Staying on Top of Instagram + 6 Tips
A while back I asked you guys to send me your questions, and I got some really great ones back so thank you! Sometimes when you're running a business and have been doing it for a while, you turn some things on auto. So you forget that, while it comes easy to you now, there are people just starting out that might be able to use some direction or advice. Keep sending them in via email, instagram, or wherever else you find me. We listen and have a long list of topics to touch on!
Instagram is one of the main categories people ask about, and one of my favorites to talk about. I'm not an expert (is anyone though?), and I don't have a million followers... or even a fraction of that. BUT, I have figured out things that work for my business and have helped others get organized, grow their following and in turn grow their own businesses.
One of the questions I get asked about insta is how to stay on top of it. Coming up with content, 7 days a week, and in some cases, 2-3 times a day... that can be daunting and exhausting. I'm not going to say it isn't, because IT IS. It can become a full time job even for the small brands. Over the years i've come up with ways that help keep me sane because the hardest time to come up with something to post, is when you have nothing to post. Then you produce junk which is just filler and you don't really want on the internet anyways. Here are 6 tips that have helped me stay on top of Instagram. Most of the time;)
I use Planoly, it's an app (you can pay monthly or yearly) that basically keeps an archive of your images, captions, hashtags, and allows you to rearrange and schedule them. There are a ton of other perks like analytics and they now let you schedule your stories for instagram. I do use this to try and keep my feed cohesive, I like things to be balanced and show a variety of my content, especially for new followers that click over. It's essential that they see what you're about without scrolling. You want to capture their attention right away! I also use the scheduler. I know what times my audience is online, so I try and post at those hours. Work can get crazy, so the little notification that pops up telling me to post is so helpful. Even if they are pictures I AM taking that same day, I schedule them for peak times.
But, the best part is, you can take and save your images in here. You don't have to scroll back through your camera roll looking for that one picture you planned on posting today. It's right there, with your caption ready to go. This can help you when you've taken a ton of pictures one day and want to space them out, have a sponsored/collab post that you have to save for a specific day, or want to plan out promoting blog posts ahead of time. This app has been the biggest help in keeping me on top of my insta feed!!
Capture Ahead of Time
This is especially helpful if you are going to something like an event or even grabbing drinks/dinner with friends in a cool location. Take pictures first. 9 times out of 10, once you are in the moment, you'll forget and there's just not time. Plus, it can become super annoying if, everytime you go out, you're making people wait on you for a picture. So, say we go down to the beach for brunch, I'll get a cute outfit photo, take a few of the scenery, grab one with my mimosa. AND YOU'RE DONE. You get to enjoy yourself instead of worrying about what you're gonna post later.
Use Every Opportunity
If your job is at all creative, this should be a really easy one because you probably work through several steps of a process to achieve your final product. So take every opportunity to capture part of your process. For example, I could share inspiration I'm sourcing for a new client, I could share concepts that they didn't go with, lettering their envelopes, peeks at their printing process, and finally the full suite. It's really just a matter of remembering! I forget all of the time to shoot stuff before it's packed, but put it on a check list next time and you'll have a full story behind just one project.
Capture Multiple Angles
I started doing this, most specifically with stationery, but I see a lot of fashion bloggers doing it as well. Who says you can't share something multiple times? I like to take pictures in different angles, close ups, or restyle certain elements of it... keeping the main content the same, but getting several images to post rather than just one.
Know Your Top Three Performing Categories
This always helps me out when I'm in a rut. If you're a business/brand, you probably have analytics on your account. OR, you can just take a look back and see what images perform well. Using that info, you can get an idea of what people like to see from you. Mine? They love flowers, hand lettering and wine! All of which i'm truly passionate about, so it works out perfectly;) So if I'm stuck, I know where to look for inspiration. Most of the time those things are in and around our house/office so it's easy for me to dream up something fun to share quickly. Knowing your top three is also great for incorporating new content into your feed. For example, I shop a lot, but I'm not a fashion blogger and I know people to don't come to me for that. So if I do want to share that new dress I bought, I can mix it up with a happy hour post or show how I wore it to grab my flowers over the weekend. Make it work for you and your audience and everyone will be happy.
Ah, I love shoot days. And yes, sometimes we (friends) just plan them to go get some content specifically for the gram. Being stuck working at home and at the computer can really put a damper on those cool pictures you can capture when out and about. So, even if it's just meeting a friend for a drink, we always schedule a little time to walk around and get a few pics. It might sound silly but I actually love doing this and the pictures end up being a great way to fill in your feed in between promoting your work. Plus it's always good to incorporate some real life moments.
I hope there are a few nuggets of knowledge in there for you! I'd love to hear what your tips are for staying on top of social media!