Instagram has recently introduced a slideshows feature. This new feature enables users to escape the single photo single post trap and integrate a series of related photos into a single post. For me, personally, I often will post a number of photos of the various shelter dogs that I walk on Fridays. The new slideshow feature helps keep me from feeling like I’m overwhelming my follower’s feeds with an endless stream of dogs on Friday afternoon.
For companies trying to make their mark on Instagram, this feature will really enable them to tailor their brand and help them to create a more human voice. Brands have had it rough on Instagram because many IG users resist any brand trying to turn it into their private advertising medium. Instagrammers love the organic nature of people snapping and sharing their favorite photos. Organizations that do Instagram well are ones that have a visual presence that appears to be doing the same thing. The struggle for brands has always been been achieving the balance between conversion and interaction in a single image.
With the introduction of an ability to swipe left to get to another image (up to 10 in a single slideshow), a brand can place a highly interactive image in slot one and then entice their followers to swipe left to see a promotion or play with further interaction.
To follow are three ways that a brand can maximize the new slideshow feature.
For example purposes, I’ve set up a fictional brand called BunglePops. BunglePops sells berry-based bars that are organically and sustainably produced. They have already developed a set of brand guidelines and can easily adapt these guidelines to create slideshows and slideshow promotions without having to alter their existing tactics.
1. Create a coupon promotion.
Everyone loves a deal but sometimes they don’t want it staring them in the face and sandwiched between the post from their Aunt Mary showing her Hawaiian vacation and the photo of Fabian’s raspberry cocktail. Your first image should blend with the interests of your follower. Your followers follow you, not necessarily because they love your product but because they connect with your company’s core values.
For BunglePops, their users follow them because they are about fresh produce and often post eye catching close up photos of their followers favorite fruits and berries. BunglePops has chosen to post an eye-catching image of a bunch of cherries on a dark background, with a little mouthwatering dew drops. The reaction they want from their followers is “Oooo yum – I need to heart this!” While the follower is stopped at the image, they will read the followed comment below:
Try BunglePops for FREE at http://www.bunglepop.com/free/! Swipe left to improve upon this special offer.
#ILoveBunglePops #berries #healthyliving #organic #freestuff
Note that the content in the caption/comments section will stay the same through all the photos in this slideshow so info needs to make sense for all offers in the set.
The next image in the story is a photo that introduces BunglePop’s special offer.
The last image is a photo of their actual product. While many of the people who have gotten this far probably know who you are, some will not and it’s always helpful, since you have the space to to it, to remind them of what your product is. Admittedly, BunglePop is not terribly self descriptive.
2. Create a hashtag thank you.
As in other social platforms, you will want to have some posts that are purely interactional – where you’re not asking them to buy something. It’s always a good plan to thank your followers early and often. Who doesn’t love honest gratitude?
BunglePops is currently sponsoring a surprise and delight campaign that encourages their users to post photos of fruit with the hashtag #ILoveBunglePops for an opportunity to be a part of their slideshows and perhaps receive free gifts. Their core image is a simple jewel-toned background with the words “Thank you to some of our favorite #ILoveBunglePops contributors. Swipe left to see their awesome images.”
In the text below,
Keep those #ILoveBunglePops images coming for the opportunity to win exclusive BunglePops gift packs. Swipe left to see some of our favorites. Showcasing @FruitLover @BerryBlast... #gratitude #WeLoveOurFollowers #fruit #thankyou
3. Create a slideshow about how your product is produced.
Many followers are interested in seeing inside “dirt” on your company. It may be old hat to you how your product comes to market but, for some, it could be magic. You have up to 10 slides to create this story, but don’t force yourself to use all 10 as internet users have a short attention span.
BunglePops started their slideshow, as they do most of their Instagram entries, with a great photo of fresh fruit. They follow with some of the major steps to get the product to market. They keep in mind their core brand – jewel tones, graphic photos and clean text. While not shown, they have an amazing special offer on the last page for people who take the time to scroll through all the slides. They are hoping that their super users will get in the habit of scrolling to the end because they know there will always be something waiting for them there.
In the text below:
We take pride in the way that BunglePops are produced. We use only sustainable ingredients and the processes we use are just grander versions of what you could do in your own kitchen. Swipe left to see for yourself. http://www.bunglepops.com/ordernow #ILoveBunglePops #berries #healthyliving #organic #specialoffer
The key to this new slideshow feature is not to overuse it. Balance the use of swipable stories with single and enticing images.
Be aware too, that this is still a new feature and not everyone will know it exists or how to use it. For now, asking the users to swipe is important so that they know it’s an option. Keep an eye on improvements that Instagram may make in coming weeks as the interface is still a little clunky and we can see that they may make updates that change a bit of functionality and perhaps the verbiage that you use to instruct your followers.
We’d love to hear in the comments below how you have integrated the slideshow feature into your Instagram day.