Why use an Instagram scheduling app?
You’re using Instagram and finding it’s driving good engagement. Now you’re ready to step up your game and start pre planning your feed. We have all been on Instagram, ready to post the perfect photo when it gets lost in your feed and you have to scramble in order to find it again. Then you spend another 15 minutes thinking of a killer caption. What you thought was going to take only a minute turned into 30. Skip the hassle next time and start scheduling your posts.
Still skeptical? Here are some statistics to change your mind:
As always here at Brightspark, we love to use social media tools that make us more efficient and to take away the pain from manual processes. We had been using Planoly for a long time, then Hopper came along, so we decided to road test that for a bit. Below are the results of the great test: which Instagram scheduling tool should I use (2020)?
Planoly is a free tool with paid add on features available for monthly and annual plans. Planoly can be used on desktop and with the app, available for iOS and Android. We used the free version for a very long time, it’s grand without it. It’s only when you need to bring on multiple users and increase your posting, you need to go on to solo. But it’s cheap! Just $7 per month.
When using Planoly, we found it useful to plan the content on desktop, then post manually using the app. Auto posting can be tricky on Planoly so follow this link for instructions and guidelines on how to set it up.
Steps for using Planoly:
- Go to https://www.planoly.com or download the app.
- Use either the plan or draft tabs, making sure to link your Facebook in order to set up Auto Post, which is only available for business accounts.
- Click on an uploaded image to caption and schedule then move to the app and hit “Post Now.”
- You will be brought to a separate screen, hit “Post” then “Ok.”
- The share tab will pop up, hit “Copy to Instagram.”
- Follow the posting menus then paste your caption from your clipboard.
Planoly is not bad. Auto post is useful for business accounts, just know that if you have a personal account you must post manually. If manual posting is the case for you, don’t worry it only takes a few seconds to post if you have everything ready in Planoly.
One of the main benefits to Planoly over other scheduling tools is that it allows you to post to stories on the free version, huge plus.
There were some problems. Sometimes Planoly deleted an image when moving from the app to Instagram. We noticed this happened when Instagram needed to refresh. So, if you open it beforehand or move fast when on the “post to story or feed” screen once it redirects you to Instagram, this reduces the likelihood of it happening. It is a bit annoying, but the glitches were nothing in comparison to Hopper HQ.
Planoly Rating: 4/5 – accurate and easy Instagram scheduling tool.
Later.com is a free scheduling tool, you can sign up using your email address and then easily link to your Instagram account. When setting up, Later asks a few questions about your business so that it can tailor insights for when you use, which is handy. The platform is pretty easy to navigate, you can upload your content in a couple of clicks and then drag and drop onto the calendar to schedule. Add some text and your hashtags and you are ready to go. Although we trialed the free version, you can upgrade to enable features such as suggested hashtags. The free version enables 30 posts per month, but again you can upgrade to a paid version to be able to increase this quota.
The basic version of Later.com is free to use, which is a positive. It allows you 1 profile per platform and 30 posts per month, great if you are just starting out. There are various options if you want to upgrade, which will give you more posts each month and additional features such as best times to post and hashtag suggestions. Take a look below or head over to Later.com to see their price structure.
Steps to using Later.com
- Go to Later.com and sign up for your free account.
- Follow the prompts to connect your Instagram account to enable auto scheduling.
- Provide basic details as to what type of business you carry out, to get relevant insights.
- Start uploading your content.
- Drag and drop your content onto the calendar.
- Add your text and hashtags.
- If you want you can add a first comment with a link to go out with your post.
- Check you are happy with your date and time and then save.
- You can preview your page to see how the post will look alongside what you have already posted.
Later.com is super useful for both personal and business accounts alike. The drag and drop onto the calendar makes it really intuitive and easy to use. However, as this feature is so easy to use, we would recommend double checking you have dropped onto the right slot on the calendar before posting, we nearly got caught out a couple of times. You need to bear in mind that the free version does have limits as to how many accounts you can connect and how many posts you can publish each month. Posting to stories is possible with Later.com but only on the paid versions!
Rating: 3/5 – Really simple to use, need to double check your times though.
2. Hopper HQ
Hopper is a paid online application, offering a free 14 day trial when you join (but you need to enter a credit card in order to sign up). They have a different pricing model than Planoly, so refer to this G2 article for more information.
Essentially it is $19/month for one account on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Steps to post using Hopper
- Go to https://www.hopperhq.com/plan-select/ and sign up for your 14 day trial. We chose the monthly plan, since it was less of a financial risk in case we forgot to cancel the subscription after our trial.
- Link your account to Facebook to enable auto post.
- Click “Create Posts”, then single or multiple posts.
- Click “Add Image” and select from files or drag and drop. Here you can also schedule the post, add your caption, add a location and draft it.
- To publish a drafted post, click on the image in the grid → click the date section and change the time (or click post now) → unclick draft → save and it will post at that time.
- Now it will show up in the scheduled section. You must give at least 5 minutes between posts or else it will glitch and rearrange the order of posting, messing up the grid.
Although customer service reached out to us after we canceled our free trial, we do not recommend this app until the bug is fixed. The deleting of posts happened on multiple occasions, negating the purpose of using a scheduling app to save time. Also, there is no ability to post to stories at all with this app!
Rating: 1/5 – An absolute pain to use.
Which Instagram Scheduling App To Use?
It was a really close call between Planoly and Later.com, but Planoly just pipped it. We thought the value was excellent with Planoly seeing as it allows posting to stories for free, with Later.com this is a paid feature, and Hopper does not support posting to stories at all!
We hope you have enjoyed this review of Instagram scheduling apps. If you currently use a scheduling app, let us know your favourite and we’ll be happy to give it a road test and include it in the post.
Here’s a cool #InstaHack on how you can add a link to your Stories content without the need for 10,000 followers.