Can there really be 1 hack — above all others — to increase engagement on Instagram? It’s definitely an audacious claim, if I do say so myself. But today, I’d like you to put me (or the hack, if you will) to the test.
It’s all about carousel posts! AKA a series of photos.
Let’s dig deep into how and why you need to use carousel posts on Instagram more often…
More often than not, when it comes to Instagram, we’re looking for that perfect post. Maybe you set up your camera, put it on a self-timer, and you’ve taken 30 selfies. Then you decide which one is the most flattering or best suits the caption you have in mind for this particular post. Next, you put some filters on it or a preset or add some colors — so it matches your branding.
You’ve just spent all this time focused on one image! Finally, when it meets all of your standards… you upload it and write a great caption. The end.
More often than not, that’s what people are doing, right?
But what Instagram wants you to do is keep people on your page longer.
As I’ve written before, we call this focusing on the top — meaning, time on platform. Instagram will reward accounts where people tend to hang out, take their time. That can happen any number of ways, like:
- Writing a meaningful comment
- Watching a series of videos
- Swiping through a series of photos
Obviously, users are going to spend the least amount of time when the content is a single photo with a short caption. There’s nothing to hold people’s attention. You’re in and you’re out.
That puts you at a real disadvantage!
In contrast, a carousel post, allows you to post up to 10 pieces of content. This might be any combination of photos and videos. Instagram is basically telling us, “Hey, we’re giving you a whole lot of real estate here. Please use it all.”
Should you always post 10? There’s no harm in it, that’s for sure.
Here’s your Increase Engagement action item for today:
Make your next post a carousel post. How many images or how many pieces of content should you put in that carousel? Well, that’s up to you, but obviously you will not be penalized by using up to 10 pieces of content.
Inside scoop: When you post more than one photo, Instagram will split test on your behalf.
So, let’s imagine, for example, their fancy algorithm notices that people double tap (i.e., like) your post most often when they get to the 4th pic. IG will then run an experiment by showing your 4th pic first thing in someone’s feed. Your followers will be none the wiser and just think THAT was the pic you decided to feature as the main one (in your series of photos / videos).
Isn’t that cool?
Hence, if you’re using carousel posts, you have a much higher likelihood of getting more engagement.
For much more on this topic, like tips on what I do with my carousel posts to further increase engagement, check out the Build Your Tribe episode below:
And don’t forget to subscribe to BYT — wherever you get your pods — for weekly social media hacks!