Are you curious about Instagram planning? Are you questioning whether or not it is for you or not?
I know I was. I heard about planning Instagram feeds about three years ago, but there was no need for me to plan my post because 1) I didn't have an Instagram and 2) I was not running a business or ministry.
This post is going to be helpful if you are curious about why I plan my Instagram feed, the benefits and downside of using a planner, and what kind of platforms are out there.
Why I Plan my Instagram Feed
I have a full schedule with school, two jobs, friends, and running a ministry. I enjoy being present and fully invested in each of those things, so sometimes my ministry Instagram (@tetheredministries) gets pushed aside. However, I know that keeping up with my Instagram is an important part of promoting Tethered to the college campus. Plus, Instagram is a super fun way to connect with the community that we serve!
Benefits of Planning Your Instagram Feed
If you have ever listened to a business podcast, then you have heard that automation is an essential step in taking your business to the next level. Automating Tethered allows me to work in bulk, which saves time and energy over the span of the week. Each time I upload a photo, I pick a date and time that I want the post to upload to Instagram.
2) Less worry
I can bulk upload up to 30 posts at a time, which means I can upload, plan, and caption 30 days worth of content in one sitting. I can work one or two days and not have to worry about my posts for 30 days. Once my content is planned, then I don't have to worry about what my caption will say or when I can find wifi to post. I don't even have to worry about whether or not I made a post because I know that it is going to automatically going to upload. On the app, I can view the date and the time that my post is scheduled to upload.
3) Aesthetics and Cohesiveness
Before planning @tetheredministries feed it looked like a hot mess (pictured below). I could only see one post upload at a time and what I was posting never seemed to match an aesthetic or have any cohesiveness.
After using an Instagram planning tool, my feed seems cohesive. I have been able to see what my feed looks like on the website and plan accordingly.
4) Boosts Activity
I am using the Instagram planning tool because I wanted to be consistent. By using a planning app, I have been able to post daily without the hassle of getting on Instagram and manually doing to entire process. The planing tool that I am using allows me to see the insights, which is helpful because I get to assess if the tool is actually helping my activity.
Downsides of Planning Your Instagram Feed
Honestly, there are few downsides overall for using an online tool to plan your Instagram feed. However, I think I can come up with a few.
Using a planning tool does save time (for me in the long run). However, you need to set time aside for uploading and captioning your posts. You have to be committed to the process for the tool to be properly utilized.
2) Your Why
You have to answer this question: Is planning my Instagram feed going to work for my platform (blog, personal, or business) and the amount of time I am willing to dedicate to it.
Instagram Planning Tools
These are the top four tools that I found to be the most convenient and practical. Each of these tools have an option for free. I have been using the free plan by Planoly and really like it. I will give you my benefits and downsides for Planoly.
1) Planoly (app and website)
This is the Instagram planning tool that I use and I absolutely love it up to this point. I chose to use this tool because it was founded by a working mom and dad combo. Plus, it has the best deal for free.
Price: $0/a month, up to 30 uploads a month (not all of the uploads need to be posted in that month). Prices go up when you want to manage more than one page at a time, upload more than 30 posts, and if you want the exclusive features.
Here is what it looks like: all the photos used above are from the Planoly app, so here is what the desktop version looks like.
1) It is an app and a website! I love this feature because if for some reason an error occurs and I am not somewhere that I can be on my laptop, I can pull out my phone and hop on the app.
2) Drag and drop calendar. I can upload the photo and then drop the post on a particular to schedule it! So easy.
3) It lines up your post by three, just like Instagram. This makes it very easy visualize what the posts will look like on your feed.
4) Planoly has really cute story outlines that you can customize.
1) If you accidentally upload a photo, then you still lose an upload. I learned this the hard way, haha.
2) You cannot automate stories.
2) Buffer (app and website)
This is another option for individuals looking to plan their Instagram feed, Facebook page, and their Pinterest.
Price: $0/a month, up to 10 uploads a month and connects to 3 social media sites. Prices go up when you want to manage more than three pages at a time, upload more than 10 posts, and if you want the exclusive features.
This would be the best option for a business or individual who is interested in paying $15/month for Buffer's services.
3) Later (app and website)
This is a great option for individuals looking to plan Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Price: $0/a month, up to 30 posts on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest and 50 posts on Twitter. Prices go up when you want to upload more than the free allows you to and if you want the exclusive features (like scheduling Instagram stories!).
I hope you found this post interesting. What questions do you have? Comment below or DM me on Instagram @leadawnhart!