Instagram is well known as a feed of updates and content. Recommendations for how to best manage your Instagram feed are all over the map. Some people say you must post daily, others give you specific times of day to post or insist you must post more than once a day. (I don’t subscribe to that last one AT ALL.)
If you find yourself saying things like, “I just hate posting on Instagram” or “I just don’t have time to spend on social media”, it may be time to shift your approach toward an Instagram static post feed, also known as an Instagram 9-Grid.
What is an Instagram 9-Grid?
A 9-Grid (or sometimes an Instagram 12-Grid) means you create 9 (or 12) static Instagram posts for your page, and these posts don’t change. Typically, these posts are cohesive and essentially build a decorative page visual. The Instagram 9-Grid exists in place of your typical Instagram feed that is updated regularly.
The key to a successful Instagram static post feed is creating a grid that is visually appealing, along with Instagram elements that provide information or CTAs that visitors need when they visit your Insta page. For some, that means creating a 9-Grid that includes various CTAs. For others, that means being really strategic with your Instagram bio and highlights.
Switching to an Instagram Static Post Grid
There are a few things to consider before you decide to make the switch to a 9-Grid or a 12-Grid.
- How much of your website traffic and/or sales come from social media? If Instagram is a revenue driver for your business, or if you need social media to drive conversions, this may not be the best approach.
- Do you have specific calls to action that you want Instagram page visitors to take? These are things you’ll want to incorporate in the Instagram grid design, as well as when updating your Insta bio and highlights.
- Do you need to push out timely information or updates to your customers/potential customers? If you regularly add new products, have sales, rotate specials, etc., you may find an Instagram static grid to be limiting.
- Are you trying to grow your Instagram following or track engagement metrics? Moving to an Instagram 9-Grid is a different strategy than using an Instagram feed, so growth and engagement will no longer be key performance indicators (KPIs).
Instagram 12-Grid Case Study: Two Peaks Cabin
Two Peaks Cabin is a VRBO in Glacier, WA. The cabin is an investment property for the owners and not their primary gig – so posting regularly on social media was a challenge.
And, in short, updates rarely happened with any consistency!
Additionally, with the lack of attention paid to their Instagram posts, the feed was chaotic at best. It was not cohesive and was a good example of what happens when you post whatever, whenever.
I’ll pause here to note that my husband and I own this property, so it’s ok to speak so boldly about our lack of social media effort or strategy!
When we looked at the main drivers of revenue for Two Peaks Cabin, we determined that social media was not a priority. Bookings come primarily through AirBnB and VRBO directly, with a handful coming from the website.
However, we did want to maintain a visually appealing page to appear in search and to provide booking details, just in case someone landed there wanting more information.
Instagram 12-Grid Before and After
We decided on a 12-Grid, creating the best presentation on a mobile phone. We added keyword rich text with a few strategic hashtags to each post to catch IG’s robust search function.
Since we were no longer posting regular updates on our Instagram feed, we were very intentional with the highlights below the bio. Keyword rich content in the Instagram bio helps visitors find our page when searching and strategic highlights let them gather as much information about the cabin from Instagram as they could from the booking websites.
We also included booking links to AirBnB and VRBO in a “Book Now” highlight, so users can jump directly into their preferred vacation rental platform from our IG page.
Always make it easy to purchase!
Updating an Instagram Account with a Static Grid Feed
Once you create a static 9-Grid or a 12-Grid, you will not want to update Instagram with static posts. Doing so will upset the grid. However, hopefully that’s the low maintenance Instagram experience you were hoping for! Set it and forget it update things occasionally.
When you do post updates to Instagram, you can do that with Stories (which allow you to include links!) or Reels. And you can update the highlights with anything you may want top of mind – like the newest highlight listing restaurants to visit in Glacier in our example above.
Ready for an Instagram Static Grid Approach?
Static Instagram post feeds and 9-Grids may not be for everyone. But if you find it impossible to “feed the beast” and you want to consider a low-maintenance option, this might be a way to go.
This type of approach will not be a big driver of conversions since you’re not updating or engaging. BUT! If done thoughtfully and strategically, it can serve as a lovely landing spot for visitors who can then jump into your more active marketing channels.
If you’re 9-Grid curious and want some help, send us an email. Our team loves creating low-maintenance Instagram grids!