What Instagram’s API Release Means for Social Media Marketing

Ever since Instagram hit the scene and businesses started to find their way onto the platform, its restricted scheduling features have been one of the biggest complaints. As a marketer, you are likely well aware of the ease scheduling tools can bring to the execution of your social media strategy. Social media managers often schedule their posts out in advance in order to ensure consistency and quality. However, until recently, the closest social media managers could get to scheduling  Instagram posts was by receiving a push notification reminder to actually go in and post. Well, folks, those days are over.

On January 30, 2018, Instagram released their new API update that now allows actual scheduling of Instagram posts through Facebook’s and Instagram’s Marketing Partners such as HootSuite and HubSpot. Here’s how this update can benefit your social media strategy beyond just making your job a little easier. 

Always Post at Optimal Times

One of the biggest benefits of the new scheduling capabilities is being able to always schedule your posts at optimal times without having to whip your phone out during your family dinner or while you’re in the middle of a meeting. Being able to schedule your posts during optimal times not only provides convenience but will also help you improve your engagement rates as you’re able to post when your followers are most active online each and every day. 

Keep a Consistent Posting Schedule

Many companies’ social efforts ebb and flow. When work schedules are light, it’s easy to be motivated to post on a daily basis. However, if the next month a big project comes along, it’s easy for social efforts to get off track. This inconsistency can cause your social followers to forget about you for months at a time. By posting on a consistent basis, your followers will be reminded of you daily which will make you top-of-mind whenever they’re in need of your product or service.

Test, Analyze, Tweak, Repeat

Another big benefit of being able to schedule your Instagram posts is the ability to test your content and truly find what works best for your company. Yes, there are many articles you’ll find out there about the best posting times and content for all the different social platforms, but in reality, every business is different. If you’re a coffee house that relies on your breakfast crowd, an early morning post would be much more powerful for you than a 2 pm post advertising your breakfast specials. At the same time, if you’re a movie theater, it might be better to post in the afternoon to try to encourage people to stop by that night for a movie.

Take advantage of scheduling by setting up controlled experiments to make your own best practices document. For example, if you’re a coffeehouse, schedule a post for Monday at 5:30 am that highlights your baristas at work. Then the next Monday, schedule a post again at 5:30 am that showcases your yummy streusel bread with a cup of steaming hot coffee. Did one way out-perform the other? Because you can factor out timing being a variable, you now know what type of content your followers prefer.

The new Instagram API release has marketers everywhere raising their glasses in celebration. Make sure you take full advantage of the new opportunities available to you.

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