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Categories: News

Are you utilising the Instagram reel function to maximise your social media reach?

Written by: Rudy Heywood
June 11, 2024

Every business should be using its online social media presence as a strand of its digital marketing strategy, but many are finding that they aren’t using their platforms’ functionalities to their maximum potential. Could Reels be the key to unlocking your business’ Instagram engagement and boosting the effectiveness of your campaign?

The main function of any social media platform is to make its users’ experience as engaging and enjoyable as possible.

“We want to make the most of your time, and we believe that using technology to personalize your experience is the best way to do that” wrote Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri in 2021.

To do this, the algorithm to which Mosseri eludes in that quote ranks posts that are shown to prioritise the most updated and interesting content. Social media is designed to be engaging, and it can even release happy hormones! This means that various and most up-to-date forms of content must be posted in order to optimise the reach of each account. Instagram introduced various stickers such as gifs, music, and location tag-ins to its story functionality, as well as Reel functionality which is a new take on video content. These options encourage interaction between a content creator and their followers, giving people the option to offer feedback, opinions, requests and more. The better an account’s relationship is with its followers, the more Instagram will award it with a higher reach, all thanks to the algorithm rules.

“Social media content should be hitting at least one of the following 4 aims:

  • provide value
  • educate
  • entertain
  • evoke an emotion” says Rudy Heywood, MD of Famous Wolf.

Social media is one of the most effective tools available to a marketer, with an article from Forbes stating that “social media is the most powerful way to reach Gen Z.” However social media is not just reaching people aged 16-24. According to data from Hootsuite, as of January 2022, the number of social media users worldwide reached 4.62 billion; that’s more than half of the entire population of earth. When the average user spends about 35% of their total time using the internet on social media, the power that can be harnessed cannot be ignored. Performative, badly populated and uninteresting social media accounts are easy to spot. A brand may set up a few accounts just for appearance’s sake, but when used as a part of an overall digital marketing strategy, social media can become an indispensable sales channel. You will be able to tap into what your social media following is interested in by determining your target audience.

So we’ve established the importance of social media to a business’ growth and progression, and we’ve touched upon how making the most of your platform’s full functionality can help keep your content fresh, engaging, and relevant in order to please both your followers and the algorithm. So how can Reels be a great tool for unlocking your Instagram potential?

Video content has been on the rise for a few years now Tiktok established itself comfortably as one of the world’s biggest social media platforms with TikTok has 1 billion monthly active users (MAU’s). · Out of 4.8 billion internet users worldwide, 20.83% use TikTok and arguably it changed the way we consume social media. As a direct competitor, Instagram had to learn how to keep up to avoid losing out on users, and so placed a heavy emphasis on video content. Instagram released a statement in which [boss guy] said that “Instagram is no longer a photo-sharing platform”, which tells you exactly the direction in which they are trying to steer the app.

With that being said, Instagram shares many of the functions that Tiktok videos does, such as music, stickers, siri-voice text vocalisers and remixing options. The topic and nature of these videos certainly make them addictive and scroll-worthy! Relatable and humour-centred formats in a meme-style formation mean that users will often tag friends to share the joke, or will post the content to their own stories. They also remix or make reels of their own when a particular joke trends, showing their own unique take on the punchline. Various ‘corners of the internet’ will have their own take according to their niche, but will be retelling the same joke format. In this way, everyone is both relatable and totally unique, inviting everyone to see how far they can take the humour, giving Reels their own lure. Reels are by their very nature made to be shared, giving them fantastic engagement potential.

A good example of Reel trends kicking off is the “things that just make sense” reel format, where the video would use “Che La Luna” music and would feature the content creator making a stereotypical ‘Italian-style’ hand-shake to certain accessories that would typically be found associated to their lifestyle. One creator made a “things that just make sense in an artist’s bedroom” and featured clips of various empty paint water cups, materials, and creative mess everywhere. The same clip could be used to show off things “that just make sense” on a football pitch, in an office, when you have long hair. People that could relate would laugh, tag their friends and share to their story, and people who don’t relate to that exact niche but could utilise the reel sound to their own use, would create a video of their own. The endless possibilities of Reels invite everyone to join in on the fun.

How do you make an Instagram Reel?

Tap the plus icon in the upper right corner of your screen and toggle to the ‘reels’ option. From here you can either upload a video you have pre-recorded, or you can record through the app. Edit the length of the snippets by trimming and rearranging, and you can then add music, effects and settings.

From here you will be able to do the following:

  • Edit your Reel cover. You can choose a frame from the video or add an image you have already added from your camera roll.
  • Add a caption. Don’t forget your hashtags.
  • Tag people in your Reel. You can also tag collaborators.
  • Add a location so that your followers can see on their maps app where exactly to go.
  • Rename your audio. If you add your own audio such as a voice recording, screen recording or voiceover you can give it a name that will show up in other users’ Reels if they want to remix the sound.
  • Enable automatically generated captions. This option is recommended to increase accessibility.

Be sure to ‘save’ sounds as you are scrolling, this allows you to take note of what is popular at the moment, so you can hop onto trends.

Another great feature of Reels is the collaboration feature. By inviting content creators, influencers and brands to collaborate on a reel, the video appears on both of your profile and will appear in the feeds of both of your following. This can be a great feature to utilise if you are a brand wanting to gain reach and followers.

Strategising the kind of influencers you want to represent your brand is essential, as their morals and ethics will align with your brand messaging, so ensure that you are compatible. You may also want to ascertain whether you have budget enough to reach out to larger influencers, or whether you will be attempting to offer a gifting basis, whereby you offer an influencer a freebie in return for a share on their channel.

Having a social media agency represent your brand takes the effort out of the task of content creation and strategy. Staying up to date with the various trends, music soundbites and jokes takes a lot of time, and an inability to stay up in touch with trends, or producing an ill-executed reel can have a worse effect on your brand than if you were to have not posted anything at all.

So, get in touch with a member of our expert marketing team here at Famous Wolf today to see how we can help assist you with content creation and brand presence to achieve real objectives.