Recently, I had the absolute pleasure of taking my kids to our local fair. Witnessing the pure wonder in their eyes as they soaked in the vibrant lights, lively sounds, and delightful aromas of the fair was truly heartwarming. It transported me back to my own childhood, filled with cherished memories of riding horses on the carousel (we must have gone on it about 6 times, the girls were absolutely thrilled!). While there, I couldn’t help but be reminded of social media’s version of the carousel.
Social media, much like the fair, offers a captivating and immersive experience. As you scroll through your social media feeds, you find yourself fully immersed in the lives and ventures of others. It's like stumbling upon a bustling fair with its dazzling transitions, captivating audio clips, and an air of curiosity in every post. However, if you're not familiar with the platform's terminology and features, it can sometimes feel more like a thrilling haunted house rollercoaster than a delightful carousel ride.
Let's break it down together, so you have a better understanding of the types of content you can create and how they fit into your social media strategy:
A static post is a type of social media content that consists of a single image or text that does not change once it's published. Static posts are versatile and can be used in various ways to engage your audience. They can be used to share a stunning landscape photograph, showcase a new product, announce an upcoming event, or even provide a motivational quote. The possibilities are endless.
When creating a static post, it's important to consider the visual composition, colours, and overall aesthetics to make it visually appealing to draw the viewer in. Clear and concise messaging is also key to ensuring that your audience understands the purpose or story behind the post and compels them to action.
Carousels are the perfect medium for creators and brands to showcase their creativity and leave a lasting impression. The magic of carousels lies in their ability to tell engaging stories and educate or entertain viewers through a series of images.
The beauty of carousel reels is their versatility. Whether you're a photographer, a foodie, a fashion enthusiast, or a travel junkie, the carousel format provides a canvas for endless possibilities. You can showcase your latest photo shoot, share mouth-watering recipes, display a fashion lookbook, or take your audience on an exotic adventure. With carousels, your creativity knows no bounds!
*This is how a carousel shows up on social media, click the arrow to swipe through all images
On platforms like Facebook and Instagram, this refers to a feature allowing users to select and "pin" a specific post to the top of their profile. When a post is pinned, it remains prominently displayed at the top of the profile, even as new content is added. Pinned posts be identified by the push pin icon in the top right corner.
Pinning a post can be particularly useful when you have a specific announcement, event, promotion, or any other content that you want to give extra visibility to. By pinning it to the top of your profile, you ensure that it's one of the first things visitors see when they land on your page. I recommend using pinned posts to answer essential questions about who you are, what you do, where you do it, and why someone should follow you. On Instagram, you can pin a maximum of three posts.
Reels are short-form video content up to 90 seconds in length. Reels are designed to be engaging, entertaining, and easy to consume, capturing viewers' attention with their visual appeal and storytelling capabilities.
The format of reels encourages users to showcase their talents, share behind-the-scenes moments, provide quick tutorials, entertain, or simply express their unique perspectives. They can be an excellent way to engage with your audience, spark conversations, and increase your visibility to reach new audiences.
← Click to watch the reel on Instagram
Go live and connect with your audience in real-time! Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube offer live streaming options that let you share experiences, provide updates, host Q&A sessions, deliver presentations, and more. For businesses and digital creators, live videos are a chance to engage with your followers, who can leave comments, ask questions, react with emojis, and participate in polls or interactive features. Live videos create a sense of immediacy and authenticity, allowing viewers to be part of the moment and fostering a strong community.
Share fleeting moments with your audience through stories on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and WhatsApp. These temporary posts last for 24 hours before disappearing. Stories offer a casual and in-the-moment approach, giving you the freedom to share unfiltered glimpses into your life, provide real-time updates, tease behind-the-scenes content, showcase products, promote events, or simply entertain your followers. Use interactive features like polls, quizzes, music, text overlay, and question stickers to boost engagement and build relationships.
Extend the lifespan of your stories by creating highlights. These curated collections are displayed as circles below your bio or profile picture, allowing you to save selected stories for longer-term visibility. Use highlights to showcase important or noteworthy information for your audience. I recommend creating highlights for each of your content pillars and at least one highlight that introduces yourself or your brand. It's a great way to provide easy access to valuable content and keep your profile organized.
*The order of your highlights changes based on which ones you save to most recently
As we explored the fair, marvelling at the lights and sounds, we also encountered the wonder of different attractions. Similarly, in the realm of social media, these features offer captivating experiences for your audience. Embrace the excitement of live videos, stories, highlights and more! These features let you share experiences, provide updates, and connect with your followers on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.
So, fellow entrepreneurs, let your inner creative child roam free. Embrace the whimsy of these platforms and incorporate these features into your content strategy. With these powerful tools, you'll elevate your social media game, captivate your audience, and create a lasting impression that will have them coming back for more. Step right up and enjoy the ride!