How I Handle My Instagram Account

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that over the last 14 or so weeks, my feed looks different that in used to.  There is a little more cohesion, an overall style and colour scheme that repeats and I’ve actually managed to maintain that!

How I Handle My Instagram Account | AriMeghlen.co.uk | Image of instagram icon o

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Buckets

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Let’s discuss the Content Buckets System, I learnt about this from Mixtus Media who I found on Instagram and then stalked their blog for a time.  To learn more about the Buckets, check out the article How To Easily Create Content For Social Media.

Basically, the idea is to brainstorm topic ideas you can share on social media – for example: WIP info, Pet Photos, Favourite Reads etc.  Each of these becomes a “bucket”.  Then you just create content each week that fits into those buckets.

So, that’s what I did, I brainstormed several ideas for things I like to share on my platform and things I believe my followers might enjoy.

First, I picked the ones I knew would be there: Blogging and Podcasting which I do every week.

I only wanted to post 5 times a week, so I aimed for around 5 buckets.

Templates

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Next, I wanted to have a consistent feel to my instagram feed rather than just a messy mish-mash.  So I used Canva (seriously, I can’t rave about Canva enough, it’s awesome) to create a set of templates.

Since I had my 7 buckets*, and I knew I wanted a more cohesive feel, I created templates that worked for me.  This included coming up with a colour palette that I liked.

As much as I LOVE black, grey and purple, my business instagram already has enough dark colours, so I wanted something different.

So I picked some brighter, lighter colours and added it to my brand kit in Canva (Brand Kit is only available on the pro version).

These templates I made included a design for the podcast, the blog and quotes that I like to share.  I picked or created the style, added my colour and tweaked everything until I was happy.

For some of my other buckets are mostly just photos or photos with text overlay, but again, for cohesion, I picked a style that I mostly keep too – this includes using a specific filter etc.

*I know I mentioned that I only post 5 days a week, so why have around 7 buckets, I wanted a few that I could switch in and out.

Plan

Photo of a ring notepad, a pencil and word "Plan" written on the

So, I had my buckets and my templates all ready.  Next, was creating a plan.  As mentioned, I only wanted to post 5 days a week – during the week.  I hate posting on weekends, I want to stay off social media at the weekends and if I post, I’ll be checking it all the time.

I created a Google Doc to build a working plan.

First, I decided which bucket I would post on which days.  For example, I always post my quotes on Tuesdays, the podcast on Wednesdays and blog posts on Fridays.  Mondays and Thursdays I have somewhat of a structure, but I am more flexible at times.

Since I have two instagram accounts, I did this for both and having it all in an accessible Google Doc made it so much easier.

Scheduling

Photo of a diary with coloured pins pushed into several dates. Image from Canva

If you’ve followed me for a while, you may know that I used to use Buffer for all my scheduling.  Now, Buffer is still awesome and I do recommend it to people.

However, after they took Instagram scheduling from the Premium plan and put it on Business plan only (which was way too expensive), I moved to using Facebook’s Scheduler.

Just an FYI, I still have Buffer, but since I stopped running #TheMerryWriter hashtag game I don’t need to post as often on Twitter (I am really losing interest in Twitter if I’m honest) so I reverted to the free version that gives me 3 platforms and 10 slots per week, per platform which is more than enough.

I use it for scheduling on Twitter (the few times I do) and for Pinterest.

30 Minutes a Week

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Completing my social media now takes about 30-45 Minutes a week.  I do this on Friday which is my Admin day.  I have two Insta accounts, one for my Writing and one for my Business.  Each of them has buckets, plans and templates.

Since you can schedule Insta and Facebook at the same time, I can get both sorted in that 45 mins.  This can also includes setting up some Stories on Insta too.

The last thing I ever wanted to do, was spend so much time online and especially dealing with social media.  This is one of the reasons I stopped running #TheMerryWriter game.

On some occasions where I will change a post out on the day, due to how I’m feeling or if something has happened I want to discuss.  But even that doesn’t take longer than like 5 mins.

The Goldilocks TimeFrame

Photo of a woman stood at the beach, water in the back ground and her blond wavy hair down her back. Image from Canva

I used to plan my social media by the month, I would put in everything I already knew such as the podcast and often blog posts as I sometimes wrote the whole month early.  But then over time, things would get missed, fall to the wayside or my plans would change.

It took me way longer than it should have to find MY Goldilocks timeframe, which is what works best for me, my situation and my silly brain.

I do a week at a time because that’s the most perfect timeframe for me.  Even if I have details of all the podcasts for the month, or blog posts, or quotes, I still only create, save, upload and schedule one week at a time.

A month is just too long for me.  I either get bored half way through (my brain is very short-attention-y these days) or I complete the month, feel tired because social media is a real drain and when it comes to doing the next month, I just can’t face it so it falls by the wayside part way through.

My doing only a week at a time, I feel refreshed, not tired or stressed about it and since I keep my Insta and my Facebook posts exactly the same* I don’t have to do too much thinking.

*Yes, I know there is some recommendations that you should have different stuff on each platform.  Well, I personally made the choice not to.  My health and happiness is more important than beating all the systems and algorithms.  I’m not trying to gain thousands of followers.  I just want to share a few things I enjoy to the people who decide they want to see it.  

I got caught up in the idea of doing things a month at a time, because that is what some “so-called” experts recommend.  But honestly, it made me miserable.  I work better in small chunks.

This is why for the last 14 or so weeks, I have been super consistent with my instagram (and Facebook) posting.

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For anyone struggling with keeping consistent on social media, I hope you found this useful.  If someone with my mad-squirrel-lack-of-attention-brain can manage to keep consistent, there’s hope for everyone.

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Happy writing & stay safe

Signature & logo of Ari Meghlen

tiny-ko-fi_icon_rgb_strokeI write articles on writing, marketing, blogging, organising, social media, books and some random stuff.  I also create free printable resources.  If you find my content helpful, entertaining and like what I do, consider supporting me on ko-fi (where you will also find extra content I post).  All donations go to keeping my website running and helping me move towards publishing my novels.

Source: Images courtesy of Pixabay and Canva

8 thoughts on “How I Handle My Instagram Account

  1. I’m a huge fan of Canva and the Facebook Scheduler too. That’s how I get my posts done. I’m also on board with your week at a time process. I used to post daily, but lining up everything for the week ahead (bar spontaneous posts) has really eased my stress levels. I don’t feel like I’m constantly forgetting to do things. Great post, Ari! Thanks for sharing your process 😊.

    1. Glad you liked it, Kate.

      Yes! weekly scheduling is so much better and really reduces my stress too.

      How do you find the Facebook Scheduler? Do you use it for both Facebook and Instagram posts?

      The reason I ask is that I normally go into my scheduler, select both Facebook and Insta (because I share the same on both) and then fill in the texts for each of them separately. However, I’ve found sometimes I will type out the Insta caption, go to Facebook type out the Facebook caption – schedule and when it posts, they BOTH have the same caption (eg Insta no longer shows the hashtag cloud I always put at the end etc).

      Has this ever happened to you?

      1. I like the scheduler. Occasionally it’ll not post something on time, but it usually tries again later and gets there.

        I schedule my Facebook and Instagram posts as seperate posts because I add different hashtags and usually include a link for FB that Insta can’t show, so I’ve never had an issue with the captions switching around.

      2. Ahh okay, I am having to start doing everything separately. I think it’s when I switch between the Facebook and Insta caption option on the scheduler. It just seems to freak out.

        Maybe it’s because I write the Insta one first, then copy and past it into Facebook’s caption and remove the hashtags etc.

        Oh well, it’s not that much extra time posting twice. 🙂 Thanks Kate

  2. It’s great to hear about your content/posting schedule details, but the part I struggle with most (aside from on my blog) is engagement. How much time do you spend liking other people’s stuff, commenting, etc?

    1. Hi Goldie, sorry for the delay – I am still working through all the comments I had before my family visited.

      Engagement is tough. I usually do that once a day, after work while I’m on the sofa. But I don’t like it – I would rather parcel out 10 mins a day during my work day to reply when I’m on the computer (rather than on my phone).

      When I did that in the past, it was quicker and easier to just scroll through and comment on people’s posts. Mainly because I type faster on a computer than a phone.

      Liking posts I can do every day, commenting I try and arrange to leave comments at least 3 times a week. I’d like to increase that and be better, but at this time it’s the best I can manage.

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