How to Plan Instagram Like PLANOLY's Creative Director

    September 06 2017

    Our Creative Director, Brandy Pham, is a pro when it comes to smart planning. We're going to dive a little deeper into her planning process and give a few accessible tips to help you plan better. Brandy's go-to's for planning Instagram content are using PLANOLY's placeholder and swapping tools! These tools are super helpful for businesses or individuals - read on for the ins and outs of how you can utilize them for your own planning process.


    Placeholders save the spot on your grid until you determine what image or content you want in that position. They're basically used as fillers on your PLANOLY grid, and they come in handy when you're editing images, waiting to receive content, or are unsure of what you want to post. We plan our Instagram according to our content calendar, and will often add Placeholders onto our PLANOLY grid when we're not sure what image or video we want to post yet. It's helpful to label your Placeholder if you have an idea of what you want in that spot. For instance, if Brandy is unsure what image she wants to post for National Watermelon Day, she'll add a Placeholder in a similar color scheme and label it with a watermelon emoji and the date to post. This helps maintain our planning grid and keeps the flow consistent!

    How to use Placeholders:

    1. Click on 'Add New Media' for desktop or '+' in the bottom center for mobile.
    2. Select 'Placeholder'.
    3. Choose your color swatch.
    4. Enter in a label if you know what you want to replace this placeholder with (i.e: "selfie", use emojis for fun, or a specific date).
    5. Add 1 to 3 placeholders at a time!


    The next step in the planning process is swapping! Once you know what content you'd like to share in place of the Placeholder, it's time to swap it out. We like to post a variety of original content and user-generated content. Our Social Media Coordinator, Megan, looks on our grid and collects photos by color scheme along with the original credit and Instagram handle as the file name (this makes it easy to track and visibly see who the source is). Megan does this through our DISCOVER feature. Once our Creative Director reviews and selects the images she wants in place of the Placeholder - we use our swap feature to change out the image. These simple steps make the planning process extremely efficient and smooth!

    How to use Swapping:

      1. Select Placeholder you'd like to swap out.
      2. Click the 'Swap' icon on the bottom left for desktop or on the top right corner for mobile.
      3. Select your source and find the desired content you want to swap.
      4. Your Placeholder will be replaced with the chosen image, and you can finalize your planning from there!
        • To Swap on mobile apps: Tap into the placeholder to get to the "schedule view" screen.
          • Tap on the image/placeholder to preview/zoom in (or you can tap on the preview icon to the bottom far left of image).
          • Tap on the 'Swap' icon on the top right corner of this preview screen.
          • Follow the upload flow to replace/swap.

    *Pro Tip: Tune into our Instagram @planoly to watch the mobile tutorial.


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