Using Carousel Posts on Instagram
Sometimes one post isn't enough to illustrate your message. What if you have a story to tell? A product range you want to showcase? Or a video that's longer than 60 seconds? Welcome to carousel posting. This powerful tool can help you tell a story, increase your engagement, and elevate your brand.
Nothing is stopping you from publishing ten posts at once, one after the other. Just remember that by doing so, you're likely to overwhelm your viewer's feed. No one wants their feed hijacked by "overposting." Most followers might tolerate it once, but if it becomes a pattern, you begin to open the infamous "unfollow me" door.
Turning One Post Into a Story.
Carousel posting allows you to create a visual story that only pops up in a viewer's feed as a single post. But surprise surprise, the post is an interactive story where the viewer can scroll through and "turn the page" to find out what happens next.
Keep it Seamless.
Make sure the images tell a cohesive story that progresses as the viewer scrolls through. When selecting the pictures you want to include, pay special attention to the order. Once the post is active, you will not be able to go back and change the sequence. You can also kick it up a level and imagine your post in panoramic! Create a seamless experience by designing a background that "flows" as it scrolls. This approach can solidify a story and entice viewers to scroll through to the end.
Chop it Up.
When building content make sure to plan, and as you start creating a carousel post, swap your "portrait" mindset for that of a "landscape." Instead of designing a square, aim for a rectangle that can later be chopped up into three squares (or more). Carousel posting might take a few extra steps, but the payoff is massive. As they have higher engagement rates and typically perform better than stand-alone images or videos.
With videos running longer than 60 seconds, cut them into increments instead and post them in order within your carousel. As a viewer gets done with one clip, they can move onto the next. Just be mindful of editing and make sure each increment ends smoothly while encouraging the viewer to scroll to the next clip.
Here is an example of a carousel post in action, using three separate images designed to create a seamless flow as the viewer scrolls through. Instead of taking all 4 of the new drinks and placing them into one post, we've taken our time to include the names and ingredients for each. It's our story, after all, and we want our followers to be informed!
When you come across a carousel post they'll be a 1/X in the top right hand corner, where x is the total number of images in the post. But it's smart to remind viewers with a call to action like, swipe here, scroll, or swipe for more. which can be displayed in the visuals and/or the caption below the post. Help ensure your followers know the post is interactive and meant for scrolling!
Setting Up a Post.
Carousel posts are very easy to setup. Open Instagram and select the "+" to create a new post. In the bottom right hand corner of the post frame you will see three options: boomerang, combine and carousel (the icon with the layered squares). One selected carousel allows you to choose up to 10 images to display in the post, numbered in the order they will appear. Pretty simple.
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