Taking A Ride On The Facebook Carousel

Have you taken a ride on the Facebook Carousel, yet? There are so many different ways you can use this new carousel format for nearly any kind of business. One way that we’ve been experimenting with for clients is the bridging the image across the carousel, so that it appears seamlessly as viewer scrolls through.

For Christmas Tree For Me, we used this image for one of our tests.

facebook-carousel-example

It just takes a  little magic (and some Photoshop shortcuts) to make your image appear continuous.

Keep reading, and you can learn about creating the image quickly and the interface to make it all work together.

THE FACEBOOK AD CAROUSEL 

The carousel is made up of 2-5 square images PLUS a bonus of your logo, that you can turn off or on, when you use at least 3 images in the carousel. In the ads manager you can choose it by selecting the Multiple Images options in your ad.

 

ad-style

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The carousel works from regular page posts now, too. So you can apply these same “seamless” idea to a page post carousel as well. 

Image Sizes

To get started you have to decide on your image, for this example we’ll make the widest one possible with 5 images.  Facebook recommends each image be at least 600 x 600. And there is a gutter of 8 pixels between each image. So you need an image that is 3,032 wide x 600 tall for the best results.

Why the extra 32?  That’s for the 4 gutters between your images. If you just use the side-by-side version, you lose the continuous effect.

If you’re unsure about the math, here’s how it works:

5 images x 600 wide + 4 gutters x 8 wide

3,000 + 32 = 3,032

If you wanted a 3 image carousel it would be 1816 wide x 600 tall

3 x 600 + 2 x 8 = 1816

 

CREATING YOUR IMAGE IN PHOTOSHOP

Step 1: Create a new image in Photoshop with the dimension you need.

carousel-layout-for-facebook

 

Time Saving Shortcut

Before discovering New Guide Layout, I would create my guides by  hand and saved the template.  It only took a few minutes, but I like the new way better … it only takes SECONDS

Under the View menu select New Guide Layout. Since I want 5 images I chose 5 with a width of 600. You can adjust this for your own images, but remember the gutter is currently fixed at 8 pixels.

new-guide-layout

 

POOF your image now as the guides you need, and you can move your image around to get the look your want.

 

image-carousel-layout

 

If you want to add text, you can. Just remember the Facebook 20% Rule.

Once you’ve perfected the image layout, choose your Slice Tool and pick your 600 x 600 images. You don’t need to select the 8 pixel wide gutter slices.

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The SLICE TOOL is your friend, use it.

If you’ve never used the Slice Tool, you should do definitely do a little research to see how it makes tasks like this much simpler. Instead of cropping and saving each one, use the slice too to select the 600×600 portions.  It does all the numbering and thinking for you and only takes a minute. On such a wide image you may want to ZOOM in to make seeing the corners easier.

slices

 

Now you just Export & Save For The Web.

Choose your file name and Photoshop creates and saves them to “images” folder in the directory you selected.

 

slices-folder

 

Next you’re ready to tackle the ad creation.

CREATING YOUR CAROUSEL AD ON FACEBOOK

Once you’ve started your ad, be sure to choose Multiple images in one ad

ad-style

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DON’T MAKE THIS ROOKIE MISTAKE BY LEAVING THIS BOX CHECKED

REMEMBER TO UNCHECK the “Automatically show the best performing images and links first” option. While that’s great for other types of carousels, for your seamless carousel it will rearrange the positions and you lose the entire effect.

uncheck

 

UPLOAD YOUR IMAGES TO FACEBOOK

Once your enter your domain name, Facebook will pull in images from the website, you simply use the change image button to put the right image on the right box.

Sadly Facebook only allows you to upload one at a time, BUT you can stay in the upload interface and repeat the upload process until all the images have been uploaded. I usually start with my right most image first so they appear in the library in order, and upload them all before I start working on the ads themselves.

One by one, click on the Card Number and Change Image to assign the image for that card. Once you have assigned the images to each of them, you can finish building your ad … or in this case 5 ADS.

 

ONE OF EACH PER POST

You get one “TEXT” that is for the post, and one CALL TO ACTION BUTTON. If you choose a CALL TO ACTION BUTTON it appears beneath every card image.

 

text-and-button

 

TO EACH (CARD) HIS OWN 

For each image you get a Headline, Short Description, and a Separate Destination URL. If you want to assign different UTM tracking for each image, you would want to include in the URL. If you want one UTM for all, then you can put that in Advanced Settings.

 

image-settings

 

And that’s it. Now you can set up the ad you want for each box. The headline offer 40 characters, but the short description is just 20. So think big in small ways. (See a quick video view of the final ad sample here.)

 

the-final-post