Getting started to plan Instagram publications with Combin Scheduler

Application overview

Scheduler was created to help social media managers, business owners, bloggers and active users of Instagram to maintain continuous activity on the platform. Instagram, along with other major social networks, has stopped displaying chronological feed in favor of using an algorithm that reorders Instagram posts based on the amount of past interactions between the post’s author and viewer, as well as on the publishing frequency. It means that in order for a brand’s post to be displayed at the top of their customers' Instagram feeds, it not only needs to constantly put out relevant and engaging content but also to do so regularly.

We understand how difficult it is to simultaneously do business, market your brand, create quality content and maintain a strict social media publishing schedule. To save your time and effort, we developed Combin Scheduler, an Instagram planner that helps you schedule posts and Stories for days, weeks and months to come, even for multiple accounts at once.

In this guide you will find a detailed description of the application’s functionality, as well as instructions and tips for using Scheduler.

Installation

Combin Scheduler is a desktop application for Windows, Mac and Linux. Before installing the application, make sure that your computer meets the following requirements:

  • Windows 8 and later, Mac OS 10.12 and later, and Ubuntu 18.04 and later (64-bit only).
  • 4GB of RAM and 2GB of free disk space.

You can download the installation file from the main product page. The application does not contain any malware or ads.

Logging in

After installing and running the application, you will see a welcome screen and a form for logging into your Instagram account.

Enter your username and password, then click Sign In. Password is only required to request an access token from Instagram. Combin doesn’t store or share passwords and other sensitive data with third parties.

If two-factor authentication is enabled for your account in the Instagram settings, you will receive a confirmation code after signing into your account through Scheduler. The code will be sent to you via email or text message, depending on your chosen method. Upon receipt, type the code into the specialized form within Scheduler, then confirm its submission.

Activation

After logging into your account, you will see the main application window. It features a menu, a calendar for your future posts and Stories, a control panel for switching between accounts and types of publications, and a purple bar that displays information about the current subscription plan and the number of publications available for scheduling.

If you are already a Combin Scheduler subscriber, activate your subscription before scheduling any posts to remove the free version limits. At the menu bar, find and click Subscription, then select the Activate option from the list. Copy your subscription key number and paste it into the specialized field within the activation window, click Apply.

If you are a free version user, but would like to remove the restrictions on scheduling up to 3 posts and up to 15 Stories per week or manage content of up to 5 Instagram accounts from one computer, you can choose the suitable plan on the subscription page.

Instagram Posts planning

In order to create and schedule a new Instagram post for automatic publishing in the future, click the Add New Post button below the calendar.

Selecting an image

Click Select file and pick an image from a folder on your computer, or drag and drop an image from a folder into the application.

You can change the position and size of the image using the rotation and stretch buttons, as well as zoom in on specific parts of the image and drag it with the mouse.

Writing a caption

Below the image selection section there is a field for entering a text for the post’s caption.

The caption is published to Instagram including the line breaks and indents you’ve divided the text with.

In the lower left corner of the caption field there is a smiley icon, which opens a window with an emoji list that you can add to your text.

In the lower right corner of the caption field there is a bookmark icon. Click it to open the caption templates list. Within the templates window, you can also create and save your own templates for future use.

Tip: Repetition is no way to get an Instagram audience’s attention. Your followers will quickly get bored if you use the same tone, manner and subject matter in every post. To diversify the content you need to define the types of publications relevant to your brand and your audience. Alternate between these types when planning your schedule and assign each type of post to specific parts of a week or day.

For example, you can schedule inspirational posts for each Wednesday at noon, when your targeted audience needs extra motivation at lunchtime in the middle of the week. Follow it with an educational post, then with something entertaining or any other type of content, just make sure it’s different from at least a couple of the most recently published posts.

Important: In addition to the text itself, hashtags and Instagram user tags can also be added to the caption. The maximum allowed number of user tags in one post is 20, and the maximum number of hashtags is 30.

Please note that Instagram allows you to add 30 hashtags to the whole post, including both the caption and comment section. If you add 20 hashtags into the caption and then add another 20 hashtags into the first comment, Instagram won’t publish the comment.

Tagging a location

The presence of a location tag in the post helps to draw the attention of the local audience and increase the chances of being discovered through location-based searches on Instagram.

In Scheduler, you can tag the post’s location in two ways: by entering the location’s name into the field and by selecting a place on the interactive map.

In the first case, you just need to write the name of the place or establishment in the Location field and select the appropriate option from the drop-down list.

In the second case, the following steps should be performed:

  • Click on the button with the map icon located to the right of the input field. The interactive map window will appear.
  • Enter the name of the street, city, region, district, country, or any other location in the field located at the top left of the map.
  • Use the mouse wheel and buttons or the map sliders to move, zoom in and out. Adjust until the area of interest is captured.
  • Click the Search button and the application will start searching for all places within the selected range.
  • Select the location by clicking either on its mark on the map or on its name in the list.
  • Click the Apply button.

Tip: You can use the Change My Location feature to get more relevant search suggestions when searching by location. In the upper right corner of the New Publication window, find the aircraft icon and click it.

Select your location on the map as described in the steps above. Click the Save button and for all subsequent searches, Scheduler will automatically show the closest locations first in the list.

Setting a publication date

Combin Scheduler publishes scheduler publications according to the system time of user computer, so there is no need to set your time zone manually.

In order to select the date and time at which your post should be published on Instagram, click the date field within the Publishing Date section and pick a suitable day in the calendar. Type the publication time into the next field.

When you’ve finished adding information for the post, click Create. The scheduled post will appear in the application's calendar and on the feed preview, so that you can easily visualize how this publication will look together with other planned and already published posts.

Tip: You can always open the feed preview by clicking the smartphone symbol in the lower left corner of the main application window.

Important: Combin Scheduler works directly from your computer, which means that scheduled posts and Stories can only be published from a turned on computer with a stable connection. At the end of this guide, in section Preferences setting, you can learn how to make sure your computer doesn’t enter sleep mode until all scheduled posts are published.

Instagram Stories planning

  • Click the Story tab at the left side of the main application window.
  • Click the Add New Story button below the calendar.
  • Click Select file and pick an image from a folder on your computer, or drag and drop an image from a folder into the application.

    You can select either one or several images and schedule them to be published at the same time.

    A collection of Stories uploaded together and scheduled for the exact same time is called a Story part in Scheduler. The free version of the application allows you to plan up to 3 Story parts (5 Stories each) or 15 single Stories per week.

  • Choose your preferred date and time in the Publishing Date section.
  • Click the Create button. Your Story or Story part will be scheduled to be automatically published at a specified time. You will see its preview in the Stories calendar.

Adjusting the settings

Click Tools at the menu bar and select Preferences in the appeared drop-down list. A settings window will open, containing four tabs: General, Scheduling, Subscription and Proxy.

General

In this section, you can change the application performance and language settings, and enable automatic beta versions installation to access new features before the official release.

Scheduling

In this section, you can adjust the publishing priority settings. They help controlling the behavior of the application in situations when one or more posts from a queue failed to publish for some reason (network error, Instagram server failure, etc.)

For many users, the aesthetic component of their Instagram feed is crucial. Just one missing post can easily disrupt the intended theme and color scheme of the account. Some posts would require manual removal from Instagram and the remaining sequence of posts would have to be rescheduled. To prevent the disorder, select the Posts’ order option in the Priority settings.

In case of an error during the publication of one or some of the posts, the application will suspend the whole subsequent queue until you select what you want to do with unpublished posts, to try to publish again or delete.

There are also users for whom strict timing is more important than anything else. If you prioritize appearing in the followers’ feed at the exact date and time you scheduled, select the Time option in the Priority settings.

In case of an error during the publication of one or some of the posts, the application will cancel the failed posts and continue to publish the next scheduled ones from the queue, in accordance with the previously specified time.

Subscription

In this section you can acquire, activate and detach Combin Scheduler subscription key. The key detachment allows using the premium features of Scheduler on different computers.

Please note that one key cannot be used on multiple computers at the same time.

Proxy

In this section you can change the IP address from which Scheduler will publish your posts and Stories to Instagram. You can set up one common proxy for all connected Instagram accounts, or add a separate proxy for each account.

Click the switch next to the preferred option, Default Proxy or Account Proxy and enter information about the type, server and port, as well as the proxy login and password. Click Save to connect via the specified proxy.

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Start Growing Followers with Combin Today

Combin Scheduler available only for Mac, Windows or Linux. Set a reminder to not forget to download it later!

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