What are Reels?
A Reel is a video feature on Instagram. They are short, entertaining and creative videos made by users. You can share your reels with followers on a private account and share with a broader audience through the Explore page in the middle button of the app with a public account. Reels in Explore have a higher chance of being seen by more people, especially with trending sounds and music. Use Reels to reach new audiences on a large scale.
It is easy to like, share and comment in the Reels section, with the icons being along the right side of the screen. Some reels have a “Featured label”, which means Instagram has featured your Reel; you will receive a notification when this happens. Instagram chooses featured Reels for being wildly entertaining and engaging Reels.
How reels are increasing in popularity
Released in 2020, Instagram Reels have steadily been growing in popularity. Reels replaced IGTV videos as the primary form of video content when Instagram removed them in October 2021. The middle button on Instagram is now the reels feed, explaining why Reels are becoming widely popular on the app, being one of the main features. They are the ‘organic’ form of reach on the app, posted hoping the more views on your Reels, the higher your engagement and follower rates.
Reels seem to be more popular among brands and businesses than influencers more focused on TikTok. They are connected to your profile page on Instagram, filled with still posts and stories containing your product or services and links straight to your company website. This allows people to browse your brand and company directly from a reel, unlike TikTok profiles containing videos and no static posts.
Hootsuite made an online experiment researching whether Reels boost overall engagement and follower rates. Brayden Cohen said, “We’ve seen significant spikes in our follower count one to three days after posting a Reel. My hypothesis is that these spikes in follower growth came from our Reels content.”
In our experience, we also agree that posting Reels has shown higher engagement rates and a slow rise in followers.
New reels on Facebook
Facebook has recently released Reels. Originally introduced in 2021 but only globally in 2022. They are found in the Facebook feed, Reels section, and your Reels profile on Facebook.
Reels on Facebook are much the same as Instagram Reels, being entertaining short videos. Facebook describes Reels as:
“Facebook Reels are a new way to create short, entertaining videos, get discovered by new audiences and be part of cultural moments on Facebook. Effects and music can be added to your Reel or use your own original audio, allowing you to bring your ideas to life and share them with your audience. Reels you create will appear in places like Facebook Feed, the Reels section on Facebook, or your Reels profile.”
How to utilise reels for business
Reels seem to be more popular with brands and businesses, as we briefly touched on before. Reels are your gateway to your business, profile, and website; therefore, having a solid profile is essential. They are connected to your profile page on Instagram, filled with still posts and stories containing your product or services and links straight to your company website. This allows people to browse your brand and company directly from a reel, unlike TikTok profiles containing videos and no static posts.
You can do things to increase the likelihood of a video going ‘viral’ and being seen by many. First things first, using trending sounds! Then, once posted, add the Reel to your story to increase the likelihood of it being seen.
Having a person showing their face on a video seems to increase the popularity. “We see that an image of a person in the Reel helps it perform better,” says Cohen, from Hoopsuite. Users have a higher chance of feeling connected to the video by seeing a friendly face.
Reels are the place for entertaining, engaging and funny content. People like entertainment when scrolling. Therefore, the best strategy is to find a way to grab the user’s attention and then have a good CTA to draw them to your profile. Avoid low-quality videos or content taken from other apps (TikTok). They are not going to be shown, due to the watermark logo, as Instagram likes to push original content.
Well, it’s clear to see that Reels are indeed taking over our apps. From Instagram to Facebook, Reels are on the rise!
Utilising Reels is essential for business owners. They can increase the chances of growing followers and creating engagement. They should be short, entertaining and engaging, with something to draw users in as they are a gateway to your profile, which ultimately is where you aim for customers to be.
Reels are worth your time! Start creating today!
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