As of this morning, Hootsuite will begin to roll out the ability for their users to schedule posts to Instagram — and if you lead a company that uses social media, this is really big news. Hootsuite is a free service that lets you run Twitter, Facebook, Google+ — and now Instagram accounts — through one social media dashboard.
As of this morning, Hootsuite will begin to roll out the ability for their users to schedule posts to Instagram — and if you lead a company that uses social media, or you’re a social media manager for a company that uses Instagram, this is really big news. Hootsuite is a program that already helps to schedule and track to Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and more. That means you can use one dashboard to run all your social media, and you don’t have to be tied to it in order to post. Hootsuite’s basic version is free (get it here), and it can be a really useful way to run social media for a business.
Until now, Hootsuite didn’t work with Instagram. For businesses, this meant that an employee had to post to Instagram in real time, meaning they’d have to be trusted to get the facts right, to craft the perfect message, to correct spelling and grammar, and to use approved hashtags — that could be a tall order, especially when that person was busy with other work tasks.
Hootsuite’s Instagram integration solves a lot of those problems … but it’s not a perfect system. Because Instagram is still resisting post scheduling, Hootsuite can’t add seamless functionality. Here’s what’s good and what’s not-so-good about the new Hootsuite/ Instagram collaboration:
Hootsuite/ Instagram Pro: Schedule photos and text in advance
Writing and scheduling from a computer will help with social media management because you can now write, edit and hashtag the Instagram posts through Hootsuite. This means in-the-moment mistakes are unlikely to happen, and it means a manager can review Instagram posts before they run to be sure they build the brand.
Hootsuite/ Instagram Pro: See stats from all platforms at once
Now, we can use Hootsuite’s tools to check stats from Instagram the same way we can use them to see how our Facebook and Twitter posts are performing.
Hootsuite/ Instagram Pro: Multiple users can post using Hootsuite
Any member of your social media team who has access to your Hootsuite account should be able to schedule posts and make them live.
Hootsuite/ Instagram Con: Photos don’t autopost — you still need a phone to make them go live
Here’s where Instagram is still tricky — because they don’t have shared API, Hootsuite can’t force the post to actually go live. All it can do is use the Hootsuite App to send a push alert to your phone. Accept it, and the Instagram App will launch, and then you can actually post the picture. You’ll have to do any filtering, photo tagging and location tagging at this stage as well — they can’t be set up through Hootsuite.
Hootsuite/ Instagram Con: Managing multiple Instagram accounts on your phone is still tricky
One of the most irritating things about running a business Instagram account from your phone has always been switching between your personal Instagram account and the business account — you can’t toggle easily between the two or run them at the same time, so you have to sign in and out every time. The Hootsuite functionality doesn’t fix this (because Instagram controls that; Hootsuite doesn’t). When you get a push alert from Instagram that your scheduled post is ready to run, you have to be signed in at the correct Instagram account before you open that post in Instagram for it to run correctly. If you’re logged into your personal Instagram, get a post alert for your business, and automatically accept it, it’ll run on your personal account — even though it was scheduled through the business account.
So is using Hootsuite for Instagram worth it? Probably!
The Hootsuite/ Instagram integration is tricky, but it will make life a little easier for a lot of social media managers, and it will give businesses more control over the Instagram posts they’re putting up. Whether or not it’s the right choice for you depends on the needs of your business, but here at Infomedia, we’re looking forward to giving it a shot.
If you’re already a Hootsuite user, click here for instructions on adding your Instagram accounts to your feed. (If you’re not seeing the Instagram option for Hootsuite right away, don’t worry — the change is rolling out throughout the day today, so you might need to check back later.) And if you don’t use Hootsuite yet but want to try it out, go to Hootsuite.com to check it out — it’s free, and it might make your social media life a lot more efficient.