I am a huge Instagram fan but will be the first to admit that if you are posting more than once a day it can be a time-consuming process. Auto-schedulers are still clunky as Instagram very much wants to keep the “Instant” aspect about their social media platform. I have two Instagram hacks that you can use if you don’t want to use a scheduler and want to save time posting each day.

Close up of hand holding photo showing Instagram screen


Instagram Hack #1

Auto-fill your hashtags

Hashtags are how to get seen by people who don’t follow you. They are like search terms and are vital in growing and connecting to your audience. It’s important to use them correctly and if you want more information on how to use them have a read of the guest post that Denika from Social Elucidation wrote a few months back.

Instagram lets you add 30 hashtags and Denika recommends you use all 30 (and at the very least 11). They can be so tedious to type out… especially if your autocorrect wants to separate the words you use! This Instagram hack actually uses that pesky auto-correct to your advantage.

You can set up keyboard shortcuts that contain all your regularly used hashtags. This means that you only have to type a few characters and all your hashtags will automatically populate for you. This saves loads of time and limits errors in your tagging making you more efficient and accurate. Winning.

 First, decide on a set of hashtags that are perfect for your brand and your audience and that you will use regularly. Then head to (iPhone)

Settings > General > Keyboard > Text replacement

You’ll see below that I have a few sets for different subjects and the hashtags that I use depends on the photo I am posting. To make your own set select the + button at the top right of the screen. Enter your hashtags in the Phrase field and the set of characters you will type to populate the hashtags in the Shortcut field. I use the general subject (business, kids etc) preceded by IG. This stops the hashtags auto-filling when I am using the word in my general messaging. Then press Save.

Now, when you go to post a photo in Instagram you can simply type out your shortcut and all your hashtags will auto fill. I really do love this. If I’m posting a product shot I type “IGbusiness” for all my business related hashtags. If its a shot of my daughter at the local beach I type “IGkids” and “IGmh”. You can just have one shortcut for all the hashtags that you use or have as many different sets as you like. Just make sure you have a maximum of 30 tags.

Instagram Hack #2

Save your posts as drafts.

Batching tasks is a great time saver as discussed in this productivity post by Belle Lockerby. You can batch your Instagram photos within Instagram itself! I actually have a workshop attendee to thank for this fantastic tip. I love that I can learn from people who have come to learn from me. 

You will still need to edit and caption each image individually. But you can do a week’s worth of images in one sitting and then post them at a later date. Simply save them as a draft. 

Upload, edit, caption and tag your image as you would normally. Don’t forget to use Hack #1 for your hashtags! Then instead of pressing Share press the back arrow to go back to the editing screen and then press the back arrow again. Instagram will ask if you want to Save Draft or Discard. Select Save Draft. It will save above your Photo Library to access next time you open the app.

All your edits, captions and tags will be saved. Do the next photo and the next and Save each one.

Then when you go to post your photo the next day, and the next you can select it from your drafts and it will post in a few seconds. 

Bonus hack

This one doesn’t have anything to do with efficiency but it’s something I get asked about regularly: how to align the text in your Instagram profile. You can’t use the return key when filling in your profile description and you have a 150 character limit. To get around this simply type up your profile text in the Notes app, format it as you like and then cut and paste it into Instagram (double clicking the Home button lets you quickly swap back and forth between apps). Easy! Oh and I have finally started a buiness focused Instagram account. Find me @ajharringtonphotos

I hope these 2 Instagram hacks help you to use this powerful social media platform more efficiently. Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform. It’s the perfect place to connect and engage with your audience through your visual media.

The Photography and Social Media workshop is full of useful tips that will improve your photography and your visual storytelling. You’ve just missed the last one but there will be another before year end so get in touch and register your interest. You’ll be the first to know when tickets go on sale.

Leave me a comment and let me know if you think these Instagram hacks will make your IG life easier!