When Hootsuite announced Instagram scheduling was finally possible back in August, I was really excited. I run a nacho review website, Best Nachos In Vancouver, and have wanted to be able to schedule #foodporn nacho pictures to @bestnachosinvan on Instagram for ages.
What is scheduling?Social media scheduling means setting posts to publish at a later time or date, instead of immediately, to make sure your posts are published regularly or target optimal publishing times for reaching as many people as possible across the different social media platforms.
Well, I guess not, since Hootsuite’s Instagram scheduling is nothing more than a glorified reminder service.
Here’s the process, once you’ve connected your Instagram account to your Hootsuite dashboard and composed and scheduled an Instagram post:
- Download the Hootsuite mobile app and turn push notifications on. You will need this to be alerted about your post later, regardless of whether you composed the scheduled post on desktop or mobile.
- At the scheduled time, you will get a push notification on the Hootsuite mobile app, reminding you to publish your Instagram post. That’s right – you’ve still got to do it yourself.
- Click through to the Hootsuite mobile app, then hit Open In Instagram to a) copy your scheduled post’s text to your clipboard and b) automatically open the Instagram app. Yeah – Hootsuite can’t even fill in the image caption field.
- At this point, it’s just business as usual on Instagram. Edit your image, paste your scheduled post’s text into the caption field, add tags and location – and Share.
To recap: all Hootsuite really does is send you a reminder about posting to Instagram – and you have to have the Hootsuite mobile app for it to work at all. No filters, no caption, no tagging, no locations, no automated posting.
- If you are asleep (e.g. posting to a different time zone) or are offline (e.g. travelling abroad and not roaming) when the scheduled post reminder comes through – tough. You missed it. No Instagram post.
- If you have precise desired Instagram posting times, you really need to schedule your posts early, to allow a few minutes for you to go through the Hootsuite mobile app and Instagram app posting process.
- If you are managing multiple Instagram accounts, then you’re even more screwed, as the Hootsuite mobile app will only open the official Instagram app, and will post to whichever account is logged in there – regardless of which account you connected to Hootsuite.
For me, that was the final straw.
Instwogram works great, but the Hootsuite mobile app won’t open Instwogram, or give me the option to access @bestnachosinvan via the Instagram app.
Of course, I could switch around which app I use for which account – but I just can’t bring myself to do it, when the rest of the Hootsuite Instagram scheduling process is so cumbersome and pointless.
As Hootsuite says in its video introducing its Instagram scheduler, “Publishing content to your Instagram profile can be a challenge. You can’t always stop what you’re doing to post at the optimal time of day.”
Well, thanks. You’ve just created a process which forces me to do exactly that.
Hootsuite and Instagram – please try harder!
I want your feedback. Any thoughts, reaction, advice… Let me know in the comments below!