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 Publish an Instagram story.
If you have an Instagram personal profile, you are required by Instagram’s API to use the mobile notification workflow to publish all content. To use direct publishing and get access to the full Instagram functionality available in Hootsuite, consider switching to an Instagram Business profile. To learn more, see Convert your personal Instagram profile into a business profile.
Before you begin
Make sure you’ve already added an Instagram personal or business profile to Hootsuite. To learn more, see Add an Instagram account to Hootsuite.
Note: There are two ways to publish posts to Instagram depending on whether you have a personal profile or a business profile:
- Direct publishing (Instagram Business profiles only) You can publish single photos or videos directly to your Instagram feed, just like you publish posts to other social networks.
- Mobile notification workflow (Instagram Business and Instagram personal profiles) You can create posts in Hootsuite and publish them manually to Instagram via the Hootsuite app on your mobile device. Also, because direct publishing for Instagram stories is not supported by Instagram’s API, you can use the mobile notification workflow to publish Instagram Stories.
In this article:
Create an Instagram post
To create an Instagram post
- Go to Create new post, and then select Post.
Business and Enterprise organizations: Select your organization, and then select Select campaign to associate your post with a current or future campaign.
- Select the Instagram profile and pages you'd like to publish to under Post to.
- In the Text area, enter your post text, hashtags, and emojis.
- The character count is displayed as you compose your message.
- You can add up to 30 hashtags.
- To mention or tag a user or profile, enter @ followed by the exact username. Mentions will remain in plain text, but will go live when the post is published. To learn more, see Mention (link to) a user or Page in your post.
- Select the smiley face in the bottom left to add emojis.
Note: To retain paragraph spacing when the post is published, ensure that there are no spaces at the end of each line. These can often appear when copying and pasting into the Text area.
- Optionally, add a link. Note that links will not hyperlink when posted to Instagram, so you won’t see a link preview in the preview area on the right.
- To shorten a link, select Shorten with Ow.ly. All included links are shortened automatically. The full links remain visible in the New Post page and the post preview on the right displays the shortened link(s).
- To add link tracking parameters, select Add tracking, select Ow.ly, and then select Custom. Enter your campaign name, type, and value, and then select Apply.
- Add an image or a video to your post by using one of the following 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 drop-down. Select a media file, and then select Close Media Library.
Business and Enterprise organizations: Select Content Library Images from the drop-down to select an image from your pre-approved media files.
- Select the image from Suggested Images. If you’ve added a link to a page that includes images, Hootsuite will pull an image that you can use in your post.
- Instagram's direct publishing API doesn't support posts with multiple images or videos. If you attach multiple assets, only the first one will publish to Instagram.
- IGTV videos are not supported by either publishing method.
- To edit an image, add filters or make other adjustments to it, select Edit image under the image.
Note: 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 learn more about adding media files, see:
Publish an Instagram post
When you’re finished creating your post, review it in the preview on the right to see how it will look on your Instagram profile. If the Composer detects any issues with the post, you'll be alerted with a contextual error. To learn more, see Preview a post.
To publish directly
Note: To publish posts directly to Instagram, you need to have an Instagram Business profile.
- Select Publish directly at the bottom.
- To publish the post right away, select Post Now. If your message is published successfully, Hootsuite displays a confirmation message at the top of the screen.
- To schedule your post, select Schedule for later on the bottom right, and then select a date and time to publish the post. Select Done, and then select Schedule.
If you want to remain in the Composer to create, publish, or schedule another post, select the drop-down arrow next to Post Now (or Schedule), and then select one of the following options:
- Select Post and Reuse Networks (or Schedule and Reuse Networks) if you want to publish or schedule your post and create another one immediately after. The Composer resets all fields except the selected Instagram profiles for you to begin creating your next post.
- Select Post and Duplicate (or Schedule and Duplicate) if you want to publish or schedule your post and then retain it to modify and create a new, similar post, with a unique post ID. The Composer retains all elements of the previous post, except promoted ad spend.
Note: Professional, Team, Business, and Enterprise customers can also set posts to automatically publish when there are gaps in your scheduled content. See Schedule posts with AutoSchedule.
For more information on how to schedule your content, see Overview: Schedule posts with Hootsuite.
To publish via mobile notification
With this publishing method, you receive a push notification to your Hootsuite mobile app when posts are ready to be published (either right away or at the scheduled time). Open the notification to publish your post to Instagram.
To publish posts and stories to Instagram via mobile notification, you need to:
- Have both the Instagram and Hootsuite apps installed. Any team member with login credentials and publishing permissions for the Instagram profile they want to publish to can turn on and receive push notifications, and publish to Instagram.
- Enable Instagram push notifications in the Hootsuite app. To learn more, see Enable Instagram publishing notifications.
- Select Publish via mobile notification at the bottom.
Note: If you receive one of the following errors, it means that the Instagram account you want to publish to doesn’t have push notifications enabled in the Hootsuite app:
- Device pairing required for Instagram profile [profile name].
- Your Instagram account requires a paired device.
- No subscriptions are available for Instagram. Please configure a network for publishing.
- 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. Select Done, and then select Schedule.
- At the scheduled time (or right away if you selected Post Now), you will receive a notification on your mobile device. Open your Hootsuite mobile app, select Streams , and then select Notifications .
Important: Logging out of your Hootsuite and Instagram apps turns off all push notifications and posts will fail to send. Make sure you’re always logged in to both apps.
- Select the Publish Post to (profile name) on Instagram notification.
- Select Open in Instagram. Your caption will be copied to your clipboard.
Note: When more than one user receives an Instagram push notification, select the notification to see if the post has already been published. Open in Instagram will change to Opened by (name) when the post has already been published. Select Opened by (name), and then select Mark as Not Shared or Share again.
- Confirm that you are logged in to the right account to launch your Instagram app.
Important: The Hootsuite app does not detect which Instagram profile is logged in to your Instagram app. If you publish to more than one Instagram profile, check that you are signed in to the Instagram app with the same profile you selected in Hootsuite to ensure you send the post to the right profile.
- Select Story to publish to your Instagram story, or Feed to publish to your feed.
Android mobile users: Instagram will only ask you to select Story or Feed once, and then set your selection as the default going forward. To change where you post, you need to clear your Instagram apps’ 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.
- Select Next to edit, add filters, and make other adjustments to your media files, and then select Next.
- Select and hold in the Caption area, and then select Paste to paste in your message.
- Select OK.
- Optionally, select Tag people to tag other Instagram users or accounts in your post and Add location to add a location.
- Select Share to publish your post.
When you create your post, you can also take advantage of additional options to apply tags and add a physical location.
To 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 Apply Tags. To learn more, see Tag outbound posts.
To add a location
Instagram Business profiles: Select Add next to Location to add a physical location (sometimes called a geotag) to the post. Enter a location, select one from the results that populate, and then select Apply.