Updated: Feb 13
I completely understand your pain. I’ve been in that situation myself, and I was going crazy to find time to do all the things. That is why I am so excited to share this blog post with you today.
It took some time, but I finally figured out a few ways to make my time on Instagram not only fun but time-efficient as well. If you’ve ever found yourself frustrated and overwhelmed with Instagram, this blog post is a must-read for you!
Create a Content Bank
Okay. So you may be scratching your head, thinking, “what the heck is a content bank?” A content bank is a list of content ideas that are derived from your content pillars. Not sure about content pillars? Content pillars are broad topics that relate to your brand. When you identify the topics that you will create content around it provides for a clear and consistent message.
When I create a content bank for a client, I break it up into five sections: Value, Personal Brand, Promotional, Inspirational, Funny. This way, whenever they need an idea for any type of content, they head over to their content bank and choose one of the ideas listed.
How often have you been staring at your phone, wondering what in the world you should post? Having a content bank will solve this problem. Also, all of the content bank topics are topics that you can easily speak about since they are all created from your content pillars.
Batch Create Your Content
You wouldn’t go into the kitchen to make just one cookie, right? No, you would bake a batch of cookies. This is how you should create your Instagram posts, a batch at a time.
Now, this might not seem like it’s a real time-saver, but I promise it is!!! When you sit down to create your content, you’re already in the creation zone. You have everything that you need: content ideas from your content bank, all your photos/graphics, and your hashtags from your hashtag bank (keep reading to learn more about a hashtag bank).
Schedule time to dedicate to creating your posts for the week/two weeks/month. Whatever works best for you. Then write all your captions, choose your photos/graphics, and gather your hashtags.
By batch creating your content, it frees up more time during the week to devote to other aspects of your business. I felt like I was spinning my wheels when I was posting every day. Batch creating content for myself and my clients was a game changer!!!
Create a Hashtag Bank
Now let’s talk about hashtags! You either love or hate them, but there’s no denying that if you want your fantastic content to be seen by people outside of your following, you need to use them.
Having a good hashtag strategy is very important. If you don’t have a hashtag strategy in place, then definitely read this post.
Choosing hashtags for your post is not a guessing game. You need to do the research and determine if they are a good fit for your brand and content. Once you research those hashtags, it’s time to take them to the bank.
I like to use an excel spreadsheet to keep track of hashtags that I feel are a good fit for myself or a client account. You’ll want to go in and check your hashtags periodically to ensure that they are still a good fit for you.
If you’re an interior designer, let me help you out. I created an interior design hashtag bank with over 250 research hashtags.
Schedule Your Posts
Now that you have created your posts, you’ll want to schedule them so you don’t forget to post! There are a ton of scheduling tools that you can choose from. Below are a few that I have used and recommend.
Planoly – This is the scheduling tool that I use most for Instagram. It’s straightforward to use, upload your images, and insert your captions. If you are on the paid version, you can auto-post (meaning that you schedule your post and Planoly will automatically post for you), you can create hashtag groups, and you can include the first comment (which is a great place to add your hashtags). You can check out Planoly here.
Later – This is another tool that I often use for Instagram. The features are very similar to Planoly, although I do not recall a hashtag group feature. However, Later does provide hashtag suggestions, which is nice. Click here to get more information about Later.
Creator Studio – If you’re looking for a free option, then definitely check out Creator Studio. This tool is provided by Facebook and can be found through your Facebook business page connected to your Instagram account. Creator Studio does not allow you to include a comment, but neither do the other two tools mentioned above on a free plan.
Note: As of now, there is not a tool that will auto-post a carousel post or a video post. Hopefully, that changes soon!
Schedule Time for Engagement
You can’t just post and ghost. You need to hang out on Instagram and engage with people who comment on your posts, and you need to be engaging with other accounts.
It’s very easy to get sucked into the black hole that Instagram can be, so if you are looking to make it worthwhile, schedule it, and be smart about how you engage.
All you need is about thirty minutes a day. First, set a timer for ten minutes. Use this time to respond to anyone who commented on your posts or sent you a DM. After that ten minutes are up, set your timer for another ten minutes. Now engage with people that you are following and people that follow you. Use the last ten minutes to engage with posts that use a hashtag relevant to your brand and/or your ideal client.s.
If you feel like you’re spending too much time keeping up with your Instagram, try using the tips above. If you need extra help getting a process in place, then let’s chat!
I love to help interior designers, and other creative entrepreneurs grow their businesses through Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Just fill out the form below, and we’ll schedule a time chat.