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If you are a solo entrepreneur, one of the easiest ways to accomplish more is to outsource and automate. As a mompreneur, one of my biggest time wasters is social media. I love spending hours on various social media sites like Instagram and Twitter, but if I spent all of my time on them, I would never get anything done.
That’s where Later comes in. Formerly known as Latergramme, Later is a social media scheduling platform that allows you to schedule Instagram and Twitter posts. It now also gives you the option to schedule Pinterest posting. Later, like any program, does have its downsides, but the pros far outweigh them.
There are so many different benefits that I have found using Later. It has really cut down my time spent on Instagram. I used to spend anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour a day taking pictures, posting, and adding hashtags.
On top of uploading my own photos, I also spent another 20 to 30 minutes commenting, liking, and following others photos and profiles. I knew something had to give. Later has helped me cut down my time on Instagram from an hour to just 20 minutes a day. The other benefits include:
Ease Of Use– Later makes it easy to create an account and start scheduling your posts right away. They have a walkthrough for complete newbie’s, and they also have a help section if you have questions after the tour. Although I doubt you will have to use that section, it is nice to know that it’s there.
Free Plan Available– Many social media scheduling platforms charge a monthly or yearly fee to use their services. While this isn’t a bad thing, it can put a hinder on your expenses if you are just starting your online business. Later offers a free plan, and it is amazing! With Later’s free plan, you can post 30 Instagram photos, 50 Twitter posts, and even 30 Pinterest posts.
I only post to Instagram once a day M-F, so the free plan is perfect for me. You also get unlimited media storage in the free plan, so you can upload as many pictures as you want without penalty, and keep the photos that have already been posted for future use.
Inexpensive Paid Plans- If you want or need to post more than one photo on Instagram at one time, Later has plans that will work with any budget. The cheapest plan starts at just $9 a month, and the most expensive option is $49 a month(which you should only need if you have multiple blogs or a large business). If you pay yearly, you could save even more.
Blog- One of Later’s best kept secrets! I love reading their blog. They offer updates for Instagram, tips for branding, and even helpful resources for growing your Instagram engagement. Some of my favorite posts include “5 Steps To A Killer Marketing Campaign” and “Should You Use Instagram Stories?“.
Later Loophole- If you haven’t heard by now, Instagram doesn’t like when you use a social media scheduler. In fact, Instagram has guidelines that strictly prohibit the use of pre-scheduled posts. The great thing about Later is that it sets everything up for you, and then you post the picture yourself. This helps you stay within Instagram’s guidelines, but also gives you the opportunity to automate.
Mobile Friendly- If you are anything like me, you do a lot your social media work on your phone. I try to post and engage on social media while I am out running errands, in the car (when I’m not driving), and during random slots in my day.
With Later, all I have to do is wait for them to send me a notification that my photo is ready to post, and I click okay, add my caption, and post! Also, I can upload photos and schedule on the go. It’s really that easy.
Scheduling Options- Later allows you to schedule up to two weeks in advance with the free plan. This means you only have to deal with Instagram posting twice a month. Also, you can choose the best posting time for your business.
You set the time, and the app will notify you at the same time every single day. Your posts will stay consistent and you won’t have to worry about whether or not you’ve already posted for the day.
Twitter & Pinterest Options- Although I mainly use Later for Instagram posts, it wouldn’t be a full review if I didn’t talk about their Twitter and Pinterest options. Later allows you 50 Twitter posts and 30 Pinterest posts every month on the free plan, and you can also schedule these up to two weeks in advance.
Limited Desktop Options- Although I love that Later primarily works with your mobile device, I know many people like using their desktop or laptop to schedule social media posts. With Later, you can upload your photos through your desktop and schedule them, but you won’t be able to post them.
You have to make sure that you have your phone with you during your posting time. This isn’t necessarily a drawback, but it can be if you don’t keep your phone with you all of the time(or don’t have a smartphone).
Requires More Attention- Later keeps within Instagram’s guidelines because it doesn’t post directly to your profile for you. In this sense, you still have to do a bit of work after scheduling, and that may turn you off to using Later.
If you can put up with posting every day at a specific time, Later will work for you. In the end, Later still saves you time, but it still requires you to be hands on.
Multiple Account Sign-In- If you have more than one account that you use on Instagram, Later will require you to sign out and sign in manually to access each one. Since I only use one account, I don’t run into this issue, but it can be a hassle if you are trying to post to every single account, at the same time, every day.
Hopefully, Later will find a way to eliminate this extra step in the future, but for now, this is one of the bigger drawbacks for bigger businesses.
Picture Loading- One of the most frustrating portions for me with Later has been uploading and using my photos. A lot of photos I use for Instagram are taken on my phone. With Later’s free plan, you can only upload pictures up to 5 Mb.
The pictures on my phone are normally 8 Mb to 10 Mb, so I have to use Canva to change them to the appropriate size. This adds extra time to my scheduling and also makes me upload all of the photos from my phone to my computer(which is a pain to do with my computer).
Overall, I have loved using Later for the last two months, and I will continue to use it. Eventually, I hope to invest in a paid plan, but for now, the free plan does exactly what I need it to do. Later is a useful tool, and I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. It can save you time, money, and even frustration if you don’t like dealing with Instagram.
Have you used Later for social media scheduling? Let me know in the comments below if it works for you!