In August 2020, Instagram launched its new “Reels” feature in order to compete with TikTok, when it comes to sharing short-form video content (those with a duration of 15-30 seconds). It is quite common for a Reel on Instagram to get more views than the actual number of followers of the account! This leads us to the assumption that Reels often appear in the feed of non-followers. It seems that Instagram and its algorithm pushes (promising) Reels since it wants its users to get acquainted with this new feature. Therefore, Reels have a high potential to generate new followers for the Instagram user.
While it is still unclear how exactly the algorithm behind Reels is working, our research has shown that there are some common tips to follow on how to maximize the Key Performance Indicators of Reels:
1. Publish your Reel out of an established account
2. Consider the right day and time for publishing a Reel
What we know from Instagram’s algorithm is that the first hour is decisive. It is crucial to obtain many views and engagements during the first hour. If you are successful in this first hour, Instagram’s algorithm will consider your Reel to be of high value to its users and will therefore push it. This, in turn, will create more views and engagements – hence your Reel will be in a spiral upwards. Therefore, we recommend that all activities from your (potential) influencers will take place in the first hour after having published your Reel.
The overview shows when to best publish a Reel:
3. Use (suitable) hashtags upon publishing your Reel
4. Use captions that add value and that are compelling upon publishing your Reel
5. Add any comment into the caption section rather than into the first comment section upon publishing your Reel
6. Take into consideration frequency. It is recommended to post a Reel at least once a week - three times a week would be ideal
7. Use a juicy hook / intro upon publishing your Reel. Research has shown that the first 2-3 seconds are decisive if the viewer will continue to watch the entire Reel
8. Create an attractive cover image for your Reel
9. Share the Reel to your main feed (grid)
10. Never post Reels as stories, but rather add them to your stories after you have posted them
11. Use the “Explore function” upon publishing your Reel, to make the Reels available to the wider community
12. When the Reel is shared featuring certain songs or effects, the Reel will also appear on dedicated pages when someone clicks on that song or effect
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