May 25, 2015

For a variety of reasons, many people want to use multiple Instagram accounts. You may want one for your personal use and one for your business. You may have multiple businesses or facets of your business for which you want separate accounts. Or you may manage multiple Instagram accounts for a variety of clients. Whatever the reason, unfortunately, Instagram doesn't make it "easy" to manage multiple accounts, like a lot of other social media sites.

Yes, Twitter you can toggle back and forth. Facebook you can navigate between your profile and your pages easily. LinkedIn allows you to do the same. But Instagram doesn't. And it can be really annoying!

To be honest, there are a lot of things that Instagram does that annoys marketers but that I applaud and support because it keeps the platform organic and reduces the ability for lazy marketers to overwhelm the platform. But, when it comes to switching between accounts, I really wish they made it easier!

But for right now, this is not the case. So, let me share with you my suggestions for managing multiple accounts. And a slight word of warning, you may not like what I have to say 😉

Here's the thing. The ONLY way to upload photos and videos to Instagram is via your mobile device. If you read the Instagram terms and conditions, it states this explicitly. Yes, you can find tools and companies that will allow you to upload via your computer. You have install a bunch of software or pay a company to upload your content for you. And, yes, technically these work. If you're willing to take the risk.

Personally, I don't like to download 3 new pieces of software and tools and reconfigure my dang computer in hopes that I can now upload some photos through my computer. Some people are ok with this and have the technical skills to do this effectively. In which case, go for it. But understand that you are still violating the Instagram terms of use and are subject to the repercussions (up to and including termination of your account).

And, while there is ONE tool I will recommend for a paid service - it's Schedugram - I still do so with the utmost warning and caution. Yes, I know numerous people who use this tool. And they get around the Instagram API because they use mobile devices to upload your content on your behalf. I imagine this giant warehouse or building with banks and rows of mobile devices lined up, uploading content that their customers send them on some sort of computerized schedule tool. But Instagram shut down Schedugram once, although they've since come back and are still a popular tool. But Instagram has shut down numerous other companies that offer the same type of service. And they've shut down the accounts that utilize these tools. So, not only are you providing all your account login information and content to a company in a foreign country, you also risk Instagram shutting down your account if they find out and deem you in violation of their terms.

So, like I said, yes, you can use other means at your own risk (or the risk of your clients) but there is really only one way to upload content to Instagram and that is through your mobile device.

But, this takes us back to using multiple accounts on Instagram.

First of all, if you want multiple accounts on Instagram, you must have a different email account associated with each one. I recommend you use the email account most associated with the Instagram account purpose (ie. business email with business account or client email with client account). This email will not be used for communications, notifications, or any real reason other than registration. But it's best to keep things streamlined.

The only way to switch between accounts is to log out of one and login with the other account. You'll have to enter the login credentials for each account every time you want to switch to the other account. It's annoying and tedious and will cost you precious seconds of your life, but this is the way it has to be done.

So, now that I've pretty much assured you that Instagram is as limiting as you thought it would be, let me offer some good news and suggestions for managing multiple Instagram accounts.

Aside from uploading content, you can actually manage your Instagram account(s) from your computer.

I personally recommend using Hootsuite as a desktop dashboard. You can set up an Instagram tab on your Hootsuite account (you have to install an app, not a social media site - read my previous post for more info on this). Within this tab you can monitor your Instagram feed from one or multiple Instagram accounts. You can monitor your @mentions, hashtags, and your own posts.

This allows you to like and comment on other people's content. You can respond to comments on your own posts. You can stay on top of notifications or hashtags as they happen. And you can do all this for multiple Instagram accounts!

So, aside from the need to upload content to your multiple accounts, at least you can manage your daily engagement and activity directly from your computer. And if you already use Hootsuite to manage other social media sites, you're that much more streamlined in your daily management!

As I mentioned, I know this isn't probably the answer you "wanted" but these are the restrictions we have to work with when using Instagram. Sure, they may change this someday, but for now, I hope these suggestions help you better manage your multiple Instagram accounts.

Did you find this helpful? Please share:
  1. Hi Jenn,

    Thank you for your tips! I found you recently after listening to your recorded talk on Instagram from the Social Media Summit- loved all of your insights.

    As a social media manager myself I manage multiple accounts and it is a tedious process- not only the logging in and out, but getting to know each network of followers and popular accounts in which I engage with regularly.

    My only tip is to save a list of hashtags separately in your notepad or Evernote file to copy and paste into each post. I find that this saves me heaps of time.

    With regards to Schedugram, someone I was speaking with just recently had their photography account disabled for using the account, so I won’t ever be going there, to risky for me and my clients.

    Thanks again Jenn and will be sure to keep stopping by!

    Chloe’
    http://www.socialmediacreative.com.au

    1. Thanks Chloe! So glad you enjoyed that session from the Summit!
      And, yes, saving your most commonly used hashtags to a note (or other location) is a key way to efficiently add hashtags to your posts, especially when managing multiple accounts. Thank you for sharing that tip 🙂
      Sorry to hear someone else was disabled from using Schedugram, but this is why I always advise it with caution! I applaud you for doing it the “hard” way.

  2. I’ve been using Latergram.me to schedule Instagram posts for the two accounts I manage for my day job. It seems to me that it’s operating within Instagram’s requirements, because I have to actually open the Instagram app on my phone to post–Latergram.me just lets me compose the post and schedule it, then the app reminds me that it’s time to post. It’s not perfect, since I have to remember which account to be logged into, But at least it reminds me when to do it, which is my biggest problem.

    Now if only they would let me manage multiple accounts from one! 😀

    1. I’m glad to hear that Latergram is working for you, Stephanie. I’m not sure if they changed their mechanism or functionality, but I know a lot of people have had issues (and been shut down) for using Latergram in the past so I do just advise you to be cautious with it.

  3. Hi Jenn, Latergram works for me too. I also manage different Instagram accounts and it’s really not funny to log in and log out. Hope Instagram will come with a solution just like Twitter has to change easily between different accounts.

    Recently I blogged about my Ten Instagram tips, they are really helpful but in Dutch 😉 I also wrote about how you can easily add a bunch of #hashtags to your IG post. So, there is a faster way to add hashtags instead of copy and paste them from your notepad. If you want I can share my tip with you that I got from another Instagram friend 🙂

    Greetings from Holland, Archana

    1. Thank you Archana. Yes, if you have a tip, please feel free to share it here.

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