There’s an enormous and fascinating topic to be explored in the power of video as a medium – from the psychology of empathy to the usefulness of quick tips you can watch while cooking. Proven to drive engagement more than any other type of post, short videos or reels are leading the way in social media.
Here, we take a focused approach for all the brands who love Instagram reels like a favorite child. Sometimes, you know where your largest audience is, and want to channel your efforts into a single place, at least for a little while.
Why choose Instagram as your focus, over other socials?
Instagram allows you to cross-post to other social channels, has less intrusive ads, and offers a wider variety of filters for images – meaning you don’t have to spend time and money on editing programs or more expensive devices. Most importantly, its also been found that it usually creates more engagement than most other platforms, with hashtags often more influential.
What is a Reel on Instagram?
A reel (on Instagram or Facebook) is a short, looping, single-topic video, in a vertical format, that appears on your public feed (it automatically posts to the public, so don’t post content here that’s just meant for your friends). They’re usually light-hearted and are played as part of infinite scrolling.
YouTube’s version of reels is called Shorts, and TikTok’s ‘reels’ – from which the idea originated – are called TikToks. Whichever version you prefer, each platform’s reels or version of reels has great power to grow your audience.
How do I Best use Reels on Instagram?
Try Something New
Check out other tools and social video apps that use reels to develop more cohesive online communities. These create a space exclusively for reels, incorporating all the different platforms. In other words, all your short video content – from Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Youtube – is in one place. Your Instagram followers might be more likely to follow you on other channels this way and can quickly get a sense of what you’re about.
Make sure to take a look at our round-up of apps for entrepreneurs while you’re at it.
Quality, not Quantity
While they can be up to 90 seconds long, shorter videos can work well too – it’s less about the length and more about the quality. Reels are all about grabbing attention with a hook (preferably in the first three seconds) and then providing a payoff. In other words, content must provide some kind of value; whether this is a useful tip, a short “how to” guide, or an incredible bit of entertainment.
Choose your Timing
According to recent research, the times when more people are on the platform – and therefore the best times to post – are:
Wednesday at 11 am and Friday from 10 am to 11 am
Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm
Monday 6 am, 10 am, and 10 pm
Tuesday 2 am, 4 am, and 9 am
Wednesday 7 am, 8 am, and 11 pm
Thursday 9 am, 12 pm, and 7 pm
Friday 5 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm
Saturday 11 am, 7 pm, and 8 pm
Sunday 7 am, 8 am, and 4 pm
Know your Trends
Different trends emerge all the time, and these are usually about certain phrases, linked with specific songs or music tracks. For example, in December 2022, the Unholy Glow-Up Trend is very popular, where the song Unholy is layered over a video of you doing a dramatic makeup or wardrobe makeover.
Make TikTok Your Accomplice
Most trends on Instagram emerge from trends on TikTok, so staying on top of TikTok trends will help your business significantly. TikTok and Instagram also work very well together – you can upload reels to both platforms at the same time.
Stay Tuned: What’s in Development for Instagram December 2022
Some new developments taking place include the following:
- Native post scheduling for reels, carousel posts, and photos
- After having recently launched the option to have a song on your profile, it’s now offering the option to add music to feed photo posts, too
- Testing of the ability to hide the like count on Reels with selected users
- Testing to pin a reel to your reels tab
The Power of Short and Sweet
If you haven’t already been won over by the inexplicable magnetism of short videos, now is the time to explore them properly until you find themes, trends, and new uses that spark you up – reels are here to stay.