Instagram Publishing

New to Sprout Social? Learn more about our Instagram management tools here.

With Sprout Social you can schedule and publish images and videos to Instagram using Sprout’s desktop and mobile app. 

This article contains the following sections:

Publishing a Single Photo or Video to Instagram

Sprout accounts that connected their Instagram Business Profile(s) can directly publish a single photo or video from Sprout to Instagram. This publishing workflow closely mirrors the experience of publishing content to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn in Sprout.

Getting Started

Before you publish to Instagram, make sure that you convert your Instagram profile to an Instagram Business Profile, and then connect that Business Profile to Sprout.

If you're not familiar with Instagram Business Profiles, see the following articles:

Read about Instagram Business Profiles

Read about converting to an Instagram Business Profile

Tip: A quick way to verify if your Instagram Business Profile has been successfully connected to Sprout is to check the Screen_Shot_2018-06-06_at_3.20.00_PM.png and see if it's gray. If it is, that means that choosing a Publisher for your Instagram post is optional and the image can be published directly to your profile.

Publishing Directly to Instagram from desktop

Once your Instagram Business Profile is successfully connected to Sprout, you can directly publish images or videos to your profile using Compose. To directly publish one photo or video from Sprout desktop to Instagram:

  1. Select an Instagram Business Profile from the Profile Picker in Sprout’s Compose window.
  2. Add a single image or video to your post.
  3. Add optional text for the post.
  4. Select your content delivery option (Immediately, Auto-Schedule with Sprout Queue or Specific Day & Time).

When publishing a video to Instagram in this way, you can choose a thumbnail from 20 frames that Sprout pulls from the video. Due to Instagram API limitations, you can’t upload a custom thumbnail.


Tagging Photos in Sprout

You can tag brands, influencers or give UGC credit through photo tags directly from Sprout’s desktop app.

Note: You can only tag single-image photos.

To tag accounts in your Instagram photos:

  1. Navigate to Compose.
  2. Choose the Instagram profile you want to publish to. 
  3. Attach your photo.
  4. Click image6.png in the top-right corner of your attached photo.
  5. Click Tag Instagram Users. The Tag Instagram Users popup appears.
  6. Click into the photo, and then enter the Instagram handle you want to tag.
  7. Click Save Tags.

Sprout Social Mobile App Publishing Workflow

You can schedule posts and Instagram Story posts through the Sprout mobile app publishing workflow.

With this workflow, you can compose your post within Sprout’s desktop or mobile app, and then send that post to your Instagram Publisher’s mobile app on an iOS or Android device. 

A notification appears on the app for them to complete the publishing process.

Instagram Publisher

The Instagram Publisher is the person who is responsible for publishing posts to Instagram. If a person shows up in the Mobile Publisher dropdown list in the Publishing Workflows section of the Compose window, it means they have both Full Publishing permission for that Instagram profile and enabled push notifications in their Sprout Social mobile app. 

If a team member disables Sprout push notifications on their mobile device, they won’t show up in the Instagram Publisher list.

Note: Only one person can be selected as a Publisher. You can change publishers prior to the scheduled posting time by editing the post.

When an Instagram post is ready for publishing, the Instagram Publisher receives a push notification to their mobile device.

Posting a Reel

While you can't post Reels directly to Instagram from Sprout's mobile app, you can use the mobile publishing workflow to send reminders to your Instagram Publisher to post Reel content.

In this scenario:

  1. Schedule your Reel media via Compose and set your Instagram Publisher. The Publisher then gets a reminder on their mobile device when it's time to post.
  2. The Publisher downloads the Reel content to their device.
  3. The Publisher logs into Instagram and selects Reel as their post type.
  4. The Publisher selects the media they downloaded to their device.

Instagram Notifications on iOS

To publish a post on Instagram from Sprout’s mobile app:

  1. Navigate to the Notification Center in the app by tapping bell_icon.jpeg at the top of the screen.
  2. Tap Publishing. The Publishing tab opens.
  3. Tap the Instagram content you want to post.
  4. Tap Share on Instagram. A popup with reminders to verify the profile appears as the content opens in Instagram to post to the account selected in Sprout.
  5. Tap OK, I'm ready to post.
  6. Tap Story or Feed based on where you want the post published. 

To verify that your post published successfully, use the Post Performance Report.

Note: If publishing wasn't completed, but the post was opened in Instagram, you can access and resend the post from Sprout in either the Reminders tab in Publishing or in the Notification Center.

Instagram Publishing on Android

To publish posts on Instagram using Sprout's Android app:

  1. Complete the Instagram Publishing workflow.
  2. Tap the notification or access the post in the My Notifications section of the Sprout mobile app on your Android device when it's time to publish.
  3. Tap Post to Instagram. A popup with reminders appears to verify the profile because this content opens directly in Instagram for the account that was selected in Sprout.
  4. Tap OK, I'm ready to post. Instagram opens.
  5. Tap Next in the top-right corner and complete the post.

To verify that your post published successfully, use the Post Performance Report.  

 Note: If publishing wasn't completed, but the post was opened in Instagram, you can access and resend the post from Sprout in either the Reminders tab in Publishing or in My Notifications.

Instagram Notifications on Desktop

Instagram Publishers can delete, resend or mark notifications complete on Sprout desktop. 

If a push notification is sent to the Instagram Publisher, but not passed to the Instagram app, a purple clock icon notification appears at the bottom with the name of the publisher.


Once the Instagram Publisher sends the post to Instagram via the Sprout mobile app, the purple clock icon switches to a green paper airplane, letting you know that the post was shared.


Note: Instagram Publishers can’t change after the notification is sent. If you need to choose a different Publisher after a notification has been sent, delete the notification and recreate the Instagram post.

Message Tagging

Customers on our Professional and Advanced plans can easily incorporate Instagram content as they plan out their content calendar by tagging messages as they're being composed. However, due to API limitations, Instagram posts that are tagged as they're composed don’t retain their tags after they've been published. To gather reporting data for the Tag Report on these posts, tag these posts from the Post Performance Report after they've been published to Instagram.


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