Hootsuite has announced that it can now integrate Instagram accounts into its platform, in a move that should have major benefits for businesses with an active social media presence on the site.
Hootsuite allows staff to manage social media channels on sites such as Twitter and Facebook from a single location for sending messages, replying to complaints and questions, and scheduling content to go live at a set time.
The only Instagram functionality previously available on Hootsuite was the ability to monitor certain terms and what people were saying.
But with Instagram opening its API so that it can be integrated into other applications, Hootsuite is able to offer full controls over Instagram accounts from its dashboard.
Hootsuite said that this will have key benefits by reducing the hassle of having to switch between services and accounts when tracking social media responses.
“This integration will also make marketers and social media managers more efficient as they will no longer have to switch between their phone and computer to track all aspects of a social media campaign,” the firm said.
“For example, if a new product is launched, responses to comments and engagement with users on Instagram can be carried out from the same window that is being used to engage followers on Twitter and Facebook. Everything is in one place.”
There are several tools included with the addition of Instagram to Hootsuite, such as scheduling posts, assigning messages to team members to follow up, sharing account access among team members and tracking post engagements.
The scheduling of photos is not quite as straightforward as it seems, though, as Hootsuite confirmed that, owing to conditions in Instagram, it cannot set content to go live via the scheduler, but instead act as a reminder to publish content.
"Users can schedule content to Instagram from Hootsuite, however scheduling does not mean Hootsuite published the content to that respective Instagram account," it said in a statement.
"The user will receive a push notification from Hootsuite at the time they scheduled the image for and then from the Hootsuite notification they are directed into the Instagram app (the image will carry over too) and then they can publish/post the image themselves."
The need to manage social media platforms is increasingly recognised among businesses and organisations of all types and sizes for everything from promoting new products and events to communicating in times of crisis.
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