There are some updates on Instagram that I get more excited about than others. And when I heard that Instagram was introducing albums (or carousels, or galleries... they haven't really gotten an official name), I about lost my mind! If you want to find out more specifically about how albums work, check out the announcement on Instagram's blog.
There are a number of people who aren't excited about Instagram albums and think they deteriorate the natural Instagram experience. But, I think they're effin awesome!
And I'm not the only one. I love what one of my friends had to say... Stephan Hovnanian commented on my Instagram post introducing the albums, saying "I'm usually not one to gush over social media feature releases, but these guys are the first to do albums right." And I totally agree with him!
I love how the albums are laid out. I'm glad there's a cap at 10 posts per album so people can't go too crazy. It's great that you can combine photos and videos into one album. It's nice that the albums appear as one image in your feed but then easily scroll to view the rest - but not every photo clutters your followers feeds. And, even in your profile gallery, a single image again represents the album so as not to detract from the Instagram styling on our accounts.
Another reason I love this new feature is all the fun and exciting ways you can use it for your business!
But before I get into all the ways you can use this feature, let me offer a few pieces of advice first...
While some of us are dying in excitement over this feature, not everyone knows about it or understands what to look for when these galleries pop up in their feeds. So, I highly recommend you include some sort of "cover image" as your first image in the album.
This image should be of high standards, like we always advocate for on Instagram. Remember, this is the image that will live on in your Instagram gallery! So it should be high quality, true to your branding and styling, and be something your audience wants to see.
This doesn't mean it has to be something out of the ordinary, but it should be the best photo of the series and be able to stand out on its own, while also supporting the rest of the album.
Then, because your followers may not realize there are more images/videos in the post, you should have some sort of text overlay or mention in the first sentence of the caption that they should scroll for more images.
Ok, so now that you have the understanding of setting up albums properly, let's talk about some of the ways you can use Instagram albums creatively for your business!
This is probably one of the most obvious reasons to use Instagram albums. Whether attending an event or conference, hosting an event for your business, participating in a charity event... there are lots of photos to share from these events! In the past, you wouldn't want to overwhelm your audience so you had to pick one or two of the best images.
But now, you can use an album to share multiple photos and/or videos from the event to really convey the experience to your audience.
Have something new coming out? Think of all the fun ways you could show off the new product!
A series of images, like a carousel ad, where each image shows another part/feature/aspect/function of the new product.
Mix in testimonials or added-value content to some of the images in the album to really enhance the value of the new product.
Do an unboxing of the new product so that customers know exactly what they will get when they get their own hands on the new product.
There are so many fun ways you could use Instagram albums to launch a new product!
I love the idea of tutorials. I highly recommend people do this with their businesses. And now, Instagram albums are the perfect way to build out a full tutorial!
Combine photos and videos for added insights. Get creative - and take quality content - to show your audience how to use your product, implement a new tactic, troubleshoot a common problem, and any other plethora of educational bits you can share with your audience.
Beyond tutorials, there are probably things in your business that can be done in step-by-step instructions. This would be especially true for fitness, cooking, DIY, crafting, and other areas where showing a progression of a process lends itself to multiple posts.
Now you can create one album with the various steps of the process from beginning to end. Imagine showing your audience how to cook a great recipe. From ingredients, to prepping, to mixing, to cooking, to plating - voila!
Behind the Scenes
Want to really showcase your business? All the times we talk about behind-the-scenes content... o.m.g... think about how much more in depth that content can be now, using Instagram albums!
Introducing a new employee? Show different sides of their personality with multiple posts in an album. Demonstrating the steps that go into a process of your business? You have up to 10 posts per album to really dive into the components of that process. Taking a tour of your business or operation? Tell the story through a visual set of posts in one album.
There are so many ways to show off what goes on behind the scenes in your business - now think of fun ways to expand that into multiple posts in one album!
Repurpose Your Stories
Love Instagram Stories but hate that they disappear? Are you creating awesome content on Stories but wishing you could share more of it with your regular Instagram audience?
Hello.... solution! Now you can take your best Stories posts and repurpose them into an album on your regular profile so that they can live on indefinitely! Just make sure you're saving your Stories to your phone before they disappear 😉
Whatever you choose to do with the albums, I hope you have fun, and I encourage you to focus on your audience and continue to provide only the best content for them!
So, there you have some of my best tips to use Instagram albums for your business. Have you found another great way to incorporate this feature into your Instagram account? Share with us in the comments below!
Jen – you write so really clearly. Thanks for that. We are playing with LEGO images of our Square Wheels metaphor and packaging a meeting facilitation program for Spring Forward Monday (March 13). The idea is that people come dragging into work that day and the supervisor can be a “Draggin Slayer” by having a meeting and asking people for ideas for improvement.
By tomorrow noon, I want to package a couple of slideshows using these images and ideas to explain how easy it is to ask for ideas and generate active involvement. The album approach will make all this really easy and straightforward.
And doing some simple tutorials about how to facilitate innovation and ideas for implementation will be the next step in this process. I LIKE Instagram, but making it work for me has been somewhat of a struggle. These albums take it to a next level, one that should work seamlessly. Thanks for the help.
Thanks Scott! I’m so glad this helped give you some clarity and direction for this album feature. Your “draggin slayer” sounds like a fun and perfect idea 🙂 And I really hope this helps you promote that and the other things you’re working on!
Interesting! Do you really think that now is the time Instagram should come on the desktop as well? With many updates on Facebook and WhatsApp, Instagram has good chances to start the desktop version.
I’m sure the desktop integration is on its way soon. It’s inevitable that this is where it’s going, it’s just when IG wants to launch that 😉
Hey Jenn! I really enjoyed reading this post, along with some of your other blog posts. I think you have a really personal way of getting your information across to your audience, and I think that’s an incredible skill to have. I actually really like this new Instagram feature, and I feel like I am collecting pictures in order to use it some time soon! Really interesting read and definitely great ways to use this new feature. Great insight!
Hi Carissa! Thank you for the compliment and I’m so glad you found my blog enjoyable 🙂 I also love that you’re enjoying the new album feature too! I hope you find some fun ways to incorporate your photos.
Hi Jenn, I totally agree with all your points of view, I believe this new feature let us share what we want a little more explicit and you avoid annoying your followers with the bunch of photos we used to post to show our products or whatever we want to sell or announce. In Contrast, what I dislike about it is that if you want to comment on a particular photo you can’t, you need to comment on the album and refer to the photo you want; However its a great new addition to the app but its important to know how to used it, otherwise it can be a little boring or without sense.
Great judgment !!
Thanks Camille! I’m glad you like this new feature for all those reasons too. Although I do agree with you that it would be nice to engage with individual images.
As a social media marketer I am always excited about new updates to top of the line social media marketing platforms like Instagram. I am on the fence about albums…. for now. On one hand, getting more pictures of great products out in one post is awesome – but on the other hand, I wonder I find that the more pictures are used the less engagement there is. As with most digital platforms, the more times the audience has to click or swipe, the more people you lose. Also, it’s a fairly new feature that not everyone knows exists and so not everyone swipes through to find the extra images. As the feature is used more, it may have higher engagement. As I said, on the fence…. for now.
You’re absolutely right, Kim, and a lot of people aren’t scrolling through to see the other posts in an album because IG users aren’t programmed to do this. That’s why I’m a big advocate for a “cover image” that promotes scrolling to see more and encouraging that deeper engagement. As people adapt, I honestly think this feature will gain momentum. But of course, we could see most users ignore this feature… only time will tell 😉
I love the idea of re-purposing my stories! This is a great way to avoid running out of ideas of what to post. Will be adding this to my June content strategy. Thnx again, Jenn 😉
Oh, good, Tanya! I’m so glad this gave you a fun new way to incorporate your stories into your content strategy.
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