How to Schedule Instagram Reels (Step-by-Step Guide)

April 12, 2024
schedule instagram reels

Start scheduling your Instagram Reels and see the difference it can make for your brand!

Reels are Instagram’s response to TikTok’s dominance over social networking sites. Since its introduction in 2020, Reels has had the biggest impact on social media marketing, even beating its predecessor by over 26% when it comes to interactions and views.

Reels also outperformed other types of content on Instagram, such as posts, stories, and carousels (multi-image posts), cementing its position as one of the most powerful tools for marketing.

Posting regularly is the key to maximizing the benefits of Instagram Reels. In this article, we’ll show you how you can use Publer to handle your Reel schedule and boost your engagement.

3 Main Ways to Schedule Instagram Reels Explained

There are 3 ways to schedule Instagram Reels: Instagram, Meta Suite, and a social media management platform like Publer. This feature is made specifically for Instagram Creator or Business profiles, though, so if the option to schedule Instagram Reels is not showing up on your account, you probably have a Personal profile.

You can change your account to Business for free on the Instagram app. Go to your profile and tap the three-line icon in the upper right corner. Then, click on “Settings and privacy” and “Account type and tools” and look for the “Switch to professional account” option.

Once you have a Business profile, you can schedule Reels using the following three options:

#1. Schedule Instagram Reels via the Instagram App

To schedule Instagram Reels on the app, go to your Profile, tap the Plus icon on the bottom of the screen, and choose Reel.

Schedule Instagram Reels via the Instagram App

Then, choose the media you want to share. You can either shoot the Reel directly from the app or upload an existing video.

schedule instagram reels - choose the media

Tap Edit video on the lower left corner to make further changes, such as adding text, stickers, audio or voiceovers, and filters. You can also adjust the speed and trim your video.

edit video

When done, click Next and add a caption and hashtags. You can also change the cover image by choosing a different frame for the video or uploading one from your media library.

schedule instagram reels - write a caption

When you are satisfied, scroll down and tap on Advanced settings. Click Schedule this reel and set the date and time you want the post to go live.

advanced settings
schedule instagram reels

After that, click the back button and tap Schedule.

#2. Schedule Instagram Reels via Meta Suite

You can also schedule Instagram Reels with Meta Business Suite. To do this, log in to your account, go to the Home tab, and click Create Reel.

schedule instagram reels on meta

Select the Instagram account you want to post on, and from there, you can upload your video and add a caption, some fun emojis, and relevant hashtags.

schedule instagram reels on meta - add caption

Then, you choose a thumbnail. You can select one from the suggested images, pick a specific frame from the video, or upload a separate image.

choose a thumbnail on meta

Meta Business Suite also allows you to add music and text to your reel, crop it, or enhance the audio before posting.

crop or add music

Check the preview on the right side, and if everything looks good, click on Next, then tap Schedule under Scheduling options.

You can schedule a reel from 20 minutes up to 29 days in advance. After you have selected the date and time, click on Schedule in the bottom right corner to finally set the publishing time for your Reel.

schedule instagram reels on meta - options

#3. Schedule Instagram Reels With Publer

Unlike Instagram or Meta, you can use Publer to schedule Instagram Reels on both PC and mobile. This is a great feature for people who are traveling or need the flexibility to create and schedule posts on the go.

With Publer, you can also save time by scheduling Reels in bulk. This handy feature allows you to upload and schedule up to 500 videos at once. Click on the Bulk upload button and select the videos you want to upload. Each video you choose becomes a separate post, so you can customize and update each one.

How To Schedule Instagram Reels With Publer: 5-Step Guide

Publer is an all-in-one social media management platform that allows you to manage multiple social media accounts in one place. Here, you can monitor, post, and track your content across different sites.

Publer is packed with amazing features like:

  • Social media analytics. You can see all social media insights on one dashboard, so you can make the changes you need to improve engagement and audience reach. Find what works best for your content, and use that strategy on all your accounts.
  • Bulk scheduling. Save time by creating and scheduling Reels at once. Make sure your account always has fresh and relevant content to share, even when you’re not there.
  • Content curation. Maintain your brand’s aesthetic by curating your posts. Preview each post before publishing and see how they would all look together on the calendar. Change fonts, add a filter, or use Vista to make your Reel more appealing.
  • Recycling. Reshare your best content and ensure audience retention with the Recycling feature.

Automate your Instagram Reel posting schedule on Publer by following the next five steps:

#1. Create a Publer Account

You can create a Publer account by signing up with your email address or by connecting a social media account.

Create a Publer account

After that, you can provide some details to improve your Publer experience. Select an answer from the drop-down list that best describes your current position, how you found out about the platform, and how you intend to use it.

schedule instagram reels on Publer - details

Next, give your workspace a name and choose the industry that your work or business is in.

schedule instagram reels on Publer - workspace

After that, you can add the different accounts that you want to manage on the platform, such as TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram.

adding social accounts

#2. Connect Your Instagram Account

If you didn’t connect your Instagram account while signing up, you can do so by clicking Social Accounts on the home page.

connect instagram account

Then, click the Instagram icon and click Professional.

schedule instagram reels on Publer - professional

Click Continue and choose the account you want to add to Publer. Click Connect on the right side of the name and wait for a popup in the upper right corner that says, “Account successfully connected”.

connect prompt

After clicking Continue, you’ll be able to see your account on the dashboard.

schedule instagram reels on Publer - dashboard

#3. Create a Reel

To schedule a Reel, click the Create tab and choose from one of the three options you can make: Post, Reel, or Story.

drag and drop media

Publer shows you a preview of how your Reel would look to the audience. This is really helpful for checking the video’s scale and making any necessary changes to the Reel before it’s published.

Next, attach the video that you want to post. You can either upload it from an external URL, import it from a different source or Publer’s media library, upload it from your local library, or design it with VistaCreate.

attach media
schedule instagram reels on Publer - write something

What’s great about Publer’s scheduling feature is that you can plan in bulk. If you want to create multiple Reels in advance, click Bulk Options and upload any additional media. An individual post is automatically created for each file, so you don’t have to worry about manually creating a post for each one.

bulk planning with Publer

#4. Optimize Your Reel

After uploading your videos, you can add a caption, attach your Link in Bio, share them in the Instagram feed, and tag people or products.

Optimized and engaging captions are key to boosting the visibility and reach of your Reel, so don’t skip them! Publer’s AI Assist feature can help you create a great caption or improve your current one.

schedule instagram reels on Publer - optimize your reel

Publer also generates a set of relevant hashtags to help your Reel show up at the top of Instagram search results.

schedule instagram reels on Publer - hashtags

#5. Set the Schedule for Posting

After you have optimized all Reels, set a posting schedule for each one. Publer has four options for scheduled Reels: Manual, AutoSchedule, Recycle, and Recurring.

Set the Schedule for Posting

Schedule manually by selecting the exact date and time that your Reel gets posted. If you plan on posting at similar times on different days, you can create a timeslot for that duration and simply select it from the calendar.

date and time setting

You also use timeslots for auto-scheduling Reels. Publer chooses the earliest available timeslot from your posting schedule and assigns that to a Reel.

schedule instagram reels on Publer - auto schedule

Meanwhile, Publer’s Recycle and Recurring schedule features are great for improving audience retention. When promoting a product or event, the more times a user sees your Reel, the better the chances of them remembering every detail about it.

After selecting a posting schedule, click Get a reminder to receive a notification before your post goes live. This way, you can utilize Instagram’s in-app editing options, like adding music, text, or captions, for your Reel. Using trending audio on the platform can help boost your Reel’s visibility, as Instagram prioritizes content with popular elements in its rankings.

schedule instagram reels on Publer - get a reminder

On your scheduled posting time, you’ll receive a notification from Publer on your phone (make sure to turn on notifications for the app so you don’t miss them). When you click on the pop-up, it’ll redirect you to the Publer app and prompt you to open the post on Instagram so you can make the necessary edits.

pop-up notifications

5 Benefits of Scheduling Instagram Reels

Scheduling your Instagram Reels has several benefits. Keeping up with the best times to post and the different trends on social media can be exhausting. From saving time to driving sales, here’s what else you can do when scheduling your Reels with Publer:

Save Time

Manually posting and thinking of new content every day is time-consuming. By creating your Reels in batches, you save time every day that you can use to accomplish other tasks.

Improve Audience Engagement

Posting Reels regularly can help improve your audience engagement and reach. Using an Instagram scheduler ensures that you post quality content at the ideal times for maximum engagement.

Build Consistency

Publishing content consistently is key to social media success. Posting more frequently allows more people to see your content and increases your chances of gaining more followers.

Scheduling Reels also frees up your time, so you can respond to comments and keep your audience engaged.

Drive Sales

In a survey by Wyzowl, 87% of the respondents claimed that videos have helped increase their sales. If you run a small business, use Reels to promote your product or service and improve sales.

Promote Strategic Posting

With social media analytics available to view, you can see what type of content resonates best with your audience and change your strategy to create more targeted posts.

3 Pro Tips for Scheduling Instagram Reels

Keep these pro tips in mind when scheduling or planning Instagram Reels, and you’ll be able to maximize their benefits.

  • Find the best time to post. Which Reels have the highest engagements, and at what time were they posted? While there are recommended timeslots for posting Reels, you can also use the insights on Publer’s dashboard to determine the ideal times to upload.
  • Be creative. Reels have a limited length, so be sure to use that time creatively. Think of the best ways to capture the attention of your audience. In the era of endless scrolling, out-of-the-box ideas can help your content stand out.
  • Stay updated on video trends. Keeping up with the latest trends and viral videos ensures that your content stays relevant and interesting. Putting your own twist on current video trends will resonate well with your audience and help attract new followers.

Requirements for Instagram Reels

There are strict video requirements for Instagram Reels, so be sure that your content follows these dimensions:

  • Size and resolution. Reels should not be bigger than 100 MB and must have a resolution of at least 720 pixels.
  • Ratio. Instagram Reels are often viewed vertically on a mobile screen and, as such, should have an aspect ratio of 9:16 to avoid being cropped or stretched.
  • Length. Reels taken using the Instagram app can only be up to 90 seconds long. But if you use Publer to schedule your Reel, it can have a maximum length of 15 minutes.
  • Cover photo size. If you choose a different image for your Reel’s cover photo, it should be 420px by 654px.

Schedule Instagram reels effortlessly with Publer, the most state-of-the-art scheduling tool available. 

Key Takeaways

  • There are three ways to schedule Instagram Reels: via Instagram, Meta Business Suite, or Publer.
  • To schedule Reels with Publer, you need to connect a Business Instagram account on the platform and then upload and edit your media as usual.
  • Scheduling Instagram Reels can help you save time, boost audience engagement, promote consistent and strategic posting, and even drive sales.
  • When scheduling Reels, remember to be creative and to use video trends as a reference. Make sure you post at the best time for maximum visibility.
  • Make sure your Reel meets Instagram requirements to avoid issues.

Schedule Instagram Reels FAQ

Why can’t I schedule Reels on Instagram?

If you can’t schedule Reels on Instagram, you likely have a Personal account. Scheduling Reels are only available on Business and Creator profiles, so you need to switch to one of those types.

Can you schedule Instagram Reels with music?

You can schedule Instagram Reels with music. If your video already has audio, you can replace it with music snippets on the app or on Publer.

What is the best time to publish Instagram Reels?

The best time to publish Instagram Reels is between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m., from Monday to Thursday. This timeslot has the highest engagement rates and most number of active users.

Does scheduling Reels affect views?

Scheduling Reels does not affect views. As long as you consistently publish relevant and quality content, your Reels will get views.

Can I schedule Instagram Reels for free?

You can schedule Instagram Reels for free on Publer, Instagram, or Meta Business Suite. Publer also offers extra features like longer Reel length and AI Assist to help you publish the best content.

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