Instagram Feed Planning: Software and Styling
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One of the comments I've been getting the most recently on Instagram from my followers is that they really love the look of my feed. I'm always stunned and so happy to hear people say this because it really took me a long time to figure out what I wanted my feed to look like. I felt so much pressure to make it look the way the other people in my circle of interest did with theirs. I'm working on my content and overall grid aesthetic all the time but have got some tips for those who might be struggling with the artistic direction of their own Instagram feed, based on what has really helped me since I started using Instagram for business.

Planning Software

For the most part, Instagram is no longer a platform purely for the typical and originally intended purpose of social media presence - to share what you are up to with friends and family. When I started using Instagram in 2013 that is what it was, but I watched it grow over the years to become one of the most valued platforms for digital marketing. For many of us, it may even be the most valued platform for digital marketing.

When using Instagram for business, connecting with people and using it as a carrier of inspiration, I find that planning can be very useful. If you post images to Instagram for the sake of art and sharing, you might have a specific theme in mind that you would like to stick to. If you're in it for business too, your main goal is to use it as a key marketing tool by strategically planning your content in advance, ensuring you are telling a cohesive brand story and making your image memorable against a sea of similar accounts.

Instagram planning apps can help you do this. When I looked at other Instagram users' feeds compared to mine, I knew I wasn't getting the most out of my feed. Even more so, my business wasn't getting the most out of my feed. I wanted my grid to reflect what my business was setting out to do. I'm a fan of trying to make things as simple as possible and keeping organised so we can enjoy our life more, with a greater sense of wellbeing, so I had a clear idea of what my Instagram feed needed to look like in order to represent that.

Before finally landing on a favourite app, I tried Preview and UNUM. Both were very useful and fun, but I needed more direction, more help to understand how I could create a clear and cohesive brand image. I stumbled upon Plann accidentally and have been using it religiously over the last month.

Plann has many useful functions, including the options to plan your Instagram stories, compose and save hashtag sets and even the opportunity to oversee your progress and performance as a content creator on Instagram. It also gives you walkthroughs, daily growth tips and advice on how to build your following and create your ideal grid aesthetic. 

Styling

Instagram feeds are so creative and versatile. Everywhere you look, there's a new feed with a completely different style or layout to the last. Some strictly follow a select colour scheme. Some are entirely black and white or feature very little colour saturation. Others are vibrant and full of contrast.

Oftentimes, Instagrammers will work weave their work in between squares that are filled with other content. It's very common to see accounts using a checkerboard layout these days, alternating between quotes or testimonials and images, or posting three photos in a row that follow the same theme or colour family. Another layout that fascinates me is where each little grid is a puzzle piece, part of a wholly larger picture, creating a striking finished image on the grid layout view. Using planning software can help you to great lengths by allowing you to pick up squares, pull them around and decide what layout would look best on your Instagram feed in real time.

Styling your Instagram feed can be as outgoing or as subtle as you like, which is what makes every account unique. There's no real right or wrong way to go about it, but the key is to make sure it represents you, your style, your interests or your message.

Play around with different Instagram planning software and photo editing programmes and see what ties in best with your brand or personal image.

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