How To Plan Out Your Instagram One Month in Advance
Do you struggle with posting consistently on your Instagram? It’s ok if you do — I used to, as well! Until I started using my social media content calendar to plan out my social media. Yes, all of my social media. Now, I’m able to plan out my Instagram one month in advance. Crazy, right!?
Knowing what to post on Instagram takes some additional planning on your part, but it will be so helpful in the end.We all have busy lives, after all, and finding ways to maintain our social media presence with less time commitment is a game-changer! Here is a step by step look at how I plan out my Instagram one month in advance.
Know The Month Ahead
For my blog, I need to know what kind of posts I will be posting, and for my social media services, I need to know if I’m having any special offers. I include those in my social media content planner.
For a service-based business, I would consider any new special sales or promotions, upcoming workshops, and giveaways. For a product-based business, I would consider any new arrivals, special sales or promotions, upcoming tradeshows, and giveaways. Add those to your social media content calendar (and to your general calendar too).
Once these are mapped out, I figure out what kind of content I will be posting. A giveaway may need a graphic. A sale may need a lifestyle image or a flatlay image or even both. I consider what images I need to take with my camera and which ones can be made either on my computer or on my phone.
Create The Visuals
I find that I don’t necessarily need to make every graphic post in advance, but I usually have a template to work from. This makes creating graphic images easier. I prefer making mine in Canva because that allows me to use the fonts that I use with my brand.
Whether you use a computer or your phone to make a graphic, I highly suggest coming up with a template to use any time you need to create a graphic. Using a template helps with brand identity and helps your Instagram feed appear more cohesive.
While my graphics can be made in a pinch simply following a premade template, pictures take a little more work. Based on my content planner for the month, I come up with an idea of shots I want to take. If I want a shot that I personally can’t take, I use Unsplash. It has extensive collections of high-quality stock photos.
Once I know what visuals I need, I plan out one day a month to take all those pictures for both my blog and my Instagram — you read that right, only one day. Rather than running around every week trying to master a picture for my blog post or rushing to post on Instagram, having a bulk of photos made at one time helps big time. BIG TIME.
I take a majority of these pictures my Nikon D750, but while I’m using my fancy camera, I also snap a few pictures using my iPhone for IG Stories just to have extra vertical pictures.
Once all my pictures are taken with my DSLR, I upload them to my computer using Lightroom, which helps me rename and upload the selected images all in one place. After the upload, I edit the pictures.
When editing your photos, be purposeful in matching the theme of your brand. Your brand and your Instagram theme should go hand in hand.
There is no right or wrong way to edit your pictures for your brand, but you need to make sure it looks cohesive. Use the same system each time. If all your photos need to be bright and natural, then ALL your photos need to be taken outside in good natural light. Stay consistent. Invest in a tripod or, even better, hire a photographer! If I need to edit my pictures on my phone, I use the Lightroom app.
Have Access To All Your Important Files And Documents
Once I edit my pictures, I save them together into one folder. I upload them to my Dropbox account, so I have access to them at all times, just in case.
Another thing that has come in handy is my list of hashtags in yet another Google Docs spreadsheet. I have a running list of hashtags in alphabetical order at my fingertips at all times. This allows me to easily schedule my post without wondering what hashtags to use. I’ve done my target market research prior and have this list of hashtags for me to use whenever I need it.
Again, it’s about having easy access. When it comes to scheduling out my posts, I can do it from wherever because I’ve uploaded all my pictures to my Dropbox and created a list of hashtags that I have saved to my scheduling software as well!
Schedule It Out
I prefer scheduling out my Instagram posts using the desktop version of Later. I can bulk upload the pictures if I prefer. I then click the picture I want to schedule to be posted and write out the caption.
Tip: If you are on a Mac and still want to include emojis, click control, command and the space bar to bring up the emoji options.
When I’m writing out the caption, I refer to my master captions list! YES, I write captions in ADVANCE for me and all my clients (remember, this is a business with a STRATEGY!) and then add in my list of hashtags I will be using for that picture. I schedule the post at the best optimization time for my account; sometimes I like to test posting times as well.
I have a business account so Later will automatically post for me. If you have a personal account Later will send you a PUSH notification to manually post to instagram. (another benefit of having a business account)
And then, I’m done! So, what are you waiting for? Are you ready to plan out a month’s worth of Instagram posts. Trust me, it’s a life saver if you do. If your suck on what to create you can book a content strategy session with me! I offer 90 min deep dive sessions to make sure you feel confident when posting. And always POSTING with a purpose.
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