Time is tight if you have to manage all your brands social accounts and you might not have a lot of time to plan ahead for your Instagram account. It doesn’t help either if your boss thinks that the world’s most popular image network can’t deliver results.

But if you are and you’re dying to find a way to work efficiently and prove everyone else of the power of Instagram… Here’s a closed schedule to help you out!

Quick Summary

5 minutes: Plan content

  • Look for pictures you want to share
  • Think of the copy that will go with your pictures
  • Fill your content calendar with images + copies
  • Schedule them with Hootsuite or Latergram.me
  • Prepare the hashtags that will go with your posts

4 minutes: Edit and post images

  • Upload your pictures to your photo apps and bulk edit them
  • Post 1-2 images/day

8 minutes: Engage

  • Reply to the comments on your pictures
  • Like and comment the pictures of your followers
  • Use the Explore tab to find new users to engage with

3 minutes: Monitor hashtags

  • Find relevant industry hashtags or build your own
  • Create your own brand hashtag to empower user-generated content

20 minute Instagram Schedule

5 minutes – Plan Content

People on Instagram expect consistency. You can’t expect them to stick around if you don’t follow a schedule and you post whenever you feel like it. That’s why, just like on any other social network, it’s important to have a content calendar.

If your calendar is empty, fill it up with image ideas/concepts that you’d like to post. You can include photos that you already have but you can also take some time to look for pictures that fits with your brand message and you’re sure that your followers will like.

You can also take the time to think if these pictures will work well on other social networks: Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and even your blog. Write it all down, so you don’t forget.

The more time you spend in planning, the less time you’ll waste!

4 minutes – Edit and Post Images

This is the essence of what Instagram is all about. You’re going to be sharing pictures that will create a visual identity for you or your brand and eventually you’re going to grow a community.

The good thing about Instagram is that it’s extremely intuitive and with its preset filters and editing tools, you won’t have to spend too much time on editing. Ironically, most of us don’t even use Instagram to edit because there are better apps out there (VSCOCam or Afterlight) that will give you a professional look.

If you only have 20 minutes to focus on Instagram every day, your pictures aren’t going to look like the ones that a professional photographer uploads and you know what? AND THAT’S FINE. People expect your pictures to be taken on a phone and users appreciate when a brand posts images that look like they’ve been spontaneously taken with an iPhone/Android or whatever phone you have. So don’t stress on the quality.

Don’t post more than one or two pictures a day (especially if you’re just starting). People don’t want you to overwhelm their feeds, just focus on 1-2 high-quality pictures.

If you don’t have time to post a picture everyday, you can program them! You can use Latergram, Hootsuite or Tailwindapp.

8 minutes – Engage

Do you want new follows and strengthen your Instagram community? Like and comment on other people’s content. But before doing that, make sure you start off with your own account; take the time to reply to the comments your followers have left on your pictures. Show them that you go out of your way to talk to them personally.


Next, return the favor by interacting with the photos of the followers that commented you. Don’t be a spammer or anything, but like a few of their pictures and leave a comment or two. People like it when brands comment on their accounts because it makes them feel like they’re engaging with a real person, not just a “robot”.

Once you’ve taken care of your own community, time to focus on new followers! Use the explore tab to find new people that are relevant to you or your brand. You can also search for a hashtag and check out the pictures that come up. Once you see pictures that you like and fit with you/your brand, engage with their content. What I usually do is: like at least 3 pictures, leave 1 comment and then follow. If you just follow them and forget to interact, they’ll most likely ignore you.


The more you engage, the more people will engage in your pictures.

3 minutes — Monitor Hashtags and Communities

As I mentioned earlier, you can look at the hashtags your users usually use to describe their pictures and how they write their captions (emojis too!). Take note of them so you can use them for your content strategy.

You might want to consider creating a branded hashtag or use one that’s relevant in your industry. If you decide to create your own, you can create a source of user-generated content and you’ll be able to re-share them! Your followers will love the free exposure, while you get a reliable source of content, further decreasing your Instagram workload.

Source: Hootsuite