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The social media world has seen a trend in recent months, thanks to the attention given to Facebook’s privacy policies – or its seeming negligence in adhering to some of them. Slowly, as the news confirms some of the mid-level “conspiracy theories” about Facebook may actually be accurate, more users, especially Millennials and Gen Z have shifted to using Instagram and WhatsApp.

That creates a quandary for those small businesses hoping to reach those younger eyes and ears with disposable income. Social Media Marketing is no longer an option or a simple enhancement to traditional marketing efforts, it’s a necessary evil.

At the same time, we’re still seeing that the majority of entrepreneurs and small business owners are Baby Boomers or Gen X-ers, who sometimes struggle with app-based social media — which is why the latest development from Facebook’s Creator Studio for Instagram is so exciting!

Yes, Facebook owns Instagram. And WhatsApp. And…

While the two companies were the priciest acquisitions that the social media giant made, they were mixed in with a dozen other purchases in 2012 & 2014, respectively.

In all, Facebook has snatched up employees, patents and assets from nearly 80 companies since 2008. That includes the court-mandated acquisition of ConnectU – the social media site Zuckerberg helped the Winklevoss twins build that was the basis for the move, The Social Network.

Just a little food for thought.

Living (on Social Media) In the Moment

The problem that most companies found with trying to conduct social media marketing on Instagram is right there in the app’s name – now the platform’s popular nickname – “Insta.” Instagram for years resisted efforts by various social media aggregators like HootSuite, Crowdfire, TINT, Flockler and Buffer.

Scheduling a post in advance was difficult at best – Instagram was constantly changing its interface, disconnecting from other platforms, and, long before everyone else started doing it, insisting on double and triple verification.

And it was worse for companies, like Grow The Dream, which offer their clients social media work done for them. Whoever was responsible for a client account had to use their smart phone to save logins not only for their own Insta, but the clients’ accounts, too. And when someone got booted, it could take anywhere from 10 minutes to a whole day to get reconnected. Especially if clients were in other time zones.

Dashing Through the Social Media

In late April, early May, Facebook business owners started seeing some announcements popping up on their Facebook Business Manager Dashboard. If they clicked over to the Facebook Creator Studio, they discovered that Instagram could now be linked to their Facebook business account.

That means they could see many of the same audience and engagement analytics for Instagram that they already had access to for Facebook posts. And shortly thereafter – Facebook rolled out the ability to publish Instagram posts from your desktop.

And in the fall, Facebook Creator Studio added the crucially needed ability to schedule Instagram posts.

Considering that Instagram posts that are forwarded on to a connected Facebook account generate 20-30% higher engagement than Facebook native posts, this is very good news. Before you jump into the fray, though, don’t neglect to study the differences between the two platforms’ typical audience.

Remember, your primary goal is to appeal to and attract your ideal target client – the center of your marketing bullseye. So make sure you’ve done the strategic work and know what your ideal customers need, the questions they’re asking, and where they’re looking to find answers.

First Steps – Connecting Instagram to Facebook Creator

  1. Make sure you have an Instagram account and a Facebook Page.
  2. Convert your Instagram account to a Business Profile or Creator Account
  3. Connect your Instagram account to a Facebook Page you manage. The Facebook Page you link your Instagram account to can be published and public, or unpublished and invisible to the public.
  4. Connect to Instagram in Creator Studio.
  5. Click the Instagram logo to go to the Instagram section.

Post to Instagram Feed

To upload and post content to Instagram Feed from Creator Studio:

  1. Click Create Post.
  2. Click Instagram Feed.
  3. If you have more than one Instagram account connected, select the account you want to post to.
  4. Add a caption. You can use a max of 2,200 characters, 30 mentions and 30 hashtags – remember to include a link and a clear Call to Action! You can also add an optional location – especially important if your business is locally-oriented.
  5. Click Add Content to choose the photos or videos you’d like to post. Then either:
    1. Click “From File Upload“ to upload new content.
    2. Click “From Facebook Page“ to post content that you’ve already shared on your Facebook.
  6. To tag accounts in your photo:
    1. Select the person/tag icon on the bottom of your photo.
    2. Type the account name.
    3. Select Save.
  7. To tag a business partner for a branded post:
    1. Select Advanced Settings.
    2. Type the name of the partner’s account in the Search for a business partner… field.
    3. Select the business partner.
  8. If you want to simultaneously post this content to the Facebook Page connected to your Instagram account, check the box next to your Page under Post to Facebook.
  9. Click the arrow next to Publish.
  10. You can either Publish Immediately or Select Schedule.
  11. Choose the date and time at which you want your content to post on your Instagram feed.
  12. Click Schedule.

And that’s all there is to it.

One caveat – with the desktop Instagram publishing, certain features like Filters, Effects and Stickers are not available yet. You also can’t publish to Instagram Stories. So while it’s not a catch-all perfect solution for your social media integration, it’s a great first step to help marketers better utilize both platforms.

Edit: Update (1/9/2020) —

So, for whatever reason, Facebook has now disabled the ability to schedule a post for Instagram that cross-posts to Facebook. Here at Grow the Dream, we’re monitoring the situation and will update this post if the issue is resolved at a future date.