One of the most buzzed about social media changes in 2017 is the new Instagram update known as “Instagram galleries,” “Instagram albums,” or simply “carousel.”
You may be familiar with carousel ads, which Instagram had as a paid feature. Now, that same feature is available for free to all users to share their stories. The carousel feature lets users upload up to 10 videos and static images in a single Instagram post. This feature is ideal for social media managers and content creators who are looking to increase visual storytelling capabilities on social media platforms. It’s also ideal for those who struggle to choose just one image for an Instagram post.
How can you take advantage of the new carousel feature to promote your business? Here are 10 ideas.
- Team member carousels. This helps your customers build a relationship with your business. Take a picture of each team member and post it in one carousel along with a group shot at the end to showcase your corporate culture. Utilize the “Boomerang” feature to make this carousel come to life.
- Before-and-after carousels. Does your brand run photo challenge contests on Instagram? Put a new twist on the tried and true idea by challenging your customers to submit before-and-after shots, showing how your product has transformed their lives. If you are a cosmetic dentist, you could share a series of before-and-after cosmetic makeover photos, demonstrating your services.
- Case study carousels. Use a carousel to showcase your best case studies. Figure out how to bring your work to life by leveraging video and photography, and showcase your top 10 case studies in a carousel. This is a great way to show off your success by leveraging a visual medium. Get creative with how you want to tell the story. No one wants to read basic case studies, so use Instagram to make them come to life. Tag customers and brands that you are referencing for an added bonus.
- Thematic album carousels. If you are business-to-business (B2B), the ability to create themed carousels is a great way to take advantage of Instagram albums. For example, you can create a carousel on your company’s top press moments or a carousel with the best photos at your company’s Breast Cancer Walk.
- New product carousels. Post a carousel with close-ups and a video of the product in one album. This will allow your customers to see your product from all angles without feeling like they have been spammed with a bunch of posts in their feed. Imagine being able to show off a clothing item from all sides or demonstrate how to use a complex appliance in a single post.
- Behind-the-scenes carousels. Buyers who are passionate about a brand love to get the inside scoop into how a product is manufactured and how a creative team brainstorms ideas. The carousel format is perfect for sharing these behind the scenes moments. Behind the scenes footage will make your customers and associates feel like they were right there with you.
- Product demo carousels. If you are looking to promote a specific product from all angles, Instagram carousel is a great option. Post close-up photos and a demo, and customers will be able to visualize themselves using your products, which may give your bottom line a crucial boost.
- New line/collection carousels. If your business involves clothing, use a carousel to pinpoint each item in a look. This is great for your new spring arrivals. Highlighting each item of clothing from your spring collection will inspire your customers to try out new styles and imitate what you share. This is the perfect opportunity to tag brands so your customers can find other clothes they might enjoy from the spring collection.
- Sequential tutorial carousels. If you sell a cooking ingredient or kitchen appliance, you could use a sequence of images or videos to walk followers through a recipe, which might inspire them to purchase your product. If your company sells surfboards, you can share a sequence of videos and images to help new surfers get started with their first board. This may be all someone needs to take the plunge and make a purchase after seeing how to use the product.
- “Best of” album carousels. If you are a celebrating your companies fifth anniversary, put together a “best of” album showcasing your top moments over the years. For example, you could choose one image to represent the best of each of your five years in business.
After you have chosen the images for your Instagram album, be sure to tag all featured brands in the post. Also, if you are including multiple photos or videos in a carousel, remember to shoot in a horizontal format. If you want to reorder the slideshow images, tap and hold an image to move it from the beginning to the end. You can drag it to change the order or delete a photo from the post altogether. You also have the option of filtering all the posts with the same filter or individually.
Instagram albums are brand new, so jump ahead of the competition and leverage carousels to gain visibility for your business before everyone else starts doing it. The goal is to figure out how to take content and use social media to tell the story in a new, social media friendly way. Don’t get overwhelmed by all the changes in the social media networks. Instead, focus on the story you want to tell, and leverage the networks to help you tell your brand’s story.
Kris Ruby is the CEO of Ruby Media Group, a Public Relations and Social Media Agency. Kris Ruby is a frequent on air TV contributor and speaks on social media, tech trends and crisis communications. For more information, visit rubymediagroup.com or www.krisruby.com