We all know it can be tricky to get the likes, follows, and engagement we want from social media. There is so much advice swirling around about when to post, when to post, and how often you should do it. All of that is important, but there might be something more important than what you post. Maybe, what you do before and after is the key you’ve been missing all along.
The Instagram Schedule of a Professional Social Media Manager
We manage dozens of Instagram accounts. From a few hundred followers to thousands of likes per post, the Instagram algorithm is the same across the board and so is our strategy (for the most part). Here’s exactly what we recommend for your Instagram schedule.
Step 1: Engage with Other Accounts
That’s right. The first thing you should do before you post, is engage. Run through your feed liking posts and commenting enthusiastically. Watch stories, vote in polls, and share the love. Watch a few Reels, like and comment on what jumps out at you. Find new accounts to follow, visit a few new hashtags, and just be social on social media. Ideally, you should spend about 10-20 minutes engaging with other accounts before you make your post.
Step 2: Post on Your Feed
There are so many ways to post on Instagram, but the main element of the platform is still the feed post. This is what most users are looking at and what they will consider the true identity of your account. We have tons of advice about what that post should be, how to write your captions, and how to use hashtags. But for now, we’re just talking about the structure of your day. So, once you’ve made your post, you can cross this task off the list!
Step 3: Post on Your Story
We add every feed post straight to the story to maximize visibility. Stories are positioned right at the top of everybody’s feed and have a very high view rate. Just press that little paper airplane arrow, add it to your story, add some stickers or doodles, and you’re good to go! Then, consider adding a few of your tagged photos, other businesses around you, or other relevant stories. You can run Q&As, polls, and other great interactive options on your stories to increase engagement and capture your audience.
Step 4: Engage with Other Accounts
That’s right, we aren’t done engaging yet! Just like you did before you made your post, head back out there and spread the love to other accounts. The most harmful thing you can do is open your app, make a post, and close your app. You absolutely must engage with other accounts on Instagram if you want the algorithm to identify you as a social, important follower. If you aren;t demonstrating the existence of relationships with other accounts, your content will never be shown to them. Don’t let instagram think you aren’t a close friend of those who follow you.
Step 5: Experiment with New Features
Instagram is always innovating and expecting you to go with the flow. Right now, that means posting Reels. Reels are Instagram’s version of TikTok, short bite sized videos people can scroll through all day long. This is a great way to get extra exposure and allow people to bump into your content for the first time. When Instagram is launching a new feature, they are going to prioritize the accounts who use it. They want Reels to be successful, so posting them is a great way to guarantee that you get in on the extra effort they are giving out.
Instagram Strategy Overview
Overall, we like to post 3 feed posts per week which works out to posting every other day. Keeping 3-5 stories on your account at all times is a great idea, but might not be easy to accommodate. As long as you are posting a few stories a day, you’re in a good spot. Posting a Reel or two a week is a great goal to allow you to encounter new people. And most importantly, engage with other accounts. You need to be following, liking, commenting, and engaging with other businesses, influencers, photographers, and people to signal to Instagram that you are an account they should prioritize.
We get it. You’re busy and the demands of the instagram algorithm can be confusing and a bit overwhelming. That’s why we do what we do, and we do it all day long. If you’re needing a bit of help or looking for a more detailed training, you know where to find us.