As a creative business owner it is essential for me to plan out my social media to some degree. My social media of choice is Instagram. So, today I will share with you why I see planning as important, and some methods that I use.
First, you may be thinking to yourself - "Machelle isn't posting her pics as they are happening?!" So sorry to burst that bubble for you, but the majority of my posts are not happening "in the moment". I do create space to post those types of photos, but that is rare. As a small business owner I try to create a curated balance of business, products, and bits of my life (to keep it real). Keeping track of these various elements can be stressful if I don't put in a little thought ahead of time. Doing a little bit of planning allows me to focus less on "what should I post today", and more on how I can serve my clients and customers with love and encouragement.
Side note, if you are a business owner (or just a person who wants to utilize instagram to the fullest) and want more clarity on curating your Instagram feed, and building the right following check out this post from Jenna Kutcher and download her Instagram guide.
So, how in the world do I plan these things out? As I mentioned before I work for a balance of business, products and bits of my life. I'm a total paper girl (duh!), and so writing things out works best for me! I use this simple calendar to plan out my posts month by month. The first step is brainstorming different post ideas. This way I can see what types of photos I already have, ones I need to take, and possibly events that I want to highlight. Once I am done brainstorming I plug a balance of these ideas and the categories I want represented in my feed on to the monthly calendar. This is especially helpful if I am trying to also line up my Instagram post with a blog post. I have created a fun super simple calendar for us all to use in planning our posts. Click on the photo below to download it for yourself!
Once the paper calendar is filled out, then I figure out what pictures I have, or need to take. I will take a morning or afternoon to take some styled product shots, look through my photos for pics of Piper (our dog), or plan what events I might need to grab a photo at. This way I can take a lot of cohesive pictures at once that I can use throughout the month (especially product shots!).
Like I said above, I don't want to scramble everyday to take pictures. I also don't want to have to scramble everyday to remember what to post! So, enter Latergramme (now called Later). Later is a great app where I can upload photos from my phone or computer, write out a post, and schedule a date and time to post. The app will then send me an alert on my phone when I need to post and I can copy everything to Instagram and be done! I typically try to load a couple weeks worth of posts on to the app, or even a months worth. This doesn't mean I am hands off with Instagram. It is important to interact, like other posts, and make connections. I use this tool as an important part of planning so I don't have to scramble everyday to figure out what I want to post.
(P.S. The Latergramme link above will give me extra monthly posts and you too! The app is free for up to 30 posts per month.)
Part of me feels like I just unloaded all my secrets, but these aren't really secrets! I'm happy to help educate others on ways to make things like social media easier (especially business owners). These things have been time and sanity savers for me, and I hope this can encourage you, and make Instagram seem less stressful.