9 Powerful Time-Saving Tips to Help Grow Your Brand on Instagram


Here are some great tips for becoming an Instagram Master. If you’re considering taking your social media game up a notch, you need to thhink seriously about an automation program, like Buffer. Buffer is a tool I personally use to manage my Social Media and I highly recommend it.

9 Powerful Time-Saving Tips to Help Grow Your Brand on Instagram

Written by Alfred Lua of Buffer

With over 600 million users across the globe, Instagram is quickly becoming a focal point for businesses of all sizes who use social media.

600 million! That’s a huge number. And the impressive stats don’t stop there…

Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform and around half of its user base (more than 300 million people) use it every day.

Brands on Instagram are also seeing huge amounts of engagement on Instagram. According to Forrester Research, per-follower interaction rate is 2.3 percent- way above Facebook (0.2%) and Twitter (0.02%).

That all sounds incredible, right? But how do you find time to dedicate to growing your brand on Instagram? From planning and editing to posting and engaging with your followers, there’s a lot on your plate when it comes to Instagram marketing.

We’d love to help you achieve more with less on Instagram.
In this post, there we’re sharing nine time-saving Instagram marketing tips to help you achieve incredible results with less time and effort.

Let’s get started.

1. Create Instagram posts on desktop instead of mobile

Thanks to the great amount of tools out there, social media management has become much easier than it was a few years ago. While Instagram still doesn’t allow publishing through its web application, there are many tools that allow you to create your Instagram posts on desktop first.
Creating Instagram posts on desktop can be a massive time saver.

Here’s why:

• Creating your graphics or editing your photos on your desktop can be much faster than doing so on your mobile.

• Most Instagram scheduling tools save you from the hassle of transferring your graphics and photos from your desktop to your mobile.

With Buffer for Instagram, you can upload your image and schedule a post on your desktop. When it’s the time to post, you will receive a notification on your mobile, and we’d have transferred the image to your mobile!

If you’re preparing your Instagram posts on desktop, here are some useful images sizes to ensure your content always looks great:

Square Image: 1080px in width by 1080px in height
Vertical Image: 1080px in width by 1350px in height
Horizontal Image: 1080px in width by 566px in height

Editor’s note: For more on the perfect images sizes for Instagram (and all other major social media channels) check out this post.

2. Repost quickly with permission

A study by marketing startup, Crowdtap, and the global research company, Ipsos, found that user-generated content is 35 percent more memorable and 50 percent more trusted than traditional and non-user-generated media.

A great way we’ve found to share user-generated content on Instagram is to repost images from our community. This strategy has helped us grow our Instagram following by 300 percent under three months. (If you want to learn how we find the best user-generated content for our account, here’s a short video by Brian Peters, our social media manager.)

A typical way of reposting an image after asking for permission looks something like this:

• Take a screenshot on your mobile

• Crop away everything apart from the image

• Copy and paste or type out the caption

• Add your own caption

• Finally, publish the user-generated content

Apps like Buffer and Repost allow you to skip all the tedious steps. Simply copy the Share URL of the Instagram post you want to repost and open the reposting app. The post, with both the image and original caption, will be generated for you in the app.

You can read more about how to repost in Instagram here.

Quick reminder: Before you repost, it is best to request permission from the original poster.

3. Plan the layout of your gallery

Instead of thinking about what you want to post every day on the day itself, a good approach might be to plan your posts with your overall social media strategy in mind.

Also, Instagram is becoming a curated platform where businesses and individuals only post their best photos according to specific themes instead of every photo they take. So, it’s important to have a well-curated and consistent profile gallery.

At Buffer, the themes we chose for our Instagram account are:

• User-generated content

• Digital nomad lifestyle

• Productivity and motivation

Knowing these in mind allows us to plan how we want our gallery to look like. Hope our gallery is giving off these vibes!

There are many Instagram planning tools out there that can help you with this. At Buffer, this is one of the top requests we hear for Buffer for Instagram. So, we are currently developing a grid preview feature. Stay tuned!

4. Use tools to separate content creation and engagement

One of the most common productivity advice is to do one thing at a time.

A research by New York University business professor, Sophie Leroy, discovered that there’s a cost to switching your attention from one task to another — even if the switch is brief. Whenever our brains switch to a new task, the old task leaves an “attention residue” that reduces our cognitive performance for a non-trivial amount of time.
Multitasking actually cause us to take a longer time to complete all the tasks because our brains have to constantly switch between those tasks.

For Instagram marketing, there are usually two main things you would do:

• Creating or scheduling content

• Responding to comments and engaging with others

It is easy to be distracted by the notifications when you only want to publish a post.

A trick can be to use a tool solely for scheduling so that you can focus on creating content when you want to. Then, when you are in the Instagram app, you can focus on replying and engaging.
Taking this a step further, you could…

5. Create a week’s worth of posts in one go

Batching is a popular time management technique that aims to maximize concentration and increase productivity.

The idea is to do similar tasks that require similar resources together.

Cal Newport, a computer science professor at Georgetown University and author of Deep Work, experimented with a day when he forced himself to batch tasks. He found that while batching was tough, his quality of work increased because he was able to focus on them for a good amount of time:

“I ended up spending 2.5 hours focused on my writing project and 3.5 hours focused on my research paper. That’s six hours, in one day, of focused work with zero interruptions; not even one quick glance at email.
At the same time, the careful pre-planning required to satisfy my batching rules increased the efficiency of my small task completion. Even though I dedicated 6 hours in one 10 hour work day to uninterrupted focus, another 1.5 hours to exercise and eating, and another 1 hour to a doctors appointment, I still managed to accomplish an impressive collection of logistical tasks both urgent and non-urgent.”

Taking this technique to Instagram marketing, it could mean grouping content creation and scheduling together instead of creating and publishing posts on a daily basis or even several times a day. Creating the posts from scratch on a daily basis can be very interruptive to your schedule.

Here are some things you can try:

• Plan a photo-taking session to take multiple photos that can be used for a series of Instagram posts

• Create and edit all the images you want to post for the upcoming week altogether since you are already in the image editor

• Upload all the images onto a scheduling tool and add captions to all of them in one setting

The additional benefit of creating a week’s worth of posts at a go is that your Instagram posts will be more consistent as you will be thinking ahead.

6. Schedule time to engage

Another task you can batch is responding and engaging with others on Instagram. By batching them and scheduling the time to do that, you gain control over your schedule instead of being dictated by notifications.
In the experiment above, professor and author, Cal Newport set himself a simple rule:

“All work must be done in blocks of at least 30 minutes. If I start editing a paper, for example, I have to spend at least 30 minutes editing. If I need to complete a small task, like handing in a form, I have to spend at least 30 minutes doing small tasks. Crucially, checking email and looking up information online count as small tasks. If I need to check my inbox or grab a quick stat from the web, I have to spend at least 30 minutes dedicated to similarly small diversions.”

Here’s what you can try:

• Turn off notifications for your Instagram account.

• Schedule 30 minutes to an hour on your calendar every day to reply to comments, like, and comment on your followers’ posts.

• You could also schedule up to a few sessions like this in a day if you want to have a faster response time on Instagram.

This will prevent the notifications from disrupting your day when you are working on other tasks.

7. Prepare commonly used hashtags in an Evernote note

After analyzing over 65,000 social media posts for their study on hashtags, TrackMaven found that:

“Instagram posts with nine hashtags perform best, with an average engagement of 28,548 interactions per post.
While engagement starts to decrease after this peak, posts with more than nine hashtags still have higher engagement than posts with fewer than eight hashtags. This suggests that on Instagram, it’s always better to err on the side of more hashtags rather than fewer.”

However, typing nine or more hashtags every time you want to publish a post can be very time-consuming. A solution is to create a few sets of commonly used hashtags for different themes in an Evernote note or your preferred note-taking app.

It could look something like this:

This way, you can simply copy and paste the hashtags without having to re-type them every time. Then, you can also add more hashtags that are specific to each post.

If you are creating the post using a desktop (as mentioned in the first tip above), this process becomes even easier as it is much faster to copy and paste on the desktop than to switch between apps on mobile, selecting, copying, and pasting the hashtags.

8. Use the same filter and/or edits

Here’s another trick to help you save time and create a consistent profile gallery: use the same filter and/or edits for most — or even all — your images.

A lot of the time spent on publishing an Instagram post is usually spent on editing the image. By using the same filter and/or edits for every image, you can drastically reduce the editing time. This not only saves you time but also helps to keep your Instagram posts consistent.

If you use a photo editing application on your desktop like Lightroom, you can save a filter and the edits as a custom template.

If you prefer to edit your photos on your mobile, apps like VSCO or Instagram itself allows you to rearrange the filters and toolkits so that the most commonly used options appear first. VSCO even allows you to copy the edits made on one image and paste them onto other images.

9. Repurpose posts on other platforms for Instagram (and vice versa)

Your Instagram posts don’t have to exist on Instagram only, and that’s the same for your other social media content.
Instead of re-creating new content for each social media platform, you could repurpose your posts on other platforms for Instagram and vice versa. This increases the impact of your content and saves you time from creating new content.

A great example is Gary Vaynerchuk’s VaynerTalent Content Machine framework:

His strategy is to record a video or audio every week and turn it into four long-form articles and 40 social media images. The concept is that a Facebook or YouTube video can be turned into numerous multi-media content for all other platforms. I think this is a great way to make full use of your content.

Using Buffer, you can easily schedule the content you have made for other social media platforms for Instagram as well. For example, if you have created a short clip for Facebook, you can also cross-post it onto your Instagram profile.

Similarly, you can do it the other way round. If you have prepared a photo for an Instagram post, you can also schedule it for your other social media profiles.

Over to you!

And that’s the nine time-saving Instagram marketing tips to help you achieve results for your business with less time and effort. As a recap, here are the nine tips:

• Create Instagram posts on desktop instead of mobile

• Repost quickly with permission

• Plan how you want your gallery to look like

• Use a tool to separate content creation and engagement

• Create a week’s worth of posts at a go

• Schedule time to engage

• Prepare commonly used hashtags in an Evernote note

• Use the same filter and edits

• Repurpose posts on other platforms for Instagram (and vice versa)

Are there any productivity tips you have for fellow Instagram marketers?

It’d be great to hear from you!

Weekly Roundup 2/10

Subscriptions are all the rage…
“The Way You Buy Apps is About to Change.”

Siri is already too pushy for my liking…

“Microsoft Cortana Can Learn Your Email Commitments And Hold You Accountable To Make Good On Them.”

And don’t get me started about how few women there are in Silicon Valley…
“Tech Still Doesn’t Get Diversity. Here’s How to Fix It.”

What happens when the houses can outsmart us?
10 devices you need for an ultimate smart home in 2017: Amazon Echo, Nest Cam Indoor, Ecobee3 and others

Anybody surprised by this? Can I get a show of hands?
Trump’s FCC Pick Doesn’t Bode Well For Net Neutrality

And what do we do in the meantime?
5 Tech Leaders Who Could Take on Trump in 2020

Women in Tech: Hidden Figures


For this week’s Women in Tech Spotlight, I decided to focus on 3 women who paved the way for so many of us in male dominated industries. Not only did they crack the glass ceiling for nerdy girls who excel in math and computers, they had to do so while also breaking down barriers of race in the early 1960’s. Katherine Johnson, Dorthy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson are the 3 American Pioneers whose stories are told in Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race which became a film that is currently nominated for Best Picture of the Year; Hidden Figures.

If you haven’t seen this movie yet, go. Even if the subject matter of space and computers dulls you to sleep, go. Take your mother, daughter, sister or BFF, but please, go. I believe a film this special needs to be seen in the theatre; don’t wait for the DVD release. Not only is it important to know these women and their contributions to history but, we need to show Hollywood that we demand more stories just like these. While all History is important, too often it’s Women’s History that’s forgotten first.

I could write for days about how much I loved this movie, but you have lives and I am no movie critic. So, I’m reposting Rolling Stone’s review for you in hopes that you will see this movie and tell someone the story of these 3 exceptional women.

‘Hidden Figures’ Review: Three Women Make History in Inspirational Space-Race Drama

The story of African-American females who helped NASA conquer the cosmos pays tribute with trio of incredible performances

By Peter Travers

Did you know that three female African-American mathematicians, working at NASA in 1962, were instrumental in getting the Mercury program into orbit and winning the U.S. space race against the Soviets? Me neither. That’s why Hidden Figures is such an instructive and wildly entertaining eye-opener. There’s nothing particularly innovative about the filmmaking – director Theodore Melfi (St. Vincent) mostly sticks to the record in the script he wrote with Allison Schroeder from the nonfiction book by Margot Lee Shetterly. But it’s the smart move. This is a story that doesn’t need frills. It simply needs telling, and the fact it gets three dynamite actresses to tell it does poetic justice to both these women and the Civil Rights movement at large.

Taraji P. Henson excels as Katherine Johnson, a math prodigy who extraordinary talent brought her to the NASA facility in Langley, Virginia in 1961. Now 98, Ms. Johnson has lived to see a research facility named after her. Things were far from that open-minded, however, when she and her colleagues, Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) and Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer, killer good), hit segregated Virginia to work on the space program. Known as “colored computers” – the latter word being the organization’s term for employees who did low-level calculations – these women soon made their mark against daunting odds. In an early scene, the car-pooling trio are pulled over by a white cop who finds it hard to belief that they work at NASA or even that Dorothy is capable of fixing a Chevy Impala herself.

Katherine is first to be promoted to a job with the Space Task Group, where manager Al Harrison (Kevin Costner, getting everything right) sees her talent – even if he clearly favors her peer Paul Stafford (Jim Parsons, nailing the casual racism of the period). Still, it’s Harrison who takes action when he realizes she has to walk half a mile to get to a “Colored Ladies Room.” “Here at NASA, we all pee the same color,” he says, tearing down the restroom-segregation sign in a scene that lets Costner spit out the words with spirited authority.

Mary has to go to court for permission to take night courses needed merely to apply for an open job in engineering. Monáe is terrific in the role, showing here and in Moonlight that she has the right stuff to launch an acting career to match her success in music. Best of all is Spencer, an Oscar winner for The Help, who is funny, fierce and quietly devastating at showing the punishing increments it takes for Dorothy to inch up the NASA ladder. Her white supervisor, Mrs. Mitchell (Kirsten Dunst), refuses to give her a supervisor title even though she’s already doing the job. Spencer delivers a priceless putdown that pays gutsy respect to these boundary-breaking pioneers.
The drama finds little time for the personal lives of its protagonists, though the widowed Katherine is allowed a romance with a National Guard officer, played with humor and heart by Mahershala Ali.

The emphasis here is watching these remarkable women at work. Dorothy sees the future in the new IBM machines being tested to speed up the space program, and takes appropriate action. Mary tells a judge that ordering desegregation of the all-white school she needs to study at would make him a pioneer. Katherine faces the toughest obstacles, working against the NASA rule of denying security clearances to female employees. But even astronaut John Glenn (Glen Powell) dubs Katherine “the smart one.” The story may be corny at times, even simplistic, but that doesn’t stop you from wanting to stand up and cheer. Lots of movies are labeled as “inspirational” – Hidden Figures truly earns the right to the term.

App of the Week: Hater


I will admit that the name of this week’s App of the Week is what drew me in…Hater. This is definitely not the same old dating app. Imagine bringing people together based on their mutual hatred of…whatever. It’s genius! Even if you don’t take it to seriously, it will still be a lot of fun to download and try! (It launches Feb. 8th)

Hate is a strong word, but we really, really don’t like a lot of things.

Jenna Amatulli. Of Huffington Post

If you hate a lot of things (but don’t hate online dating) then this app might be for you.
A new dating app called Hater, which publicly launches February 8th (yes, just in time for Valentine’s Day), takes the concept of matching people based on things they both like, and flips it on its head. So if you don’t like long walks on the beach, drinking pina coladas, and taking walks in the rain, Hater will find you someone who despises those very things too. 

The app allows users to swipe in four different directions to select whether they love, hate, like, or dislike a person, activity or concept. 

Hater launched in beta in December, and the creators told HuffPost that about 10,000 people are using the app before its official roll out. In the name of journalism, we checked it out too.

In playing around on Hater, the app’s design is sleek and chic. The color-scheme is reminiscent of Tinder, and it’s pretty intuitive to use. After a few swipes, you can get the general feel for how things work.
The most fun part of Hater is definitely swiping through the offerings of items you either hate or like. The seemingly endless list include things like “biting ice cream” or “Facebook stalking.” There’s a fair amount of political items, like “Vladimir Putin” and “Build the Wall,” but they’re sprinkled amidst lighthearted things like “The Bachelor,” “Twitter” and “Staying Up Late.” There are also a handful of sexual things featured, like “69,” “The Missionary Position,” and “Butt Selfies.”


Hater told HuffPost that there are currently 2,000 topics to swipe on, and that the app has plans to keep adding more user-created ones.

When you’re not curating your own profile with what you love and hate, you can swipe through other members on the app, similarly to the way you would with apps like Bumble and Tinder, to make some match magic happen.

What separates Hater’s swiping experience from other apps is that outside of a user’s handful of photos, age, and list of hates/loves/likes/dislikes, not much is revealed. You won’t know a potential match’s job or education level before swiping. Whether this is good or bad is depends on a user’s dating priorities.


Another interesting feature of Hater is that the app attempts to do the heavy-lifting of initial messaging for you. The app offers a creative ice-breaker for you, in the form of Mad Libs-style sentences that you can fill in with your own silly responses. There’s no worry of having to send a limp, “Hey” out into the void.


Hater came to fruition because of its 29-year-old founder and CEO, Brendan Alper. A former banker who shifted gears from finance to comedy, Alper says Hater was born as a sketch idea, but told The Huffington Post that after doing some research, he started to think maybe it could actually work as a real app.

“Online dating has become so monotonous,” he said. “Everyone just goes through the motions. Swipe. Swipe. Swipe. Match. Canned line. Bad date. Repeat. We want online dating to be fun agin. Just like in real life.”

So far, Alper says the response to Hater has been very positive.

“We’ve heard tons of stories of friends sitting around at parties, swiping through topics together, matching with other people, playing our icebreakers,” he said.
The app’s initial success actually makes a lot of sense when you consider that research has shown that people tend to bond over shared negative opinions, often more so than they do over the things they both like. 

Alper also told HuffPost that the most commonly hated topics amongst both men and women, so far, are the 1) presidential election of 2016 (lol), 2) slow walkers (truly the worst), and 3) drain hair (ew). 

So, haters, get hatin’. You just might find someone to love.”

How to: download, add, rearrange, and remove widgets on Google Pixel


This week’s “How to” features Google’s first foray into the mobile phone hardware game; the Pixel. Reviews have and sales have been tepid but I wanted to make resources available for early adopters. The original article came from Stephen Hall from 9to5Google.

“Widgets have long been a hallmark feature for Android. When comparing the two major mobile platforms at face value, it has always been — at least until the most recent updates to iOS — easy to say that customizable widgets are one of the reasons you might want an Android phone over an iPhone. Well, widgets haven’t gone anywhere. They’re still around on Google’s new Pixel phone, and here’s how to manage them…

How to add widgets on Google Pixel

The easiest way to manage your widgets on the Google Pixel is to tap and hold on a blank space on the home screen to reveal the home screen settings page (seen in the left screenshot below). From here you can tap widgets, which will bring up a long scrollable list of widgets that are available for you to add to your home screen. From there, you just tap and hold on one, and drag and drop it anywhere on your home screen.
Here’s what it looks like on your device:

If you want to rearrange these widgets that you’ve already placed, it’s as simple as tapping and holding on them and moving them around to the various home screens with your finger. If you want to resize the widgets, simply tap and hold on the one you want to change and then let go. You will see small white circles on all sides of the widget — if the widget is resizable — that will let you customize it to fit your home screen setup.
Note that if you’ve used our other Android Basics guide
to change launchers on your Google Pixel (i.e. if you’re using Nova Launcher or another third-party launcher), this process might not look exactly the same. Most popular third-party launchers offer access to the widgets screen in a similar fashion, however. If you want to learn how to switch from the Pixel Launcher, click here.

How to remove widgets on Google Pixel

Removing widgets from your Google Pixel home screen is even easier than adding them. Simply follow the below steps:

1 Find the widget you want to remove
2 Tap and hold on the widget
3 Drag the widget to the top of the screen over “X Remove”
4 Remove your finger from the screen

How to download more widgets on Google Pixel

Downloading more widgets on your Google Pixel is as simple as downloading more apps. Some apps are made specifically for adding widgets to your device, but most apps simply include widgets that make it easier to access information from within those apps from the home screen.”

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