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Written by Amanda Webb

Last modified February 28, 2020 at 2:32 pm

Instagram Carousel Best Practices to Make Your Audience Stop Scrolling and Start Engaging

Instagram carousel posts, do you use them? Are you looking for ways that you can use them more effectively? I’m going to show you some creative ways you can use Instagram carousels in your feed.

But before we start …

Instagram carousel posts engage your audience for longer periods of time. Because Instagram users are swiping through your images, not just scrolling by, they are immersed in your content—until they move on.

The problem with carousels is that it’s hard to stop people scrolling long enough to get them to swipe. 

Plus, it’s also not always obvious that a post is swipeable. The only indication in the feed is the line of dots below the post.

Instagram does give you a helping hand. Once someone sees the first slide of your carousel in the feed, Instagram will resurface the post later with the second slide displaying. So even if your viewers scroll past the first time, you get a second chance to engage them with slide two. So, every slide in your Instagram Carousel post is as important as the first one.

Are you a newbie in creating Instagram Carousels? If so, check out these two ways to create them.

Through the Native Platform

Open your Instagram app and click the plus button to create a post.

Click on the square stacked icon at the bottom right-hand side of the selected photo.

Click the stacked square icon to create an Instagram carousel post

Click the stacked square icon to create an Instagram carousel post

Tap to select up to 10 photos and videos to add to your carousel.

You can filter each slide individually by clicking on it, or you can select a filter for the whole post by clicking an option at the bottom of the screen.

Filter your whole post or choose a filter for each slide in the carousel

Filter your whole post or choose a filter for each slide in the carousel

Click next and post to Instagram the same way you post standard posts.

Through the Agorapulse Mobile App

Instagram doesn’t enable third-party platforms to directly publish multiple images to a post. (You can read about the technical limits of Instagram direct publishing if you have the time.) So, what do you do if you’re happily using Agorapulse dashboard and want to publish a Carousel post? No problem—you can still make the magic happen through your mobile.

Here’s how:

First, make sure you have installed the Agorapulse mobile app on your iOS or Android device.

Log into Agorapulse web app and craft your post. Select the images, upload them.

Screenshot of Agorapulse Social Media Management Tool on how to set up an Instagram Carousel

A little warning message in blue will appear to let you know you’ll receive a push notification on your mobile.

Schedule or queue your post as you’d do it for any other post. When the time comes, you’ll receive a push notification on your mobile device. From there, you can finish publishing directly on Instagram. (Get more info on publishing multiple images to Instagram here.)

manage multiple instagram accounts from only one tool

Get Creative With Carousels

Start with a video

If you want to get people viewing your carousel, you need to capture their attention first. Using a video in your first slide is one way to grab attention. Because video moves as you scroll by, you have a better chance of catching the eye than with a static image.

Create a panorama

The nice thing about Instagram carousels is that there is no frame or break between the slides. This makes them a perfect way to share a horizontal or panorama shot.

Aviation Photographer OneMoreWeekToGo uses this technique to get stunning, close-up photos of planes. If he was limited to a single image, you wouldn’t be able to see as much detail.

Creating panorama shots like this doesn’t require hours of cropping or photoshop. You can use an app.

For iOS:  Swipeable panorama

This is my favorite iOS app for creating panorama carousel posts. As well as splitting your image into squares for posting on Instagram, it makes the first square a video that nudges people to swipe for more. See the example below.

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For Android: Insta Panorama

Swipeable isn’t available for Android, but Insta Panorama is a good alternative.

It doesn’t have the video at the start but you can create a panorama carousel in seconds.

Keep your feed pretty

Is your grid a carefully curated thing of beauty? Do you cringe when you have to post something that might destroy your style?

Shoe company APL has an exquisitely stylized feed. They’ve come up with a clever way of keeping their grid looking beautiful and on-brand while sharing user-generated content. It involves carousels.

Each week, they pick an image from one of their customers and award them “Photo of the Week” on Instagram. To showcase this and keep their feed looking beautiful, they hide the user-generated post behind their on-brand photo in a carousel post.

Let’s Talk Themed Carousels

It’s tempting to add a random selection of photos to your carousel but when they have a theme, they will engage your audience more.

My all-time favorite carousel is this one from the day Instagram went down. It’s a great piece of newsjacking from Innocent, and the theme made me laugh out loud.

Showcase products

Carousels allow you to show off your products in an engaging way.

This post from hijabi_iy shows off different styles of beachwear. Paired with the question “Lovelies😍Which style do you prefer ??!” it’s bound to get people swiping and engaging.

Focus on storytelling

Because you view one slide at a time, carousels are perfect for storytelling.

This simple 2 slide carousel from shows the problem in the first slide and shows us how to solve it in the second.

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Getting healthy: expectation vs. reality. (Swipe) 🤪 . With so many tips and advice out there, getting healthy can definitely seem overwhelming! As health and fitness bloggers, it’s our job to equip you with new ideas and tips, but what’s the best way of incorporating new tips into your routine? Here’s a great way to approach setting up new habits because we all know darn well it’s not that easy. . 1 – Pick one or two areas at a time: In order to get a new habit to truly stick, it’s easier to focus on that for a little bit before adding in a new habit. . 2 – Value progress over perfection: It’s all about baby steps in the right direction. Don’t compare yourself to someone who’s been meal prepping and eating clean for 5 years. Instead compare yourself to your habits last week. Are you eating less processed foods? Are you making more meals at home? Those are all wins! . 3 – Be kind & forgiving to yourself: You wouldn’t talk to a friend in a cruel or belittling way, so why do that to yourself? Life’s a cha-cha. You may take one step back to take three steps forward and that’s what matters. . Remember, if you see people with all these great habits, they didn’t add them overnight. Also not every tip/health habit etc will resonate with you. Maybe meditation isn’t your thing but you find a gratitude practice grounding. Maybe you hate the sauna but hot yoga is where it’s at for you. Try out things and find what fits with your schedule 😄 . Hope you found this helpful xoxo, Amanda Credit: @meowmeix . . . #cleaneating #healthyeating #nutrition #cleaneats #mealprep #holistichealth #foodprep #holisticliving #holistic #fitfood #protein #weightloss #mealplan #paleo #holistichealing #holisticnutrition #naturalhealth #healthychoices #mealprepsunday #healthyfood #mealprepping #macros #mealprepmonday #foodismedicine #flexibledieting #iifym #instahealth #glutenfree

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Carousels are made for tutorials. You can swipe through learning as you go. use carousels to share tips and tutorials on how to draw. Here’s one on how to draw hands.

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Cartoon drawing of polaroid images with sheets of analytics about Instagram Carousel

Amanda Webb

Amanda Webb from Spiderworking works with businesses to help them develop digital marketing strategies that get better results. She's been working iin digital marketing since 2017. She’s a blogger, vlogger, podcaster and self-confessed content addict. Her blog has won awards nationally and internationally (read it here) and she just loves to talk marketing. When she’s not creating she loves watching Dr Who, playing with her cats and going for long cycles in the Irish countryside. Follow her on Twitter here.

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