As much as I love my job as Instagram Strategist, it often takes over my personal life and other businesses and projects. Some people -including me- don’t like the idea of pre-planning Instagram content. It was supposed to feel ‘insta = in the moment’. But if you’re using it for your business or your personal brand, you need to plan your Instagram game. This doesn’t mean that you are no more authentic or real, it just means that you put some thoughts ahead of time and can still carefully craft a feed that’s gorgeous to the eye as well as strategically planned.
All in all, it’s about having a clear direction for your Instagram gallery without leaving room for improvisation. In this way, you can increase engagement, sell more and reach new customers.
But WHY should you plan your Instagram?
1 – Specific Promotions & Events
While launching my little stationery business last year, I quickly realised that launching a new product on the market and managing its Instagram strategy is oh-my so time-consuming. Especially if the business is a side business and while you are doing that you also have a full-time job, a family or whatever else. Planning ahead is necessary if you want to be ready for big sale events, new product lines, global festivities and so on. For example, if you know you’ll be launching your winter line in September, it makes sense to prepare promotion content ahead of time (the same is for influencers looking for partnership whether they are hotels, clothes or others – think about what THEY need, not what YOU want).
2 – Feed Consistency
Taking pictures every day is AMAZING. But coming up with photo ideas can be scary. Especially if you are running a business and/or trying to launch a brand.
So scheduling a day to take all your pictures is not only good for your mental health but also to keep your feed consistent both in terms of colour and vibe.So maybe you can put up a photo studio and take the pictures of all your new products in one session. The schedule them and have them ready.
3 – Partnerships
Whether you are a small brand or an (aspiring) influencer, you know you can contact a potential partner the day before your promotion. Serious and busy influencers have their 3-6 (or more) schedule planned already and businesses might have a specific need just on certain dates.
4 – The right moment
As discussed here, it is essential to post when your audience is most active in order to get the most engagement. If you are going on holiday, it might well be that your schedule is different than your normal one, but it’s not the same for your audience which will most likely have the same routine. Timeliness is a super important element especially with the new Instagram algorithm, therefore if you miss the moment, your posts are almost useless and a waste.
To find your personal best time to post on Instagram, you can easily check this on the insights tab of your Instagram account like in the picture below. Once you know your best time to post on Instagram, you can create posts ahead and connect to the platform when you are meant to post.
5 – More time for Instagram Stories and IGTV
I still like to keep my Instagram Stories quite natural and unplanned. I know there are some people and brands who plan those ahead too, but personally, I like to keep those channel as the real connection with my life especially if I’m on a business trip or on holiday.
So, if by scheduling your posts, you free up time every day, you can then use it to share more on your stories and your daily life. Don’t forget that Instagram Stories are a fun way to engage even more with your followers and have a real-time connection with them as well as stay on top of their mind, even when you are chilling by the beach and they don’t see your regular posts in their feed.
6 – Perfect Hashtags Strategy
If you plan your Instagram posts, you will also have time to find the right hashtags for them. You won’t have to rush at the last second using always the same ones with the risk of being banned by Instagram, but along with your captions, you will also have the key tags to add. (more about finding the right hashtags in a future article).
If you don’t use a planning app, you can also save them on a spreadsheet or on your notes app divided by category, so you can easily find them at the time to post.
7 – Unplug is necessary
While the holiday season is fast approaching, you and your brain will need to unplug. I find that every time I disconnect and let my mind free to wonder, I’m invested by tons of new ideas as well as energy. But remember, your Instagram can’t simply stop. There is nothing worst for the algorithm that disappearing from the platform even for just a few days, so JUST DON’T DO IT. Instead, plan ahead and maybe use some planning app to help you (next post about this coming up soon!).
Even without apps, you can use the draft function to save some posts on your Instagram app and have them ready when necessary. Obviously, if you are on holiday and really need to disconnect, you won’t be playing the engagement tips I’ve shared with you on this post, however, posting a few posts while you are away, you will show your audience that you are still there but just taking some well-deserved time off.
Do you now agree why is necessary to plan your Instagram game ahead?
Need more tips about how to plan your Instagram? Do you know that I will be hosting my first Instagram Workshop in Italy in September? Stay tuned and check the details here.
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Sabrina Andrea Sachs is an Instagram Strategist – among other things – and in the past three years, I’ve helped dozens of brands and people build and grow their Instagram presence. With my 85k (total) followers and over 6 years of Instagram experience, I will be hosting my first Instagram workshop in Italy in September 2018 while my Instagram course will launch the following month.