How to Schedule Instagram Stories on Hootsuite: A Step-by-Step Guide!

How to Schedule Instagram Stories on Hootsuite: A Step-by-Step Guide!
Image credit: Jakob ovens

Many companies have discovered that Instagram Stories are a great way to grow their brand since it increases visibility. The key to Instagram Stories is timing and consistency. But, a lot of people will admit that it takes up a lot of time. Have you ever wondered if there was a time-efficient way to manage your Instagram Stories? Well, there is. Hootsuite is a social media management tool that schedules all kinds of content posting. In this article, we’ll show you how to schedule Instagram stories on Hootsuite.

What is Hootsuite?

Hootsuite is one of the most popular social media productivity tools created by Ryan Holmes in 2008. At that time, he was the owner of a thriving digital service agency. As you can imagine, a business like that would need to have a firm grip on their social media, to survive in a competitive market. Holmes had the difficult task of staying socially active and running his business at the same time. 

As explained in a 2016 interview with Entrepreneur.com, Holmes set out to find a social media management tool that would manage all of his social networks so that he could focus on other aspects of his business. Unfortunately, he couldn’t find a single, all-comprising platform that had all the features and requirements he was looking for. Rather than give up, he decided to develop his platform with a group of other people.

Together, they designed a social media management tool that had everything a business would need to manage their accounts. Initially, they called the management tool BrightKit, but in 2009, they changed the name to Hootsuite. The aim was for Hootsuite to give users a way to post content on multiple platforms at the same time. 

Now you can use it to curate content, answer queries from your clients, and respond to mentions or comments on your social media pages. 

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Why is Hootsuite Useful? 

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the thought of monitoring all your different social media pages at the same time? If so, Hootsuite is just what you need. It allows you to monitor and manage several different social platforms from a central location. 

Secondly, it’s great for businesses that have more than one person handling their social media accounts. With Hootsuite, you can assign tasks to individual team members. In turn, these team members can also have access to post content or to respond to clients. 

One other great thing about Hootsuite is that it sends all its users free analytics reports by email. Every week, you will receive news that gives a basic assessment of how your social media pages are doing. For instance, the reports contain graphs that show you the number of people visiting your pages, their geographical locations, and the most popular links on your pages.

What is Instagram Stories?

For a long time, Snapchat’s “My Story” feature was the ideal way to share photos and videos. Users loved the fact that they could post live updates of moments in their day. In August 2016, Instagram released a new feature called “Instagram Stories”.  No, the similarity of the names was not a coincidence. Many people believe that Instagram intentionally copied Snapchat as payback for not being able to buy them out. Whatever their reason, Instagram’s decision to launch Stories has done them a world of good. 

So, what exactly are Instagram Stories? They are videos and photos which give your followers a glimpse into your day, in real-time. It is a way for users to share multiple pictures or videos, which appear in a slideshow format. Just like with Snapchat’s “My Story”, any content posted to Instagram Stories will disappear after 24 hours. 

You can edit your stories before you post them. You are equally free to include text, doodles, or stickers to your Instagram stories. The most popular stickers are locations and polls. A recent update even allows you to add music to your stories as well. Instagram Stories are shown in a bar at the top of your home page. When a person you’re following posts something new to their Story, you will see a purple ring around their profile picture. This lets you know that there’s new content to view. 

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Benefits of Instagram Stories

At this point, you might be wondering why you should bother to use Instagram Stories. After all, you can simply upload any photos or videos to your main Instagram page. Well, allow us to explain why Instagram Stories are such a big deal. 

Internet users are known to have very short attention spans. People look for content that will give them the information they need quickly. As a brand owner, you can get away with posting long videos now and then. But if you do this frequently, you’re likely to bore your viewers away. For that reason, Instagram limits Story videos to 15 seconds. That gives you a great way to post short, relevant videos that will keep your audience engaged without wearing them out.

Similarly, Instagram Stories is the perfect way to stay at the top of your audience’s mind without overloading them with content. We all know that a good marketing strategy is to post frequently so that your audience doesn’t have the chance to forget about you. But people can find it annoying if you’re continually taking over their news feed by posting to your main Instagram page. The solution to this is to instead post to your Story. Instagram Stories do not appear in the news feed, so you can post as frequently as you like without overburdening anyone. 

Another benefit of Instagram Stories is that it gives users the chance to connect with their followers. For businesses and organizations, it provides a way to add a human touch to your brand. You can post videos of the staff at work, or of the processes that your products go through before they’re ready for sale. If you’re having an event, you can post live videos to show people what they’re missing out on. Celebrities and entertainers can also use Instagram Stories to connect with fans, by showing them snippets of their everyday life routines. 

how to schedule Instagram stories on Hootsuite
Image credit: Startup Stock

How to Schedule Instagram Stories on Hootsuite

There’s no doubt that Instagram Stories are great, and maybe even essential for any business that wants to do well. The more you post, the more engagement and value you get for your brand. But posting Instagram stories isn’t as straightforward as it might seem. If you’re hoping to gain something, then you need to put in some thought. Apart from coming up with relevant and exciting content to post, there’s also the issue of timing and consistency. 

You can post a lot of content on your Instagram story, but if your audience isn’t online at the time you post, you’re not going to get much out of it. Additionally, if you’re actively posting this week, and suddenly silent next week, you’re not going to get far either. This is where a social media manager like Hootsuite comes in.

Hootsuite takes over that part of the work for you. You can schedule Instagram stories on Hootsuite so that they are posted at particular times throughout the day or week. Keep reading for a detailed guide on how to schedule Instagram stories on Hootsuite. 

Step 1: Make sure that you have everything you need to schedule IG stories on Hootsuite

Unlike some other social media networks, Instagram has an API limitation that prevents third-party applications and software from posting directly to Instagram Stories. To successfully post your content, you will need to do a few more things after scheduling on Hootsuite.

You can do the actual scheduling on a desktop computer, but to complete the entire process, you also need to have the mobile apps of both Instagram and Hootsuite. Naturally, you’ll need to have a Hootsuite account as well. Visit the Hootsuite website to sign up for one of the three packages on offer. If you already have a Hootsuite account, then you can just log in with your account details and move on to the next step. 

Step 2: Add your Instagram account to Hootsuite

The next thing you need to do is to add your Instagram account to your social media networks on Hootsuite. For those who already use Hootsuite to publish regular Instagram posts, there’s no need to do this. Your Instagram account should already be listed under your networks. If this is your first-time using Hootsuite for Instagram, then follow these steps to add your account: 

  • In the right-hand corner of your Hootsuite page, click on your profile image.
  • From the list of options, select Manage Social Networks
  • Now, select Private Social Networks and then go to Add a Network.
  • Click on Instagram, and then select Connect with Instagram.
  • The next thing to do is to enter your Instagram account details.

Step 3: Compose and schedule your posts for Hootsuite

Now that your Hootsuite and Instagram accounts are linked, you can jump straight into creating and scheduling your content. 

  • From the Hootsuite dashboard, click on the button that says New Post, and then select New Story
  • Select the Instagram account you want to upload your Story. 
  • Instagram allows you to share up to 10 pictures and videos on your Story. Click on Select File to choose the ones you want to upload. Or simply drag and drop videos or photos into the media area. The other option is to use free stock images from your Enterprise content library. To do this, click on Open Media Library and choose the pictures you want. Any image you select should not be more than 5MB. 
  •  If you want your photos and videos to appear in a particular order, use the list on the left side of the dashboard to rearrange them as you please. 

Step 4: Edit your content with Hootsuite

Hootsuite comes with a built-in image editor. You can use this to customise your content.

  • Under the transform menu, click on Story, to crop your photo to the appropriate size for Instagram stories.  
  • Take advantage of the Adjust and Focus tools to improve the appearance of your pictures. There are also several filters that you can choose from. 
  • You can use frames, stickers, and overlay texts to add some spunk to your images. The only thing to note is that any frames and stickers that you add from Hootsuite are not clickable in your Stories.

Step 5: Save and Preview your work 

  • Check your image to see if it turned out the way you intended. In the right-hand pane of the dashboard, you can preview your Story to make sure everything is okay. If you’re satisfied, click Save
  • Let’s say you want to add links or hashtags to your Instagram Story, first type the link or hashtag, then save in the clipboard. From there, you can easily copy and paste them when it’s time to publish your post. 

Step 6: Set up mobile notification and schedule your post

  • If this is your first time scheduling a story, you will have to set up the mobile notification workflow. This is a simple process. Simply click on the bell icon and follow the prompts that show up. 
  • Be careful that you do not choose the option for direct publishing. Remember, we mentioned earlier that Instagram doesn’t support this option for stories. 
  • The next thing to do is schedule your post for a particular time. Select ‘Schedule for Later’, and choose a time and date from the calendar that appears. 
  • Click Schedule. That’s it! You now know how to schedule Instagram Stories on Hootsuite. But there’s still some work to do if you want to get your Story published. 

Step 7: Publish your post via Hootsuite

When it’s time for your Story to be published, the Hootsuite app will send a push notification to your phone (that’s why you need to have the app installed). 

  • Open the app and then select Streams. Now click on Notifications. You’ll find it in the top right corner. 
  • Next, select New Publishing Notification. From, there, you can preview your Story. After doing this, select Open in Instagram. If you have multiple Instagram accounts, make sure you are signed into the correct one. There’s no way for Hootsuite to differentiate between accounts, so it will post to whichever account you’re signed into. 
  • Once you’re in the Instagram app, you can select the images or videos you scheduled in Hootsuite. Tap the camera icon, then tap the gallery icon. The scheduled pictures or videos will be the most recent items in your camera roll. 
  • If you typed any hashtags or links in Hootsuite, they would appear on your clipboard. You can simply paste them at the right locations. 
  • At this stage, you can do some further editing, using Instagram’s tools.
  • All you have to do now is click Share, and your Instagram Story will go live!

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How to Schedule Instagram Stories on Hootsuite: To Summarise

Hootsuite is, in our eyes, the best tool for managing Instagram Stories. It helps save time by scheduling your posts. It also helps to increase your visibility by posting stories at the times when your audience is most likely to see them. Altogether, it’s a good idea to know how to schedule Instagram stories on Hootsuite.

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