You run an Instagram account because you have to. You want to reach new people, promote your brand or business, and have a place to share a more personal side of you. There’s one problem, though. You don’t have the time to run an Instagram account.
What do you do? (Don’t worry, I won’t tell you to get up earlier or sleep later because if you’re busy, you probably already have your sleeping schedule as tight as possible.)
How to run a successful Instagram account if you don’t have time
1. Schedule posts
There are a myriad of websites that allow you to schedule social media posts, including Instagram posts. The problem with this, however, is that Instagram doesn’t allow any third party websites to post to Instagram without your permission.
You can schedule posts with a caption, hashtags, and everything needed, and then set the time and date. However, when it’s time for the post to be uploaded to Instagram, it will notify you, and you have to personally copy and paste (just a few clicks depending on the platform you choose) the post to Instagram. Usually, the post would upload by itself if it’s Facebook or Twitter, but like I mentioned, Instagram doesn’t allow that.
Scheduling makes it faster, but you do still have to post. If you’re interested in something like this, most scheduling platforms offer free trials, and you can see for yourself if this is something worth investing in. Here are a few popular programs (all plans vary with users, accounts, etc.):
- Hootsuite (30-day free trial, $29/month - billed annually)
- Meet Edgar (14-day free trial, $49/month)
- Sprout Social (30-day free trial, $99/month - standard plan)
- Loomly (15-day free trial, $27/month)
- Buffer (Free plan forever, pro: 7-day free trail, $15/month)
2. Bulk (Save as drafts)
I know you proclaim that you don’t have time, but what if just once a week you scheduled one hour to create enough Instagram posts for a week, that way you wouldn’t have to worry about scrambling to make one Instagram post for that day. It’s less of a hassle and a lot more efficient. Once you create the posts that you need for the week you can save them as drafts directly on Instagram.
Upload the picture, write a caption, add the hashtags, and then, so you don’t forget, set an alarm for a time you know you’re free, and that’s when you upload the post. It only takes a few seconds.
3. Save your hashtags
You know the importance of hashtags, and how researching for the right ones can change the amount of engagement you receive. This is something you’re only going to have to do once, so it’s worth taking the time out of your day to do this.
Go onto Instagram, and research which hashtags would be best for you to use. Consider all of the posts that you’re likely to upload, and figure out which hashtags would be best. Whether you want to have thirty hashtags or just fifteen for each post is up to you considering there are people who say that one works and the other doesn’t. It’s worth experimenting.
After you’ve found the hashtags, save them all to your notes app according to the type of post. When you upload, all you’ll have to do is copy and paste the hashtags rather than having to come up with them on the spot.
4. Post less
While this may sound contrary to what you’ve heard, this only applies to you if you upload three to four times a day. While there are some who’ll argue that uploading twice a day isn’t enough, there are others who say they’ve succeeded with only two posts a day.
If you’re uploading four to five times a day, you can go down to two or three posts. This is another thing to experiment.
5. Hire a social media manager
There are social media managers everywhere. You can ask a friend if they know any social media managers, you can tell your own audience that you’re looking for one and take job applications, or you can upload a job listing on a freelancing website like Upwork.
Tell your social media manager what type of posts to make, what your brand colors are, and so on, and then give them the password to your Instagram. You’ll have to provide them with pictures of yourself because they don’t have any, and where they can find your quotes. You can also provide them with new quotes.
6. Use Instagram in your “free time”
Hear me out before you scoff and roll your eyes. When I say use Instagram in your free time, I don’t mean use it when you’ve scheduled a break after seven hours of work. I mean, use it in the unschaeduled free times that are only five to ten minutes. For example, when you’re sitting in an Uber, rushing to your next meeting, instead of staring out the window at the city you’ve seen a million times, use that time to upload an Instagram post. (Or, you can even record your ride, and add text that says, “On my way to ____!”
When you’re waiting in the back of a stage because you’re up in seven minutes, go live on Instagram. Instagram lives are of all lengths and a five-minute live is perfectly normal. Take that time to talk about where you’re at, what you’re doing, and what you’ll be talking about. Your followers would love to see what you’re up to.
But as you can see, when you think about the free time you have in between events and what not, it’s a lot easier to take that time to upload a picture, a story, or go live on Instagram. It’s about finding time in the nooks and crannies. Don’t quit on what could potentially help your business grow simply because you can’t find time; you just really have to look for it.