Lessons from a Digital Marketing Virtual Assistant who actually does the work:
If there’s one thing we know about social media, it’s that it loves consistent content. No matter what platform you or your client are using, you need to be active and regularly show up for your audience. Of course, if you’re a busy business owner, that can be a huge time vacuum. Especially when you’re trying to juggle Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter… That’s why if you’re a unicorn VA, you need to have some scheduling tools in your toolbox. And here are some of the most popular IG schedulers you need to know for your clients.
Things to Remember About Scheduling on IG
No matter what, don’t forget that IG is especially all about the engagement factor. As nice as it sounds, you can’t just schedule out a month’s worth of posts and then disappear. You’ve still got to interact with your Instagram audience and create authentic relationships to build that KLT.
And keep in mind that the Instagram algorithm really wants you to be real and “present”. Some people have noticed that their scheduled posts just don’t get as much traction as their manual updates.
So make sure you’re doing your work for your clients and staying on top of the data analysis. Do an A/B test where you compare several similar posts – one scheduled and one manual at about the same times – and see if you notice a difference.
My advice? Use a combination of both. Use a scheduler to consistently put out meaningful content to your audience throughout the week, and make sure you’re hitting all the peak post times. Then set aside some time each week to manually post something fresh and relevant, and engage with your audience’s responses.
And make sure you’re using an approved IG partner program. The algorithm will definitely not be happy if you’re using a rogue scheduling tool. You won’t get great numbers. And even worse – it could cause a potential ban on your clients’ posts or accounts.
Four Popular IG Scheduler Tools For Digital Media Marketing VAs:
This is the #1 place to start. Now that Facebook is trying to integrate its other platforms like IG more smoothly, it offers a lot of Instagram tools now built into its own Creator Studio. Go to the IG Dashboard to schedule your posts and coordinate your Instagram content and IGTV videos right from the same spot as your FB ads and posts.
According to Facebook, the Creator studio “brings together all the tools creators need to effectively post, monetize, track performance and interact with fans in one single place.” So it’s definitely at the top of the list for digital media VAs who want to help their clients with social media.
Even if you’re using Creator Studio, you should consider adding a social media management system like Later to your VA toolbox. It has an easy interface, and can help you unify and schedule all of your social media content including IG.
The thing I like best about Later is the robust analytics. I’m a data person and I like to geek out on numbers and trends. I get excited to see how a new social media post or content strategy is helping my clients, or figure out what we need to tweak and improve! Later is a great source for the data I need.
Like most social media VAs, I started using Tailwind when it first came out as a Pinterest pin scheduler and have been a regular user since then. (That’s my affiliate link there, by the way).
After getting their start with Pinterest, they later added Instagram scheduling, too. I primarily still use it for clients with Pinterest, but a lot of digital media VAs have started using it for both and like it.
If you or your client have a lot of very visual, aesthetic, photo-based content, Tailwind makes it easy to feature that content simultaneously on both IG and Pinterest. And those are probably the two biggest platforms for visually appealing content. It also offers an app for mobile devices, which makes it easy to schedule things on-the-go.
Heads up if your client is very visual in their content AND is primarily selling products. For ecommerce and product sales, Planoly has the advantage of offering their ShopLink option to make an Instagram feed feel a lot like a trendy pop-up shop. IG followers can shop right from the post.
It is also free to start and is fairly inexpensive to use. And as one VA user said, “It just looks pretty and inspiring!”. Again – if visuals are your thing, their interface gets high reviews.
The Takeaway: IG schedulers can be gold for you and your VA clients
Don’t let your clients get sucked into the void of trying to push out social media content all day long. Help them be more productive and play it smart by using a scheduler tool like these and batch editing their Instagram posts each week.
Just don’t forget to consider each platform’s unique needs and algorithms. Even with a good scheduler, you still have to understand what to post, and when, to make your clients’ accounts successful. Whether you’re a unicorn VA that focuses on social media accounts, or just a queen-of-all-the-things for your digital media clients, you should know these different options and how to make them work for your clients!
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-Emily, Digital Marketing Consultant and Implementer
Emily Reagan is a mom of four, milspouse, freelance digital marketer and Virtual Assistant coach who has helped 400 go-getters, including military spouses, stay-at-home moms, and professional women learn in-demand skills and find flexible remote work as digital marketing assistants and specialists. She’s shared 2,000+ job leads with her freelance marketers & VA community.
Ask her any questions over on Insta @emilyreaganpr
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