There are many things you could do with 20 minutes.
You could listen to a Pink Floyd song. You could watch an episode of The Office. You could put away half the basket of overflowing clothes in your laundry (because let’s be honest, nobody ever takes less than 40 minutes to fold!) But we guarantee you, none of these things are going to make you anywhere near as productive as what you’re going to learn in this article!
In this blog, you’re going to learn the strategies that top social media managers and influencers use to plan and schedule a week worth’s of Instagram in just 20 minutes. By batching your content and making the most of Plann’s features, it’s totally doable. Not only will you save yourself SO much time each week on posting Instagram content, but you’ll make the process so much more fun and less stressful.
There will be no more agonising over what you’re going to post on Instagram each day — you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing your entire week is covered! That way, you can go back to doing other fun stuff like watching The Office, listening to music and folding your laundry (not!)
Ready? Let’s dive in!
How to Plan a Week of Posts in 20 Minutes
Go in with a game plan
You wouldn’t go walking somewhere you’ve never been before without a map or a GPS, right? No, that would be crazy, and would add on waaaay more time to your trip! Well, planning your Instagram feed works in the same way. It pays to have a strategy in mind of you what you’re going to post through the week. A great way to do this is by having set ‘themes’ for your Instagram — meaning, a variety of different topics you post about. You can use Plann’s strategy tool to pick from our suggested themes, or create your own.
For example, you might have 5 different content themes — inspiring quotes, educational posts, customer testimonials, product photos and behind-the-scenes snaps. You can drag these themes right onto your planning grid, so you know exactly what kind of post needs to go where. Not only will this ensure you have a great mix of content, but it will stop you from having to reinvent the wheel every time you post.
Upload Your Content From ‘Collections’
Okay, so the next question is — what exactly do you post in these slots?
Well, we highly recommend creating ‘collections’ in Plann, where you store different sets of images.
So, if you have product photography, that could be one collection. Images of your staff could be another. If you already have these stored in Dropbox or Google Drive folders, you can also import these straight into Plann.
If you’re looking to fill some images to fill the gaps, you can also use our free image search or repost from other accounts (with appropriate credit, of course) It may take you an hour or so upfront to get all your images into collections, but once it’s done once you’ll be able to just pick and choose what you need and drop the pics into your ‘create’ grid
Batch Edit Your Photos
Playing around with pretty filters on your pics can be a great distraction and a fun way to pass the time, but it’s not the most efficient use of your social media scheduling.
By having one go-to preset or filter for your images, you can not only make your feed look way more consistent, but also save yourself loads of time.
While some people choose to use Adobe Lightroom presets, you can also do this from right within Plann by choosing from our gorgeous range of filters. Just click on the little paintbrush icon next to your photo to open up the editing menu, then click filter!
Available on both Plann Apps (iOS and Android) and Plann Desktop now!
Create Social Media Graphics In Bulk
The same goes for your Instagram graphics — it’s way too time-consuming you create these from scratch every time.
Previously, they could add stacks of time on to your content creation process, as you had to create posts in an external tool, then upload them, then schedule them — and god help you if you realized you’d make a mistake and had to start all over again. But, not anymore! Now, thanks to our free Canva integration, you can quickly create graphics and batch from right within the Plann app. Talk about a gamechanger!
We recommend first setting up a couple of branded templates within Canva with your brand colors and fonts, in both the dimension sizes for Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn posts. Having these templates already set up from the get-go will save you SO much time with your content creation. Then, these will be pulled into your Plann account for you to customize. Just go to the ‘create’ tool, select Canva and find your template. Then, add your own text, hit publish and voila, it’s ready to add to your grid or feed!
Write Quicker Captions
We know that coming up with the perfect caption can be one of the most time-consuming parts of planning your feed. After all, you want to be witty, yet casual! Professional, yet approachable! Smart, yet sassy! Need we go on? But here’s the good news — you don’t need to overthink your captions. As the awesome entrepreneur, Marie Foreo says — just write as you talk!
We’re willing to bet you can talk about the passion for your business or brand until you’re blue in the face. So, do it!
When an idea for a post or caption pops into your head, open up a voice note on your phone and just talk about it! You can do it when you’re making your breakfast, getting ready for your day, driving etc (only if you can safely do it handsfree, of course!)
Or, if you’re more of written notes kinda of person, open up a Google Doc, Trello board or notes app and just braindump any idea as it comes up. If you’ve recorded audio files, you can use an app like Otter.Ai or Rev (their automated version only costs a few cents per second) to get them transcribed. Then, with an app like Grammarly installed, you can give your captions a quick tidy up for grammar and punctuation.
Once you’ve got some rough captions, go through and make sure they have these two things: a strong hook (an opening line that’s going to make people want to keep reading) and a killer CTA (a call-to-action or next step, whether it’s tagging a friend who needs to read it, answering a question or checking out the link in bio) Whether your caption is long or short, funny or personal, you won’t be able to go wrong if you have these two things.
Have Your Hashtags Ready
If you’re coming up with fresh hashtags every time you post, you’re likely creating a lot of extra work for yourself!
A super handy shortcut is to have sets of them pre-saved in Plann. For example, if you’re a sustainable fashion blogger, you might have one hashtag set about style, another about sustainability, another about vegan living etc.
The Instagram algorithm doesn’t like it when you reuse the same hashtags over and over again. We recommend trying to create multiple niche sets of around 10 hashtags, so you can easily mix and match them as needed for your posts.
Once you’ve got all your images, captions and hashtags sorted, it’s time to schedule your posts! To save yourself the guesswork of trying to figure out the best times to post, you can use Plann’s handy AI-powered features to determine your optimal times. You can choose from either the ‘your best times to post’ (the timeslots where your posts have performed best in the past) or ‘when your audience is most online’. Click on either of those, hit schedule on your posts and voila, you’ll have a week of content ready to go!