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  Article updated: October 19, 2021

Create an Instagram post

You can create, publish, and manage your Instagram content with Hootsuite. After you create a post, how you publish it to Instagram depends on your profile type, and what you're publishing.

Instagram business profiles:

  • Posts containing a single image or video - You can publish these directly to Instagram as long as your business profile is connected to a Facebook Page. For more details, see Add an Instagram account.
  • Posts containing multiple images or videos (carousels) - You must publish these via mobile notification. This is a manual publishing process using your mobile device. To learn how it works, see Finish publishing via mobile notification.

Instagram personal and creator profiles: Instagram requires you to publish all posts via mobile notification. This is a manual publishing process using your mobile device.

See also Create an Instagram story.

Watch How to take Instagram photos on your phone for composition tips and Best practices for sharing content on Instagram for great publishing guidance. Visit Hootsuite Academy to watch more videos, take courses, or earn industry-recognized certifications.

Publishing to Instagram accounts with Hootsuite video

Before you begin

Make sure you’ve already added an Instagram account to Hootsuite. To learn how, see Add an Instagram account.

Create an Instagram post

To get started, select Create new post . Then follow the numbered steps in this example to create your post.

A sample Instagram post in the composer with numbers corresponding to the following steps

  1. Under Post to, select an Instagram profile or type a keyword to search for an Instagram profile.
  2. In the Text area, enter your post caption, including up to 30 hashtags. (For hashtag best practices, see our Instagram hashtag guide.) To mention someone, enter @ followed by their exact username. Mentions remain in plain text until the post is published. To learn more, see Mention a user or Page.

    Tip: To retain paragraph spacing when the post is published, remove spaces at the end of each line. These can often appear if you copy and paste text into the Text area.

    Note: Links in Instagram captions appear as text only, so if you include a link in your post, you won't see a link preview in your post preview.

  3. Above the Text area, the character count updates as you type. Instagram allows a maximum of 2,200 characters per post.
  4. Below the Text area, select the smiley face to add emoji (see also Add more inclusive emoji).
  5. In the Media area, add up to 10 images or videos to your post.
    Media upload options
    • Drag and drop files from your computer into the Media area.
    • Select the Select files to upload link.
    • Select Open media library, and then select Free Images from the list. Select a media file, and then select Close media library.
      Notes:
      • The maximum file size for images is 5MB, and maximum video length is 60 seconds.
      • Instagram direct publishing requires that your photo have an aspect ratio between 1.91:1 and 4:5. Use the Instagram-specific square, landscape, or portrait crop options in the image editor to resize the image appropriately.
      • Hootsuite does not support publishing IGTV videos.

      To learn more about media file requirements and editing images, see Image file requirements and Work with videos.

  6. To edit an image, add filters, or make other adjustments, select Edit image. For detailed instructions on using the image editor, see Work with images.
  7. If your post has multiple images or videos, it must be published via mobile notification. You can select Add next to Notes for the publisher to enter additional guidance or instructions to the person who will be publishing the post on Instagram.

Advanced options for Business and Enterprise organizations

If your organization has a Business or Enterprise plan, you can take advantage of the following additional options.

Specify a campaign

Select your organization, and then select Select campaign to associate your post with a current or future campaign. To learn more, see Create and manage content campaigns.

Upload images from your content library

In the Media area, select Open media library, and then select Content Library Images from the list to select an image from your pre-approved media files.

Apply a tag
  • Publishing a single video directly - Select Add next to Tags to apply tags to your posts and analyze their performance in Hootsuite Analytics. Select the tags to add to your post, and then select Apply. To learn more, see Add tags to track your outbound posts.
  • Publishing via mobile notification - Tags won't be applied during publishing. Apply tags to your posts from the "My posts" stream after publishing.

Preview and publish your post

When you’re finished creating your post, review it in the preview pane on the right to see how it will look. Hootsuite alerts you to any issues with your post. To learn more, see Preview a post.

When you're ready, choose your publishing method from the following options:

  • Publish directly to Instagram - Available to business profiles for posts with a single image or video. If you're not set up for direct publishing, Hootsuite prompts you to do so. Select Post now or Schedule and your post is published directly from Hootsuite with no additional steps.
    Select to publish post directly to Instagram

    Note: Instagram limits business profiles to 25 posts in a 24-hour period with direct publishing from Hootsuite (or any other third-party publisher). To publish more than 25 posts in 24 hours, you can switch to the mobile notification workflow, or go to Instagram. Stories and mobile notification posts aren't included in the limit.

  • Publish via mobile notification:
    • Instagram requires that personal and creator profiles use this method for all posts.
    • Business profiles must use this method to publish posts with multiple images or videos (carousels). You can choose this method for any post if you want to add Instagram features to it, such as filters or tagging.
    If push notifications for your account aren't set up, Hootsuite prompts you to do so. Select Post now or Schedule, and then see Finish publishing via mobile notification for your final steps.
    Select the mobile notification publishing method

    If you get the error "Your Instagram account requires a paired device," it means that no one has push notifications enabled in their Hootsuite app for the Instagram account you are sending content to. Enable Instagram publishing notifications, and then try again.

More publishing options

If you’re not ready to publish or schedule your post, select the arrow next to Post now, and then select Save draft. You can find your drafts in the Publisher. To learn more, see Work with drafts.

More Post now options, expanded by selecting the arrow

If you want to create another post right away, you can also select one of the following options:

  • Post and reuse accounts (or Schedule and reuse accounts) - Publish your current post and begin a new one to the same social accounts.
  • Post and duplicate (or Schedule and duplicate) - Publish your current post and retain its content to create a new, similar post, with a unique post ID.

Finish publishing via mobile notification

With the mobile notification publishing workflow, you get a push notification on your Hootsuite mobile app when it’s time to publish your post (either right away or at the scheduled time). All mobile devices that are set up to receive notifications for that Instagram profile will get one. See Enable Instagram publishing notifications for more information.

Hootsuite sends your prepared post, including all media files, to your mobile device for you to publish via the Instagram app.

Any team member with Hootsuite publishing permissions and Instagram login credentials for the profile can finish publishing the post in Instagram from the notification.

  1. To open the notification in your Hootsuite mobile app, go to Streams , and then select Notifications .
  2. Select the new publishing notification. If any notes for the publisher were included with the post, you can see them here.
  3. Select Open in Instagram. Your caption text is copied to your clipboard and the Instagram app opens.

    Important: Hootsuite does not detect which Instagram profile is signed in to your Instagram app. If you publish to more than one Instagram profile, make sure you're signed in to the Instagram app with the same profile you selected in Hootsuite.

    If you get the error "Unable to publish to Instagram," check the Hootsuite app permissions in your device settings. Hootsuite needs access to All Photos.
  4. In the Instagram app, select Create to create a new post. The first photo or video saved on your device is selected by default. If your post has multiple images or videos, press and hold one of the images in your camera roll to select them all.
  5. Select Next to edit, add filters, and make other adjustments to your media files, and then select Next.
  6. Select Write a caption, tap-and-hold and then release, select Paste to paste in your caption, and then select OK.
    copy and paste caption from Hootsuite mobile notification to Instagram app
  7. Optionally, select Tag People to tag other Instagram accounts in your post and Add Location to add a location.
  8. Select Share to publish your post.

If multiple team members receive publishing notifications for an Instagram profile, you can select a notification to see if it has already been actioned. Open in Instagram changes to Opened by (name) if the post has already been opened in the Instagram app. You can select Opened by (name) to mark the post as not opened or to open it in Instagram again.
The Opened by (name) button selected, showing further actions