There are two ways to publish a post to Instagram:
- Direct publishing - With this method, single photos or videos are published directly to your Instagram feed, just like how posts are published to your other social networks.
- Mobile notification workflow - With this method, posts are published manually via the Instagram app on a mobile device.
For Instagram business profiles, you can choose which publishing method is used to meet the needs of each post. For example, because direct publishing to Instagram stories is not supported by Instagram’s API, the mobile notification workflow gives you a way to publish to your stories (or publish carousels on iOS).
Instagram personal profiles are required by Instagram’s API to use the mobile notification workflow to publish all content. Learn how to convert your personal Instagram profile into a business profile to gain access to direct publishing.
Note that IGTV videos are not supported by either publishing method.
To craft an Instagram post
- In the Composer, click Select a social network, and then select your Instagram profile.
- Enter the post caption in the Text field.
- To insert an emoji, click the smiley face in the bottom-left corner.
- Captions can contain a maximum of 30 hashtags.
- Links will not hyperlink when posted to Instagram.
- 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 field.
- To mention an Instagram account, enter @ followed by the exact username. Mentions will remain in plain text, but will go live when the post is published.
- Click select files to upload to attach an image or video to your post.
You can also click Open Media Library to select a free stock image, or other image asset from your media library apps or Enterprise content library.
Important: Instagram's direct publishing API doesn't support carousels. If you attach multiple images, only the first one will publish to Instagram, or be sent with a mobile notification.
- To add a physical location tag, click Add to the right of Location, click Search for a location, select it from the results, and then click Apply.
- Business profiles: Select the publishing method for the post with the toggle at the bottom of the Composer.
- Click Post Now, or click Schedule for later, select a date and time, and then click Schedule.
If you are using the mobile notification workflow and receive one of the following errors, it means that no one has push notifications enabled in their Hootsuite app for the Instagram account you are sending content to. Learn how to enable Instagram publishing notifications.
- 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.
Direct publishing is only available to Instagram business profiles.
- Select Publish directly with the toggle at the bottom of the composer (step 5 above). Your post will be published immediately (or scheduled) to your Instagram feed.
Publish via mobile notification
Instagram requires personal profiles to publish using this method.
Business profiles can choose this method with the publishing toggle (step 5 above).
With this publishing method, a push notification is sent to your Hootsuite mobile app when posts are ready to be published (either right away or at the scheduled time). From the notification, you can then open and publish the post in Instagram.
Any team member with publishing permissions for the profile can turn on and receive these notifications. They'll also need the native login credentials to the Instagram profile they are publishing to.
Important: Posts will fail to send if these notifications are not enabled. Signing out of your Hootsuite app turns off all push notifications. Learn how to enable Instagram publishing notifications.
To publish to Instagram via mobile notification
- At the scheduled time (or right away if you clicked Post Now in the Composer) a notification will be sent to the mobile devices that have notifications for the profile enabled.
- Open the notification in your Hootsuite mobile app: Tap Streams and then Notifications in the top-right corner.
- Tap the new publishing notification.
- Tap Open in Instagram. Your caption will be copied to your clipboard and you will be launched into the Instagram app.
Important: The Hootsuite app does not detect which Instagram profile is signed in to your Instagram app. If you publish to more than one Instagram profile, ensure that you are signed in to the Instagram app with the same profile you selected in Hootsuite, so that you send the post to the correct profile.
- Select Story to publish to your Instagram story, or Feed to publish to your profile.
Android users: Instagram on Android 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, follow these steps to clear the Instagram app's default settings on your phone.
- iOS users: To publish multiple photos, this is where you can select the carousel option and upload up to 10 photos from your device's photo library.
- Proceed to add formatting and filters in Instagram as usual.
- Tap-and-hold in the caption box and then tap Paste to paste in your composed caption.
- Tag people or add location info to your post.
- Tap Share.
When more than one user receives an Instagram notification, tap the notification to see if the post has already been published. The Open in Instagram button will change to Shared by (name) when published.
Tap Shared by (name) to mark the post as not shared or to share the post again.