How to Capitalize on Instagram’s API Update, Allowing Third Party Posting Toolsby Anvil on January 31, 2018Instagram
With Instagram now enabling businesses to schedule their posts using third party tools, managing an Instagram business page just become a whole lot more manageable. So, let’s go over how your brand can rock Instagram and Instagram Stories as a business by using a third party scheduling tool. For more of an overview of the ideal Instagram strategy read my last article.
In my last article I wrote about 6 ways to make the most of your channel but now we’re going to dig a little deeper and focus on the posting aspect, both feed posts and stories. Posting day in and day out can be tiresome and not being able to carefully crafts content ahead of schedule can lead to last minute mistakes or lesser quality. For quite some time it’s been impossible for brands to fully automate their Instagram posts because while tools like Sprout Social would allow you to schedule posts for social sharing, it would still send the post to your device for final posting at the scheduled time. Did this save time? Yes, it did but it also meant that you had to be on your smartphone to get the notification and post natively in the app at that time(s) every day.
The Big Change
Luckily, Facebook is going to change Instagram graph API (among other things), which will enable business profiles to schedule posts without the hassle of going through the current process of getting an alert and manually posting. It’s weird to think that my life is at a place where this bit of news truly excites me. Seriously, all I can think about now is how much time I get back in my week and it feels pretty good. Not to mention this can vastly improve the influencer posts from a brand management perspective.
In addition to this update, you will also have Business Discovery and Mentions. Business discovery will offer the ability to discover and read the profile info and media content of other business profiles. Mentions will give your brand the ability to read public media that a business has been photo tagged or @mentioned in. You’ll also be able to post comments on a business’ behalf on the media it was tagged or mentioned in.
What Third Party Tools Can I Use?
Now let’s get to the part you’re scanning through to find; what third party tools you can use. And no, you do not need to keep any Instagram specific schedule tool you’re paying extra for once this update is set in motion. You can use social scheduling tools like Sprout Social, Hub Spot, Buffer, Hootsuite and others of the like.
For example, let’s use Hootsuite, as they’re an Instagram partner. Hootsuite introduced Instagram posting back in 2015, with the current alert and post process we all are grateful to hate. But with this new update Hootsuite will offer you peace of mind when scheduling your content, knowing you’re done with it after you’ve placed it into the content schedule. Hootsuite also has the Business Discovery and Mentions updates built in, so you’re good to go on this inexpensive tool. Moreover, the tool now allows you to manage multiple users and accounts from 1 dashboard. That being said, if you’re a bigger brand with a bigger budget I would suggest looking into the higher end tools like Sprout Social, or maybe even Hub Spot as those come with a lot more features and tools for your brand to benefit from.
Okay, you have your third-party tool and you’re a scheduling maniac now but wait, are you following best practices? Are your posts coming across as inauthentic? Are you posting plenty of content but it’s not getting any pick up?
First, the content you post needs to remain relevant and timely. That is to say, you don’t want to schedule something news worthy today for next month because no one will care and it makes your brand look bad or worse confuses your audience. Make sure that the content you schedule out further than a week will still be relevant and eventful for your audience.
Second, utilize the business discovery! This is not the aspect that’s making the headlines for this API update but it’s still big news and a great opportunity for your brand. This is the way you see what your competition is doing to adjust your content and get your creative juices flowing. Before, you would have to go to every profile individually to see what was happening but now you can have them all in one place, lined up together to observe similarities and form insights. According to Social Media Today, there’s over 25 million business profiles on Instagram, so, you have a lot of examples.
Lastly, make the most of all the extra time you have to plan and schedule out your media ahead of time. Do not rely on your smartphone (unless you have the latest and greatest) for your photography. Upgrade yourself to a DSLR and use some photo editing tools to increase the quality of your photos. For more ideas on how to improve your posting strategy and content see my last article here.
For help with your Social strategy or any other Digital Marketing needs, contact Anvil.