The announcement from Hootsuite that they have made scheduling posts in Instagram a part of life on this planet is beyond words for me. I need to quote Hootsuite here for this beyond amazing development:
"This is the moment we’ve been waiting for: SCHEDULING Instagram posts is now a reality!"
"We are so freaking excited and we just can’t filter it!"
I know! As we speak, my social media friends and I were trying to hack Instagram login/logout methods to try to figure out a way to save drafts of Instagram posts for later and then send them upon new login, and we couldn't do it - because Hootsuite is so freaking awesome they not only did it, but reinvigorated my interest in using Hootsuite. Here is how the scheduling of Instagram posts is going to Change. Your. Life.:
THE OBVIOUS - GRAB A PHOTO BUT INSTAGRAM IT DURING THE BEST TIME
Assuming we are all business owners here, and not social media marketers with 5-20 client accounts - there are surly times in your life when you are out and about, and you just keep taking pictures of Instagrammable moments that brand your business. But putting all of those photos up at the same time would annoy your followers and jam up your feed, as college Rogue Social points out in her recent Instagram article.
And if you are a social media marketing manager with a healthy stable of clients, this may be an even bigger problem for you as you are out and about taking and storing photos and squashing your inspiration because you know you can't post photos right away and they may be forever lost in your iPhoto.
Thanks Hootsuite - this is no longer a problem.
INSTAGRAM AS AN AFTER-THOUGHT
Believe it or not, some social media marketers and many business owners love Instagram, but know it's a chore to log into different accounts and find different photos at just the right moment. In Hootsuite's own words:
"No more treating Instagram as an afterthought in your social media strategy. "
Hootsuite has heard from their users and clients, and Instagram is "social network requested by more of our users than any other," so their calling it an "after-thought" is believable. Many good ideas have never made it to the glow of the iPhone or Android that further romance your customer base and lock in their love with your brand.
Let's say you want to feature a member, like we do in the Tin Shingle Facebook and Twitter streams? We research and schedule those in advance beacuse we can't stop in the middle of the day, all day every day, to suddenly log into the right Instagram account to post. Let's be honest here. Many of us have personal Instagram accounts and business Instagram accounts, and unlike the apps for Twitter and the Facebook Business Page, there is no easy login for multiple accounts.
STAYING IN THE MOMENT
So about that "in the moment" thing, which is a huge strategy behind successful Instagram posts. Posting a picture "in the moment" will not happen as much for you, as you are creating your moments and scheduling up when they are going to publish. You are hand-selecting when they happen. Much of why people love Instagram so much is because people are seeing and reading commentary from a person or brand they like and trust, at a moment in that person or brand's life. Instagram is a lot about behind-the-scenes storytelling. If too much becomes planted, readers will feel that shift in energy in their stream. Yes, "energy". Even an Instagram can put out an energy that causes you excitement, or can fall flat if it's too placed.
Tin Shingle has recommended creating order around your Instagram posts, and to systemize and structure them a bit by creating a series, or a reason for an Instagram post. This helps a lot of people with brain-freeze and that haunting question: "What should I take a picture of?" Publicist and Tin Shingle Special Guest Expert Kelly Kepner in our signature TuneUp Webinars took listeners through different ways to stage an Instagram photo in a series that is a recurring theme in your Instagram stream. You can listen to that TuneUp webinar right here to find out her ideas.
Let's look at an example of an Instagram series. Kelly likes to stage the always sexy "desk scene" or "what's on my desk" series. Not only does Kelly do this a lot, but she plans it in advance. Staging an effective desk scene takes a lot of thought - if you want it to go viral. For a great desk scene, one can use products from different stores and brands, and you can tag each of those brands in your post. This makes Kelly's Instagram picture a must-tap for readers who have come to rely on Kelly's design recommendations, and it put's Kelly's brand in front of those brands when her account "touches" their account via tagging. For more strategy behind tagging and tapping on Instagram, read Kelly's article here.
HOOTSUITE - I'M COMING BACK!
Confession: I am a social media marketer, but I stopped using Hootsuite wheh Twitter released their own scheduler in native twitter. You can go to ads.twitter.com right now to set up your Twitter ads account and start scheduling photos and posts. One reason I abandoned Hootsuite was beacuse the photos I uploaded via Hootsuite did not upload in native Twitter, and were only for show for limited time in the live Twitter stream.
But I don't care about that now. As much. Reason being that Hootsuite offers just too many ways to track your brand in social media. Watch their video about how to track hashtags, geo-targete aka look at pictures posted from a certain location (this is great if your brand is a cafe and people are Instagramming what they are eating but forgot to include your hashtag or handle), and more.
So yeah. Social media is stepping up once again around here, and I am bringing that cute little owl back to my Social Media app collection on my iPhone. I was sad to delete him, but now he's going to be a hot button.
Photo Credit 1st Photo: Image by Jordan McQueen, Words by Katie Hellmuth Martin
Photo Credit 2nd Photo: Image by Hootsuite, Words and compilation by Jackie Nees