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  Article updated: April 16, 2024

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.

Watch 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.

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. Reels are 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.

  1. You can start your post from Composer or the Planner week view . Learn about scheduling posts in a content calendar.
  2. 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.
    Composer content area with Post and Story options highlighted.
  3. 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.

  4. 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:
  5. 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.
    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.
  6. To choose a custom cover image for a video or view the video's properties, point to it and select Video settings. Point to the video thumbnail and select Edit video to edit your video and add filters, stickers, and music to it. Learn how to use the Hootsuite video editor.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
      Publish directly with option highlighted.
      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 via mobile notification with option highlighted.



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