6 Quirky Facebook Post Types to Engage Your Audience

Want to engage your audience on Facebook while sharing something a bit different to your competitors? Try these unusual post types on your Facebook page!

It’s always fun to try something a bit different with your social media marketing strategy. Those talented Facebook developers have created a whole raft of hidden, quirky features that you can use to liven up your Facebook page and create some brilliant engagement and interaction from your audience.

In this post, I’ll show you 6 of Facebook’s lesser known post types and how you can create them for your Page.

Facebook post types covered

  1. Poll
  2. Play the GIF
  3. 3D photo
  4. 360 Photo
  5. Instant Experience
  6. Spotify snippet

Poll

Just like Twitter and Instagram Stories (and newly LinkedIn too), you can create a Poll for your Facebook audience to take part in on your feed. These can be great for just creating engagement on the page, as well as forming genuine customer feedback and research.

With a Facebook Poll, your audience can choose between two options to vote from, in a competitive ‘versus’ style. You can supply the copy and the creatives, including GIFs, to make the Poll feel extra immersive! You also get to choose how long to run it for, which is ideal if your Poll is on a timely subject.

How to create a Facebook Poll

  • Go to your Facebook page
  • Go to ‘Publishing tools’
  • Click the ‘Create Post’ button and a pop-up will appear
  • You may see ‘Poll’ as a choice here. If you don’t, click the 3 dots ‘…’ button to see more posting options
  • Click ‘Poll’
  • Write your Poll question in the box
  • Select your images for your two options below and write their descriptions
  • You can also choose how long the Poll will be open for. Choose from: 1 day, 1 week, Never, and Custom, where you’ll supply the end date
  • Click ‘Share Now’ and your Poll is live

Play the GIF

Play the GIFs do what they say! Upload a GIF on your Facebook Page and ask your audience to stop it by clicking on the image at the right time to answer a question or complete the challenge. There’s a whole page of inspiration dedicated to Play the GIFs here. People love sharing these on Facebook because they’re so engaging, especially if they’re tough to complete, so this could really benefit your Facebook Page’s engagement rate!

Specifically, Play the GIFs (also known as ‘playable GIFs’ and ‘stop the GIFs’) help ramp up your engagement rate by encouraging responses in the comments, and your audience tagging their friends to see if they can complete the game.

For example, you could have a GIF that needs to be stopped at a certain time, like this one below. Once everything’s in the right place for the game to be ‘won’, you can ask your audience to screenshot it and send their screenshot as a response in the comments.

Or, you could have a challenge like the one below, where there is a certain answer to be found by playing the GIF, which they can then share the answer in the comments.

Or, you can create a branded Play the GIF that runs through a series of answers really quickly. Whatever answer the player stops on is what they should do. For example, coffee shops could run a ‘stop the GIF to choose today’s coffee’ and you can have a series of really fast answers in the GIF, like ‘flat white’, ‘cappuccino’, ‘cold brew’ etc.

How to create a Play the GIF

  • Make your playable GIF in the image editing software of your choice
  • Go to your Facebook page
  • Go to ‘Publishing tools’
  • Click the ‘Create Post’ button and a pop-up will appear
  • Click the ‘Upload photos/video’ button
  • Choose your playable GIF from your files
  • Add your caption for the post, usually instructions on how to play and what to comment once completed
  • Be patient as the GIF is being processed by Facebook
  • Refresh your Page and you should see your GIF, ready to play

3D photo

3D photos are relatively new to Facebook, and if you have the right image, can be really effective! This effect plays around with depth and perspective of your flat image using AI to create a moving, layered, 3D-style photo on your feed. They were originally created for use with VR headsets (Oculus Rift, anyone?), but the effects can be seen on your regular Facebook feed too. Use them to highlight a product or something funny on your feed.

Here’s an example of how it looks on desktop:

Although these perform much better on mobile, and can only be made through the mobile Facebook app, you can play around with 3D photo on your desktop’s version of Facebook too.

How to create a 3D photo on Facebook

  • Take a photo on your phone of something you’d like to turn 3D
  • Go to your Facebook app on your phone
  • Go to your page
  • Click the ‘Create Post’ button
  • Scroll down on the post options and you should see ‘3D photo’ at the bottom
  • Click on ‘3D photo’ then choose your image from your phone’s files
  • Be patient as the photo is being processed by Facebook
  • Add your caption for the post
  • Click ‘Share’ and it’ll be live on your feed

360 photo

Similar to the 3D photo, you can only create 360 photo posts on your mobile app, but they can be enjoyed by those looking on the desktop version of Facebook too, with or without VR.

360 photos let you share an ‘immersive view of the world’, and make ideal posts for estate agents wanting to create virtual tours of their properties on Facebook, for travel agents sharing holiday locations and tourist hotspots, and there’s plenty of room for gamification too – which designers manipulating their 360 photos to create fun features in the image for audiences to spot (an interactive ‘Where’s Wally’!)

There are plenty of fantastic 360 photo examples too see on the Facebook 360 Community group.

How to create a 360 photo on Facebook

  • Use your phone’s panorama or 360 photo feature on your camera and take the photo you’d like to share
  • Wait for your phone to process the image once you’ve finished capturing it
  • Go to your Facebook app on your phone
  • Go to your page
  • Click the ‘Create Post’ button
  • Click on ‘Photo/Video’ then choose your image from your phone’s files. You should see a globe-like symbol on your panorama image
  • Be patient as the photo is being processed by Facebook
  • Add your caption for the post
  • Click ‘Share’ and it’ll be live on your feed

Mobile-only Facebook posts

Unfortunately, some of the quirkier post types are only available on mobile, but with the vast majority of users accessing the social media app on their phone, that shouldn’t dissuade you from creating these following types of posts for your audience:

Instant Experience / Canvas

Instant Experiences, previously known as ‘Canvas’, are one of the most underused post types on Facebook! Think outside of the box and you can develop amazingly creative experiences for your audience on Facebook that’s far away from the simple photo-and-caption post we’re all used to.

Instant Experiences are described by Facebook here as:

Instant Experience is a full-screen experience that opens after someone clicks your ad on a mobile device. Create an Instant Experience to visually highlight your brand or products and services.

Once you create an Instant Experience, anyone can open it. Within the experience, people can watch videos, swipe through photos in a carousel, fill in forms and explore images with tagged products. You can also link two or more Instant Experiences, so your audience discovers more content.

Put simply, Instant Experiences are immersive landing pages created in Facebook, that you can use for brand awareness, products and service promotion and much more. They take up the full mobile phone screen for maximum impact, and you can have more than one Instant Experience linked to your original Instant Experience (sometimes called ‘nested Canvases’) to turn it into an even more immersive experience.

Each Instant Experience is made up of a combination of text, photos, videos, carousels and calls-to-action, which is designed within a very easy-to-use editor called the ‘Instant Experience builder’ on Facebook, using a desktop internet browser.

What can you use an Instant Experience for?

You can use an Instant Experience to promote a wide variety of products and services, or simply to create a fun, engaging gamification experience for your audience to enjoy, such as:

  • Property brochure or virtual house tour for estate agents and developers
  • Interactive menu for restaurants and bars
  • Immersive ‘Yes/No’ games using nested Canvases
  • Itinerary for holidays for travel agents
  • Product catalogues

I’ve seen some brilliant examples of Canvases over the years, with two of my favourites being from KFC and Target.

On KFC’s Instant Experience, a series of panoramic images are stacked on top of each other to make it look like you’re aiming your slingshot towards a target.

On Target’s Instant Experience, two carousels are stacked, so the user can scroll across and choose different outfit combinations almost seamlessly.

Traditionally, Instant Experiences are used for ads – although in my opinion, they’re not used enough at all – but you can create them and share them organically too.

How to create an Instant Experience

  • Go to your Facebook page on an internet browser
  • Go to ‘Publishing Tools’
  • On the menu, you should see ‘Instant experience (Canvas)’ at the bottom
  • Click on the link
  • Click on the ‘+ Create’ button
  • This will open up the ‘Instant Experience builder’
  • Name your Instant Experience so you can find it easily later
  • Click ‘+ Add component’
  • Choose your first component and get creating!
  • On the right, you’ll see previews of your Canvas on Facebook and Instagram
  • In ‘Settings’, just under where you’ve named your Canvas, you can change the colour of your Instant Experience’s background too. Choose from light (white), dark (black) or custom (add your HEX colour)
  • Once finished, click ‘Save’
  • You can come back and edit this again later
  • Once you’re ready to share, click ‘Finish’
  • Be patient as Facebook is processing your Canvas
  • Once complete, you should see a ‘Page Post’ button where the ‘Finish’ button was previously. Click this and add a caption to your Canvas
  • Click ‘Share Now’ and this will be added to your feed for mobile users only. Users seeing your Facebook Page on their desktop won’t see this post at all

30-second Spotify song

You might already know that you can share what you’re listening to on Spotify directly to Instagram and Facebook Stories, but did you know you can share 30-second snippets of songs from Spotify on your Facebook feed too? This feature is ideal for musicians!

Here’s how this looks on the Facebook mobile app. Just click the ‘Play’ icon for a 30-second preview of the chosen song

Unfortunately, this feature only seems to be working on mobile these days, with desktop viewers only seeing a link out to the Spotify track instead, but it’s still a cool feature that not many users know about!

Here’s how this looks on Facebook on your Internet browser. It turns it into a link for you to click instead

How to share a 30-second Spotify snippet on your Facebook page

  • Go to your Spotify app on your phone and select the song you’d like to share
  • Click the ‘3 dots’ icon in the top corner
  • Click the ‘Share’ icon
  • Then you’ll see lots of options to share. Scroll down to ‘Copy Link’
  • Copy the link then open your Facebook app and go to your Page
  • Click the ‘Create Post’ button
  • Paste the link you copied from Spotify
  • Once pasted, a box should appear – ignore this for now
  • You can keep your link from Spotify in your caption or you can remove it – the box will still be there
  • Add the caption you’d like and click ‘Share’
  • This will now be live on your Page!

How many of these post types did you know existed?!

Don’t forget, if you want tailored advice on your social media strategy, please get in touch with me.

Please note: this post was accurate as of May 2020.