Its 12pm, the day is half over and you still haven’t posted to your Instagram account. What do you do?
You start frantically looking for a photo to post. What ends up happening?
- You waste precious time in your day
- You create content that doesn’t have a specific goal or call to action
- You don’t take the time to make sure the photo fits into the aesthetics of your feed.
How do you fix this and create an Instagram plan that works? Keep reading to find out.
Ready? Pull out this month’s calendar and go through this with me!
1. Establish the month’s social themes
This means thinking about what is happening in your business and developing a couple of themes for the month. For example, you could be wanting to create buzz around a special event that is coming up or you may have a new product to feature.
2.) Find your popular hashtags
You will want to take a few moments to research important hashtags for the month. These might include popular social media “holidays” or other trending hashtags you have noticed for the month.
3.) Take note of other content you will be releasing
If you have blog posts or special monthly promotions that are coming up in the month make sure you create some posts talking about those. These are your “selling” posts. You want to make sure you are giving your followers a chance to work with you or buy from you at some points throughout the month.
The same thing goes for any YouTube videos or articles you may have published to any other social media account. Make sure you are including a call to action in these posts with what you want your followers to do. Whether that fills out a form on your website or go follow you on Facebook.
4.) Curated Posts
Go through the Discover page of Instagram and search relevant hashtags to find others content that you might want to repost or mention. This will help you reach new audiences as well as help you create more content.
Please make sure you are following the proper rules when reposting content and giving credit to the original photographer by mentioning them in your caption.
Note: Taking note of Influencers that are popular in your niche and curating some of there content (with there permission of course) is a great way to build relationships.
5.) Make yourself an authority
If you want to be looked at as an account of authority you need to make sure you are sharing educational information with your followers. Take some time to write out simple tips and tricks that you think may be useful to your audience and create posts around that.
Note: If you have created blog posts for the month already, take some tips from those and create posts that remind people to go back and read the article. This will create more buzz and attract more people to your website.
6.) Make it a little personal
Let’s face it, we are all snoopy people. We like to know what is going on behind the scenes of a business. Make sure you are sharing some personal posts throughout your feed. Show people your desk, your dog, maybe even what you’re having for lunch if it’s appropriate 😊
7.) Add some Humour
Everyone loves a little humor or inspiration occasionally. Personally, I am a huge fan of this type of content. These posts usually get great engagement because they are simple and easy for your followers to engage with.
So now that you have your content together for the month its time to schedule it. You want to stay consistent, whether that means posting 5x/week or 3x/week. Look at the content you have created and decide on a schedule that you can keep up with.
There are many different applications you can use to schedule your posts like Hootsuite, Buffer and Later. My personal favorite for Instagram is Later. I love this tool because it lets you see a preview of your posts altogether.
This helps you develop the aesthetic of your feed which I think is extremely important in keeping your profile looking professional and on-brand.
We have all come across those accounts that are so beautifully done you end scrolling to the beginning of there profiles just to see it all. That’s the goal! To accomplish this, you need to make sure you have a brand style guide for your feed.
Let’s go through this together.
Composition refers to the placement or arrangement of visual elements. This means making sure your photos all work together to tell your brand’s story.
For Example: If you were running a lifestyle blog you would want 3 photos of yourself side by side. Instead, you would want to break up your feed with other images such as food, lifestyle action shots or maybe scenery. This way the composition is broken up and kept interesting.
Picking out a color palette is very important to keep your feed looking consistent. This doesn’t have to mean sticking to one color, it just means you need to have a familiar feeling throughout.
If you’re going to use text elements in your posts it’s a good idea to stick to one or two different fonts that are consistent with your brand. This means that they match your website or other marketing materials.
Make sure you are sticking to only 1 or 2 different filters for your Instagram photos. Using a different filter for every post can quickly make an Instagram feed feel disjointed.
Captions are a great way to enhance your photo and get your marketing message out there. There are plenty of different ways to use them. Some people like short and sweet captions while others like to have long-form story styled ones. The most important thing to remember is to make sure your copy is aligned with your brand voice.
Ahh.. the dreaded hashtag. I get asked all the time what the point of hashtags are. Well, they have become a uniform way to categorize content on many social media platforms. They allow content to be discovered by other Instagrammers. Research shows that posts with over 11 hashtags tend to get more engagement. To find relevant hashtags for your photo try looking at accounts that are like yours and see what they are using. You can also use tools such as Display Purpose, Focal Mark, and Autohash.
Overall when it comes to hashtags it’s a matter of testing what works. Use some of these methods to try them out, analyze and change it up.
Now that you have your content, your brand style guide and have decided on a posting schedule take your scheduling tool and start plugging in the posts.
If you have any questions on this process leave a comment below, I would love to help you out.