How to Schedule Instagram Posts, Reels & Stories

Collaborate and schedule your reels all in HeyOrca’s Content Calendar!

Updated this week

HeyOrca makes creating IG Reels effortless so you can collaborate, plan your content, and get feedback in your calendar!

In this article, you'll learn how to create and schedule IG Reels, tag users and upload your own custom thumbnail!

Note: Reels direct publishing is available for Instagram professional accounts (business and creator). Learn how to get your account connected as a professional account!

Guidelines

Here are some things to note when publishing Instagram posts and Reels:

  • Direct publishing is required to publish Instagram posts, reels and stories.

  • Reels are shared on your feed automatically and will appear in the Grid view, as long as they are directly published

  • Only Instagram professional (business and creator) accounts that are enabled for direct publishing will be able to show upcoming Reels in the Instagram Grid Preview

  • Instagram Stories can be directly published through professional business accounts.

  • You can choose a thumbnail from the video and upload your own custom thumbnail as your cover photo

  • Reels published through HeyOrca will be original audio (we aren’t able to choose trending audio at this time)

  • You can publish Reels up to 15 mins, but between 5 seconds & 90 seconds is recommended


Create and Publish Feed Posts

Instagram feed posts include single image, carousel and video posts!

Create a new Instagram post.

Image displaying the dropdown menu that appears when the + button is clicked on the top of the calendar.

To create a new post, you can create a post directly by using the Create Post button, or by dragging and dropping media directly into the calendar! From there, select the Instagram account you want to create the post for!

Image displaying the post creation modal in HeyOrca.

With your post now created and your media added, you can add in the rest of your information including your caption, any hashtags and schedule your publishing time.

Image displaying a post preview in HeyOrca.

Once you're happy with your content, you can change the post stage to Approved to schedule your post or sent it off to your team for review!

Create Carousel Posts

To create a Carousel post, you can upload multiple images to your post by pressing the + icon

Image displaying the images currently attached to a post, as well as the option toa dd additional images to the post.

You can upload up to 10 images for an Instagram carousel post using direct publishing!

Change your Video Post Thumbnail

To change your video thumbnail, select the three dots located on the media preview in the post scheduling page.

Image displaying where to click on an video attached to a post to edit the thumbnail/cover.

This will open up your thumbnail selection menu. From here, you can use the slider to select a frame from within the video to be your selected thumbnail!

Image displaying the pop up that appears where a frame from the video can be chosen as the thumbnail cover.

Once selected, press Save. Your post will publish with the selected thumbnail!


Tag Users in your Single Image Posts.

To tag a user, click on the Photo Tagging icon on the bottom left corner of your image.

Image identifying the icon that can be used to tag users in an image.

In the user tagging tab, enter the handle of the account you'd like to tag.

Image displaying the pop up that appears where users and collaborators can be tagged on an image in HeyOrca.

Next, you’ll need to place your tag on the image.

Click anywhere on the photo to select your tag placement. This is where your tag will appear once published to Instagram.

Once done, click Add Account Tag to confirm your placement and tag, and click Save on the bottom right corner of the window to save your changes.

You can edit your current tags or add new ones at any time by using the pencil icon or clicking Add Another Tag.


Create and Publish Reels!

Step 1: Create an Instagram post.

To create a new post, you can create a post directly by using the Create Post button, or by dragging and dropping media directly into the calendar!

Step 2: In the post type section, click the drop-down menu and change the Post to Reel.

This will update your content so that it is in a Reel format.

Your Reels will be labelled on the calendar to differentiate them from other Instagram posts.

Image displaying the dropdown menu that can be used to change an IG post to a story or reel.

Image displaying a IG reel, scheduled on the calendar monthly view.

Step 3: Edit your Reel!

You will be able to add multiple pieces of media. You’ll be able to get your approvals from your team as well as make comments or leave feedback!

Image displaying a post preview in HeyOrca, showing any tagged users or collaborators.

Tag Users on IG Reels

Tagging IG Reels has a very similar workflow to tagging a user for a photo! To tag your Reel, select the user icon located next on the bottom of your Reel video.

Image identifying the icon that can be used to tag users in an image.

Image displaying the pop up that appears where users and collaborators can be tagged on an image in HeyOrca.

Once you've pressed that button, you'll be greeted with the Reel tagging page where you can search for the user you'd like to tag.

Note: Similar to tagging images, we can only tag publicly available profiles.

Once your post has been tagged with your desired account(s), you can press 'Save' to finalize your post.

You can also hover over the user tagging icon located on your reel, to see who has been tagged.

Change your Reel Thumbnail

You can easily add a custom thumbnail for your Reels or select a frame from the video to use with direct publishing!

Upload a Custom Thumbnail

Select Choose Thumbnail to open up the thumbnail selection menu. Once pressed a new window will open that you can use to upload your chosen thumbnail!

Image showing the pop up where a frame from a video post can be selected as the thumbnail, or where an image can be uploaded for the thumbnail.

Upload your thumbnail from your device, one of the platforms or by directly dragging and dropping your image into the upload menu!

Image showing the file upload pop up.

Before you upload your image, you can also crop, circle or rotate it as needed! When you're happy with the results, press the Upload and Save button!

Image displaying the pop up where an image has been uploaded to be used as a thumbnail.

Your chosen thumbnail has now been applied!

Image displaying a post preview, with a new thumbnail.

Select a Frame from your Reel as a Thumbnail.

Along with custom thumbnails, you can also select a frame from within your Reel to be the chosen thumbnail. You can use the slider located above the upload button to select a frame! Once you're happy, press Save to keep your changes!

GIF displaying the steps of selecting a video frame as a thumbnail.

Your selected frame will be displayed as the thumbnail for your Reel!

Pro Tip: For Reels, the recommended format is 1920 by 1080 pixels.

Once you're happy with your content, you can schedule it for publishing by changing it to Approved, or send it to your client for approval!

Sit back and relax while HeyOrca takes care of the rest!


Create and Publish Stories!

Once in the post creation page, select Story from the drop down menu to set the post type.

Image displaying the dropdown menu that can be used to change an IG feed post to a story or reel.

You can also drag and drop media directly to your calendar to create a new post!

With your Story now created, you can upload your image or video and add your additional post details such as setting a scheduled publishing time.

Image displaying an Instagram story post preview.
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