In this post I’ll show you how you can use Later to schedule your Instagram content. It is a awesome time-saving tool, and I use it weekly to schedule my “big value-content” (the tips ‘n tools I give away for free simply because I want my clients and audience to optimize their workflow and spend more time doing what they love). I do this to make sure that I keep on giving my audience what they want, without compromising with my own self-care and valuable time.
I’ve also made a checklist with content-ideas for you to download for FREE – it’s a great resource to turn to on those days when you need inspiration. Find it at the end of this post! Now, let’s dive into the details of this awesome tool:
What is Later and how does it work?
Later is a website and a mobile app (available for both Android and iOS) that allows you to plan and schedule your Social Media content weeks at a time. It’s the number one Instagram-planner, and the greatest thing about it is the Visual Content Calendar which allows you to drag & drop your images to suit your chosen visual aesthetic.
In the video below you’ll see how easy it is to drag one of your images in to the calendar and drop it at your chosen date and time: once it’s in the calendar, you can start creating your post by adding text, hashtags, location and tag people. The final step is to choose wether you want it to publish automatically (this feature is only available if you have a business account for your Instagram, which I highly recommend you to get if you’re a business owner), or if you want to receive a notification once it’s time to publish.
Why should you schedule your Instagram content?
The main reason why I choose to plan some of my content is that I want to make sure that my audience & clients don’t miss out on any of my great value-content, even when I’m off doing other things (such as eating strawberries in the sun, or taking photographs of awesome women, or hanging out with my family).
This is why I recommend you to do it too!
By creating and scheduling bulks of Instagram content every week, you free up loads of time and minimize the risk of feeling stressed out about having to come up with new ideas on the go. What I do is that every time an idea pops into my head, I write it down on my list especially created for content ideas. I schedule a couple of hours every week solely dedicated to preparing Instagram-posts and write them all at the same time.
Are there any downsides to scheduling your content?
Although there are many upsides to scheduling your Instagram content, there are a few downsides to be vary of:
Keep it relevant and interesting.
When you create bulks of content at a time, the risk of it becoming impersonal/boring/plain is higher. Make sure to spend a good amount of time re-reading and re-evaluating your posts before scheduling them: is your content relevant? Does it inspire people? Are you using a passive voice (to encourage engagement from your audience)?
I make sure that my content is up to date and interesting by only scheduling three posts a week at a time.
Interaction is key to keep YOU relevant!
Another is that Instagram is a organic platform where its algorithm plays a big part in YOUR visibility. This is determined by your activity: the more active you are, the more visible you get. The risk of scheduling posts at times when you’re not available to answer comments for example is one to be aware of: try to schedule your posts during office hours for this reason!
Make sure to leave some space for real-time updates as well! As I mentioned earlier, I choose to only schedule some of my content. This is because I want to interact directly with my followers to create organic engagement. People love to interact with you (that’s why they follow you!), so allow yourself to talk with your audience every day. I usually use Instagram Stories for this: it has great sticker-features that allows your audience to interact in fun ways (and you can even use these for market research – but more on that in another post!).
Is it free?
Yes! There are paid plans available, but I use the free plan for my own content, simply because I’m the only team member in my business. I do however recommend my clients to use one of their paid plans to get as much out of it as possible.
In the images below you’ll see their price plans as well as the key features. As you can see, the free plan includes the main things to save time. Although scheduling your Instagram stories would be good (this feature is only available in one of Later’s paid plans), I believe that is one feature we should keep completely organic in order to connect with our clients and followers.
Free download for you with content ideas!
As promised I’ve created a guide with content ideas for you to download for free – hooray! Click the button to grab yours.
Can I hire someone to do this for me?
You sure can! If you don’t have enough time in your workday to create and schedule content, but know how important this is to keep your business relevant, you can hire a Creative Virtual Assistant to do it for you.
These Virtual Assistants are usually called Social Media Managers and can be found all over the internet. Lucky for you, as a Creative Virtual Assistant I include this option in my packages as well – woop! Click the link below to read more about my Creative Virtual Assistant solutions: