src=”https://buffer.com/resources/content/images/2022/05/Instagram-Carousel-Launch–1-.png” alt=”Do Instagram Carousels Get More Engagement? (Yes, it is complex)
Buffer recently introduced direct Instagram carousels scheduling. You can now schedule carousel posts in Buffer to be published automatically on Instagram.
Buffer customers have asked for carousel scheduling direct for some time (it was the most requested feature according to our last customer survey), so we aren’t surprised. Many evidence suggests that carousel posts are more engaging than images or videos.
Is this true?
We analysed the 184 Instagram posts @Buffer has published over the past year to find out.
Here are the results.
- Engagement rate for carousels was 2.377% higher than other posts.
- A carousel was our best-performing post of the year.
- This is despite the fact that only 1/4 of posts feature carousels.
- Posts from Carousel were also saved at 2x the rate of other posts.
It looks great, right? It’s actually a bit more complicated than that.
Our carousel posts received on average, but had less comments and likes. This is likely to be due to the carousel’s posting schedule, not the carousel itself. Continue reading to find out more.
Do not focus on average engagement, but engagement rate.
Our carousel posts had a higher engagement rate 2.37% than other posts.
- 3.45% Engagement rate for carousels
- Engagement rate for other posts 3.37%
Yet, carousel posts receive fewer comments and likes on average.
- Average likes of image posts: and 129
- Average likes of video posts: 128
- Average likes of carousel posts 87
What is the secret to this?
It’s important that you consider impressions when analysing engagements. If your audience sees the post, they can comment and like it. Your audience won’t be able to see the post.
However, what if someone doesn’t see your post? The Instagram algorithm will not show every post to all followers. Instead, they will show a customized feed that is based on when post were published and how perform.
Our audience may miss carousel posts if they don’t get published consistently or at the wrong hour of the day. This will reduce impressions and engagements.
Instead of measuring average engagements we measure engagement rates.
- Engagement Rate = (comments, clicks + likes + réactions) / impressions
We can monitor how our audience reacts to the post once they have seen it, since the engagement rate includes impressions.
We now know that people are more likely to interact with a carousel posting (vs. an image or video).
Carousels are created in a consistent manner
Buffer did not yet have an option to directly schedule Instagram carousels. We had to manually set reminders and then open the Instagram app each time we wanted to publish.
We didn’t want to make carousels a main component of our social media calendar. Instead, we decided to squeeze them in whenever we could.
We believe that our carousels were not always published at the best time due to this irregular posting schedule. They didn’t get the attention they deserved.
We can now schedule Instagram carousels directly.
To ensure engagement, we can add them to the Buffer queue. Instead of publishing when we are available online, we can allow Buffer to manage the scheduling and publish at the right time for our audience.
We would love to hear from you
Are Instagram carousels more effective for your account? Do you plan to add carousels in your queue? Are you able to suggest what next we should build?
Send us a tweet to @buffer, or drop us a line using our feature request form.
Did you miss our previous article…