How to Schedule Instagram Posts in 2024 for Free

Learn how to schedule Instagram posts for free, including publishing Instagram stories and reels to multiple accounts.

How to schedule Instagram posts

Scheduling Instagram posts helps small business owners maintain a consistent online presence. By planning and automating your posts, you can ensure that your content reaches your audience optimally.

Since this approach frees you up to focus on other important aspects of your business, I’ll show you the various ways you can schedule Instagram posts, including using the official app Meta Business Suite and a top-rated tool, EmbedSocial.

While the native option works great for scheduling one post at a time, third-party tools streamline the entire process and include additional functionality. For instance, with EmbedSocial, you can schedule Instagram stories and post to multiple accounts simultaneously.

In this post, we’ll explore how to execute your Instagram strategy and boost your engagement via scheduling.


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1. Schedule an Instagram post via your Instagram account

Instagram has implemented a robust scheduling tool in its official app, although with certain limitations. That said, the scheduling process involves a few steps:

  1. Set up your Instagram Post or Reel
  2. Choose your publishing date and time
  3. Activate Instagram’s scheduling option

1. Set up your Instagram Post or Reel

First, you have to log into your Instagram business account (or content creator account). Then, simply tap the ‘+’ button, choose post or Reel, and do the edits you want:

Steps to create an Instagram post

2. Choose your publishing date and time

On the final screen, add the content captions, and choose your location, audience, hashtags, etc. Then, you have to navigate to ‘Advanced settings’ (or ‘More options’) and toggle the ‘Schedule’ option. There, you choose the time and date you want it to go live:

setting up the time and date for scheduling on instagram

3. Activate Instagram’s scheduling option

Finally, exit the ‘Advanced settings’ menu, and tap ‘Schedule’:

Final step to schedule Instagram post and reels

That’s it! You’ve successfully saved up time and effort by scheduling your Instagram content. Now, go through your Instagram post ideas and choose the ones you like best. Plus, you can manage your scheduled posts at any time via the ‘Scheduled content’ tab:

managing scheduled posts on instagram

As you can see, you can add extra details, choose a new time and date, immediately share the post, or even delete the content if you’ve changed your mind. For more details on the procedure, check out Instagram’s official guide on scheduling content via the app.

2. Schedule Instagram posts via Meta Business Suite

Most social media managers prefer scheduling their Instagram content via the Meta Business Suite’s tools, as they add additional flexibility and functionality.

The process to schedule social media posts using Meta’s business tools is quite straightforward, however, you must ensure your Facebook page is connected to your Instagram business account before proceeding with the steps below:

  1. Access the Meta Business Suite tools
  2. Choose the option to create a post, reel, or story
  3. Customize and schedule your Instagram content

1. Access the Meta Business Suite tools

Getting to the Meta Business Suite tools is very straightforward: log into your Facebook account, open the Facebook page connected to your Instagram business account, and tap on Meta Business Suite, which is found at the bottom of the left-side ribbon menu:

accessing meta business suite via facebook page

2. Choose the option to create a post, reel, or story

Then, you have to click the button for the content you want to create. For instance, here’s the ‘Create post’ button if you want to create Instagram feed posts or carousels:

creating post in meta business suite

Note: You can schedule posts, carousels, reels, and stories via Meta Business Suite.

3. Customize and schedule your Instagram content

The last step involves adding the relevant media to your post, writing the post description/caption, and setting up the date and time for your scheduled content. Once you add all the details, you can click the ‘Schedule’ button at the bottom of the page:

scheduling the post in meta business suite

While you can schedule individual posts or Reels via the official app, social media managers need extra tools and functionality to execute the best Instagram strategy.

For instance, the official app does not allow you to do the following:

  • Schedule on multiple accounts,
  • Schedule Instagram stories,
  • Schedule via a personal account,
  • Schedule via a web browser.

That said, EmbedSocial has an excellent solution that will take care of your needs from a single dashboard, and you only have to follow a few steps. Before you start create your EmbedSocial account (free, trial, or paid):

1. Access the Publishing section

Once you log in, you have to navigate to the ‘Feeds’ tab (left-side ribbon) → ‘Publishing’ and then tap on ‘Create post’ (top-right corner) to start the process:

Instagram publishing and scheduling in EmbedSocial

2. Choose an Instagram account or multiple accounts

Lastly, choose your Instagram account and the content type you want to schedule (Post, Reel, or Story), add your media, write the post caption, and set your scheduled time:

Choose the Instagram accounts where to schedule Instagram post

3. Upload photos and write the Instagram caption

Next, upload photos or videos or multiple photos to create and schedule an Instagram carousel post. Use the AI helper to write a perfect caption with emojis and hashtag suggestions. It’s free to use, and you can try multiple suggestions.

create Instagram post

4. Setup time and date to schedule Instagram content

Click o. Schedule post, and pick the date and time for your post.

setup time and date to schedule Instagram post

Advanced scheduling features

Instagram’s and Meta’s scheduling tools can only go so far. For instance, they can be used only to schedule on your Instagram business page. So if you need an advanced social media post scheduler, consider EmbedSocial, as it comes with advanced options:

Schedule to multiple Instagram accounts at the same time

Unlike the native functionality offered by Instagram, EmbedSocial can concurrently schedule the same content on multiple Instagram accounts, and you only have to connect and tick all the accounts you want to manage through EmbedSocial аs you can see:

Choose the Instagram accounts where to schedule Instagram post

Schedule Instagram stories or Instagram reels too

One big feature missing from the official Instagram scheduler is scheduling stories. Thankfully, you can easily do that too with EmbedSocial via the ‘Story’ option:

Schedule Instagram stories with EmbedSocial

Use AI to write the best Instagram post captions

If you have trouble writing good Instagram captions, EmbedSocial will help you via its integrated AI writing assistant. You only need to provide a few keywords:

AI Instagram caption in EmbedSocial

Schedule posts on Instagram, Google, or LinkedIn at the same time

This option is probably the most time-saving. EmbedSocial allows you to schedule posts on multiple Google business profiles, LinkedIn pages, and Isntagram accounts as well.

social media posts publishing on multiple profiles

10 best practices for scheduling Instagram posts for small businesses

Scheduling Instagram posts effectively can significantly enhance your social media strategy, ensuring consistent engagement and growth for your business. Here are ten best practices to help you make the most of your Instagram scheduling efforts:

  1. Know your audience—understand your target audience’s behavior and preferences to schedule posts when they are most active;
  2. Plan your content in advance—create a content calendar to ensure a consistent posting schedule and varied content;
  3. Use high-quality visuals—invest in quality images and videos to make your posts more appealing and engaging;
  4. Craft compelling captions—write captions that resonate with your audience, including clear calls-to-action when necessary;
  5. Leverage hashtags strategically—use relevant hashtags to increase the reach of your posts and attract new followers;
  6. Analyze performance metrics—regularly review your post analytics to identify what content works best and adjust your strategy accordingly;
  7. Engage with your audience—don’t just schedule and forget; interact with your followers by responding to comments and messages promptly;
  8. Keep an eye on trends—stay updated with the latest Instagram trends and incorporate them into your content to stay relevant;
  9. Be consistent but flexible—maintain a regular posting schedule but be prepared to adapt based on your audience’s feedback and changing trends;
  10. Use scheduling tools—utilize tools like EmbedSocial to streamline the scheduling process, ensuring efficiency and reliability in your posting strategy.

Implementing these best practices can transform your Instagram presence, helping you to engage more effectively with your audience and grow your small business’s online footprint.

Note: You’ll soon be able to schedule Threads posts as well since Meta is testing the Threads API with selected partners, which includes post-scheduling tools.

Why should businesses schedule Instagram posts?

When you start scheduling your social media posts, especially on Instagram, you free up tons of time for other more important tasks and reap many other benefits:

  • Consistency and optimal timing—maintain a regular posting schedule and reach your audience when they are most active, increasing engagement and visibility;
  • Efficiency and stress reduction—save time by planning and scheduling your posts in batches, eliminating the daily hassle and stress of manual uploads;
  • Content planning and brand image—create a cohesive content strategy, ensuring your brand message and aesthetics are consistently represented across all posts;
  • Improved analytics and engagement—analyze the performance of your scheduled posts to refine your strategy and focus on engaging with your audience;
  • Collaboration and campaign management—coordinate with your team more effectively and run marketing campaigns with pre-scheduled posts that align with your overall strategy.

As you can see, scheduling Instagram posts creates a more organized, efficient, and effective social media strategy, which drives better results in the long run.

Key takeaways

Scheduling posts, carousels, reels, and stories on Instagram is not hard at all as long as you have the right tools to do that. While Instagram’s native functionality works great if you want to schedule the occasional post or reel, most social media managers need more!

That’s why you should rely on third-party Instagram scheduling tools such as EmbedSocial, as they give you everything you need to manage your social media calendar from a single dashboard. For instance, you can schedule on multiple personal and business accounts!

Remember: if you manage the Instagram profile of your business, you must schedule Instagram posts ahead of time to save effort and resources down the line.

For example, I prefer to schedule all single and carousel posts a month ahead using a social media management tool so I can focus my energy on other tasks.

You should also check out the best Instagram apps for creators if you need more help, and stay on top of all the latest Instagram updates to enhance your productivity.


Multi-Account Social Media Publishing with Ease

The easiest way to publish on multiple Google profiles, Instagram, or LinkedIn accounts.

Start 7-day free trial

FAQs about Instagram scheduling

How to schedule a carousel post on Instagram?

You can schedule a carousel post via Instagram’s app as it offers basic scheduling functionality. However, the better method is to use a third-party tool like EmbedSocial, as it streamlines the entire process and adds advanced functionalities.

Why can’t I schedule posts on Instagram?

If you can’t schedule posts on Instagram, ensure you’re using an Instagram Business or Creator account and have linked it to a Facebook page. Also, check if you have the latest version of the Instagram app, as scheduling may not be available in older versions.

How many posts can you schedule on Instagram?

If you are scheduling via Instagram’s official method, you are limited to 25 posts a day. So if your social media marketing needs require you to schedule more posts than that, check out a third-party scheduling tool that fits your needs and means.

How to schedule Instagram posts from a computer?

If you are looking to schedule Instagram posts from a computer, you will have to use Meta’s Business Suite tools or simple third-party scheduling tools, such as EmbedSocial. As of right now, the web version of Instagram does not allow you to schedule posts.

CEO of EmbedSocial 

Nikola Bojkov is the CEO of EmbedSocial, an entrepreneur who turns problems into products. With over a decade of hands-on experience with social media APIs, he guides EmbedSocial in its role as a technical partner for both SMEs and large agencies, maximizing the impact of their user-generated content. EmbedSocial has offices in Skopje, Tokyo and Lisbon with over 250,000 users.