My 5-Step Process for Creating & Scheduling 60 Instagram Posts
Because I manage social media content for different clients, I need to make sure that my own social media channels are taken care of in advance.
When I first started the boutique I used to create all of my Instagram posts on the fly and man was that a lot of work; especially considering I still had my day job. A few weeks in I made the switch from posting on the fly to creating content and scheduling it in advance – total game changer!
Here are some of the benefits of creating and scheduling content in advance:
- Leaves you more time to run other areas of your business - or go to the beach!
- Helps you create content consistently - no more skipping 3 days of posting because you didn't have time
- helps you write your content with intention - it's too easy to lose sight of your message when you pressure yourself to post at the last minute
- Ensures you have a variety of content going out to your audience - promos and product shots are great, but you want to mix them up with tips, fun facts, behind-the-scenes info, and more
Writing and scheduling your Instagram content in advance seems like a daunting task, but it really does save you time in the end. Plus, it makes your efforts a million (fact) times more effective. Below I’ve outlined my process for writing and scheduling a month’s worth of Instagram content. Keep in mind; I schedule two Instagram posts per day so the process below is used to create 60-62 posts.
Step 1 – Outline my themes and topics for each day of the month
*I use The Content Planner as a space to plan out all of my social media, blog, and e-newsletter content, but you can use any monthly calendar.
The first thing I do is look at my calendar and input the themes and topics I post every week which include: motivation Monday, tip Tuesday, new blog post alert, business quotes, and follow Friday.
Next I input any promotional posts that are needed for any of my marketing campaigns or contests. From there I fill in the rest of my calendar with more social media tips, cross promotions for my other social media channels, goals for the week, self-care questions or tips, and fun facts about myself or the business.
Step 2 – Write out content for each theme or topic
After I’ve outlined my calendar, I start a new Word document and start writing out the captions for each theme or topic in my calendar. I tend to batch my content writing, so I start by writing all of my motivation Monday posts, all of my follow Fridays, and so on. From there I finish writing all the remaining content.
*I also keep 4 sets of hashtags in the same Word document my content’s written in.
Step 3 – Create images for each caption
Because photography isn’t something I have time for, I mostly rely on stock images and head shots to make up my Instagram feed. The paid subscriptions I currently use are Rosemary Watson Productions, and Styled Stock Society, but I also get a lot of free images delivered to my inbox monthly from Ivory Mix. I also find a ton of great free images from Unsplash.
To ensure my images are optimized for Instagram, I bring each image (even if they’re already square) into Canva. Canva gives you a variety of template options, so I of course choose Instagram. I sometimes use text and colour overlays, which Canva makes really easy to do in their free online app.
Step 4 – Schedule all of my posts
Grum has been an absolute lifesaver for me! There are many different Instagram scheduling apps out there like Buffer, Planoly, and Hootsuite, but as far as I know, Grum is the only app that posts to Instagram 100% automatically without violating Instagram’s terms of service. Most apps will send you a push notification to your phone when it’s time to post, but you still have to physically post from your phone. With Grum I can be napping on a beach in Cancun and my posts will still go live. Another great thing about Grum is that in addition to your post, it allows you to schedule your first comment – the space where I suggest you place your 30 hashtags so your caption doesn’t look cluttered.
Grum is $9.99 US per month, and it’s totally worth every penny! They offer a two-week free trial but if you want completely free, you can try Later. This is the scheduling app I use for clients who are on a tighter budget.
Step 5 – Respond to comments and messages
This step is probably one of the most important ones! Because your posts are going out automatically without even lifting a finger, it can be easy to forget to check your posts and respond to the comments and private messages your audience has left for you. If you want to be even the least bit successful on Instagram, consistent engagement is key. For one-worded comments or emojis left on your post, feel free to just hit the heart button beside the comment to acknowledge that you’ve seen it and that you appreciate it. But when people are asking you questions or referencing something specific about your post, be sure to answer their question and respond to their comment so you can create a dialogue with them. It’s those relationships that can make all the difference in the success of your business. I usually spend 15 minutes before bed going through my latest posts so I can ensure I’m responding in a timely manner.
So there you have it folks. That’s how I plan out 60-62 Instagram posts for the month ahead.
If you’re thinking about writing and scheduling your Instagram content in advance but 30 days worth seems like too much, start by scheduling for only a week ahead and work your way up from there. If you need a printable calendar for a place to start outlining your themes and topics, I have a free weekly Instagram calendar below!