If you’re anything like me, you enjoy sharing your photography on Instagram, but hate the process of creating posts. Various scheduling services have emerged, but Facebook’s own Creator Studio is probably one of the best when it comes to photography.
Creator Studio is definitely not without its flaws, but it does bring a few advantages over other scheduling services that are making my life easier.
Facebook has a been relatively quiet in rolling out this service, and it’s probably still a work in progress given the areas that need refining, but if you’re not set up with a service like Buffer, Later or HootSuite, it’s definitely worth checking out.
There are a few prerequisites: firstly, you will need to have linked your Instagram profile to a Facebook Page. Secondly, you will need to have converted your Instagram account to a business profile. (Note: there is speculation that moving to a business profile will reduce your enagagement. You might want to do some research before taking this step.)
Once you’re set up, the layout isn’t too complex, but takes a little getting used to. Note that Creator Studio isn’t just for posting to Instagram; you can also schedule Facebook posts. As a result, there’s a tab at the top of the screen to switch between the two modes.
If you run a number of Instagram accounts, you’ll notice that all of them show up by default. These can be filtered, something you may end up having to do every time you use Creator Studio, which can be annoying.
From there, it’s simply a case of hitting “Create Post” and choosing “Instagram Feed.” The process is straightforward, and there are a few nice touches, such as counting the number of characters and hashtags you have remaining. Unlike other scheduling services, it will autosuggest hashtags as you type, similar to when you’re using the Instagram app.
One of the features that I really appreciate is autosuggestion of account names. I shoot a lot of different individuals and organizations, and being able to type the first couple of letters of their name or account and have the rest of the work done for you makes my life much easier. Other scheduling services don’t have this level of access to Instagram’s API.
When creating your Instagram post, much like other scheduling services, Creator Studio gives you the option to crop your image according to Instagram’s dimensions.
There are various shortcomings: you can’t save lists of hashtags, and while Creator Studio calls itself a “Content library,” there is no means of storing a body of photos. As you post, you’ll need to upload each image individually and keep track yourself of what you have used. One of my other annoyances is that you can’t drag and drop images into the upload dialogue.
I tend not to use my Facebook business page too heavily, so I take advantage of Creator Studio's ability to automatically cross-publish the posts I create for Instagram. If you’re scheduling posts, you’ll need to fill out the time and date for Facebook and then the time and date for Instagram — slightly annoying.
Keep in mind that cross-posting to Facebook means that all of the Instagram hashtags will appear in your Facebook post (where they’re ugly and useless) and that an Instagram account you mentioned will not be translated to that person or business’s Facebook account. I only do this, as otherwise, my Facebook page would be dormant.
If you use your Facebook page regularly and you’re less lazy than me, you may wish to take advantage of Creator Studio’s option to repost an image that you have already scheduled/posted to Facebook.
If you post photographs to Instagram daily or perhaps every other day, Creator Studio is a simple platform that has a few nice features — such as hashtag autocompletion and user suggestion — even though it lacks refinement. As a free option for those who don’t use Instagram and/or Facebook too heavily, it’s an easy way to get content online.
If you’ve further suggestions, be sure to leave a comment below.