You want to tell your client’s brand story, and Instagram is the perfect platform to do it. But what goes into planning and scheduling the perfect feed for an agency or small business? And how can Sked Social (formerly Schedugram) help you not only reach your client’s business goals, but surpass them (yes, it’s possible!)? The answer is simple: an Instagram scheduling app. We recently spoke with Morgan Alverson of Syrup Marketing on their Instagram content strategy for their clients—and how using Sked Social’s Instagram scheduling app helps them do this, efficiently and professionally. Combining Sked with their Instagram content strategy helps them to plan, streamline, and automate their processes—freeing them up to create the best content for their clients instead! Image Source: Syrup Marketing 1. Can you share a little bit about yourself? I have been a content strategist at Syrup for three years now, working to create content that helps small businesses grow in both maturity and revenue. This content includes all digital assets such as social media, blogs, emails, landing pages, websites, and brand strategies. Whether it’s crafting a message for your market, representing yourself visually, or navigating the complexities of marketing, our team is here to give you an edge over your competitors. Instagram Story Metrics Made Easy Grab our ebook Your Guide to Instagram Stories: Measuring What Matters to take Your Instagram Stories game up a notch! 2. Why did you decide to use Sked Social’s Instagram scheduling app? What challenges were you facing at Syrup Marketing that it helped solve? We always work a month in advance to strategically create a full month’s social content for our clients. Before, once that content was approved, it was being scheduled to go out…except for Instagram. The challenge we faced here was overcoming the time-cost of making special allowances for Instagram, outside of our normal content scheduling. Our team was having to: Stop work to post to Instagram; and Schedule Instagram posts during work hours, even when a client’s best time to post was weekends or at night. Obviously, either here wasn’t ideal. When we found Sked’s Instagram scheduling app, we jumped in right away. It was the solution to all of our problems! Thanks to Sked, we can now create our best content at the best times of the day for any region. We have the confidence it will be posted when it should be—all without interrupting our day. This has saved us considerable time with Sked’s Instagram scheduling app, freeing our team up to be more creative with content planning and creation. 3. Can you share about your favorite Sked features to use? How does it make your life easier? Most importantly for us, the calendar feature is amazing – being able to see when posts are going out has enabled us maintain a high standard of quality content for our clients. I also really love the planner feature. This allows us to see the client’s feed, with the ability to rearrange them as needed and react to any client changes or requests, quickly and efficiently. We have a few clients that have multiple locations, each with a different Instagram account. The ability to upload one image and select each location is a HUGE time saver! This allows us to work with a variety of clients in size and industry, and manage all of their accounts from the one platform. For our team, there’s no denying that Sked’s Instagram scheduling app features offer great benefits to us and the agency. 4. Can you share a little bit about how you manage Instagram planning? Most importantly for us is the content planning and creation. For each of our clients, we create content for all of their social accounts one month at a time and send to each client for approval. During this time we come up with creative captions and show how every platform works together. It also allows us to strategically plan for events, key dates, and big themes in a client’s business. From there, we schedule everything (AT ONCE!! Hallelujah) in advance through Sked Social. Hashtags are a simple, effective and free way to reach more of the kinds of people who would be interested in your content. For our clients, hashtag research is vital. Hashtags are discovered during our initial discovery month with a client—we do a lot of research during this time—which is then reviewed regularly each month and particularly when there’s a campaign or upcoming launch. Using Sked’s Hashtag Manager makes life easier for us, as we can store all of our hashtags gathered from earlier research and utilise them where needed. Meet Sked - The most powerful Instagram scheduling platform A place to plan & schedule your Instagram posts, Stories, videos and more. Tag locations, users and products and manage all your hashtags in one place to save 5+ hours every week. 5. Can you share some stats with us? Nowadays, we spend approximately 10 hours per month on the Sked platform for all of our clients (approximately half an hour per client, every month). This is light years better than in the past, where we spent countless hours uploading each individual image to Instagram! We’re therefore more efficient overall, and much happier, now we’re using Sked. 6. Can you share some expert Instagram scheduling app tips for success? Don’t just post to post. Set a clear strategy for each client’s Instagram account and review every quarter. Planning in advance greatly helps you to be more strategic and see the overall view for each client. With any social media channel, having a clear plan in place for posting helps a lot in providing not only structure for your team but also a professional image for your client’s brand. We’ve found that setting a monthly schedule for content uploads is a great way to manage this more effectively. This allows your team to have adequate time to align all of your content planning with your goals, values, any client KPI’s, and upcoming key dates, campaigns or launches. Having clarity on your goals is really important for Instagram. Lastly, we have found that for agencies, using the planner feature in Sked to be of great benefit and highly recommend it. It allows your team to manage each client’s strategy within the platform more efficiently and be more strategic overall, in turn providing greater results for your clients (and happier clients!). Instagram Story Metrics Made Easy Grab our ebook Your Guide to Instagram Stories: Measuring What Matters to take Your Instagram Stories game up a notch! Here are some Instagram time-saving tips for Instagram Scheduling that Syrup Marketing uses (that the team at Sked loves!): Planning ahead Crafting and posting the perfect Instagram post can be time-consuming—especially if you’re always waiting until the last minute or day of to create your posts. Consistency is also key to growth on Instagram. So scheduling your Instagram posts and ensuring regular updates are planned in advance will create a win-win situation for you and your clients—in boosting reach and engagement, plus also by saving you valuable time throughout the day. Therefore, scheduling your posts ahead of time is a far more productive and effective way to create and share your Instagram content. You can also avoid the time costs associated with multi-tasking and context switching by batching your tasks together. Simply by spending an hour or two creating and scheduling your posts for the week or month ahead, you can save loads of time and keep a consistent visual quality look and feel across your channel. Understanding the value in planning ahead, Syrup Marketing plans their content schedules for clients at least one month in advance. This way they can stay one step ahead in content planning, give their clients time to review and provide feedback, and be ready for any last minute changes or requests. Tip: Keep your clients happy and your agency looking professional by being proactive in the content planning and seeing opportunities in advance for greater results. Batching content creation Once you have a plan in place for each client, content creation is the next step but this can be time-consuming if you’re not prepared or have the right tools in place. For Instagram scheduling, preparing assets within an organised system will greatly help you save time. Using tools like Dropbox or Google Drive allows you to maintain a clear and simple hub of assets to use across your channels, and plan ahead for upcoming months or be ready for any last minute requests. Assets to consider are: Images: Instagram images require a set size (1,200 x 1,200 pixels) and often need to consider a certain alignment if the image is larger than this. Having folders set-up with images covering your topics/themes and branded images will help make content planning easier and faster, find the right content to add into your scheduling tool (like Sked Social), plus also help you avoid repetition of content. Bulk uploading content into Sked is a great way to batch your content scheduling. Captions: Instagram captions are limited to 2,200 characters, and after three lines of text they become truncated with an ellipsis. Try to include any key details at the front of your caption. Preparing potential captions in advance in a shared Google Doc or Sheet, can help make content creation easier and more concise. Hashtags: Hashtags allow Instagrammers to discover content and accounts to follow. Research from Track Maven found that posts with over 11 hashtags tend to get more engagement. Keeping a list of your latest hashtag research is a valuable approach to take. You can store each hashtag within Sked as well. @-mentions: Is there anyone else featured in your image? Then you could @-mention them in the caption. This will notify them when you put the post live on Instagram (and hopefully they’ll comment or share as well!). Having a list of potential or regular Instagram accounts you feature is a handy way to be organised—if you’re using Sked, these can be all saved within the platform. As Syrup Marketing does, setting some time aside each month to prepare content assets and ensure your content calendar is not only ready at least one month ahead, but is also ready for the upcoming months. Tip: Create a storyboard with your team that runs 2-3 months ahead, to start content planning and creation well in advance. Thanks to Morgan and the Syrup Marketing team for sharing insights into their Instagram planning and scheduling. You can follow them at @syrup_marketing. Want To Learn More About Sked’s Instagram Scheduling App? Want to learn more about how you can use Sked Social’s Instagram scheduling app for your business? To carve out hours in your social media workflow, start by signing up for Sked’s 7-day trial. As an all-in-one social media platform that allows its users to post directly to Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and more, Sked is the first step in engaging authentically with your followers. You can book a Sked demo today with us to find out more!