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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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Best of Social Media Marketing in February 2016

  It’s a good thing we had one extra day this February, because a lot happened in the social media circles. Some of the biggest marketing events of the year took place (Super Bowl, the Oscars!) and there were many important new features introduced to our daily social media platforms (Facebook reactions to start with one!). Here’s a selection of the best social media news & campaigns in February 2016:   Social Media Marketing News to Read   What Marketers Need to Know about Facebook Reactions Facebook Reactions are here, and while it’s great to be able to love or be angry about a post on your Newsfeed, there’s more to these emotions when it comes to social media marketing. Here’s a great overview of what marketers should take into account with these new engagement metrics.   Read the article   Instagram Finally Enabled Multiple Account Management Switching between different Instagram accounts is finally easier and the life of any social media manager handling Instagram content just got a lot more simple. Read more about this important product update on Instagram’s official announcement.  Read the article   Snapchat Lets Brands Design Custom Geofilters Yet another great marketing opportunity on Snapchat. Now anyone can pay to create and distribute their own custom geofilters on in a specific area for a defined period of time.  Read the article     Social Media Campaigns to be Inspired by     9 Brands that Successfully Used Snapchat during Super Bowl The competition for branded advertising space, paid or earned, is crazy during one of the biggest sporting events of the year. Gatorade, Amazon, Taco Bell...

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Competitive Benchmarking on Social Media

  What can you learn from your competitor’s social media strategy?   It’s a fact – everyone is scared of their competitors. Whether you voice it out or not, it happens to all of us, especially when it comes to business. You always want to do better than your competitors – better sales, better customer service, better quality products, services and better marketing. Even if you’re not scared, your competitors and other industry top leaders are a huge asset, and many brands & agencies are not taking advantage of the example some competitors set. When you’re thinking of ways to do better, to optimize your social media strategy, to impress your clients or to finally create that one post that goes viral, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Someone is already doing better than you, so go ahead: be bold and spy a little – there are endless opportunities out there, ready to be discovered. This is why competitive benchmarking, or monitoring your direct competitors to set up goals and guidelines for your performance and growth, is an important aspect of any business, especially when it comes to social media. You have direct access to all public social media profiles & pages. And with the right tools, you can even analyse those pages and get some extremely useful insights from them. Monitoring and analysing your competitors’ social media can be taxing and time-consuming if you don’t know the right resources. There are many social media analysis tools out there that can help you with such research so that you don’t waste too much time and effort evaluating everything manually yourself. So, instead of...

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Best of Social Media Marketing in January 2016

  Here’s a thought for February:  Let’s look up from our laptops and screens, and try to find inspiration from our colleagues’ and industry leaders’ expertise. We don’t always need to try to do better than others. Instead, we can use their example in what we do. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all. With that in mind, here’s a selection of social media news & campaigns we found inspiring in January:   Social Media Marketing News to Read     6 Ways Longer Tweets Could Give Branded Messages More Character The community of tweeters couldn’t believe their eyes when Twitter first announced it was probably going to test tweets exceeding the normal 140-character limit – and not just little, but up to 10.000 characters! While most people were plain angry and frustrated, online marketers worldwide started fantasizing about the endless opportunities this change would mean to their social media presence and strategy. Read the article   Hype or Not, Peach hit the Top 10 Social Networking App List fast You’ve probably heard about the new Social Networking App Peach by now. Many say it’s just another flop and nothing will beat the current big players like WhatsApp and Messenger, but maybe this time will be different. It didn’t take long for Peach to hit Apple’s App Store’s top 10 in the most downloaded free social networking apps. Read the article   Infographic: Instagram Marketing Strategy for 2016 So many brands are on Instagram and that’s extremely positive. But such a little part of these brands actually has a strategy for their presence, let alone are they measuring their performance....

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