Scheduling Instagram posts, reels, stories, and reminder notifications on the mobile app
When you're using Buffer to publish to Instagram, you can either publish directly to Instagram or send yourself a reminder notification to finish the post in the Instagram app yourself. This applies to reels and stories, too. Learn more about how to use reminder notifications here.
This article walks through the process to schedule all Instagram content in our mobile app and then we’ll break down each type of Instagram post and let you know any nuances or important details to know when scheduling that type of post.
- The option to "Send Reminder Notification" is currently in Beta. Learn how to enable beta features on your account here.
- Looking for the web version of the Scheduling Instagram posts, reels, stories, and reminder notifications article?
This article contains the following sections:
- Creating your Instagram post, reel, or story
- Adding a location
- Tagging users in images
- Using hashtag manager and adding first comments
- Adding Shop Grid links
Creating your Instagram post, reel, or story
- To get started, tap the round avatar icon at the top left of your screen and tap on your Instagram account (if it's not already selected).
- Tap the blue + icon at the bottom middle of your screen. This will open up the composer. On Android, you'll need to tap the blue pencil icon at the bottom of your screen to open the composer.
- Tap Type to choose either a Post, Reel, or Story.
- Upload the image(s) or video you'd like to include in your post.
- Images and videos must be within Instagram's accepted aspect ratio range (between 4:5 and 1.91:1 for images and between 4:5, 16:9 for videos, and 9:16 for reels), in order to be published automatically. If the image or video falls outside of this range, the post will be scheduled as a reminder notification instead.
- Videos must be between 3 and 60 seconds. Reels must be between 5 seconds and 15 minutes. If your video is not within this range, you'll see a message letting you know. You'll need to adjust the video and then re-upload it.
- Instagram Stories cannot be direct scheduled by Instagram creator accounts. Instead, you'll need to use the "Send a reminder notification" open to finish publishing the post manually.
- Type in or copy and paste the caption you'd like to use. (Note: to include a caption for a story, or music to a reel, you’ll need to use the "Send reminder notification" option).
- Use the "Send reminder notification" toggle to choose whether to publish directly or send a reminder notification to finish posting later. (Visit our Using Instagram reminder notifications guide for a walk-through of how to finish publishing your post once the reminder notification comes to your phone).
- Schedule your post using one of our scheduling options and you're done!
Adding a location
If you'd like to add a location to your post or reel, start typing any location name or type the name of a Facebook Page you'd like to point to the location of.
Tagging users in images
User tagging is only available on direct scheduled posts. It’s not available for reels or stories.
- After uploading an image to your post, click the Tag button on the image.
- Click the location on the image you’d like to add a tag, enter the @ handle and then click Add Tag.
- You’re able to add up to 20 tags on an image for a single image post.
- For carousel posts, the tagged accounts in the image are carried over for each image in the carousel. When this happens, each image tag is added together for a total. If your draft has more than 20 tags, you may see an error and will need to edit the tags down for the carousel post to successfully publish.
- All tags in the first image automatically carry over to all other images in the carousel, counting towards the limit.
- If you need to remove a tag, click the x icon to the left of it on the right hand side. Once you’ve finished adding your tags, click Save and then continue scheduling your post as normal.
Due to limitations in Instagram's API, we are not able to auto-complete the @ handle and you will need to enter the exact @ handle of the Instagram user you’d like to mention. Additionally, we’re not able to check if the Instagram account is private or even if it exists. Therefore, we strongly recommend double checking the @ handle has been entered correctly and the account is not private. If any tags on your image are for private users, or for an account that doesn’t exist, the post will fail to publish and you’ll see an error message.
⭐️The features below (first comment scheduling, hashtag manager, and Shop Grid) are available on the Essentials, Team, and Agency plans. Learn more about our plans and pricing here.
Using hashtag manager and adding first comments
Hashtags are a great way to make your posts more discoverable on Instagram. Our hashtag manager makes it easy to create and save groups of hashtags so that you can build a library of options, experiment with different variations, and easily reuse your top-performing hashtags. Learn more about how hashtags work in Buffer here.
Adding a first comment is helpful if you want to incorporate any information not ideally shown in your caption. Use hashtag manager to share your favorite hashtag group or add your own comment!
- Tap Add to include a first comment with your post.
- Type your first comment into the extra box displayed. Alternatively, tap the hashtag symbol in the bottom left corner to open the hashtag manager.
You'll see all of your hashtag groups listed here in the hashtag manager. You can use one of your existing hashtag groups or create a new one.
To select a group of hashtags to add into your post's first comment, tap the + icon to the right of the group you'd like to add. You are able to insert multiple groups, but keep an eye on the hashtag counter to make sure you don't exceed Instagram's limit of 30 hashtags per post.
Edit existing hashtag groups and create new ones by tapping your mobile settings cog in the lower right-hand corner of your app. You can also create new hashtag groups from your hashtag manager right there inside the Instagram first comment composer (as shown under #3 above).
Adding Shop Grid links
If you're using Shop Grid, add the link you'd like to direct users to within the URL field.
Have other questions about scheduling your Instagram content? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be happy to help!