Are you posting on a regular basis on Instagram? Sharing interesting, fun content but wanting to really get to the next level with your Instagram account? The next step is to plan your Instagram feed to rock the grid.
When you’re on an Instagram profile, you”ll see nine photos on your smartphone. These nine photos make up “the grid” as Instagrammers call it.
You might not see the subtle color nuances or style that Instagrammers are using to plan their Instagram feed but I’m going to share a few of the ways that Grammers are getting people to stop scrolling and double tap their images as people recognize your photos. Used properly, the Instagram grid creates a harmonious, stylized feed.
Let’s look at how you can plan your Instagram feed
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 change to make to your Instagram process moving towards a cohesive Instagram feed.
As an editor, you’ll want to take these things into consideration:
- Types of photos or videos
- Placement of photos
- Making sure each post fits the style that you create for your visual theme (more on this later)
- Plan ahead for all posts – random photos won’t fit into your Grid well
- Process each photo the same way (more on this later)
This is Stitch Fix’s Instagram account and their top nine grid. Stitch Fix uses lighter photos with lots of white surrounding them. They feature their products and also add styled videos to their Instagram feed.
Lauren Conrad favors a subtle pink filter with a nostalgic fade to the colors.
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.
Now she’s updated her photos to add one more that fills out the blue row. Notice how each row of three follows it’s own pattern but coordinates? Stellar Instagramming!
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:
- Always use Tailwind blue in the photo
- 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
- Use VSCO cam filter #A5 (more on this in the next point)
- 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 the 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.
Plan your Instagram feed with Tailwind
Once you batch process your photos, you can plan out your grid in Tailwind to schedule them at the optimal times using our smart schedule.
Tailwind’s bulk uploader allows you to pop all your photos into Tailwind, add your descriptions and leave them in draft mode or choose a time to schedule them in your Instagram queue.
Using our Grid Preview feature, you can preview your grid to make sure everything is in the right place and looks good next to the photos and video clips that you’ve added. Don’t like it? You can easily change the posts into the order that works for you.
Once you have them scheduled, when you use auto post, they’ll 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?
Have any questions about how to use Tailwind for Instagram or how to plan your grid? Let’s here them in the comments below!
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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.