Instagram Notes: How I Plan My Grid
Sorry guys, this was totally meant to go up last week but with Paris and all - I kinda just underestimated my time. Nonetheless here I am with the second instalment of Instagram Notes! So in the last post I talked a little about how I edited my photos, the apps, the specific filters and touched on Instagram stories.
Also if you are subscribed to the Slow Sunday Club Newsletter you would of seen my guide on how to create a collage grid too - if you're not subscribed head over to our landing page and take a look at Edition Seven (and subscribe whilst your there too obvi 😉).
So moving on to this instalment, I wanted to chat a little bit about how I plan my grid, the apps I use and planning ahead for Instagram.
It's All About the Top Nine
We've all heard it before, it's almost ingrained in us now but it's still worth a mention. Your Instagram is only as good as your last nine photos, they're what counts. Unless someone's feeling particularly scroll-y they're not going to go back to 2017 on your grid, they'll see the photo you've just posted - click your username and view your top nine and from that they'll decide whether you're an account worth following.
So what does this mean? Realistically if you're putting out a photo you absolutely love every time - that's great - but, to take that a step forward you want to make sure that all those photos you love are arranged in a way which looks aesthetically pleasing.
If you're not already doing this, this may sound horrendously daunting but really, it's not. You just need a planning app, where you can upload your potential Instagram photos to, move them around and find the perfect balance. Soon it just becomes second nature!
What Apps to Use
Okay, so now we know we need to arrange them. What do we do it on? I feel this is where everyone uses all kinds of different apps rather than one primary app. For me it's all about Mosaico which is available on the App Store for £4.99. It's a one off payment, a super easy to manoeuvre grid, ability to save hashtag groups and the option to upload to Instagram from within the app. I've been using it for a few years and I would never think of changing.
That being said I've heard great things about Planoly, UNUM and now I believe you can even plan your grid from within A Color Story App which is handy if you edit on there! It's all about what works for you, if you find the app annoying or difficult you won't use it as effectively, so find one that suits.
I truly like having a few buffer photos so that if I'm feeling a little uninspired creatively for a few days, I've got back ups to fall on without losing my online presence. This may sound ridiculous to some, but if you rely on social media at all for your business then letting things go quiet is never ideal unless you've planned a little break.
Asides from actually having my buffer photos there's also a few other ways I plan ahead for Instagram, so I thought I'd chat through the methods I use:
Weekly planning: I'm not that strict on doing this but if I have the time, I will go through my week - see which photos were partiucarly good on engagement and also note down any new hashtags which I've seen and liked for the week.
Monthly planning: Each month I record my stats across all my blog / social media - I'll also have a little look at what times are good to post for my followers and update my hashtag groups, taking out irrelevant ones and adding new ones which I love to join in on.
Finding inspo: I think this is something I'm always on the look out, I'm constantly on the look out for beautiful and different photos and they go straight in my collections. Obviously, when I say about inspiration - I don't mean so I can replicate, more like take something away about the angles, colour palette or clothes to buy 😏
Incorporating ads: Ads can be a pain with approval waiting times etc. so these are hard to plan forward for - I always try and estimate when they'll be on my feed and make sure they work seamlessly with the content around.
Making Use of Your Time
A big issue for a lot of people and Instagram is finding the time to take good photos. Whilst it can be a bit of a mare, sometimes a little bit of time optimisation and creativity is what you need. Back when I was a full time buyer, I used to get up especially early in the summer to take my Instagram photo and post it everyday and weekends were a perfect time to grab an outfit shot.
Nowadays I do have a lot more time on my hands by working from home, but it doesn't mean I don't still utilise my time. If I've just tidied and cleaned the house, you bet I walk about with my phone snapping potential photos for later. If I know I'm meeting up with blogger pals, I'll take a few changes of clothes to get the outfit snaps and well if you're really stuck - there's always a cup of tea and your bed sheets right?!
I hope you guys enjoyed this type of post, there's two more in the series to come!
P.s. Have you signed up for Slow Sunday Club yet? The ninth edition comes out Sunday 25th February.