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How to Plan Eye-Catching Carousel Posts With Later

Learn how to grow your audience engagement by managing carousel posts in Later.

Multi-photo and video posts published on Instagram are commonly known as carousel posts.

Carousel posts are a powerful way to showcase your brand story and hook in an audience. The pressure to choose just one perfect photo or video is off — you can include up to ten images or videos in each scheduled post.

Carousel posts are an incredibly useful content type that can be easily adapted for your business and marketing goals. You can use them to show off products, post quotes, tell a story, or share User-Generated Content (UGC).

Later's carousel post scheduling and publishing features help you plan posts for maximum reach, engagement, and of course, visual appeal.

There are two ways through which you can schedule carousel posts - through the Auto-Publish feature or through push notifications. You can also schedule carousel posts through Later on the web or the Later mobile app.

Important: If you are publishing through push notifications, download the Later mobile app before you start scheduling.

Just like single-image posts, Later makes planning carousel posts super quick and straightforward. Scheduling in advance helps you include media items that work well together to tell a brand story and maintain your Instagram aesthetic.

Before you begin scheduling carousel posts for auto-publishing, make sure that you've switched to an Instagram Business profile.

To schedule a carousel post from Later on the web for auto-publishing:

  1. Navigate to the Calendar
  2. Select the media items for your carousel post
  3. Drag and drop your collection on the Calendar or click the Multi-Photo Post button
  4. Rearrange your media and customize the post with tools like captions, filters, and hashtags
  5. By default, carousel posts are scheduled to auto-publish
  6. Confirm the publish date and time of your post within the post builder
  7. Click Save

To schedule a carousel post from Later on the web through push notifications:

  1. Navigate to the Calendar
  2. Select the media items for your carousel post
  3. Drag and drop the media items on the calendar or click Multi-Photo Post
  4. Rearrange your media and cCustomize the post with tools like captions, filters, and hashtags
  5. Select Notification Publishing from the dropdown menu
  6. Confirm the publish date and time.
  7. Click Save
GIF of the Later app showing how to create a multi-photo post

To schedule a carousel post from the Later iOS or Android apps, check out the Help Center.

Every image and video must be the same crop or size for a carousel post. If you don't schedule media items with a consistent crop, Instagram will automatically make the changes for you when you publish.

GIF of the Later app showing how to create and edit a multi-photo post

Deciding which media item to put first in a carousel post is crucial for two reasons: to encourage swipes through the rest of the content, and to maintain your profile's aesthetic. To make sure your Instagram grid remains picture-perfect, try using Visual Instagram Planner hand-in-hand with carousel posts.

Learn how to use Visual Instagram Planner with this guide.

When it's time to publish your carousel post, a push notification will be sent to your device through Later's mobile app.

Learn more about the Later mobile app here.

Once you open the push notification, you will be prompted to share your carousel post on Instagram. Before posting, login to the correct account in the Instagram app.

To publish a carousel post through push notifications:

  1. Open the Later push notification on your device
  2. Tap Open in Instagram
  3. On Android, select the plus icon. On iOS, select Library
  4. Tap the carousel icon
  5. Select all media items before the blue stop image then Next
  6. Paste the copied text into the caption text box
  7. Tap Share to publish the post
GIF showing how to publish a multi photo post from the Later mobile app

If you don't receive notifications from Later when you should, check out this troubleshooting guide.

There are so many creative ways to use carousel posts beyond just a typical image roundup. Here are some of our favorites.

Share More Information

With carousel posts, you don't have to limit yourself to one square. Share more information with your audience by using the feature like a slideshow. Keep it cohesive by applying the same design principles to each photo or video.

Launch Your Event

Get your audience excited about your next event by sharing speakers, lineups, or swag before the big day. Make sure the very first image or video drives your followers to swipe and see the rest.

Showoff the Details

Whatever you're selling on Instagram, your followers deserve to know how amazing it is. With the ability to share more, you can use the opportunity to really showcase your product or service. Change up the lighting, zoom in, or post completely different footage — whatever it is, this is your chance to prove to your audience why they should purchase from you.

Share Your Community's Content

It's no secret that User-Generated Content (UGC) is an amazing way to show real-world recommendations and reviews. With the power of social media, it's become easy and nearly expected for potential customers to search for testimonials or examples. Rounding up images and videos from your community is a great way to build trust and credibility.

Tip: For the first media item, design a cover image or select a UGC photo that matches your profile aesthetic to keep your brand consistent.

Schedule UGC carousel posts by collecting posts you're tagged or mentioned in with Later.

Next Steps

Now that you know how to schedule and publish carousel posts, it's time for you to customize them for your marketing strategy. Check out these resources on how Later can supercharge your carousel posts performance.

Plan, schedule, and automatically publish your social media posts with Later.