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.

Before you begin

Make sure you’ve already added an Instagram account to Hootsuite.

If you have an Instagram personal profile, Instagram requires you to follow a manual publishing process using your mobile device. To publish directly to Instagram and get access to full Instagram functionality with Hootsuite, switch to an Instagram business profile. To learn more, see Convert your personal Instagram profile to a business profile.

Create an Instagram post

  1. Select Create new post .
  2. Business and Enterprise organizations: If you belong to multiple organizations, select one from the drop-down. To associate your post with a current or future campaign, select a campaign.
  3. Select an Instagram profile under Post to.
    select the Instagram accounts to post your message to
  4. In the Text area, enter your post caption, including hashtags and emojis.
    • Hootsuite shows you the character count while you compose your message.
    • You can include up to 30 hashtags. For hashtag best practices, see our 2020 Instagram hashtag guide.
    • To mention or tag another user, enter @ followed by the exact username. Mentions remain in plain text until the post is published. To learn more, see Mention a user or Page.
    • Select the smiley face in the bottom left to add emojis.

    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 area.

    Note: Links in Instagram captions don't hyperlink, so if you include one you won't see a link preview in your post preview.

  5. Add an image or 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 doesn't support posts with multiple images or videos from Hootsuite. If you attach multiple assets, only the first one will publish to Instagram.
    • IGTV videos are not supported.
  6. To edit an image, add filters or make other adjustments to it, select Edit image under the image.
    edit image options when creating new post

    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 media file requirements, see:

Publish or schedule your post

When your post is ready, review the preview on the right to see how it will look on your Instagram profile. To learn more, see Preview a post.

Now choose your publishing method:

  • Publish directly to Instagram - available to business profiles. If you're not set up for direct publishing yet you'll be prompted to do so. Skip to next steps
    Select to publish post directly to Instagram
  • Publish via mobile notification - Instagram requires personal and creator profiles to use this method. If your push notifications for the account aren't set up yet you'll be prompted to do so. Skip to next steps
    Select the mobile notification publishing method

Publish directly to Instagram

  • To publish the post right away, select Post Now. When your post publishes successfully, Hootsuite displays a message at the top of the screen.
  • To schedule your post, select Schedule for later in the bottom right, and then select a date and time to publish the post. Select Done, and then select Schedule.

If you want to create another post right away, select the drop-down arrow next to Post Now (or Schedule), and then select one of the following options:

  • Post and Reuse Networks (or Schedule and Reuse Networks). The Composer resets all fields except the selected Instagram profiles for you to begin creating your next post.
  • Post and Duplicate (or Schedule and Duplicate). The Composer retains all elements of the previous post so you can modify and create a new, similar post, with a unique post ID.

Note: Professional, Team, Business, and Enterprise customers can also set posts to automatically publish when there are gaps in your 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 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). Your prepared post is sent to your mobile device for you to publish via the Instagram app.

Any team member can finish publishing the post if they have the following for the Instagram profile:

  • Hootsuite publishing permissions
  • Instagram login credentials
  • Push notifications enabled in their Hootsuite mobile app. All devices that have notifications enabled for the profile will receive a push notification. See Enable Instagram publishing notifications.
  1. Choose Publish via mobile notification
    Select option to publish post to Instagram 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. Select Done, and then select Schedule.
    If you get the error, "Your Instagram account requires a paired device," it means that no one has push notifications enabled in their Hootsuite app for the Instagram account you are sending content to. Enable notifications, and then try again.
  3. When you receive a notification on your mobile device, open your Hootsuite mobile app, select Streams streams_hootsuite-mobile.png, and then select Notifications notifications-hootsuite-mobile.png

    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.

  4. Select the new publishing notification.
  5. Select 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, check 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 right profile.

  6. Select Story to publish to your Instagram story, or Feed to publish to your feed.
    Android 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.
  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 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.

More options

When you create your post in Hootsuite you can also take advantage of additional options to apply tags and add a physical location.

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 Add tags to track your outbound posts.

Add a location

Instagram Business profiles: Select Add next to Instagram 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. Only five results populate at a time, so change or add details to your search to find an exact location.

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