• Michelle Hughes

Instagram Reels: The Do’s and Don’ts

When Instagram released its Instagram reels feature earlier this year, many content creators and social media managers alike found themselves wondering how exactly to approach creating 15 seconds worth of content specifically for the reel.


If this topic sounds familiar, you may have already found yourself wondering 'Are Instagram stories more familiar to my users?' and 'Are Instagram reels simply too new to invest my time into?'


Below are some general do's and don't's.


Don't


1) Post more than ONCE a day. As goes the general rule for posts on your main feed, posting on any social media more than once a day (especially if you're just starting) can lead to a lack of engagement. Yes, it's true that your users want to see more of YOU, your work, and your personality. Isn't that what Instagram stories and reels are for?


The answer to this is also yes. However there is a general (and rather theoretical) rule of thumb that by posting multiple times a day your followers won't have enough time to actually long for your content.


Creating this gap between your posts can also help save much needed time that would otherwise be spent on creative brainstorming and content creation.


2) Tell yourself a content planner (or schedule) isn't necessary. Anything that goes up on your social media accounts should have a distinct purpose. Even the most successful of casual Instagram posts, like a video showcasing the funnier bits of your life, will have a noticeable narrative or short term goal of achieving discussion with the target audience.


Not using a content schedule can lead to an inconsistent feed and lack of business marketability.


3) Try new features like reels 'just for the fun of it.' Specifically, this applies to business accounts. If you're a casual user...go for it! However if you're a social media manager or business owner, jumping into trends like reels can potentially result in you uploading content you'll later regret and ultimately delete.


Give yourself time to understand the why and how of any app updates, and how those in your niche are currently using it.


Do


1) Study similar and competitive accounts for inspiration. Similar to the previous, studying your competitors can benefit you in a number of ways. From graphic design to user-audience dialogue, your observation skills couldn't prove more essential than when on social media.


2) Study your analytics for changes. If you're not already using your Instagram insights and implementing this data into your daily content plan, you're missing out! Analytics are essentially the secondary backbone of your hard work.


Without analytics, how are you supposed to determine which posts preformed best?


3) Proceed with optimism. It's a given that new features won't always work for your content. Figuring out what works best for you and YOUR own followers will take a lot of trial and error.


So if things don't work out as you planned...take the lessons, and proceed with your newly gained wisdom.


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