Here at Tailwind we’re big proponents of using our tools, or as it’s known in software development, “eating our own dog food”. For us, this means knowing exactly how our tools work, what could be improved, where pain points are, and how to use Tailwind most effectively. The recent launch of Tailwind for Instagram is no exception.
For the past 6 months, I’ve used Tailwind for Instagram for Tailwind’s Instagram account with some pretty remarkable results. Here’s a video where I take you through the whole process.
As you can see, around September things really started to ramp up for Tailwind in both likes and comments. This is when we started posting regularly and testing different content strategies. As a result, our engagement has skyrocketed.
Caption: The Tailwind for Instagram analytics dashboard shows followers, posts, comments and likes over time.
We tripled our Instagram likes in 3 months, maintained a consistent posting schedule and refined our strategy using analytics along the way.
Being a Pinterest-focused marketer for most of my career, I’m here as proof that anyone can find success on Instagram, if they have the right tool.
Generating A Schedule
Whether you’re adding Instagram to your Tailwind account or you’re coming to Tailwind for Instagram fresh, the first step after signing up is to create your Smart Schedule.
Tailwind’s Smart Schedule is one of the things that really sets us apart from other Instagram scheduling tools. You set how often you would like to post per day and the time frame you want to post. Tailwind will take that information and find the times each day when your audience is most likely to engage with your posts.
Since I’m still ramping up our posting schedule, I’ve started with one post per day. I hope to get up to 4 posts per day, but for right now I’m setting realistic goals. It’s important to keep in mind what you have time and creative bandwidth so you don’t burn yourself out early. I am also not a morning person, so as you can see in the image above I have my time frame starting at 9:30
As you get into scheduling and become more comfortable with it, we will suggest additional time slots for you which you can easily add from the scheduled posts page:
Tailwind for Instagram also provides the freedom to add custom time slots. Once you have your schedule set up, it’s time to add content.
Easy Ways To Find & Schedule Instagram Content
As I’ve been refining our Instagram strategy, I’ve discovered a few different styles of images that perform well.
As you can see, we have quotes, Instagram tips, and Tailwind content posts mixed in with photos from our users and team members. Because I have this pattern, I am able to easily find and schedule content for our account in 4 simple ways. If you struggle to know what to post to Instagram when download our free 2017 Instagram content calendar.
1. Upload from Computer
This is an especially powerful tool if you’re using a DSLR or other camera to take your photos. Our uploader also allows you to upload multiple images at once
2. Browser Extension on Blog
The Tailwind browser extension you know and love works for Instagram, too! The browser extension allows you to go to your blog and schedule your Instagram content directly from the web page.
3. Browser Extension from Instagram.com
Regramming just became possible from your desktop! When using the browser extension on Instagram.com, Tailwind will automatically add attribution to the original poster. Of course you should also reach out to secure permission to regram in the comments of the original post first.
4. On The Go
With the Tailwind iOS app you can upload images from your photostream and add content from your blog via the Safari extension.
In this quick video time trial we were able to demonstrate that scheduling to Instagram with Tailwind is 60% quicker than without it. And by using the bulk upload and browser extension features we were able to schedule an additional 10 posts in the time saved. Now that’s efficient!
Now that we have some content in drafts, it’s time to start scheduling.
Schedule to Instagram
Those who are familiar with Tailwind for Pinterest will find the draft edit view very familiar:
As you can see in the image above, I have my caption with the hashtags below. I like to keep my hashtags separate from the caption to keep the original post cleaner. I’ll show you what I mean once we post to Instagram.
After you hit “Add to queue” or create a custom time, the notification or SMS message will be sent to your phone when it’s time to post.
A slight aside here – While it might not seem like true scheduling, given that there’s a push notification, there’s a very good reason for that. Posting Instagram images on behalf of a user is against Instagram’s Terms of Service. Because Instagram has a strong focus on being of the moment, they don’t want people to use “set it and forget it” style scheduling. Since Tailwind is an official Instagram Partner, we respect and abide by Instagram’s Terms of Service, which means creating reliable push notifications for scheduled content.
Once it’s time to schedule, you will see a push notification on your iPhone (or a text message on non-iOS devices).
In the Tailwind iOS app, you can see all of your drafts, scheduled posts, and posts that have been pushed by Tailwind. If you don’t get to a notification in time, don’t worry! The post will still be there waiting for you. Once you’re ready to push to Instagram, you are given a few options before opening up Instagram to schedule:
If you’re like me and have your company account and your personal account linked to your Instagram app, the “I’m not sure, let’s check” could save you some embarrassment. Just click to check the account and Tailwind will open up Instagram to show you which account you are currently on. From there you can easily go to the correct account and pop back over to Tailwind.
After you’ve checked for the correct account (or told us not to ask again if you only have one account), push it to Instagram:
The image from Tailwind will be the first one loaded, so you can quickly edit or filter the photo as you like. Tailwind also copies the caption of your scheduled post to your clipboard for you, so all you have to do is paste the text into the description.
I mentioned earlier that I keep my hashtags on a separate line to keep my caption cleaner looking. When I have the caption pasted into Instagram, all I have to do is copy those hashtags and paste them as the first comment after the post goes live. This is just a personal preference but it is a hashtag strategy that has worked for Tailwind.
When you’re happy with the image all you have to do is share it! However, as any marketer knows, planning and posting Instagram content is only half the battle. You also have to keep an eye on the engagement you get on your different posts.
You’ve scheduled content, tastefully filtered your photos, added hashtags, and posted to Instagram. You’re done, right? Nope! Now it’s time to figure out what’s working.
Tailwind’s Plus Plan Instagram analytics help you benchmark yourself and keep track of your progress. On the Profile performance page, you can see your follower growth, number of posts, total likes, and total comments for the past week:
Below these trend graphs, we have three gauges: the reaction score, engagement score, and engagement rate.
The reaction score calculates the engagements (likes and comments) for every post on your profile. This helps you understand how your content is performing across all of Instagram, including being found through hashtags, the explore page, or on your followers’ feeds. The engagement score looks at the number of engagements per post per follower. This score is specifically looking at how your content performs with your followers.
Finally, the engagement rate gauge is pretty simple. It shows the percentage of posts with any engagement. This help you understand how regularly users are interacting with your content. You can use all of this data to help inform your overall visual marketing strategy.
To dig into the performance of individual posts, we move over to the Post Inspector.
From here you can sort your Instagram posts by number of likes, comments, date posted, filter used, and whether it’s a photo or a video. Another great feature is the ability to search your old posts. This means you can find content with a certain word, phrase or even hashtag. The ability to search for a hashtag and sort by likes is really useful for learning which hashtags perform best to learning how a hashtag campaign performed.
What are you waiting for?
We found a lot of success and saved hours managing our Instagram account with Tailwind for Instagram, and we’re certain that you can too.
Start a Free Trial of Tailwind for Instagram!
- Schedule photos and videos directly to your Instagram feed with Auto Post.
- Optimize every post for more engagement with SmartSchedule and Hashtag Finder.
- Automatically hide your post’s hashtags in the first comment to keep your caption clean & clutter-free.
- Make your posts more discoverable with user tagging & location tagging.
- Analyze what's working across every post and profile with smart analytics.
Melissa Megginson is resident Community Manager and Cat Lady at Tailwind, the leading Pinterest & Instagram tool for brands. Melissa specializes in affiliate marketing, public speaking, and making our members look good. Find her on Twitter and Instagram at @MelMegg.