Over the years, Instagram has introduced many new tools to make it easier for users to customize their feeds and increase engagement. You should use stories, IGTV, and reels in your Instagram workflow, but a relatively easy way to increase engagement is to use Instagram’s carousel feature. Using a photo carousel to create more engaging Instagram content is covered in this article.

What is an Instagram carousel?

An Instagram carousel is a collection of images that are grouped together into one post. Stories that require multiple images can be told using these posts. A carousel on Instagram can show before and after photos of a DIY project, an outfit, or a room. Share recipes or show different aspects of a recent vacation, or write about a recent recipe with process shots.

Do Instagram carousels increase engagement?

There are a number of factors that determine your engagement rate, including the size of your following, the content you post, and the genre you post the most. Photo carousel posts outperform video posts by a wide margin, with almost 5.13% engagement on smaller accounts, according to Social Insider.

Do hashtags work on a carousel post?

The average Instagram user reports that their carousel posts generate very little engagement from hashtags, leading us to wonder if hashtags work on carousel posts at all. No matter how popular a carousel post may be, hashtag engagement on Instagram is virtually nonexistent. Do you think you should stop using hashtags altogether? No, definitely not. So, keep using hashtags for now, as they won’t hurt your reach or engagement.

Can you promote an Instagram carousel post?

Carousel posts on Instagram can definitely be promoted. However, you should decide your ultimate goal before you spend any money on Instagram. Want your profile, website, or direct messages to increase? Going organic is a better option if all you want is more overall engagement. Here is how you can promote your Instagram carousel:

  1. Choose the post that you wish to promote from the carousel.
  2. From the menu, select your goal and tap Next.
  3. By selecting the menu options, you can define your audience. You can certainly target your audience manually, but Instagram makes it easy for you.
  4. Tap Next.
  5. Choose your budget and tap Next.
  6. Tap Create Promotion.

How to create an engaging Instagram carousel

Choosing a bunch of photos and calling it a day is not the best method for creating an engaging Instagram carousel. Your caption and photos should work together with the story you’re trying to tell. These are some tips to make your photo carousel stand out from the crowd.

Instagram carousel specs for photos and videos

Carousel posts on Instagram can contain two to ten photos or videos. It didn’t matter how big the photos were as long as they were at least 1080 by 1080. Choosing a landscape photo as your first photo requires every subsequent photo to be cropped to the same orientation. If your photos are under 30 MB, they can be uploaded either in JPEG or PNG format.

In addition to images, videos can be uploaded to Instagram carousel posts. You can upload videos up to 4 GB in size and in MP4 format. A carousel video cannot last more than 60 seconds.

How to create an Instagram carousel post

Carousel posts on Instagram are much easier to create than videos. How to create your first carousel post: Here’s a step-by-step guide.

  1. Your iPhone should now be open to Instagram.
  2. Tap + and choose Post.
  3. Start your Instagram carousel by choosing the first photo.
  4. Your photo will appear on the screen in the traditional square format, but you can use your fingers to zoom out to whatever size you want. Just remember that once you choose a size for your first photo, the rest will have to be in the same aspect ratio.
  5. The number 1 will appear in the upper-right corner of your chosen small photo when you hold your finger down.
  6. Select the photos and videos you wish to add to your carousel by scrolling through them.
  7. Select Next.
  8. If you want to edit a photo or video manually, tap on the individual image.
  9. Once you’re done, tap Done.
  10. A new screen will appear where you can enter your caption, tags, location, etc.
  11. When you are finished, tap Share to add your carousel to your Instagram feed.

How to split photos for a carousel using Canva

A single panoramic image may be divided into multiple images so that your viewers can scroll through them in a carousel post. A carousel post isn’t as easy to make as a regular post, but the Canva app easily allows you to do this. To make a carousel post using Canva, split a photo in three:

  1. Install Canva and open it on your iPhone.
  2. Select Custom Size from the menu at the bottom of your screen by tapping +.
  3. Choose 900 for the width and 1200 for the height.
  4. Choose Create new design.
  5. Upload the photo you would like to split, and then tap on that.
  6. Crop your photo so the first third is contained within the outline by dragging it to the left edge.
  7. Click the + button to add a photo to this page and tap the add a page icon to create a new page.
  8. Double-tap each image and choose Crop.
  9. Drag the images to line up their edges so that the edges from one image line up with the next.
  10. Tap the save icon to download all three photos to your photo library.
  11. The Instagram carousel now lets you upload photos in order.  

How to use an Instagram carousel template

Once you download Canva to practice splitting up your photos, you’ll be thrilled to hear that it also makes it easy to create Instagram carousel templates. If you open Canva, search for “Instagram carousel” in the search bar at the top. A whole collection of templates will appear that you can use to tell your story. Using Canva, you can edit all the details of your photo carousel after choosing a template. It’s really endless what you can choose – fonts, photos, colours.

The design of your template will be saved in the app’s My Designs section once you’re done.  

How to schedule a carousel post on Instagram

Facebook’s creator studio lets you schedule carousel posts for Instagram. Did you know that? On a computer, you can use Creator Studio to schedule carousel posts. An app is also available.  

The biggest caveat to using Creator Studio is that you have to manage both a Facebook page and an Instagram business account. If you fit into this category, read on to learn how to schedule your first Instagram carousel:

  1. Go to Facebook Creator Studio on your Mac.
  2. Click on Settings and choose Page Settings.
  3. Choose Instagram on the left sidebar to connect your Facebook and Instagram accounts.
  4. To create a post, click on the Instagram icon at the top of the screen.
  5. Choose Create Post and then choose Instagram Feed and the account you want to post to.
  6. Click Add Content, then From File Upload to choose photos from your computer.
  7. Use the command key to click on multiple images to add to your carousel post or just keep using the Add Content button to add more than one image.
  8. Once you have chosen your images, you can add your caption, location, and tags.
  9. Click the area next to the Publish button and choose Schedule.
  10. Select the date and time you want your post to be published and click the blue Publish button. Your carousel will be posted at the specified time.

Using Instagram carousel posts is an easy way to provide your followers with fresh content while increasing engagement on the platform. Once you start creating carousels, you’ll find that it isn’t much more difficult than creating a single post.

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