Behind The Gram

Behind The Gram

My blog is only 50% of my brand. Though it is the hub, I have other platforms that share my posts and Instagram is the #1 platform. Except sometimes I don't think most people have the slightest clue as to what goes behind a single Instagram post. When you run a creative platform every post is detailed and have a lot that goes into it. To get the inside scoop I'm breaking down my entire process of when I post to Instagram.

Behind The Gram
Behind The Gram

The very first step is plan out the photo. Most of the time I have the blog post written out so I know what's it is that I need to shoot. Is it a fashion shoot, do I need props, am I highlighting a specific outfit or product? All of these go into consideration when planning a photo shoot.

Next is the photo shoot. I plan everything out, set up something with a friend or photographer or even self-time on a tripod. I go through tons and tons of different poses, backgrounds, etc all to just choose a handful of them to actually share.

Editing. Wow, where to even start with this one? Everyone has their own editing style and like different looks. I try, and am getting better, an editing all of my photos on Lightroom using the same preset, but altering it just a little–depending on the original photo–so all the photos look consistent on the Instagram feed. Consistency is key. When someone visits your profile they see your top 9 pictures and if everything looks uniform you have a higher change of someone hitting the follow button. But, if you have a ton of different edits, a lot of ads, or simply inconsistency, someone might become uninterested and click off of your profile. There are a ton of apps that I recommend such as Lightroom, Photoshop, Tezza App, Huji App and VSCO App are some of my faves.

Scheduling the post comes next. I use the UNUM app to plan out my feed and make sure that (1) the image fits in with the rest of my feed and (2) to actually schedule it. I take my audience in to account and plan out a time on a specific day that I plan on posting. If you have the UNUM app, or a business Instagram account you can see the statistics of when your audience is most likely to engage with your profile. For instance, I'm posting today on a Monday and my audience is mostly online at 6 p.m. on Mondays. But on Tuesdays, that changes to 9 p.m. and on Saturdays it's 12 p.m. I focus on the times that my audience will be online and schedule a post, using the UNUM app, to do so.

The caption is sometimes the hardest thing to come up with. You want it to be catchy and grab someones attention, but yet you also want to have a call to action (sometimes) in them. If you're constantly adverting something, people will eventually stop reading. So sometimes, I'll mix it up with just a simple caption and sometimes I'll add a call to action. It honestly just depends on the day and what the purpose of the photo is for. I also share my LikeToKnowIt profile because it's another way for people to shop exact items I'm wearing in my post.

Tags & hashtags are a big part of drawing people to your profile. I like to tag brands and products on what I'm wearing in the photo or the product itself, but I'll also tag some generic brands to try to get reposted on other pages or more engagement. I also put some hashtags whether it's in the caption or comment section. If someone is looking for #dcblogger then my post will pop up on their feed. Hashtags are a great way to bring in new engagement.

Engagement is the number one thing that you are looking for when you post to Instagram. Which means that when people comment or like on my photo, I want to make sure that I engage with those people. If I realize someone is on a liking spree, I'll return the favor. When someone comments, I comment back. I always make sure to engage with people because they're helping me grow my business and I appreciate that.

There is so much more time that goes into a photo, but for the most part this is my strategy. If you're starting to get into Instagram and want to be more strategic I highly recommend the book "Instastyle" by Tezza. This book was so helpful and broke down what you need in order to have a successful Instagram.

xoxo, Michele

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