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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?

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