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How To Schedule Instagram Reels for Later [Tips and Tools]

Stop posting on the fly. Here’s how to create, plan, and schedule Reels ahead of time so you can stay on track.

Hannah Macready October 24, 2022
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Instagram Reels have taken over as the fastest-growing feature on the IG app. In fact, the average Instagram user spends 30 minutes per day watching Reels.

Reels are a great way to build your brand and engage with your followers. But it can be difficult to record and edit a new video every day.

And even if you have a backlog of recorded content, manually posting each video takes way too much time. If your business uses Instagram, scheduling Reels is a must.

And if you want to schedule your Reels ahead of time, we’ve got good news.

You can use Hootsuite to auto-publish and analyze Instagram Reels alongside all your other social media content.

In this blog, we’ll walk you through the best ways to schedule Instagram Reels. Plus, we’ve got some tips and tricks for getting the most out of your Reels content strategy.

Bonus: Claim your pack of free animated Instagram Reels templates created by Hootsuite’s professional designers. Easily customize them in Canva, and take your Reels game to the next level today.

Is there an app to schedule Instagram Reels?

Yes! You can use social media management apps like Hootsuite to schedule Instagram Reels automatically (as well as Instagram posts, Stories, and Threads).

Keep reading to learn how to schedule Reels through your Hootsuite dashboard, or watch our video below:

How to schedule IG Reels using Hootsuite

You can use Hootsuite to schedule your Reels to be auto-published at any time in the future.

To create and schedule a Reel using Hootsuite, follow these steps:

  1. Record your video and edit it (adding sounds and effects) in the Instagram app.
  2. Save the Reel to your device.
  3. In Hootsuite, tap the Create icon on the very top of the left-hand menu to open the Composer.
  4. Select the Instagram Business account you want to publish your Reel to.
  5. In the Content section, select Reel.Creating a Reel in Hootsuite Composer
  6. Upload the Reel you saved to your device. Videos must be between 5 seconds and 90 seconds long and have an aspect ratio of 9:16.
  7. Add a caption. You can include emojis and hashtags, and tag other accounts in your caption.
  8. Adjust additional settings. You can enable or disable comments, Stitches and Duets for each of your individual posts.
  9. Preview your Reel and click Post now to publish it immediately, or…
  10. …click Schedule for later to post your Reel at a different time. Select a publication date or choose one of the recommended best days and times to post.
    Scheduling a Reel in Hootsuite Composer - recommended posting times

And that’s it! Your Reel will show up in the Planner, alongside all your other scheduled social media posts. From there, you can edit, delete or duplicate your Reel, or move it to drafts. It will automatically publish on your scheduled date!

Reviewing a scheduled Reel in Hootsuite Planner

Once you publish your Reel, it will appear in both your feed and the Reels tab on your account.

Now that you’ve got the hang of it, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start bulk-scheduling those Reels!

Note: You can currently only create and schedule Reels on desktop. But you will be able to see your scheduled Reels in the Planner in the Hootsuite mobile app.

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How to schedule Reels using Creator Studio

You can schedule both Facebook and Instagram Reels using Creator Studio. It’s a great tool if you only need to schedule posts for Facebook and Instagram.

But if you manage many social media accounts, an Instagram Reels scheduler that can work with multiple platforms can really help.

A specialized social media management tool like Hootsuite can schedule content for Instagram and Facebook pages, as well as TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest, all in one place.

Here’s how to schedule Instagram Reels using Creator Studio:

  1. Log into Creator Studio
  2. Click Create post and choose either Instagram Feed or Instagram Video (depending on the length of your video)

    (It seems confusing, we know! The video will post as a Reel, though, since Instagram is now treating all non-Story videos as Reels.)
  3. Optimize your content for Reels (if needed). This is your chance to crop and reframe horizontal videos
  4. Add your caption
  5. Schedule your Reel. You can also publish immediately or save as a draft

Oh, and an important note: You can only use Creator Studio to schedule Reels if your Instagram account is connected to a Facebook Business Page.

Benefits of scheduling Instagram Reels

Now that you know how to schedule Reels in Hootsuite, here are a few reasons why you should.

Save time by planning ahead

This is the big one: Planning and scheduling your Reels ahead of time can help you save time in the long run. A content calendar and schedule allow you to batch film and edit your videos. That way, you’re not scrambling to put something together last-minute.

Planning also allows you to be more strategic and intentional with your content. Well-thought-out content can increase engagement rates on your Reels and other Instagram content. Higher engagement means to more followers and customers down the line.

Cultivate a consistent look and feel

Cohesive content performs better on social media. It’s important to consider the look and feel of your Reels when you’re planning them out. This means thinking about the colors, filters, and branding you use in your videos.

But while consistency is important, you also don’t want your content to look too uniform. Mixing up the types of videos you post will keep your Reels interesting and engaging. Planning your Reels in advance will also help you strike this balance.

Use these free Instagram Story templates to inspire your process.

Encourage engagement

In our research, we found that there’s a significant spike in engagement in the days after a Reel is posted. People are likely more inclined to watch Reels when they see them in their feed. And if they’re entertained, they’re more likely to engage. Reels are also often promoted in the Explore tab, which can also lead to more views and engagement.

Our experiment didn’t show any huge changes in our follow or unfollow rate, but we did see the average number of likes and comments increase per post.

graph showing engagement increase in month of february after posting reels

Source: Hootsuite’s Instagram Insights

So, what does this mean for you?

If you want to improve reach and engagement on your Reels, schedule them for when your audience is most active on Instagram. That way, you can be sure your Reels are being seen by people who are interested in engaging with your content.

Check out our recommendations for best times to post on Instagram or log into your Hootsuite account to view the best days and times to publish for your unique audience.

Hootsuite's Best Time to Publish feature, displaying a heatmap of the best times to post as dictated by follower activity on the platform (unique for each account)

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Tap into video

88% of people say they’ve bought a product after watching a brand’s video. People are also twice as likely to share video content with their networks. This makes video content essential for driving awareness and sales for your business on Instagram.

Reels allow you to showcase your brand’s personality and products in a creative, engaging way. You can show off your products in action while getting creative with your marketing. You can create behind-the-scenes content, how-to videos, or even just funny clips that show off your brand’s personality.

Scheduling your Reels in advance can help you streamline your video marketing strategy. That way, you can make sure your Reels are getting in front of your target audience at the right time.

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Improve team collaboration

Scheduling Reels can also be helpful if you’re working with a team. Planning out your content helps you coordinate who is posting what and when. No one wants to overwhelm their followers by posting too many Reels at once.

Scheduling also takes the pressure off of having to post in real-time. If you’ve got a lot on your plate, this can be a game-changer.

Frequently asked questions about scheduling Instagram Reels

Can you schedule Instagram Reels?

Yes. You can use Hootsuite to schedule Instagram Reels in advance.

Can you schedule Reels using Hootsuite?

Yes. It’s easy to schedule Reels on Hootsuite — just upload your content, write your caption, and click Schedule for later. You can manually select the date and time or find the best time to post using our custom suggestions.

Can I post an Instagram Reel from my computer?

Yes. You can schedule Instagram Reels from your desktop using Hootsuite!

Can Instagram Reels automatically post to my feed?

Yes. Once you schedule your Instagram Reel using Hootsuite, it will automatically publish at the date and time you select. You can even bulk-schedule your Reels.

When is the best time to post Instagram Reels?

At Hootsuite, we’ve found that the best time to post Reels is 9 AM and 12 PM, Monday to Thursday. You can also use Hootsuite’s Best Time to Publish feature to find the best times and days of the week to post to Instagram based on your historical performance.

Take the pressure off real-time posting with Reels scheduling from Hootsuite. Schedule, post, and see what’s working and what’s not with easy-to-use analytics that help you activate viral mode.

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By Hannah Macready

Hannah Macready is a freelance writer with 12 years of experience in social media and digital marketing. Her work has appeared in publications such as Fast Company and The Globe & Mail, and has been used in global social media campaigns for brands like Grosvenor Americas and Intuit Mailchimp. In her spare time, Hannah likes exploring the outdoors with her two dogs, Soup and Salad.

Read more by Hannah Macready

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