Is your Instagram theme holding you back?

Do you have a theme for your Instagram grid?


Do you look at other accounts and think ‘I wish mine looked like that’?


Does not having a plan for your Instagram stop you from posting?


One of the questions I get asked alot is about an Instagram theme and whether you should have one. It's not a yes/no question, there are lots of things to consider.


We previously had one on Barry Magazine but it felt restrictive so now we go freestyle with our content.


There are pros and cons for both sides and it’s up to you to decide whether it will work for you but make sure it encourages you to post. Anything that creates a barrier is not going to help you and your business!


Here's some thoughts to help you decide if an Instagram grid theme is right for you.




Pros


It creates a structure for your grid


Having a theme creates a structure which means there is less to think about. If you know that every other post is a quote then it’s easier to create content to fill your grid. For someone starting out or if you feel like you don’t have the creativity to be consistent this can be a great positive and takes the pressure off.

It can make a break from selling


A structure with a few different type of posts can give a welcome pause from accidentally posting the same content everyday. If you’re a product based business you could work in threes. Use a product, then a graphic (quote, meme) and then social proof (customer testimonial or image) to create a theme that makes sure you have all of your content pillars covered.

It can look really nice


Finally, the reason I think most people decide to use a grid theme is because it can look really nice! There are so many ways you can choose to theme your grid, a diamond shape, groups in threes, white borders, using the same filter or vertical lines. There’s lots of suggestions here. Decide what you’re going to use and have fun with it!



Cons

It can mean TOO MUCH structure


Our theme on Barry Magazine went in threes. First there would be a picture, maybe of Barry Island or somewhere in South Wales. There there would be a page in the magazine featuring a local small business and finally a graphic which might be a fact about Barry, a title for some pictures or a question.

We found that especially during the summer months we were covering lots of events and the images always did well. If we had to post a page and a graphic between each image we were actually stopping our account from reaching more people and that just didn’t make sense. We decided to stop the grid theme and just post what was relevant that day and we started to notice as seasons changed the grid soon had its own colour scheme.

They start to look the same


Grids that use typical themes like the diamond checkerboard can start to look the same. What's going to make your account different and stand out? If we feel like we are always seeing the same content over and over again then Instagram becomes a draining place to be and it isn’t exciting anymore. Ask yourself is your grid helps your clients know what you’re about from a first glance of your profile.

You feel like you’re stuck with it


This is one of the most dangerous problems with the grid theme, you feel like you’re stuck with it! Remember, it’s your Instagram and you can try whatever style you like. Don't be a perfectionist that ends up procrastinating because you can't get it quite right, it's all trial and error.


If you use a theme and decide you don’t like it then just stop and go back to posting in a way that makes you comfortable. If a post doesn’t feel like you anymore you can always remove or archive it. Do what works for you!


Have you used a grid theme? Give me a follow on @Hannah.isted and let me know!

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