For many creatives, Instagram is a lifeline to customers. We use it to share our process, announce new products, thank customers, and more. And when it comes to disconnecting to enjoy a holiday or a vacation that might not be an option.
Here are five tips for posting to Instagram while on vacation or a holiday break.
Determine if you can adopt a reduced posting schedule.
Take a look at last year’s activity and see where your community was. Chances are they may have been offline as well and you may be able to check in less frequently.
Also, look at why you want to post and be sure that your goal can be accomplished without immediate response. If Instagram is your primary way to connect with potential customers, you may not want to launch a new product and then not be available to answer questions or handle any problems that arise.
Use one of the many apps available to queue your Instagram posts.
Latergramme is free up to 30 posts per month (available via the web and as iOS and Android apps).
Publish (formerly Takeoff) is also free and unlike Latergramme will recommend the best time to post your images to get the most engagement. It’s only available as an iOS app.
If you’re already using Hootsuite for scheduling your tweets, LinkedIn updates, or Facebook statuses, you can add Instagram and do everything in one place.
Think about whether or not you’ll have Internet while on vacation.
Unlike Pinterest, Instagram’s terms of service (TOS) prohibit automatic posting. What this means is that when you use an app or service to “schedule” your Instagram posts you’re setting reminders for yourself. The app saves your photo and your caption and then alerts you when it’s time to post.
The downside? You need to have Internet connectivity to post to Instagram.
Arrange with a trusted colleague or friend to post your queued Instagram posts.
If posting to Instagram regularly is crucial to your business and you don’t want to stress about whether you’ll have Internet, hire someone. Or make a trade with a friend who isn’t going out of town that you’ll cover their Instagram when they go on vacation.
Be aware that there are some apps available that will automatically post to Instagram for you as well as comment and like others’ work. Automatic posting violates Instagram’s TOS and you could loose your Instagram account if caught. These services range between $12 to $20 a month. Some will even add your hashtags to your post’s first comment. Because the paid services post to Instagram directly they allow for managers—this means you don’t need to share your Instagram password with the person who’s posting for you.
Respond to comments and questions you received when you get back.
Depending on how active your account is and how long you’re gone, you may not be able to find every comment or mention you received. Instagram shows a limited number of notifications, if you have a lot of followers and engagement you may only see the last hour of activity. At a minimum, view the comments for the images posted while on break and respond to them.