Up until recently, Instagram didn’t let people auto post so I had to figure out a way to schedule my content without the help of, SmarterQueue, my social media scheduler for all my other content.
I tested out the Instagram scheduler on both Tailwind and Hootsuite and both didn’t measure up to actually making the process easier than the process I have discovered on my own – WITHOUT paying for a social media scheduler.
Before diving into how I schedule my Instagram posts FOR FREE and WITHOUT paying for a social media scheduler.
Let me first tell you some pros and cons of how you can use PARTS of Tailwind to your scheduling benefit.
With Tailwind, there isn’t a spell checker and the first post I made was a TOTAL FAIL and toatally embarrassing. ? See what I did there?
However, Tailwind is HANDS DOWN the best tool for Pinterest.
But back to Instagram.
A cool feature they offer is the HASHTAG FINDER where they generate popular hashtags in accordance to your photo and the hashtags you generally use.
They even color code the hashtags they generate for you so you can see if it’s a #niche, #good, #best, or #competitive hashtag!
Also if you click on ‘add to queue’ it will automatically choose the BEST TIME TO POST for your audience which is a super cool feature.
So I wouldn’t totally rule it out. If you’re a good speller, it would work for you haha! #YouCantBeGoodAtEverything ?
It also keeps track of how many hashtags you have used so you know when you’ve reached the maximum of 30 hashtags per post.
I don’t like looking up new hashtags, but I know it’s good to switch it up, so I use Tailwind simply to find the best hashtags!
A good rule of thumb is to include the maximum amount of hashtags for each post.
- 5 should be niche
- 10 should be good
- 10 should be best
- 5 should be competitive
This will help you get the most exposure to your pictures, since Instagram is all about hashtags and hashtags are how you gain new followers.
I like to post my hashtags AFTER my picture has been posted so that my caption shows and my hashtags don’t.
This is how I do it: I write out all my hashtags and save it in my Notes app on my iPhone.
I have lots of categories and separate groups of hashtags for each, but in this case it’s for general posts on LBB aka LadyBossBlogger.
Notice how I have five dots before my hashtags.
These five dots help conceal and tuck my hashtags neatly below my caption. I copy and paste this exact set of hashtags AS THE FIRST COMMENT to every single post.
This way when people click on “more” to read your full caption they won’t see a whole pile of cluttered hashtags. It’s not a huge deal, but Instagram is all about aesthetics and the cleaner your page is, the better it will perform.
Now, about CLEAN profiles.
It’s nice to type everything out in your Notes app if you want to include a paragraph break in your caption so it doesn’t look like mine below.
All my captions are stories, so it’s literally what goes through my brain then onto my caption. To me, that is how I like to keep it authentic, but find your own style. Or maybe I’m just lazy and don’t want to take that extra step haha! ?
Also I just wanted a reason to share my caption story with you guys below. ?
NOW… let’s dive into the moment you’ve been waiting for: My system for auto posting on Instagram FOR FREE!
It’s honestly really simple and the meat of it is below. ?
“The Instagram Drafts Folder”
Most people don’t even know that Instagram has a drafts folder.
Now you may be thinking, that’s not auto posting!? ?
Well, let me tell you WHY it’s BETTER than auto posting…
There are no additional steps involved.
Even if you use social media schedulers, you can’t geotag or tag people in your pictures, you have to do that manually afterwards.
So let me present to you the way I’ve been doing it through Instagram Drafts.
Your Drafts Folder won’t show up until you actually have drafts in there.
- Click on a picture from your camera roll that you’d like to post.
- Click next, filter it, then next.
- Write your caption, tag your people, add your location, and if you share your Instagram posts on other platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr, make sure to select those too. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about look at the picture below).
Then click on the back button in the top left hand corner TWICE.✌
Click on “Save Draft” and you’ve created your first draft!
Once you create a bunch of drafts, you can see what they will look like on your feed to help you better plan out your posts.
You can click Edit in the corner, delete some, edit some and save them again. The only thing you can’t do it reorder them. You can only delete then re-upload if you want to see what your feed will look like.
Now all you have to do when you’re ready to post is go to your Notes App, copy your hashtags, post your picture and post your first comment with your hashtags and YOU’RE DONE.
If you want to cut one step out, simply include all your hashtags in your drafts pic and LITERALLY all you have to do is press POST.
If you have any questions about Instagram, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be glad to answer any questions you may have!
If you loved this post, please share on your social platforms and PIN the pic below!
<3 Elaine Rau
*Disclosure: There are some affiliate links in this post, but these are all products I highly recommend. I won’t put anything on this page that I haven’t verified and/or personally used.