• Alice Violet

Instagram releases dos and don'ts to maximise reach of Reels

Whenever a platform launches a new feature, it's a good idea to jump on it. Platforms will give more exposure to accounts trying their features because they're interested in how they'll perform and want to encourage other users to try them.

Live streams are still the best way to get exposure on Instagram (and most networks) because it sends a notification to your followers to say that you're now live, prompting them to pick up their phones and join you when they weren't even scrolling past.

TikTok-esque Reels are second in line for exposure and reach on Instagram showing that the platform is keen for users to adopt it. Although they haven't confirmed the drop in reach for regular posts, there has certainly been a notable decrease in reach detected by most marketers.

Instagram recently shared a list of dos and don'ts to maximise the reach of your reels.

In 'dos' tip number five: "uses music from the Instagram music library and/or original audio you create or find in Reels".

And in 'don't's tip number two: "is visibly recycled from other apps ie. contains logos or watermarks".

Under don'ts they go on to say:

"These types of reels won't be recommended as often to people who don't yet follow you in places like Reels tab, but will soon be shown the way they always have been to your followers (for example, on your Profile or in Feed) as long as they meet our Community Guidelines."

The rest of the tips include vertical video, using creative tools like filters and effects and inspiring trends that others can participate in.

What's important about the filters and creative tools is that these are all optimisations. If you use a filter which makes your skin look smoother, those filters are clickable and therefore your video will show in that category. The same is true when adding music - your reel will now sit underneath that song when clicked working similarly as a hashtag.

Note that if you save your reel to your camera roll before uploading it, those optimisations will be lost. So I would advise adding the music when you're ready to upload it.

How do I use reels for a business account?

Firstly please don't feel the need to dance around to the UK top 40 pointing at words loosely relevant to your brand. Unsurprisingly unless your audience is teenage girls this is a huge turn off for most other demographics.

You can create intelligently, thought-provoking, entertaining, educational communities on social media so never feel pressured to behave like the mainstream. Carve out space for your ideal client, use the right optimisations and they will find you.

With the new advice, simply re-sharing a video you filmed for something else in a 30-second vertical format sadly won't get maximum exposure. That being said, it will still get some exposure and the offending watermark from TikTok is the main thing to avoid. So if you have beautiful video footage of room tours, wildlife spotting, flower arranging etc. I would still advise sharing these in a reel format, where appropriate you can still add creative reel features.

If like me, your business is your expertise then speaking to the camera is a great and easy way to make reels. If you do decide that the talking to camera route is right for your brand, ensure you're adding text. Most people will enjoy your reels with the sound turned off, plus it ensures your content is accessible and inclusive to a wider range of people.

I am a social media consultant with over ten years experience in paid and organic social media spanning technology and travel. I've worked with many of the world's leading luxury brands and was the producer of an award-winning tech podcast. I launched Alice Violet Creative to help brands to increase leads and loyalty via social media. I firmly believe content, brand and social media are the most potent of all marketing avenues in 2021. To take your brand presence to the next level email me at info@alicevioletcreative.com.