Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with all of the social media outlets and as a business, it’s important to be involved in social media to stay relevant. The best way to stay on top of and consistent with your social media presence, is to plan, plan and plan some more. “80% of Instagram users follow a business, and 60% actually use Instagram to learn about a product or service. In fact, there are currently over 800 million monthly Instagram users.” Here are a few tips to help get you started with planning your Instagram content each month:

1. Keep consistent with a visual theme

Use all of the same filters, fonts and colors for your Instagram feed. This not only keeps in line with your company’s brand, but it also gives you guidelines with which to create each post. Your Instagram will not only appear more professional when you’re consistent with your brand, but it will also be more visually appealing to followers and potential customers.

2. Have a calendar to plan out each month

don’t just wing it. At the start of planning each month, it’s helpful to look back at the previous month and see what you posted on what days, so as to keep content evenly spaced out. It can also help you look at your posts from the last month and see what worked and what could be improved upon.

Pro Tip: Everyone has a different preference when it comes to what social media calendar works best for them. Here are just a few free options to get you started in the right direction: HubspotCalendarpedia & Firefly. Each of these are very different and offer varying views of each month.

3. Supplement with stories

Especially on days when you’re not posting content to your main feed. This helps you stay at the top of your followers’ feed and can also allow you to share different types of content than you normally would on your regular Instagram feed.

Pro Tip: Apps like CanvaUnfold or Over are great for creating clean and quality stories content, without having to pay.

4. Post real photos with real people

 “The value for your Instagram following should come from drawing personal connections with real stories about how others have successfully used your product.” Don’t bombard people with products. Your followers already know what you’re selling, that’s why they’re following you! What you need to use Instagram for is engaging with your current followers as well as creating new and loyal customers. Ask opinions, answer questions and show photos of satisfied customers.

5. Use trending hashtags and events for inspiration

We know that sometimes it’s hard to come up with new and fresh content from month to month. Being aware of the national days every month can help you come up with content ideas and it can also help make your company more visible by taking advantage of popular hashtags and events.

Pro Tip: Here is a site that has full lists of national days and months.

Planning out social media content can take time, but if you practice planning it out each month, you’ll get better and better at it.