I've been continuing my research into effective content on social media and as ever I'm reporting on my findings so far…
This week I noticed that a lot of top creators use carousels on Linkedin – and they get more engagement than other posts. So I thought I'd give it a go.
A carousel is a document like a pdf you upload to a Linkedin post and viewers can then scroll though it page by page.
On Linkedin the post is small, so a normal document would be unreadable. You've got to format it with huge text to make it readable.
To do my carousel I used a classic marketing formula: AIDCA.
Attention – Interest – Desire – Conviction – Action.
I wasn't selling anything, so I didn't go heavy on building desire or conviction. But I knew if I wanted to get people to read it I needed to grab their attention vs all the other noise they'd be seeing.
So the first thing I did was think about how to make my post stand out. And on most social media, that usually means getting an image or thumbnail that's very different to the other things your audience will see on their feed.
I decided to use a comic book theme with bold colours and a huge bright headline in a funny font. And I added in a photo of me gurning at a phone. You can see the image below.
It's amazing how easy it is to stand out on places like Linkedin if you're prepared to be a little bit brave and don't care much about how silly you might look.
So now I've got their attention, I need to get them to read the document by clicking the button Linkedin puts on the document to page through it.
That's where the interest element of AIDCA comes in.
I used a headline that had both a benefit in it (“save an hour a day”) and invoked curiosity (“5 simple tips? I wonder which ones they are…”).
I boosted the curiosity with a couple of graphical bubbles with phrases you might see on a comic book or dodgy magazine: “shock revelations” and “myths busted”.
One of the advantages of taking a light-hearted approach by using comic book imagery is it allows me to play around with exaggeration. If I'd had a deadly serious cover I couldn't have said “shock revelations” because the revelations aren't really that shocking.
But taking a more humorous approach means you're saying it with a wink, and you can get away with it. Yet it still gets people wondering what lies beyond the front page.
I also added a big arrow with the instructions to “click me” pointing at the spot they'd need to click to page through the document. You'd be surprised how often people forget tell their audience what they want them to do – and then get disappointed when they don't do it.
AIDCA is kind of fractal. It applies to the whole document as well as the front page.
From a document perspective the front page grabs attention, then the second page builds interest by talking about the problems we all have with being overworked and stressed out.
You then get the tips – one per page – and formatted in an interesting way to make reading them easy.
And then there's a call to action with the last tip to get going implementing.
Over 3x the number of views and comments of any of my other posts for the last few weeks.
Not that it went viral or got tens of thousands of views and comments. But compared to my baseline it did very well indeed.
And it all shows that classic marketing like AIDCA absolutely works in new media.
PS you can find the Linkedin post here if you're interested in the tips or in analysing it for yourself.