One of the core services we do for our clients is create graphical and image content. This content ranges from infographics, to presentations, to images that help tell the client’s story in all types of social, marketing, and training content. Since we have a lot of great content samples, and marketing strategies we’ve turned up our presence on Instagram and Pinterest to showcase them.
One of the things we realized we needed was a tool to help us manage our Instagram presence the way we wanted. We’ve selected OnlyPult (formerly InstaPult) because it’s a simple and effective Instagram scheduling tool.
In this article I’ll explain what we were looking for, and then I’ll review Onlypult, describe its features, and how we use OnlyPult to manage our Instagram account. Along the way, I’ll share OnlyPult’s strengths, and where it can use improvement.
- Browser based access and management: We were looking for a management tool that could fully manage Instagram from a browser. Yes we post from our mobile devices like everyone else, but we want to make our posting more consistent, more easily pull images from our data and other sources, and allow us to post images related to key themes at specific days and times.
- Scheduling: This was a must have, see the point above about posting more consistently, and promoting themes at specific times and days.
- Queuing: This was a nice to have. We prefer queuing to scheduling, so this is a really nice to have.
- Analytics: If you read my stuff, you know I’m big on analytics. That’s how you optimize.
OnlyPult User Interface
When you log into OnlyPult, the Posting page opens showing the Instagram Post page, displays the feed for one of your connected Instagram accounts.
On the left side of the page you can see and switch between multiple Instagram accounts. OnlyPult has three plans starting from $12 for 3 Instagram accounts and two team members and going up from there. You can manage, schedule and view posts for the selected account. You can double-click a post in your feed, and the post will open in Instagram, in a new browser tab.
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Posting and Scheduling Content
From the Posting page you can schedule posts, view the calendar to see view of when posts will be published, and view old tasks (published posts). On the Instagram Posts page, select Add Post to create an Instagram post and publish it immediately.
Image sequence from OnlyPult planner
Creating and publishing a post is simple and intuitive. A four step wizard walks you through the process. First select a file from a local source or a URL. Then select a size for the picture, followed by a filter. Finally you can enter a caption and then publish the post. One nice thing about OnlyPult is that it does a good job right-sizing the post for the image you select. Other software we’ve tried has had difficulty with this, forcing us at times to add whitespace to some images.
The way you create a post is the same whether you are adding a post to publish immediately, scheduling a post for a specific time, or adding to your queue (what OnlyPult calls the planner). One of my pet peeves with OnlyPult, is that you can’t post, schedule, and queue from a single place. Each type of posting must be performed from a different location in the UI. Posting immediately can only be done from the Instagram Posts page, while scheduling a post for a specific date and time can only be done from the Scheduling page, and posts can only be added to the queue from the Planner.
If you want to view published posts, you can find that all in one place, in the Posting section under Old Tasks.
Queuing Posts with the OnlyPult Planner
The Planner in OnlyPult, is simple and easy to use, but is missing some features common in more mature social media publishing tools.
Planner allows you create planners (posting queues) and add posts to your planner (queue). Creating a planner is easy. Select a day of the week, then add as many posting times as you wish. Click Add Post in the Planner to add a post to your queue. Adding posts here uses the same wizard as in other areas of OnlyPult.
The Calendar, either in the planners or in scheduled posts, offers weekly and monthly views, and shows both planned and scheduled posts and allows you to add additional posts.
In the Planner, once items are added to the queue, you can modify, delete, or change the date they will post on. You can change the date by editing the post and selecting the date and choosing a different one. While it is very nice to be able to change post dates I would not want to reschedule a lot of posts in this way. It would be much easier if you could reorder posts by moving them. The calendar shows you all the posts, but you can’t move them around or rearrange them. We use Buffer, which is probably the most mature post queue app out there, and we find that when we’re creating or curating content it is nice to be able to easily rearrange, and reorder content. Once you see the posts you’ve queued, you might find patterns of topics that you want to put together or break up. Buffer makes that very easy, and while you can move posts in OnlyPult, it isn't as easy as Buffer.
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The first thing to know about Onlypult’s analytics feature is that it isn’t turned on or accessible by default. We had to verify our account email’s to gain access to the feature. Once we did, we had to select a button to have it start collecting data. Being a big believer in analytics, I’d prefer that analytics be turned on by default and collected for everything.
Audience Metrics & Graphs
Onlypult’s analytics page has three sections, Audience, Engagement, and Optimization. Each of these pages allows you to show stats for:
- This month
- Last week
- Last month
- Last six months
- All time
For your selected time frame you can view stats by day, week, or month. The Audience page lists metrics showing total followers, followers change, the max followers change, as well as the average change in followers per month. I have to admit, the max followers change metric has me a little stumped. I’ve tweeted to Onlypult to see if they can clarify if for me. The Audience page also has two graphs, one showing total followers in the selected period, the other showing growth in followers. Since the audience metrics only start being collected when analytics are turned on, we don’t have a graphic that shows anything meaningful.
As you would expect, the metrics at the top of the engagement page list the Total number of posts, likes comments, as well as the average likes per post, and average comments per post.
There are also two graphs on the Engagement page that are more helpful that those on the Audience page. The graphs show the number of posts, and interactions (likes and comments) for the configured time period.
The graphs are nice in that they allow you to see interactions on specific days, but it would be nice if it went further. If you could drill into the day and see what images were posted, or drill into the comments and see which posts received which interactions.
In fact, Onlypult’s analytics fall short where post based analytics are concerned. There is no roll up of interaction such as likes or comments by post. You can see the likes and comments on each post, but they aren't displayed for you in a sortable list, like Buffer does. Post based analytics are extremely helpful for content optimization. If you can figure out what types of content gets the most engagement, you can publish more of that type of content. Sortable lists like Buffer offers make it very easy to see which posts are getting the most interaction. As of now, in Onlypult, it’s a multistep process. You can use graphs on the Engagement page to find the days where you had the best engagement, then go back and review the content published from your queue for those days. From there, you can see which posts got the most interaction.
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The Optimization page is probably the most useful analytics page of the three. The page consists of three graphs. The first shows the best time to post based on interaction. You can mouse over time slots to get a callout with interactions. This is great because you can use this information to optimize your posting schedule to get the most interaction. It’s also a good idea to qualify this. It’s not like SocialBro that analyzes when your followers are online to suggest the best times to tweet to reach the most followers. The information on this graph is based on entirely interactions you’ve received. That means if you haven’t ever posted anything at 7:00pm on Wednesdays, you won’t have any data for that timeslot. So this graph is keeping track of the day/time slots you’ve had the most success with. It’s not proactively analyzing your audience to recommend time slots. Still, that’s more than most tools give you. Seeing the activity patterns and trying new time slots will help you refine you publication schedule to reach your community at the right times.
The next chart on the page is the density of interaction by day and how. This is another view that shows you what days, and what hours of the day you’re getting the best interaction. Again, this can help you optimize your posting schedule.
The final chart on the Optimization page is Top Tags by Interaction. This chart lists the top hashtags that have received interactions. This may, or may not be that useful. If you’re using hashtags consistently, and you should be, then your major hashtags may be associated with most of your posts. They may always be in the top ten. On the other hand, if you’re running campaigns with different hashtags, or using different product or service hashtags, this chart might provide valuable insights about which marketing campaigns are performing better and resonating with your community.
OnlyPult is a good solution for businesses or people looking to schedule content on Instagram in any way, and a great option for those that want a posting solution that doesn't require some interaction from a mobile device. It's a very good Instagram scheduling tool at a good price for small and medium businesses. Onlypult has held up as Hootsuite and Buffer have added Instagram capabilities to their tools. I’d like to see OnlyPult mature, and add the enhance the capabilities I’ve mentioned in its planner. Onlypult’s analytics implementation is a good first step. The Optimization page is useful, and, with a little split testing, can help you refine your posting schedule to increase engagement. The one major shortcoming is the lack of post based analytics. As I stated earlier, you can find analytics on each post manually, but it’s a multi-step process that is little better than looking at each image published. A simple, sortable list of published posts where you can see ans sort by interaction metrics is needed. That would help people optimize their content based on the engagement they’re receiving. Adding that would be a huge benefit for brands using Onlypult.