Article updated: December 01, 2023
Create an Instagram post, story, or reel
Create and publish your Instagram posts, stories, and reels from Hootsuite. To save time, you can publish to several Instagram accounts or social networks at once. You can choose to publish posts right away, or schedule them in advance for a specific day and time.
Create your post or story
You can create posts, reels, and stories in Hootsuite. Each is slightly different. For example, for stories, unless you add them to your profile as story highlights, they disappear from your profile, feed, and messages after 24 hours. For reels, they're short videos that you can use to show your brand's personality and engage your followers in new ways. Reels are shared to the Reels tab in Instagram and to your own Instagram feed. They can also show up in the Explore and Reels pages on Instagram, so they're a great way to get discovered by new audiences.
- You can start your post or story from Composer or the Planner week view . Learn about scheduling posts in a content calendar.
- Select the Instagram accounts you want to publish to and then select whether you want to create a Post or a Story. If you add a single video to a post, it will publish as a reel.
- Create your caption. It can include up to 2,200 characters and can include the following:
- Up to 30 hashtags - Enter your own hashtags or select AI hashtag suggestions to find hashtags that work with your post text and media. Read our guide to using hashtags on every network.
- Emoji - Select the smiley face to add emoji.
- Mentions - Enter @username in your post to invite others on social to join a conversation, and help your post reach their audience as well as your own. Mentions remain in plain text until the post is published. Read more about mentions.
Tip: To keep 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 Content area.
- Drag videos or images from your computer into the Content area to add them to your post. You can also design images with Canva (see Design visuals with Canva for help), or add media from a Media library. You can add up to 10 images or videos to a post. If you add a single video to a post, it will publish as a reel. See the following for supported media formats, sizes, and aspect ratios:
- Point to the image thumbnail and select Edit image to edit an image, add filters, or make other adjustments. Learn how to use the Hootsuite image editor.
- To choose a custom cover image for a video or view the video's properties, point to it and select Video settings. Video editing is not supported in Hootsuite, so you'll want to trim your video and add filters, stickers, and music using another video editing program.Note: Facebook Pages and Instagram Business accounts use the same cover image. Choosing a custom cover image for Instagram will override any uploaded cover images for Facebook.
- When you’re finished creating your post, take a look at it in the preview on the right to see how it will look. Hootsuite alerts you to any issues.
- If you have an Instagram Business account connected to a Facebook Page, you can create and publish Instagram posts directly from Hootsuite or use the Instagram mobile notification workflow. If you want to publish a story with more than one image or video, or if you have a Personal or Creator profile, you'll need to use the Instagram mobile notification workflow. Learn how to use the mobile notification workflow. Once you're ready, select from the following options:
- Publish directly - This option is only available for Instagram Business profiles. Select this option, and then select Post now or Schedule to publish your post directly from Hootsuite.Note: Instagram allows third-party tools like Hootsuite to directly publish up to 25 posts or reels in any rolling 24-hour period. Posts and stories published using the mobile notification workflow aren't included in this limit.
- Publish via mobile notification - Instagram requires that Personal and Creator profiles use this method for all posts. In addition, if you want to publish a story with one or more images or videos, you must use this method. Instagram Business profiles can choose to publish this way to add final touches in Instagram such as filters or tags. Select this option, and then select Post now or Schedule to send a push notification to your Hootsuite mobile app when it's time to post. Learn more about how this works.
- Publish directly - This option is only available for Instagram Business profiles. Select this option, and then select Post now or Schedule to publish your post directly from Hootsuite.
Here are some more things you can do with your post:
- Tag products to make your posts shoppable.
- Promote a post - If your post contains a single image or video, select Promote this post under Promotion to boost your post on Instagram. Instagram doesn’t support boosting for posts with multiple media files. For more details, see Boost an Instagram post.
- Specify a campaign (Business and Enterprise organizations) - Select Campaign to associate your post with one of your organization's campaigns. To find out more, see Create and manage content campaigns.
- Ask for a review (Business and Enterprise plans) - Invite a team member to review and approve your posts before they go live. Select a team member from the Ask for approval list to help make sure your post is on-brand and polished before you publish it. Learn more about asking a team member to approve your post.
- Apply a tag (Business and Enterprise organizations) - 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 Add. To find out more, see Tag posts and messages.
Important: Tags are not applied to posts published via mobile notification. Apply tags to your posts from the "My posts" stream after publishing.
- Manage your content calendar
- The Best Time to Post on Instagram
- 22 simple ways to increase Instagram engagement
- Best practices for optimizing your story
- The Complete Guide to Using Instagram Stories for Business
- A Beginner-Friendly Guide to Using Instagram Reels for Business
- Add an Instagram stream
- Troubleshoot Facebook and Instagram publishing errors
Can't find what you're looking for? We're here to help