Create an Instagram post


You can create, publish, and manage your Instagram content with Hootsuite. When you create a post, you can:

  • Attach images and videos.
  • Edit and apply filters to your images.
  • Choose whether to publish your post right away or to schedule it for a specific day and time.

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.

Before you begin

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

Facebook owns Instagram, and they've streamlined workflows between the two social networks to make it easy to manage your business' social presence. Facebook requires you to have an Instagram business profile connected to a Facebook Page to enable most Instagram functions in Hootsuite (for example, direct publishing, engaging with your audience in streams, and analytics). If you have an Instagram personal profile, Instagram requires you to follow a manual publishing process using your mobile device. To learn more, see Overview of Instagram profiles.

Create your post

  1. Select Create new post .
  2. In the Post to box, select an Instagram profile or type a keyword to search for an Instagram profile.
    select the Instagram accounts to post your message to
    Note: Team, Business, and Enterprise plan members can select a Hootsuite organization, and then select a team from the Post to list to quickly select all of the social accounts managed by that team.

    Enterprise team members can also select a campaign to associate a post with a current or future campaign. This action automatically applies the campaign's link settings and tags to the post, to correctly categorize it for future analysis. For more information, see Create and manage content campaigns.
  3. In the Text box, enter your post caption, including hashtags and emojis.
    • View the character count while you compose your message.
    • Include up to 30 hashtags.
      For hashtag best practices, see our 2020 Instagram hashtag guide. Visit the Hootsuite blog for news, tips, tools, and tactics to help you succeed on social media.
    • Mention or tag another user by entering @ followed by the exact username. Mentions remain in plain text until the post is published. To learn more, see Mention a user or Page.
    • Add emojis by selecting the smiley face in the bottom left.

    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 box.

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

  4. Add an image or video to your post using one of the following options:
      • Add files in the Media box.
      • Select Open media library, select Free Images, choose a media file, and then select Close Media Library.
        Business and Enterprise plan members - Select Open media library, and then select Content Library Images to select an image from your pre-approved media files.
        • The maximum file size for images is 5MB, and maximum video length is 60 seconds.
        • Instagram doesn't support posts from Hootsuite with multiple images or videos from Hootsuite. If you attach multiple media assets, only the first one gets published to Instagram.
        • IGTV videos are not supported.

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

        Tip: 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 to resize the image appropriately.
  5. Business and Enterprise plan members - Select Add next to Tags, select the tags to add to your post, and then select Apply Tags to add tags to your posts and analyze their performance in Hootsuite Analytics. To learn more, see Add tags to track your outbound posts.

Preview, schedule, and publish your post

As you create your post, you can review it using the preview next to it (to learn more, see Preview a post). Once you are feeling good about it, you can choose how to publish it.

Choose your publishing method from the following options:

  • Publish directly to Instagram - available to business profiles connected to Facebook Pages. If you're not set up for direct publishing, you'll be prompted to do so. See the following section, "Publish directly to Instagram."
    Select to publish post directly to Instagram
  • Publish via mobile notification - Instagram requires that personal and creator profiles use this method. If push notifications for your account aren't set up, you'll be prompted to do so. See the following section "Publish via mobile notification."
    Select the mobile notification publishing method

Publish directly to Instagram

If you have an Instagram business profile connected to a Facebook Page, you can post using the following options:

  • Post now. - Publish the post. You can also use the following expanded Post Now options:
  • Save draft - Save the post as a draft and return to polish or review it at another time.
  • Post and reuse accounts - Publish your post, retain your social network choices, and begin a new post to those same social networks.
  • Post and duplicate - Publish your post but retain a copy of the original content and the social account selection to edit or schedule the post another time. A new post ID is created for your tracking needs. This makes composing multiple, similar posts much easier.
  • Schedule for later - Schedule a time and date for the post to publish. Scheduling your posts allows you to keep your social presence active and publish your posts at high audience-engagement time. You can even set options to automatically publish on a schedule!
Tip: Professional, Team, Business, and Enterprise plan members can also set posts to automatically publish when there are gaps in scheduled content. See Automatically schedule a post.

For more information on how to schedule your content, see Schedule a post.

Publish via mobile notification

With this publishing workflow, your prepared post is sent to your mobile device for you to publish via the Instagram app. When it’s time to publish (either right away or at the scheduled time), all devices that have notifications for the profile enabled in the Hootsuite mobile app receive a push notification. See Enable Instagram publishing notifications.

From the notification, any team member with Hootsuite publishing permissions and Instagram login credentials for the profile can finish publishing the post in Instagram.

  1. Select Publish via mobile notification.
  2. To publish the post right away, select Post now. To schedule your post, select Schedule for later, and then select a date and time to publish it.
    If you get the error, "Your Instagram account requires a paired device," it means that push notifications are not enabled in the Hootsuite app for the Instagram account you are sending content to (see Enable notifications).
  3. When you receive a notification on your mobile device, open it in your Hootsuite mobile app: Select Streams streams_hootsuite-mobile.png, and then Notifications notifications-hootsuite-mobile.png in the top right.
  4. Select the new publishing notification.
  5. Select Open in Instagram. Hootsuite copies your caption to the clipboard and launches the Instagram app.

    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.

  6. Select Story to publish to your Instagram story, or Feed to publish to your feed.
    Android users: Instagram only asks you to select Story or Feed once, and then sets your selection as the default going forward. To change where you post, you need to clear the Instagram app's default settings on your mobile device. 
    iOS users: To publish multiple photos and videos, select Feed and then select the multi-image option to add up to 10 photos and videos from your device's photo library to your post.
  7. Select Next to edit, add filters, and make other adjustments to your media files, and then select Next.
  8. Select and hold in the Caption area, and then select Paste to paste in your caption.
    copy and paste caption from Hootsuite mobile notification to Instagram app
  9. Select OK.
  10. Optionally, select Tag people to tag other Instagram accounts in your post and Add location to add a location.
  11. Select Share to publish your post.
Note: When more than one user receives an Instagram notification in the Hootsuite app, you should select the notification to see if it has already been acted on. Open in Instagram will change to Opened by (name) if the post has already been opened in the Instagram app. Select Opened by (name) to mark the post as not opened or to open it in Instagram again.