How to Automate Instagram Posts: A Comprehensive 2021 Guide

How to Automate Instagram Posts: A Comprehensive 2021 Guide

Does posting on Instagram take up a lot of your time? Have you ever scrambled to post an Instagram update you should’ve posted hours ago, facepalming yourself all the while for forgetting? Let’s face it. Scheduling Instagram posts and trying to keep on schedule can be a drag.

Which begs the question, Can you automate Instagram posts?

The answer? A resounding YES! Automating your Instagram posts makes the process of scheduling and posting posts much faster, less painful, and more accurate. 

It helps you schedule your social media posts in advance, reducing the amount of time spent gathering and creating posts and giving you more time and energy to engage with your audience.

In this blog post, we talk about why you must automate your Instagram posts and how you can pull it off.

You’ll learn:
  • Why automation is needed in your Instagram strategy,
  • How to schedule posts in advance,
  • How to automatically moderate comments on Instagram, including Ads.

Ready? Keep reading!

Manage multiple Instagram accounts with one simple tool

Manage multiple Instagram accounts with one simple tool

Manage comments and messages from multiple IG accounts – all from one dashboard. Get in-depth analytics and reports & more. Try NapoleonCat for free:

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Why you need to automate Instagram posts

Automating your Instagram posts is one of the best things you can do for your social media campaign. Here are three reasons why.

  1. It saves you time

Don’t get me wrong – drafting and publishing a single Instagram post is no biggie. It takes you only a few minutes, maybe 30 minutes at the most?

But when you’re doing it several times a day, and then doing it again the day after, and so on… well, let’s just say minutes have a way of adding up. Before you know it, you’re spending hours each week trying to keep up with your Instagram publishing schedule

When you’re automating Instagram posts, you need only 15 minutes to do an entire week’s work. 

Now imagine automating your Instagram posts not just for a week, but for a month. For an entire year!

Time is money, right? You see, money, like time, has a way of adding up. Ka-ching!

Automate Instagram posts gif
  1. It helps you focus on more impactful tasks

Once your Instagram posts are being automatically published at set times of the day, you will have more time and energy to focus on more impactful tasks. 

Instead of reacting to urgent problems all the time, you get to spend more time doing things that will move the needle for your social media campaign.

In other words, you will have more time for high-impact tasks such as:

  • Strategizing. 
  • Crafting and curating engaging content.
  • Proactively seeking out and building relationships with your audience
  • Measuring the effectiveness of your social media campaign
  • Learning and upskilling
  • Experimenting

If you’re familiar with the Eisenhower matrix, the above activities would be categorized under Quadrant 2, or what author Stephen Covey would call “important but non-urgent” tasks. In his book The 7 Habits of Effective People, he wrote that the most effective people are proactive and invest their time and energy into doing Quadrant 2 (“important but non-urgent) activities.

Automating your Instagram posts helps you avoid the “urgency trap.” That is all you need to move mountains in your Instagram marketing campaign.

  1. It keeps you organized

When you automate repetitive, mindless tasks, it becomes so much easier to stay organized. 

When you’re not always trying to keep up with a posting schedule, your stress level significantly goes down. The stress relief alone helps you think more clearly, allowing you to keep track of even the smallest details in your social media campaign. 

Besides, the less stressed you are, the more likely that you’ll work smarter. Staying organized can help you have a bird’s eye view of what’s going on in your business. When you’re ahead of schedule and have time on your side, it becomes so much easier to keep track of what’s important, compelling you to keep doing things that move the needle for your business.

Schedule Instagram Posts & Save Time

Schedule Instagram Posts & Save Time

Schedule Instagram posts to multiple accounts at once. Work in a team, assign posts to other people, exchange feedback & more – all with one simple tool. Try it for free:

Try NapoleonCat free for 14 days. No credit card required.

How to schedule and automate Instagram posts

So, let’s get to the fun stuff, shall we? Here are the steps to automate your Instagram posts.

1. Set up a business account on Instagram

First, you need to set up a business account on Instagram. Doing this will give you access to features that will help you build your business.

(If you already have an Instagram business account, move on to step 2.)

To turn your profile into a business account:

  • Go to your profile. 
  • Tap ☰ in the top right corner.
  • Tap Settings.
  • Tap Account.
  • Under Settings, tap Switch to Professional Account.
  • Tap Business and then Next
  • Connect your Instagram business profile to your Facebook business page or create a new Facebook Page. 
  • Add and review your business contact information.
  • Tap Done.

2. Connect your Instagram account to your social media management platform

Next, link your Instagram profile to a social media management platform like NapoleonCat.

If you’re using NapoleonCat, perform the following steps:

  • Go to Project settings.
  • Go to Profiles you manage tab
  • Click on Connect Profile 
  • Choose the social platform – Instagram profile
  • Authorize NapoleonCat to access your Facebook business page (Instagram Business profiles are always connected to a Facebook account).
  • Choose the Instagram profile you want to connect from your managed profiles list.
  • Click Connect
  • If you want to connect to another Instagram profile, perform the same steps.

The process only takes a few seconds, here’s how it looks in action [video].

3. Craft, schedule, and publish your Instagram post

If you want to draft, schedule, and publish your Instagram posts directly from your desktop, a dedicated social media scheduling tool should help.

NapoleonCat’s Publisher tool, for example, makes scheduling convenient for individuals and teams of content creators. 

The tool not only makes it easy to assign tasks to team members, but it also gives everyone a bird’s eye view of your cross-platform calendar, giving you and your team a high degree of transparency on how well your social media campaigns are progressing across the board. 

The Publisher tool supports Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google My Business.

Automate Instagram posts - content calendar
Content calendar in NapoleonCat’s Publisher.

For the purposes of this post, you can use the Publisher tool to create and schedule posts across multiple Instagram accounts at once!

Follow these steps to craft and schedule your Instagram post (or see it on this video)

  • Click the Publish NEW icon on the left side of the dashboard
  • The Publisher dashboard will show you three tabs: Calendar, Posts, and My Tasks. Click on Calendar.
  • To start crafting your first Instagram post, hover over a date of your choice and click on the yellow “+” button. To pick a later date, click on the “+” button on the top right corner of the screen instead.
  • The Post Creator will now appear. You can now start creating your post. 
  • You’ll now see a list of all social profiles connected with NapoleonCat. Select a profile(s) by using the checkboxes before crafting your post.
  • Write your post’s caption in the text field. Use the other fields to add platform-specific components (with Instagram posts, you can add a picture, add a video, tag a location, or even add the post’s first comment).
  • You can also crop your image to match Instagram’s aspect ratio.
Automate Instagram posts - schedule posts
Adjusting photo ratio.
  • To tag users in your post, hover over the thumbnail image and click on the icon in the middle.
  • A pop-up window will appear. Click on the picture to tag other profiles. Type their username/s within the box on the right-hand side.
  • If you decide to upload a video, click on the film icon.
  • Select the thumbnail of your choice for your video and Save Changes.
  • On the right-hand side of Post Creator, you should see a live preview of how the post will look on Instagram.
  • Below the Post Creator, you can publish your post immediately or schedule it for publication at a later time or date. 
  • Toggle the yellow button to switch between publishing and scheduling mode.
  • If you want to schedule the Instagram post, click on the Calendar icon, select the publication date, and then set the time.
Automate Instagram posts - scheduling a post

The Publisher is also designed for teamwork and collaboration:

  • You can also assign other users to work on a specific post.
  • You can add subscribers who will be notified of any changes made to the post
  • Below the post preview, there’s a discussion panel where you and your team members can exchange feedback regarding specific publications.
Automate Instagram posts - discussion panel

4. Automating comment moderation

When you’re publishing Instagram posts, moderating comments comes with the territory.

Chances are, some of your customers are asking the same questions over and over again. And the deal is your comment moderation team won’t always be available to respond. Wouldn’t it be nice if you can automate responses to these questions? All you have to do is use auto-comments on Instagram.

If you want to build a community on Instagram, you not only have to read your followers’ comments, you also have to respond and engage–fast. After all, responding to comments shows your audience that you care and that you’re not going to leave them to fend for themselves if they need your advice or help. 

Besides, being responsive to comments on Instagram comes with many benefits:

  • It improves the chances of your Instagram post ranking as a Top Post.
  • It builds social proof, attracting new followers.
  • It increases engagement (if you reply to each comment, you will double the engagement).

But you need to moderate comments to ensure that your community is safe from abuse, spam, and profanity. Letting trolls run amok could turn your followers away, which can negatively impact your Instagram campaign and business.

Moderating comments, however, can be time-consuming, not to mention frustrating. Seriously, do this long enough and trolls will drive you up the wall. 

So why not let NapoleonCat handle it? Yes, you can automate comment moderation, too!

Shield your Instagram posts from spam & hate

Shield your Instagram posts from spam & hate

Use NapoleonCat to automatically hide or delete comments containing hate speech, inappropriate language, and spam (organic posts and ads included). Try it for free:

Try NapoleonCat free for 14 days. No credit card required.

How to automatically moderate Instagram comments using NapoleonCat

NapoleonCat can help you answer repetitive questions, delete spam, and hide inappropriate comments even while you’re sleeping.

And that includes both organic posts and Instagram ads!

All you need to do is set rules based on specific triggers (comments, comments for specific posts) and keywords that you define. Once the rules are set, the platform will automatically carry out those rules. 

To set a rule, do the following:

  • In the NapoleonCat dashboard, go to the Inbox module.
  • Click on the Auto-moderation button on the top right-hand corner.
  • A pop-up window will appear showing all your moderation rules. To set rules, click on the Add new rule button on the top-right-hand corner.
  • Name the rule as you set it. This will be added to the list of rules. You can create as many rules as you want.
  • Choose the trigger – all comments or comments for a specific post.
Automate Instagram posts - creating an automoderation rule
  • You can add your keywords as well – any comments including your keyword will automatically trigger the rule.
Automate Instagram posts - creating an automoderation rule
  • You can also tag fans or trolls within your NapoleonCat Inbox and add keywords to specify exact triggers within messages you want to auto-moderate.
  • After you’re done defining your triggers, define the actions that your rules will take.
  • You can hide, delete, archive, or flag comments. The last two actions happen only in NapoleonCat’s Inbox and don’t do anything on Instagram.
Automate Instagram posts - creating an automoderation rule
  • You can also auto-publish replies as a comment. If you’re worried the comments will sound repetitive and impersonal, don’t worry, for NapoleonCat allows you to set up to 20 different replies. Just click on Add another reply to randomize button and you’re good to go. NapoleonCat will choose one of those replies at random every time the rule is triggered.
  • You can also send automatic email notifications to selected members of your team every time a rule is triggered. Under Set Notification,  type the email addresses of the people you want to send those email notifications to.

Want to set auto-moderation only when your human moderators are away? 

You can set a schedule for each rule at specific times and days of the week. Just tick the “Rule schedule” box and select the time slots to activate the rule.

Once you’re done setting up your rule, click Save Rule.

And you’re done! The rule will be put in effect immediately and you can rest easy that trolls won’t be able to make trouble while your moderators are away.

Final Word

Our increasingly digitized world is moving at breakneck speed, and customers expect you to keep up with their changing wants and needs. By automating your Instagram posts, you’re putting yourself in a good position to connect and engage with your customers when it matters most.

The tips and steps above offer effective, actionable ways to save time and optimize your efforts in building a solid presence on Instagram, and on other social networks as well. 

Want to automate your Instagram posts now? Sign up for NapoleonCat’s free-trial offer here!

 Instagram marketing made easier

Instagram marketing made easier

Analytics, reporting, scheduling, and more. Try NapoleonCat and save 90% of your time spent on your marketing tasks. Try it for free:

Try NapoleonCat free for 14 days. No credit card required.