Whether you have separate personal and business profiles or like me, manage several accounts for clients, you will be faced with the challenge of managing multiple Instagram accounts in the most efficient and effective way as possible.
And let me tell you, Instagram doesn’t make it easy. They only let you post images from your mobile device, so you will find yourself logging in and out each time you want to post content.
Unfortunately there isn’t a way around this – but there are ways to make the process a bit easier and more streamlined so you can remain consistent with your activity.
There are three aspects of Instagram marketing to consider when managing multiple accounts:
- Preparing content
- Posting content
- Engaging and interacting.
The second is the most challenging to manage, however there are tools and processes available to ensure your content is prepared and ready to post. Below I share the ways I manage multiple Instagram accounts through each stage.
PREPARING INSTAGRAM CONTENT
One of the keys to success in managing multiple Instagram accounts is the preparation of your content. “Batching” – setting aside time to prepare a number of posts at once – allows you to get in the mindset to prepare images for each account and plan when you will use them.
I start by brainstorming the types of images I want to use for each Instagram account. Some aren’t able to be prepared ahead – like photos from specific events or a project that is time specific. But others – quote images, how-to’s, photos taken in the past – can be prepared ahead of time. I usually do this once a week for each Instagram account. I use tools such as Canva, Picmonkey, Wordswag and Over to prepare the images and save them where they will be easy to access when it comes time to post.
POSTING INSTAGRAM CONTENT
Instagram has strong rules about posting images from third party apps, so unlike other social media platforms like Facebook, it’s difficult to schedule and automate your Instagram activity.
There are, however, tools that allow you to prepare your posts and schedule notifications in advance so that the process of posting is faster and easier. By using these tools, you’re not relying on your memory to know when to post, so you’re much more likely to be consistent.
Recently Hootsuite introduced Instagram integration as part of their service. With Hootsuite, you can upload the image and prepare the caption and hashtags (avoiding the tedious “fat fingers” issue of laboriously typing out the caption on your mobile device). You then schedule the time the image should be posted.
When the scheduled time arrives, you receive a notification to your mobile reminding you to post. It’s then a matter of going into Hootsuite, clicking on the Notification and then Sharing to Instagram.
When you click to Open In Instagram, the caption text is automatically copied, ready to paste into Instagram.
Once you click through to Instagram, you can double-check the image looks as you had planned. To add the caption, simply press firmly in caption area, then press “Paste”. When you’re ready to go, click Share. Because the prep work has been done in advance, the actual posting takes just a few seconds.
The free Hootsuite plan allows up to 3 social profiles, however if you’re managing multiple Instagram accounts you’ll probably need the Pro account (from $10.79 per month).
Important To Remember:
After you receive the notification that it’s time to post, make sure you are logged into the correct account on Instagram. (You don’t want to post the image to the wrong account!).
Another tool that performs a similar service is Latergram.me. Their free service allows you to post 30 images per month, or their paid service starts from $19/month for 2 accounts and 250 posts. Like Hootsuite, it allows you to upload the image and prepare the caption. You receive a notification on your mobile device when it’s time to post to Instagram, and as with Hootsuite, the caption is copied automatically ready to post into the Caption field.
ENGAGING AND INTERACTING ON INSTAGRAM
When you’re busy, this is the area of that can be forgotten or overlooked – but it’s also a vital area to help you grow and succeed on Instagram. Thankfully, interaction on Instagram is a lot easier with tools that can help you manage your replies, comments and interactions efficiently via desktop.
With the tools outlined below, you can set aside 5-10 minutes a day for each account to reply to comments on your posts, and look through the Instagram feed (i.e. the images posted by people you follow) to comment and interact. You can like and comment on posts relevant to your business and target audience and build awareness of your own profile.
Once again, Hootsuite is a great tool for managing your engagement and interaction on Instagram. With the Hootsuite Dashboard, you can set up “streams” which lets you segregate your various Instagram accounts. within each stream you can choose to show the Home Feed, My Posts, Scheduled posts, Followers, Following, Liked and Popular.
You can also set up columns for specific searches. This is really helpful to help build your Instagram following by engaging in relevant and popular hashtags.
Hootsuite is my preferred tool for interaction as it allows me to have all of the Instagram accounts I manage on one screen, without having to log in and out.
Iconosquare is another fantastic tool for managing your Instagram activity. In the Feed screen you can see your Instagram feed and easily like and comment on posts. If you have set up lists within Iconosquare, you can zero in on specific Instagram users to interact with the content and build relationships.
In the My Media Screen you can go through your own posts and reply to any comments.
You can also search hashtags within Iconosquare to find relevant posts and accounts to interact with and follow.
Another benefit of using Iconosquare is the statistics available – showing you valuable insights into your followers, who they are, when they’re active and which of your posts have been most effective.
The downside to using Iconosquare is that you can’t switch between Instagram accounts, so you need to log in and out to view each different account.
So it’s not easy to manage more than one Instagram account, but it is possible! Just always remember to double-check which account you’re logged into before you post, and prepare your posts ahead of time as much as possible to avoid losing your consistency and focus.