Running a blog and multiple social media accounts can be a big task. The planning that goes into it is often underestimated. Most social media channels have multiple options with regards to scheduling posts and posting automatically. Except for Instagram. Instagram is one of the few social media channels that does not let their users post automatically. Much to the annoyance of many bloggers and businesses. There are some solutions, for example Hootsuite and Planoly, both platforms allow users to pre-write and schedule posts. However, Preview is the latest craze in Instagram planning. I discovered this app a few months ago (on Instagram, ironically), and can tell you that this app goes beyond the standard planning apps.
Posting to Instagram for bloggers and businesses isn’t a matter of taking a picture and posting it immediately. The process of posting involves taking the pictures, editing them, putting them in an aesthetically pleasing order, writing a fitting caption, and curating the right hashtag combinations.
Hootsuite and Planoly take most of these steps into consideration, such as ordering the pictures and writing the captions. However, to me, that is not enough. Preview on the other hand is able to facilitate all of the above actions!
How does Preview work?
Download Preview in the App Store and in the Google Play Store. Once downloaded, sign up using your Instagram login credentials. Using the app for 1 account is free. You can add multiple accounts for €4,99.
Once logged in, you can easily import pictures using the “+” sign in top right corner. When you have imported all of your pictures, click on a picture in your feed to activate the bottom menu. In that menu you can write the caption and schedule your post, or edit the picture.
Just like Hootsuite and Planoly, Preview is not able to post to Instagram directly without the user having to press the post button manually. Instagram doesn’t allow third party apps to post without the consent of the user.
Pictures can be edited in the app itself. I think this is a great feature because it avoids having to change apps. Of course you can edit your pictures in Instagram. But be honest with me: who uses those filters anymore? VSCO is by far the most popular app for editing photos, but Preview has the same filters and editing options! Just like VSCO, Preview has sets of filters to maintain a certain theme. Some are free, and some are paid.
Preview has a drag and drop functionality where you can easily change the order of the photos. I often change my mind when scheduling my posts…This also creates a good impression of how your Instagram feed is going to look as a “finished” product.
To write a caption, schedule the post and save hashtag combinations, click on the picture and choose the speech bubble in the bottom menu. Writing a caption pretty much speaks for itself. In the caption, you can add the hashtags you wish to use. Instagram accepts a maximum of 30 hashtags. You can save the hashtags by clicking on “Groups”, and adding a new group. I have different hashtag combinations for quotes or fashion posts. So this feature was really helpful for me. I used to save the different combinations in my notes which always meant switching apps when posting pictures.
If you want to know what posts are scheduled for the future, go to the homescreen and click on the calendar icon in the top left. Preview shows posts that are scheduled for the day, week and month ahead.
Will I keep using it?
I like Preview better than Hootsuite and Planoly to plan my Instagram posts. Mainly because Preview combines certain apps into one functional and easy to use platform. Since the editing options are similar to VSCO, one could easily switch over to Preview completely. I also love the option of saving hashtag combinations. Having the combinations ready saves so much time when posting on Instagram.
Yes, I now use 2 different apps to plan my social media accounts, but because Preview has so much added value concerning Instagram, I don’t mind! Also, go follow their Instagram account for tips on using social media and theme inspiration.