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Instagram Algorithm Tip: Carousel Posts

Multiple posts on Instagram™, more commonly called a carousel post, are helpful for so many reasons. But one of the biggest reasons to share a carousel posts is because it can boost your account in the Instagram™ algorithm!
Even if you’re familiar with carousel posts, you want to make sure you’re using them strategically to connect with your followers. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of using carousel posts and how you can work them into your content strategy.  In this blog post: 

What Is a Carousel Post?

First, let’s break down the elements of a carousel post. Originally introduced in 2017, these posts allow you to share up to 10 photos or videos in a single post. Carousel posts are easy to spot on someone’s feed. Just look for a stacked square icon in the upper-right corner of the post.  Sue B Zimmerman's Instagram timeline. When you open a carousel post you’ll see a number in the upper-right corner. This tells you how many photos or videos are in the post. An Instagram post that shows Sue B Zimmerman sitting at her table in a white blouse and blue skirt as she smiles confidently at her computer. Think of these posts as a mini photo album. Instead of breaking up your similar content into several posts, potentially running the risk of oversharing the same content, you can tell your story in a single post.  Carousel posts can also boost your chances with the Instagram™ algorithm. The more time people spend on your content, especially when they share it or like it, the more likely they are to see your Instagram™ posts and Stories in the future. 

Why You Should Share a Carousel Post

Improving your chances with the Instagram™ algorithm isn’t the only benefit of sharing carousel posts. One of the biggest benefits of Instagram is how easy it is to tell a dynamic story. Whether it’s an Instagram™ Story, IGTV, or Instagram™ Live, there’s a way to create an engaging narrative around your brand. For example, let’s say you’re attending a conference. You could share a carousel post that includes photos and videos that captures the main conference events and the people that you meet. Now you’ll have more opportunities to use tags and hashtags that can make your content more discoverable.  Another benefit of carousel posts is that you can edit your photos and videos all at once. That’s a huge timer. 

How to Create a Carousel Post

Now that we’ve gone over the basics of a carousel post, let’s dive into how to create one. First, tap on the plus sign and then the carousel icon (the stacked square icon in the lower-right corner). Then, tap on up to 10 photos or videos that you want to add to the carousel. If you want to delete a photo from your carousel just tap on it again.  Multiple photos are selected for Sue B Zimmerman's Instagram carousel post with the primary picture featuring her sitting at her desk smile confidently at her computer while wearing a purple blouse. Tap on next. If you want to change the order of your images or videos hold your finger down to rearrange your content. You can also add a filter that will apply to all of your carousel content. Tap on next to add your caption and geolocation. Finally, hit share to publish.   Sue B Zimmerman's selected photos for her carousel post with the filter options under the photos.

5 Ways to Use Carousel Posts

I get it, with so many ways to use carousel posts, it can seem like an overwhelming number of options. Here are five ways to use carousel posts for your business.

#1 Highlight a Before/After

Instagram carousel posts make it easier than ever to show transformations, whether it’s a home renovation or a wellness journey. For example, Julie used side-by-side photos in her carousel post to show the progress of her new fitness routine. Julie shares an Instagram carousel post with the first photo showing a side by side comparison of her standing in black workout pants and a pink sports bra.

#2 Show Your Happy Customers Holding Your Products

Photos lays are a really popular and aesthetically pleasing way to showcase products, but it’s not the only option. Take a look at how Faline Jones used a carousel post to highlight her happy customers holding their one-of-a-kind creations. One of Faline Jones' customers holds one of her small wooden block house creations.

#3 Breakup Your Text Graphics

Sharing graphics on Instagram is an increasingly popular trend. But rather than trying to squeeze all of your text into one graphic, try something like Liz did here with her carousel post. By breaking her graphic into a carousel post, the graphic is easier to read and gives her followers a reason to swipe all the way to the end. An Instagram carousel posts that shows a pink graphic with text that says you can rise to the occasion ... or you can rise to the occasion.

#4 Amplify Your Customer Testimonials

Sharing customer reviews is still one of the best ways to establish credibility for your brand. Rather than sharing a one-off review, gather these customer testimonials into a carousel post. For example, I used a combination of videos, photos, and screenshots in this carousel post to highlight some of my RSG Pro students. Sue B Zimmerman's pro client stands in front of a bookcase with assorted Instagram decorations and books.

#5 Nudge People from Your Stories to the Feed

By teasing your carousel post in Instagram™ Stories, you’re giving followers another reason to spend more time on your content. Plus, since your carousel posts have multiple pieces of content, you can even tease multiple frames like I did here with this graphic. Sue B Zimmerman's Instagram Story that shows a purple graphic that teases her post in the feed.

Instagram™ Tip: Make sure your hero shot, also known as the first clip, matches your feed aesthetic. 

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