How I plan my Instagram posts in advance + FREE checklist
Social media scheduling works for most people and it saves time. Below are several steps that I take when planning my posts. I plan my posts no more than a month in advance and the three steps I follow are planning, designing, and scheduling.
The first thing I do is plan out the content I’ll be sharing on Instagram. To get started I check the calendar to see the upcoming holidays and also any national calendars. I do this to see if there is anything I will like to have content on. For example, March was Women’s History Month and on March 8th was International Women’s Day. I knew I wanted to post content around those so I took that into consideration during the planning process for March. As you can see from the image below, Women was heavily featured on the Instagram feed throughout the month and on International Women’s Day.
I’ll be sharing how I plan and design content for the first two weeks. So first, I’m going to find out what are some holidays this month. Below is a list of some that relate to my content, but the only one I intend to use is Mother’s Day which is on May 12th.
- May 5th – Cinco de Mayo
- May 7th – Packaging Design
- May 12th – Mother’s Day
Then I decide how often each week I’ll like to post, which is usually three times a week. After I’ll write out the date and what I’ll like to post, for example, I’ll write down May 7th branding tips, May 8th design showcase, etc. I outline these using three columns because that’s how the Instagram grid appears. Once I’ve written everything down I’ll head over to get started on the designs.
Now that I have an outline of my content, I’ll go ahead and start designing the graphics. Instagram is the main social media platform but I’ll also create graphics for Pinterest and Twitter. Again, to make my life more complicated I use both Photoshop and Illustrator when designing my graphics. I use Photoshop mainly when dealing with mockups and images. For this time around, I’ll be using Illustrator to create the graphics.
Above is how the design and layout for Instagram turned out after editing in Illustrator. I will then create graphics for Instagram Stories to go along with the posts. In this case, I will use the same size image from Instagram on Twitter.
The last part of this journey is to schedule the posts. I use Later* to schedule my posts to Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. I’m on the free plan so I only have thirty posts a month for Instagram and Pinterest and fifty for Twitter. For Instagram, Later* doesn’t automatically post for me it just reminds me and I’ll go in an post it myself. This method is very helpful because I can look over what I wrote one last time before it gets posted.
One drawback from the free version of Later* is that I’m not able to post a video or Instagram Stories. What I do in this case is use a static image of the video and upload the video from my phone. When scheduling content I also write out the caption at the same time. Here is how my schedule for the first two weeks in May looks.
Until next time.