Why You Should Just Say NO to Giant Square Grids on Instagram!


Instagram trends come and go but the giant square grid trend on Instagram is one we wish would disappear and NEVER come back!

What is a giant square grid?
The giant square grid is when one square photo is cut into nine individual segments and each one of those squares is its own photo to post on Instagram.

Why do people like it?
When these posts are planned out into an Instagram posting strategy, they look like giant photos when you are viewing that user’s profile.

Why do we not recommend it?
First, when these separate photos get posted to Instagram, it is nine photos posted back to back within a few minutes. We do not recommend posting more than one time per day. Posting nine photos in one day is not ideal.

Second, your followers are not going to see these images in order on their feeds. What they’ll end up seeing is a random order of posts from the nine, intermingled with posts from other accounts that they follow.

Third, photos that do not make sense as standalone pictures will not get good engagement and therefor bring down the potential success of your other posts. Instagram’s algorithm is constantly changing but what seems to be consistent is that posts that are performing better will be shown to more people. This could negatively effect posts you do after the grid.

Fourth, if you want your feed to look good all the time, you’ll need to be extra aware of the content you schedule and make sure to time the posts in numbers of 3.

Here is an example from the grid above. If you saw this photo in your feed, would you like it? Probably not.

Here is an example from the grid above. If you saw this photo in your feed, would you like it? Probably not.


What should you do if you have giant square grid posts on your account?
This is completely up to you! Depending on how long ago you posted these images, they may not be delivering to your follower’s feeds anymore with the algorithm. If you added hashtags or a geotag to your posts, they may still appear when searching through a specific hashtag or geotag, depending on how popular that tag is.

Our recommendation would be to archive or delete these posts. When you archive a post, it is not visible to anyone other than you and you can only see it when viewing all the posts that have been archived.

To archive a post on Instagram:

  1. Tap the post you wish to archive to view it full screen.

  2. Tap the three dots ( . . . ) in the top right corner of the post.

  3. Choose “Archive.”

There are very few exceptions!
There are accounts who utilize the grid strategy well. An example is to use the giant square grid to create one cohesive image when you view their feed. This account then does not post more photos to their Instagram account. Instead, they utilize Instagram stories exclusively while maintaining a visually beautiful feed.

What is an InstaMeet?

Instagrammers at the #sfoRSJ InstaMeet at Santa Fe Opera hosted by @simplysantafenm, July 20, 2017.

Instagrammers at the #sfoRSJ InstaMeet at Santa Fe Opera hosted by @simplysantafenm, July 20, 2017.


Instameets are gatherings of people coming together to create, connect and share an experience through Instagram photography. The events usually involve a behind the scenes tour, access to something that isn’t normally available to the general public, or giveaways of product in support of the promotion. Instameets have a unique hashtag designated to identify the particular event. Users include this hashtag in the caption of their images so they will be part of the conversation and social media storytelling told through the collection of photographs produced at that event. Many Instagrammers have developed real connections and friendships with the people they have met through these experiences, making each subsequent gathering a true community event.  

The participants who come to the Instameets vary depending on their interest in what the event has to offer. The images produced during and after an event have potential to reach an international demographic because posts are seen by a diverse group of followers.  

The benefits of hosting or participating in an InstaMeet are threefold:

  1. The event brings people to your brick and mortar location and/or brand awareness.

  2. Your business/organization receives publicity through the images produced at your location as they are broadcast to the Instagrammers diverse social media networks.

  3. Your business then has a collection of “User Generated Content” which can be used to promote your business/organization on your social media platforms, with proper photo credit. (Learn more about UGC in our blog post “How to Correctly Utilize User-Generated Content on Social Media”.)

Influencer marketing is becoming increasingly prevalent on social media. In fact, it on is on pace to become an $8 billion dollar industry by 2020. More and more businesses are using it, and hosting an InstaMeet event is a great way to work with several influencers at one time. As the leading influencer marketing agency in New Mexico, we can help you create an InstaMeet event that benefits everyone involved.

Hashtag Tip: Keyboard Shortcut

Do you have a collection of hashtags that you frequently use but don’t want to have to remember every single one or type them in manually each time? Here is our favorite time saving tip!

How to Create a Keyboard Shortcut (Text Replacement):

It is helpful start by creating a Note on your mobile device. Type out different categories for hashtags and every hashtag you can think of that you use when you post about that topic.

Simply Social Media hashtag note example.jpg

Next, create a Text Replacement (Keyboard Shortcut) 
iOS: Settings > General > Keyboard > Text Replacement
Android: Settings > Language & Input > Personal Dictionary

In the "phrase" section, type (or copy/paste) hashtags that you want to remember. Then in the "shortcut" section use a keyword that applies to these hashtags. You can create as many shortcuts as you need and have different hashtags in different shortcuts if needed.

One of the things we found useful was to add "ig" before each keyword since we use these shortcuts the most on Instagram. We figured this out after creating a hashtag category for "beer hashtags" and then every time we typed the word "beer" the hashtags would autopopulate even when that was not our intention. After we switched the shortcut keyword to "igbeer", we don't run into that issue anymore!

Simply Social Media hashtag Keyboard Shortcut Text Replacement .jpg

Remember: capitalization does not matter in hashtags, they are not case sensitive. We occasionally use capitalization to help draw attention to the words used in the hashtags and so they are easy to read. It is NOT necessary to put commas in between hashtags. It’s technically not even necessary to put spaces between hashtags, but that becomes a jumbled mess of characters so we don’t recommend omitting spaces altogether.

There you go! We would love to know what you thought about this tip and which categories you have created for your hashtag shortcuts.

How to Correctly Utilize User-Generated Content on Social Media

A brand can reasonably assume that if a person shares a photo on social media and tagged the brand in the photo and/or used the brand's hashtag means they intended for the company to see it and hopefully share or repost it. The most common way that this happens is through the use of a specific hashtag, which can convincingly be argued would only be used by consumers aware of the company’s campaign and gives implied consent. 

Here are 4 Key Rules When Utilizing User-Generated Content:

  1. Photo credit must always be given to the photographer.

    • Example: Photo by @username, Photo credit: @username, 📷: @username, etc.

  2. Do not make any changes to the photograph. For example, do not crop, edit, or add text to the photo in any way without explicit permission from the photographer.

  3. Copyright of images will always be retained by the photographer so if a business or brand wants to use an image found on social media for purposes other than sharing on their social media channels, it is best practice to ask permission from the photographer before using the image on any sort of marketing material, print or digital. Businesses and brands may ask for permission through social media via commenting or direct messaging.

  4. If images are to be used outside of social media, always discuss with the photographer first.

    • Ways to Ask Permission:

      • Comment on photo asking for permission to repost image or what your intentions would be for that image.

      • Direct Message the photographer asking for permission & explaining usage intentions.

When in doubt about what to do the safest route is to ask permission from the photographer that way there is no misunderstanding.

An App we use is called Repost. It can put the photographer's Instagram username on the image/video or for $1 you can upgrade to remove this feature.

An App we use is called Repost. It can put the photographer's Instagram username on the image/video or for $1 you can upgrade to remove this feature.


Vocabulary Terms for Sharing USG on Social Media

  • Repost (Instagram)

  • Retweet/Quote Tweet (Twitter)

  • Share (Facebook)

Disclaimer: This information should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion. You should not rely on any such information as legal advice without actually consulting with legal counsel.