Using Categories To Get Organized On Instagram
If there's one thing that every small business owner is trying to do right now, it's figure out Instagram. When we see millions (literally, millions) of accounts succeeding, thriving, making money online, and telling you over and over how easy it is, well it can be discouraging.
Because you've tried it, and you're still struggling. We hear ya!! Once upon a time I was struggling (and honestly, I still am). And we don't have a million followers, but we do have just over 3,000 of you lovely people following along, sending us messages, commenting on our posts, and it's AMAZING.
Instagram is a platform where people can genuinely connect, meet, and form friendships. Instagram is a platform that beats the other social media platforms, because you really truly can be social through it. From posts, to stories, and personal messages, there are more ways than ever to get real; be authentic; and connect with your audience. And genuinely, I've made more friends from Instagram that any other platform. We get more enquiries from Instagram than anywhere else. And you just can't say that about Facebook these days. (Although, it does tend to be a better source of traffic to your website, so don't forget about that!)
All of this to say, that it's worth pushing through on Instagram, but that it's also worth being REAL. In order to stay organized with all that realness, we highly recommend setting yourself a schedule of some sort - you can read about our suggestions for that here - but today we're going to cover a different way for staying organized, if the traditional route doesn't work for you so well.
START USING CATEGORIES TO ORGANIZE YOUR POSTS
When we first started our account, we were posting on the fly, and as we started planning our content and finding ways to stay organized, we found that the most flexible option for us (at the time), was to think in terms of categories of content. It's really important to figure out what you want to do and show via your Instagram feed, but once you know that, you can separate that content into categories.
For example, when we started following this method, we broke down our categories into:
This meant that every time we posted something, it had to fall into one of those categories - and on the flip side, we could also check what else had been posted recently, and see what was missing from that list. Originally we had a tight plan that included Throwback Thursdays, and quotes every Monday or Friday, but soon we morphed into a more flexible option that allowed us to pick and choose based on what looked best for our feed, or suited the day and mood.
These days we have gone in the opposite direction, and have a 3 step plan for our social and marketing efforts (will share more on that soon) but we still follow the same categories, and make sure that the majority of our content falls into them. Our blog posts follow the same strategy, and all of our categories match up. Here's a lil' screenshot of where our feed is at right now, and you'll see one of each of the categories shown in the first 12 pictures.
The thinking behind this means that whenever someone comes to visit your Instagram page, they will instantly know what you are about from those first few photos. And yet, this method is flexible! For instance, we love to share photos of Vancouver, but there's only so many times someone will want to see the skyline. So we mix it up and make it relevant to the season. If we go camping, we share a photo from the trip, or a local cafe, garden, or other attraction we love. The main thing is that it keeps it local, and centres us in our community.