As someone who spends a lot of time on social media for both personal enjoyment and work, I know the importance of using your time efficiently for growth and engagement.
Running an account on Instagram goes far beyond just snapping a few quick photos and writing a caption. It involves brainstorming, setting up shots, posting stories, replying to comments, working on engagement strategies, organizing collaborations.
One easy way to save time when it comes to managing and growing your account is learning to post efficiently and effectively.
Take batch photos
This is always my number 1 tip for saving time with photo-taking. Block out an hour or two and create 5-10 different set-ups to photograph (depending on how long your photos take to set up, you might need a little more time).
But don’t just stop there! By using different angles and repositioning certain objects, I normally get 3-4 different photos out of each set-up. As long as you change around the set up a bit, the photo will look completely different (but takes a lot less work than if you created a completely new lay).
Overall, one photo-taking session usually leaves me with about 20-30 photos. This is so much easier than taking 20 minutes to take a new photo every time you want to post.
The other perk to photo-taking in batches is that the lighting will be similar across a wide range of images. This really helps to craft a consistent them and make sure your instagram feed looks cohesive and aesthetically pleasing.
As you can see from my feed (using the batch photo method), a lot of my photos follow a similar theme but none of them look identical.
Write batch captions
Batch everything you can! Put aside 30 minutes to brainstorm a week’s worth of engaging captions. That way, when you come to posting, all you have to do is click ‘post’- especially useful for when you’re running low on time.
My top tips for writing engaging captions are:
- Ask a question- this is a really easy way to encourage your followers to engage with the post through a comment. Make sure it’s something meaningful and related to your niche- not just ‘what did you have for breakfast?’
- Break up text- if your caption is just one long paragraph, chances are, followers will like the photo and then scroll past. Break the text up into short paragraphs and use emojis to add a little excitement.
- Write about something real. Captions can be really tricky when you’re not quite sure what to put. To encourage real engagement and connection with your followers, try writing about what you’ve been doing recently, how you’re feeling, what you were doing when you took the photo, or maybe a film or tv series you’ve been enjoying. Write about a topic that your followers can discuss with you (or at least that might brighten their day a little).
Use scheduling apps
Once you have a ready made photo and caption, all you need is a handy app to post it without you even having to lift a finger.
By scheduling all of your posts, say, for the week, you can ensure that you maintain consistency on your account; the more consistent you are with posting, the more exposure your account will gain.
Some of my favourite scheduling apps are Later (I use for Instagram), Hootsuite and Tailwind (I use for pinterest).
How to get the most out of your posts:
Posting efficiently doesn’t just mean saving time- it also means getting more engagement (and therefore potential growth) out of each post.
Post at the best time of day for engagement
I went into this in more detail on my recent post, How I Grew my Bookstagram Following from 0 to 6000 in a Year.
To briefly sum it up, you can find the time of day when your followers are the most active by going to Insights (on your profile) – total followers, and then scrolling down to the bar chart.
You should be posting at peak time for engagement as much as possible, especially if you post once a day or once every other day.
Share your new posts to your story
A much higher percentage of your followers will see your Instagram story than your posts (you can thank the algorithm for that), so make sure to share each new post to your story.
You can even get creative and use gifs or bright animations to catch your followers attention as they’re scrolling through stories.
Content creation is no easy job! Constantly coming up with new ideas and set-ups can feel really over-whelming, so make sure you use each post to its fullest.
If you have a blog, why not post blog images or graphics to your Instagram (this will also drive more traffic to your website)?
You can also repost Instagram photos to pinterest. This is great for if you’re building a brand across multiple social media platforms.
On Pinterest, set up a specific board for Instagram inspiration, flatlays or aesthetic images. There, you can share a mix of inspiration from other accounts, and your own photos. This will also drive people back to your Instagram as the photo will automatically link back.
Are you trying to grow on social media, without spending hours of the day on it? will you be trying out any of these tips? I’d love to hear your thoughts and any tips you have to add in the comments below or you can connect with me directly on any of my social medias.