Every other month, we offer a free Instagram Photo Challenge to help you put our advice into practical application. Whether you read our advice in the Socialite Suite or in the 3 Ps of Social Content ebook, one piece of advice we constantly repeat is consistency. Post consistently. Engage consistently. Brand consistently. We teach you how to develop a content strategy and decide what to post on Instagram in our course, Suite Success with Instagram. Now we're going to show you how you can help that content stand out by creating a consistent theme on Instagram.
First, decide on a color scheme.
More than likely, the colors you choose are going to be a part of your branding — but the inspiration could come from anywhere. Maybe you want seasonal colors, or maybe you prefer to use colors that match your company's brand. Choose a color scheme that not only speaks to you but also conveys the overall intention of your brand.
As you can see with the SassySuite Instagram account, we use primarily white photos with soft focal points to convey a bright, airy feeling: flowers, coffee mugs, blankets. The quotes between the photographs are further brightened with a white overlay.
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Second, decide on your subject.
While on SassySuite, we like to keep a bright airy feel, on the SassyDirect Instagram profile, we convey a slightly more serious emotion by choosing photos with harder backgrounds: computer keyboards, glasses, smartphones – lots of GirlBoss happening here. And while both profiles share motivational quotes, on SassyDirect we share more quotes about blogging and search engine optimization and statistics. The photos between our quotes are reposts of SassyDirect members, chosen as good examples of the 3Ps.
Third, decide on your filters and effects.
Lighting, filters, background elements — all of these can affect the overall look of your Instagram profile. Although Instagram has built-in filters you can use, it's much easier to apply your filters to your photos in your favorite photo-editing software. We happen to be big fans of PicMonkey, but you can use any program or app you like. Once you've decided on your lighting and effects, you'll want to create as many graphics as you can in batches to help make sure they all have a consistent feel. Use PicMonkey's hub to save your photos and their effects, and then when you need to you can login and create another batch of graphics.
Fourth, patience and quality are better than quantity.
When it comes to creating a consistent theme on Instagram, be discerning over what you want to share. If it doesn't vibe with your overall theme, you don't need to share it. Spontaneous photos can be fun, but if your theme on Instagram includes specific lighting or filters, then you'll need to wait before posting them online. And in some cases, you may choose not to post them at all. Photos that are blurry or grainy can throw your entire theme off.
Fifth, plan your feed.
Whether you want a simple grid, a more complicated grid, or no grid at all, creating a consistent theme on Instagram is always going to require some planning and strategy. When people visit your profile on Instagram, they are looking, specifically, to see if you are someone they want to follow. They may not care whether or not you have an actual grid pattern, but they are looking to see what type of information they are going to see if they follow you. And the best way to make sure your profile will give them a complete picture is to use strategic planning. The way you plan is completely up to you — but plain old pink pen and paper work just fine for us.
Finally, use a scheduler to post consistently.
Although we don't want you to schedule your content and then disappear from social media, using a scheduler for Instagram can help you with your posting consistency. CinchShare makes scheduling for Instagram super easy (you can even check what your grid pattern will look like — if you're building one). Simply log into CinchShare from your computer, schedule your content for regular intervals on Instagram, and wait. When it's time to post, CinchShare will send you a reminder and help you copy both the photo and the caption over to Instagram in seconds. This will help make sure you don't skip days or even weeks simply because you got distracted with other things.
And that's it!! Five easy steps to creating a consistent theme on Instagram. Easier than you thought it was going to be, right?