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Instagram Planning: What You Should Always Show in Your Feed

It’s so easy to get caught posting in the moment and not planning in advance on Instagram. But when you break down what always needs to be in your Instagram feed, it becomes a lot easier to keep your messaging clear and consistent for your followers.
Whether you’re looking to launch a campaign, increase sales, or encourage more follower engagement, a well planned Instagram feed can help you meet your goals. Here are the six things you need to know when strategizing your Instagram feed.

#1 Instagram Feed: The Power of 9

Think about how often you quickly scroll through Instagram. Now, think about how often you’re inspired to stop in your scroll and explore someone’s account. If you’re inspired by what you see on someone’s Instagram account there’s a good chance it’s because of the “power of nine.” What’s the power of nine? These are the nine most recent posts that show up on an Instagram account. If someone is exploring your Instagram account, especially on mobile, they’re probably sizing up your account on these nine photos alone. That’s why these nine Instagram photos should always answer these three basic questions:
  • What do people need to know?
  • What services/products does your business offer?
  • What inspires you to run your business?
If you don’t answer these basic questions, people are likely to keep scrolling. For example, check out Dani’s paper flower business. Dani uses every post to tell her brand’s story and why she’s a stand-out in her niche. She reminds people that there’s a face behind her brand. Dani’s Instagram feed features colorful paper flowers and pops of color.

#2 Remind People of Your Business Philosophy

If there’s one thing that people crave on Instagram, especially as it gets more crowded, it’s a sense of authenticity. People are tired of overly posed photos or captions that read like a manual. If you want to connect with your potential customers then you need to show why your brand is unique. Before you tap “share” on a post, ask yourself:
  • Does this photo represent my brand?
  • Will my followers know my brand values?
  • How does this photo connect to the core mission of my brand?
If you need some inspiration about your brand’s mission, check out Samuel Price’s Instagram account. His business, My Dog Collage, is all about creativity and positive self-expression. Not only do you see Samuel’s brand mission in his posts that feature his art, but also when he gives you a behind-the-scenes peek at his creative process. Samuel’s art studio features an aisle that has a completed dog collage portrait on it.

#3 Lead with Your Instagram Bio

I’ve said it before, your Instagram bio is like the billboard for your business. You never get a second chance at a first impression, so you need to create a bio that stands out. Another way to think about your Instagram bio is like the cover of a magazine. What is going to inspire your followers to “flip through” and explore? From your Instagram profile photo to your text, people should instantly know what you’re offering and why they should take a closer look. For example, check out Jeanne’s Marie’s Instagram account. As a destination photographer, Jeanne’s Instagram bio makes it easy for her clients to instantly know her business philosophy, where they can view her portfolio, and how they can book a session. Jeanne Marie’s Instagram bio tells people her business purpose, mission and contact information.

#4 Stand Out with Your Online Energy

One thing that can never be underestimated on Instagram is the importance of energy. I’m talking about the energy that your Instagram feed puts off to anyone scrolling through. Do you want people to feel excited, relaxed, maybe even a little emotional? If you’re not sure what the vibe is of your Instagram account, write down the keywords that describe your business. Then double check that your keywords actually align with the feeling of your Instagram account. One account that is always giving off creative, fun vibes is Nicte Creative Design. Whether it’s her fun use of emojis or her detail-packed description, it only takes a few seconds to know what Nicte is all about. Plus, no one can resist those fun pops of color. Nicte’s blows a handful of confetti at the camera as she poses against a colorful backdrop.

#5 Think of Instagram Like Your Website

Fun fact: People are using Instagram like Google and blogs. It’s true! People are exploring to discover products, vacation destinations, new neighborhood restaurants, you name it. That’s why you have to be intentional with every Instagram post you share. Picking a random photo to share just so you can check it off your list is counterproductive. People are going to know you threw it up on your account for no reason, and they’re less likely to check back in the future. Another go-to I see when people are crunched for time or forgot to plan are quote graphics. Be honest, how many times have you done? It’s happened to almost all of us. But here’s the thing, most people know that quote graphics are just filler content. Don’t waste a post on something that doesn’t provide value to your business. If you want to create an Instagram feed that’s aesthetically pleasing, I suggest checking out Planoly. It’s an online scheduling and visual planner tool that makes it easy to map out your Instagram feed. Whether you want to add some white spaces or make sure your visuals don’t compete, Planoly makes it easy. Planoly’s desktop interface features a planned out Instagram feed and scheduled posts.

#6 Organize Your Instagram Photos

How many times have you caught yourself scrolling through your phone trying to find the perfect Instagram photo? That’s why I suggest keeping all of your Instagram photos in one place. Whether your prefer Google Drive or Dropbox, organizing your photos will save you a lot of stress and last-minute posting. Since a lot of my Instagram photos are color-themed, I label my folders based on color. It saves me a ton of time when I know exactly where to find my photos and how they’ll fit into my overall Instagram aesthetic.

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