How to Plan Your Instagram Feed (to Rock the Grid in 2019!)

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Feel like you’re doing all the basics on Instagram, but still not hitting the next level? Are you posting on a regular basis on Instagram? ✅ Sharing interesting, fun content to engage your followers? ✅ The next step is to visually plan your Instagram feed to boost engagement and rock the grid!

How to Plan Your Instagram Feed to Rock the Grid

So what is an Instagram grid, anyway? When you’re viewing an Instagram profile on your smartphone, you’ll see nine photos at once. These nine photos make up “the grid”.

On some of your favorite accounts, you may even notice subtle color nuances and styles that make the content POP 💥! These harmonious grid effects are super effective in getting people to stop scrolling, like their images and even comment! When you apply a theme or cohesive look by planning your Instagram feed, you can create a style all your own!

Ready to learn how to plan your Instagram content visually and rock the grid? Let’s dive in!

How to Plan Your Instagram Feed

There are a few tips and tricks that make visually planning your Instagram really simple. Let’s unpack them below! 

Think Like An Editor

You’ll want to start thinking about your Instagram feed as a whole entity and not as individual posts. This is the first small mental change to make to your Instagram posting process in order to implement a feed plan and create a cohesive look.

So what do we mean by think like an editor? Chiefly, you’ll want to take these things into consideration:

  1. The types of photos or videos you’ll post
  2. The exact placement of photos in relation to each other
  3. Making sure each post fits the style that you create for your visual theme (more on this later!)
  4. Plan your Instagram content in advance for posting (spur-of-the-moment photos might be hard to fit into your styled Grid!) 
  5. Process each photo through filters, apps and/ or presets the same way (more on this later!)

For an example of a themed Instagram grid, this is Stitch Fix’s Instagram account and their top nine grid. Stitch Fix uses lighter photos with lots of white space. Their content usually consists of product features and styled videos!

Stitch Fix Instagram Grid

Lauren Conrad favors a different Instagram plan with subtle pink filter and faded, nostalgic colors.

On the other hand,Queenhorsfal rocks a super tight grid and she works in threes. You can see from this top nine that she has one more post to add that will be blue.

Working in groups of threes, each with their own color story, is another great way to rock your Instagram and create beautiful content.

Queenhorsfal Instagram feed

Think of your Instagram feed as a whole, not individual posts, if you want to rock the grid. Click to Tweet

Cover one topic

Popular Instagram accounts have a theme and keep it super tight. Set parameters for your Instagram account and stick to it.

Create a unified visual theme

The topic is tied closely with the style of photos that you’re going to post. You can create specific style guidelines to follow for each photo.

Here’s an example:

  1. Always use Tailwind  blue in the photo
  2. Use a blue Tailwind logo on every ninth photo to add a pop of blue in the grid, use the white logo on other posts
  3. Use VSCO cam filter #A5 (more on this in the next point)
  4. Photos should fit the company style and voice

Design your aesthetic

Whether you’re a Photoshop or smartphone user, you need to develop the way you want to process each photo or video. This creates a cohesive feed no matter where you take your photos.

With Photoshop, you can use Photoshop actions to process each photo with one click. If you’re not a Photoshop pro yet, you can find many free Photoshop actions out there to same and then tweak them to make the mood and style you’re trying to achieve.

Lightroom is another great way to process photos. You can find Lightroom presets to achieve the same goal as Photoshop actions. There’s also a Lightroom app for your phone so you can process your photos on the go and still match your style.

VSCO is the most popular app for processing Instagram photos with fashion and lifestyle bloggers. They have it down to a science and, wow, does it show in their amazing Instagram feeds.

It doesn’t matter how you choose to take your photos or process them, what matters is that you consistently use the same filters and settings for each photo to match the aesthetic that you choose.

Visually Plan your Instagram Feed with Tailwind

Once you batch process your photos, you can plan out your grid in Tailwind with the Auto-Scheduler tool to schedule them at the optimal times using our Smart Scheduling tool! Just:

  • Upload all your photos
  • Draft your captions and select the best Hashtags using Hashtag Finder
  • Drag, drop and re-arrange your posts in our 9-Grid Preview feature to perfect your grid!

Once you have them scheduled, when you use Auto Scheduler, those posts will go out at the best time for your Instagram audience.

Now there’s nothing left to do but go out there and create those ‘Gram-able moments. Anyone know a coffee shop that does latte art? ☕️#DoItForTheGram

Have any questions about how to use Tailwind for Instagram or how to plan your grid? Let’s hear them in the comments below!


Peg is the Director of Content Strategy and Social Media with Tailwind. An avid Pinner and Instagrammer, Peg co-wrote The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users with Guy Kawasaski.

13 thoughts on “How to Plan Your Instagram Feed (to Rock the Grid in 2019!)

  1. Peg, this is terrific. It gives a concrete idea of what to actually do with a grid! Thanks, even though I’m not on Tailwind, I feel sure I can give this a solid shot!

  2. Hello Ruthie,

    Awesome! I’m so happy that you liked it. I’ve been working on doing my photos in rows of three and I think it looks much more coordinated and nice.

    Good luck with it!

  3. Well explained and usable info, just one doubt;

    My community is full of colaborations (booktubers, book bloggers and Bookstagrammers) an there are, institutions, sponsors and events that from time to time whe have to repost their content, wich is not the same (aesthetically speaking) as ours.

    And there are influencer and celebrity mentions and those occur organicly and some times (especially live events) one cannot “plan” these reposts.

    In that case, what would you advise to bring the feed together as a “whole” instead of just singular posts

    1. Hello! You could try working in a row of three for those times when you have sponsors or events. This way one post wouldn’t be glaringly different from all your other content.

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