DIGITAL

The 4-1-1: Hootsuite’s Instagram Integration

By OCGPR Staff | September 15, 2015

In case you missed all the hype, Hootsuite (one of the more popular social media management and tracking tools) has finally integrated with the photo-sharing social networking site, Instagram.

Prior to this move, if a brand or social media professional managed social networking via Hootsuite, they would have to go separately to Instagram to post pictures and manage that account. As you can imagine, this was pretty inconvenient for social media managers who liked the ease of handling and managing all social media management from one platform.

When the news came across that Hootsuite was integrating Instagram the social media community got just a little excited.

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But, unfortunately, some of that excitement might have been premature. Here’s why:

It’s convenient… to a point

If you manage responses, monitor hashtags and even watch posts by location, you will be glad to know that you can do all of this with Hootsuite’s Instagram integration. You can add tabs and create streams for these things just like you would on Twitter and Facebook. No more having to scroll through Instagram to see what your followers and fans are talking about. But don’t get rid of your Instagram app just yet….

It is possible to monitor more than one Instagram account in Hootsuite, which is really convenient, considering that Instagram only allows you to be logged into one account at a time. But that’s about where it ends for the ease of managing multiple Instagram accounts. As you’ll see in the next step, it can get complicated.

Scheduling Instagram posts through Hootsuite

On the surface, this process is just like scheduling posts for any other social media platform. You attach your image and put captions and hashtags in the copy area, then set the time you want to schedule it for.

Now, here’s where it gets tricky. If you don’t have it already, Hootsuite will prompt you to download its mobile app on your phone. The reason for this is, scheduling an Instagram post through Hootsuite isn’t actually scheduling an Instagram post in Hootsuite, at least not in the sense you were thinking. It actually means you’re pre-uploading all your content and setting a reminder to be sent to your phone at the time you scheduled it for.

When the scheduled time arrives, you’ll get an alert from Hootsuite on your phone that will take you to a page that looks like this:

Hootsuite Screenshot 1

Once you verify which post you would like to share on Instagram (both of ours are pictures of cookies because…NOM), you’ll see this:

 

Hootsuite Screenshot 2

Once you click “Open in Instagram” you’ll get this alert:

 

Hootsuite Screenshot 3

This is really important if you juggle between Instagram accounts on your phone!

Once you’ve confirmed that you’re logged into the right account, the post will open up in Instagram (with your caption and list of hashtags already pasted, thank goodness), and all you have to do is add any filters and hit post.

Bottom line

This is a little disappointing for a couple of reasons. The main one being for those times when you want to post at, let’s say, 2 a.m. to catch the “first thing in the morning” Instagram users, or if you want to reschedule a post for another time but you’re unable to check your phone at the exact time your post was scheduled to go live.

Hootsuite’s update is definitely a bit more convenient than the old days of not being able to pre-load your content, but the integration still leaves much to be desired. On the bright side, the management and monitoring piece of the integration will be very useful for social media managers.

Have you started to use the new integrated feature? Share your thoughts or comments about it with us in the comments below or tweet us at @ocg_pr!

 

 

 

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