improve in the future.

 

Instagram report filter analysis

 

So what kind of Instagram analytics can you get? 

Your Instagram report, at least the one available on Allin1Social, will give you detailed follower data, including growth, the amount of new and lost followers, daily followers growth, the percentage of female & male followers and your most active followers & potential influencers. The details about your posts (posted pictures) include e.g. the number of likes and comments, and engagement by publication type.  You’ll then get insights into your best performing posts, post distribution, time analysis, best time of the week and the best hour of the day to publish in terms of engagement, and hashtag & filter analyses. The amount of available data is big, and the ways you can use the insights to improve your strategy are endless.

But can you find out where your Instagram followers are from? So many marketers are looking for this extremely useful demographic data. Unfortunately the answer is no, Instagram doesn’t provide this information at the moment. The only location-related information available is where the posts have been published from (if a location was added to the picture). As soon as Instagram adds new data to its API, the reporting tools will start providing the same info as well.

 

Instagram Report - hashtag analysis

 

When it comes to professional Instagram marketing, there are many tools and apps out there helping you out. But beware of the scheduling tools. Instagram API does NOT allow scheduling, and doing so might get your account banned. For as long as Instagram doesn’t release a scheduling feature in its API, we won’t implement it in the platform. Instagram reporting and analytics data however, is fully available on several third party platforms, including Allin1Social.

Marketing on Instagram is becoming a normal part of more and more social media strategies – and so should professional reporting. You can’t have one without the other. Let’s hope proper Instagram scheduling will also become available in the future.

Have you been using any tools to schedule Instagram posts? Have you generated a free Instagram Report yet?

Top Social Media Marketing Articles in 2015

Top Social Media Articles in 2015

 

It’s been a hectic year for the social media and digital marketing industry – so many new platforms, trends and best practices to learn and talk about. To wrap up an interesting year of  social media news, we took a look back to see which were the most read posts of our social media marketing blog in 2015.

 

Top 10 Social Media Marketing Articles in 2015:

 

1. Top Tips for Beating the Facebook Algorithm

Anyone managing a Facebook Page for a Business must have noticed the huge drop in organic reach on Facebook this year, and not just once actually. It’s a known fact that Facebook is trying to push marketers into promoting posts with Facebook ads, but luckily there are also some free ways to beat the Facebook Algorithm and organically grow your posts’ reach.

 

2. Best Practices for Successful Instagram Marketing

Brands are taking over Instagram – more than ever now that also sponsored posts are available on the platform. It’s still not too late to establish a brand presence in the image sharing community, or to optimize your strategy by following our 8 best practices for successful Instagram marketing.

 

3. Social Media Marketing Trends in 2016

We interviewed some of the top social media influencers out there to find out what they think are the biggest digital marketing trends to look out for in 2016. Guess what they said? Well, video and live streaming are going to sky rocket into new marketing spheres next year, but some more traditional marketing methods are also resisting.

 

2016 Social Media Marketing Trends

 

4. Why is it so Important to Know about Your Competitor’s Social Media Strategy

Monitoring your competition and industry’s top players is an excellent way to get tips for improving your marketing strategy, for discovering best practices and also some mistakes to avoid. Surprisingly many brands aren’t taking advantage of this technique and are missing out on some valuable insights.

 

5. Facebook is Decreasing Organic Posts’ Reach Again

It happened once, twice and once more in 2015. The reach of Facebook Business Page’s organic posts just kept going down in 2015. This time around they let us know in advance, but after that there was no official announcement. Marketer’s just needed to accept the reality and find ways to maximize their organic reach, while promoting posts with Facebook ads.

 

6. Infographic: Facebook Page Image Dimensions 2015

There are still too many Brand Facebook Page’s out there with blurry profile and banner images. The right image specs do seem to change pretty often, but that’s why we made this infographic: so that you can easily check the right size of any visual you want to upload on your Facebook Page. Save it in your bookmarks!

 

7. Secret Routines of a Successful Social Media Manager

Social media marketing is hectic, continuous multi-tasking. How does an experienced social media manager actually organize his/her day? We wrote down 11 secret routines any successful social media marketer should implement in their daily schedule in order to make the most out of the limited time they have in their hands.

 

Secret Routines of a Successful Social Media Manager

 

8. Essential Steps for a Winning Holiday Marketing Strategy

The holiday season is here , and so are the biggest marketing campaigns of the year. It’s no wonder that our post about the essential steps to take to establish a winning holiday marketing strategy quickly became one of the top articles of the year – and no worries, there’s still time to use some of the tips for the next holidays.

 

9. Top 10 Social Media Blogs to Follow on a Daily Basis

One of the best ways to stay up-to-date is to follow industry blogs, like you’re doing right now. We have some favorites when it comes to reading about social media and digital marketing news and best practices. The top 10 social media blogs to follow, if not daily, at least weekly, are listed in this article.

 

10. Infographic: Social Media Image Sizes Cheat Sheet in 2015

Lat but not the least, our  mother of all infographics with correct image specs for all the most common social media channels out there: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Google+. With this one always a click away, blurry images should be a thing in the past.

 

What’s your opinion? Is there another article you’d like to point out as your favorite from 2015?

Is there something completely different you would like to read in 2016? Join the conversation – we’re all ears!

 

Best of Social Media Marketing in November 2015

The best of Social Media Marketing in November 2015

The holiday season is upon us, which is both wonderful and stressful. We’re excited and frustrated, while we search the web for gift ideas, holiday recipes and decoration inspiration – even at the office some times. There just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day to get it all done, especially if you’re a social media manager. Holiday campaigns to launch, end-of-the year reporting to do, marketing strategy 2016 to plan, new trends to look out for… the list is never-ending!

That’s why our team has, once more, scouted the Internet and gathered the most interesting social media news of November together, so that you can save precious time and read a bunch of industry articles at one glance. To make things even easier, you can Sign Up for our Allin1Social Monthly newsletter through the form on the side bar, and receive the latest updates of the social media industry directly to your inbox, once a month. Or you can just read our monthly round-up of the most inspiring articles and campaigns here, on our blog.

Here you go – Allin1Social’s Social Media Marketing picks for November 2015:

 

Social Media Marketing News to Read

 

Pinterest launched a new visual search option 

You see a beautiful image of a living room of your dreams and in the corner there’s a lamp that you’ve always wanted. What brand is that lamp? You need to know to be able to buy it, but instead of product information, there’s just a Mark Twain quote in the subtitle. What to do? No worries. Pinterest has launched a ground breaking new feature, where you can choose an item in any of the images, and look for it among other Pinterest pictures. Just tap on Search an isolate an area of the image, to look for other similar Pins. “Crazy fun!”, as Pinterest describes this new feature. Read the article

 

Black Friday 2015 ranked the most Social one yet

Even before the end of the Black Friday weekend, this year’s campaigns had already broken several seasonal social media records. Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales have spread from to Europe, and even though Thanksgiving is not widely celebrated outside the US, the special eCommerce sales are now a common practice, and very popular, everywhere in the world. Some brands, however, prefer to use the day as an opportunity to close down and promote hashtags to celebrate time off and family values. Whatever the strategy, Black Friday has become a strategic day both for branding and sales. Read the article

 

Twitter removed its Share Count Button

Have you noticed a drop in your website traffic from social media? That might be due to Twitter’s removal of the Share Count button. The number of times an article has been shared on Twitter has been a great “social proof” and a demonstration of the popularity of an blog post, no matter how inaccurate the data might have been (Twitter itself told that one of the reasons for the removal was inaccuracy of the data). Reading an article that has been shared over a thousand times, compared to one that has gotten only a few shares, sets your mind into thinking there’s something great in the article, something that’s worth sharing. So, now people, brands and publishers are trying to find alternative ways into replacing the “lost” button. Read the article

Social Media Campaigns to be Inspired by

 

 

Best Movember Campaigns – Different brands 

Movember has become a worldwide phenomenon. Thousands of men everywhere are growing an inappropriate mustache every November to raise awareness for prostate cancer. Many brands have joined the cause, and take advantage of the trending mustaches for marketing purposes. AdForum’s collection of the best Movember campaigns in 2015 will make you smile, and maybe make you want to grow a nice ‘stache next year. See the campaigns

 

Huawei’s Creative Finger Race on Snapchat – Buzzman, France

Innovative and fun ways to take advantage of Snapchat for a full campaign are still a rare find. A French agency, Buzzman, managed to create an engaging #SnapchatRun competition to promote Huawei’s Talkband B2. The concept is simple but genius. To participate in the race, people needed to follow HuaweiDeviceFR on Snapchat and find their daily “My story”, which showed a view of a run through Paris. The last slide of the story was a promotional code to win the Huawei device. To “run faster”, people had to tap on the slides to finish the race as quickly as possible. The first 5 people to finish the race and the tweet the code displayed on the last slide, won the device. Well played Buzzman, well played. See the campaign

 

Ford’s Instagram Campaign “Don’t like and drive” – Blue Hive, Brazil

Social media, branding and a cause? Sounds like a potentially boring effort to educate people. But no, the Brazilian Blue Hive agency took Ford’s Instagram game to another level with its “Don’t like and drive” posts. The simple images show the Instagram heart covering a big part of the driver’s view, including a pedestrian about the be hit by the car. “We want to jump in the social conversation about the risks of using cellphones while driving,” Blue Hive executive creative director Vico Benevides told Adweek. “The icon of a heart hiding the people in the streets seems to be the perfect image to deliver the message. Simple and powerful.” See the campaign

What were you inspired by last month? Share your thoughts and suggest other interesting news and campaigns to share!

Read more about the Best of Social Media Marketing in October 2015 here.