How to Schedule Reels in 5 Steps [SECRET HACK]

Instagram reels have taken over as the fastest growing feature on the IG app. In fact, the average Instagram user spends 30 minutes per day watching reels.

And while Reels are a great way to share a quick video update with your followers, it can be difficult to record and edit a new video every day.

If you’re looking for a way to schedule your reels–so you can continue to post fresh content without feeling like you’re chained to your phone–we’ve got good news.

While Instagram’s API limits the ways you can schedule Reels, we’ve created a couple of creative workarounds that can help you get the job done.

In this blog, we’ll walk you through the best ways to schedule Instagram Reels using Hootsuite, plus some tips and tricks for getting the most out of your Reels content strategy.

Is there an app to schedule Instagram Reels?

Currently, there is no app to schedule Instagram Reels automatically. Direct publishing for Reels is not possible due to an API limitation within the Instagram app.

However, there are a few workarounds you can use in order to get your Reels content ready in advance and remind you when it comes time to publish. Even better, you can do all of this in the same place you schedule all your social media content—Hootsuite.

Keep reading to learn how to schedule Reels through your Hootsuite dashboard.

Can you schedule Reels on Creator Studio?

Unfortunately, no. While Instagram’s API does allow you to schedule Instagram feed videos and photos, you can’t schedule Story or Reels content on the Meta Creator Studio app or website.

How to schedule reels

If you have a Hootsuite Business profile, you can schedule Reels within the Hootsuite app and Dashboard, using the same process you’d use to schedule to Instagram Story.

To schedule an Instagram Reel in Hootsuite:

  1. Open up the Hootsuite Composer and select Instagram stories.
  2. Click Select a social accountand choose your Instagram profile.
  3. Next, upload your video and add any desired copy.
  4. Under Notes for the publisheradd “Post to Reels”.
  5. Choose the date and time you’d like to publish your reel, and you’ll receive a push notification on your phone when it’s time to post!

choose social profile to schedule reels

adding note for publisher to schedule reel in hootsuite

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Visual learner? See this scheduling Reels process in action in the video below.


We just made your life easier 😌

♬ Phineas and Ferb QUIRKY WORKY SONG – Jason Gomez ✝️ 🇺🇸

Please note that this process will only allow you to create your content and schedule a time for it to post, it will not post automatically. A push notification will be sent to your phone at the scheduled time, reminding you to post manually.

This is because Instagram’s API does not allow any third-party software to schedule Reels automatically yet.

But, we still think this workaround is useful because you get to use all of Hootsuite’s helpful publishing features, like best time to post recommendations, character limit recommendations, team approvals, and more. Plus, it will show up in your Hootsuite content calendar, so you can see how your Reels fit into your publishing schedule in advance.

Benefits of scheduling Instagram Reels

Now that you know how to schedule Reels in Hootsuite, here are a few reasons why you should.

Save time by planning ahead

Planning and scheduling your reels ahead of time can help you save time in the long run. By having a content calendar and schedule, you can batch film and edit your videos, so you’re not scrambling to put something together last minute.

This also allows you to be more strategic with the content you post and make sure it aligns with your overall marketing goals. Well-thought-out content can increase engagement rates on your reels and other Instagram content, which can lead to more followers and customers down the line.

Cultivate a consistent look and feel

Cohesive content performs better on social media, so it’s important to consider the overall look and feel of your reels when you’re planning them out. This means thinking about the colors, filtersand branding you use in your videos.

While it’s important to be consistent with the aesthetic of your reels, you also don’t want your content to look too uniform. Mixing up the types of videos you post will keep your reels interesting and engaging. Planning your reels in advance will also help you strike this balance.

Use these Free Instagram story templates to inspire your process.

Upload Instagram Reels from your desktop or laptop

While Instagram Reels have to be shot on your phone, scheduling them in advance lets you upload them from your desktop or laptop. This can be a big time-saver, especially if you have multiple videos to schedule.

As well, uploading reels from your desktop gives you more control over the quality of your videos. You can choose to upload a video in higher definition, which will make your reels look even more polished and professional.

Encourage engagement

Recent Hootsuite research found that in the days after a reel is posted, there is a significant spike in engagement. This is likely because people are more inclined to watch reels when they see them in their feed—and if they’re entertained, they’re more likely to engage. As well, reels are often promoted in the Explore tabwhich can also lead to more views and engagement.

And while our experiment didn’t show any huge changes in our follow or unfollow rate, we did see the average number of likes and comments increase by post.

graph showing engagement increase in month of february after posting reels

Source: Hootsuite’s Instagram Insights

So, what does this mean for you?

If you want to increase your chances of being seen and getting engagement on your reels, schedule them for when you know your audience is most active on Instagram. That way, you can be sure your reels are being seen by people who are interested in engaging with your content. Find the best times to post on Instagram here.

graph showing optimal times to post on instagram based on audience activity

Source: Hootsuite’s Social Team

Tap into video

88% of people say they’ve bought a product after watching a brand’s video. Not to mention, people are twice as likely to share video content with their networks than any other type of content. This makes video content essential for driving awareness and sales for your business on Instagram.

Reels are the perfect way to showcase your brand’s personality and products in a creative, engaging way. Not only do Reels give you a chance to show off your products in actionbut they also allow you to get creative with your marketing. You can create behind the scenes content, how to videosor even just funny clips that show off your brand’s personality.

Scheduling your reels in advance can help you streamline your video marketing strategy and make sure your content reels are getting in front of your target audience at the right time.

Improve team collaboration

Scheduling Reels can also be helpful if you’re working with a team and need to coordinate who is posting what and when. This can help you avoid having too many reels going live at once and overwhelming your followers.

Scheduling also takes the pressure off of having to post in real-time, which can be helpful if you’re trying to balance posting reels with other tasks.

Easily manage your Instagram page alongside your other social channels using Hootsuite. Schedule and share content (including video!), engage your followers, and boost top-performing content — all from a single dashboard.

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